Mentoring Program


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This is a song I wrote in the style of a sea shanty about pirates who fly through a thunder blizzard into space because they love adventure. Once I finish this arrangement, I want to arrange it for TTBB. My number one priority with the piece right now is getting it so that all the parts are within a range so that all the parts can sing it without straining their voices.
Grade Level: 12
Intended For: Live Instrument Performance
Software Used: Noteflight
Instrumentation: SATB
Key: Multiple (D minor, G minor, E minor, C# minor, F# minor)
Meter Signature: 3/4
Tempo: 120
Status: Work in Progress
Noteflight URL: Website Title


#1 Matthew LaRocca 2017-05-25 07:12
Hi Ben,

Love it! This is great. So we definitely need to talk comfortable ranges for voices. One of the things I think that you should consider, is that you should really aim to make it VERY comfortable for the singers. It's true, Sopranos can and should be able to hit an A, but that's really not often the case. Here's a piece by Ola Gjielo, and I'd like you to look at the ranges he uses.

The sopranos never go above an F, the basses never below a G, and it really works! It's easy to sometimes use the idea of range to push the music...let the music push itself. It's hard to keep things more compact, but this will be a good thing for you to learn.

Here are general ranges

Soprano C-G
Alto G-C
Tenor C-G
Bass G-C

Done like that, they're very easy to remember. But that said, you can't put any voice in the extreme low or high of their range for all that long. Especially in the higher parts of their range. It actually makes for a worse performance when you keep the voices in the upper parts for too long. They gradually become more and more unstable, and it's just too difficult.

Are you a bass or tenor? Think about the spots in your select choir where the group is in a high range for a long time, and those will often be parts that require a lot of rehearsal and practice.

In the arrangement you have now, the Soprano and Bass especially need some reworking. The solo requires a real, fully formed bass voice, and even then the low D is pushing it for the vast majority of singers you will encounter.

The tenor and also parts are generally pretty good, but the Soprano and Bass need the most work.

What do you think about trying to keep it constrained to the range I said?

Also, there are a lot of key changes...too many maybe? Not sure, but that's something to think about. You should have a good reason for a key change, especially the 4 bar key change. What's the compositional reason for that?

This is a fun piece, Benjamin, and I'm excited that you want to solidify things. Let me know your thoughts and questions!


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