re: [bbshop] Arrangement characteristics
- This isn't as tough as it sounds.
Men typically sound best with a more open chord voicing in the mid-to-lower tessitura, tightening up as the range goes up.
As women are already singing toward the top of a range that sounds good with barbershop chords, they sound best with the chords "tighter" all the time.
There are tons of exceptions: a men's quartet without a strong bass (or a particularly high lead) may keep things voiced up; a women's quartet with a particularly strong bass may take a bit of a risk and spread a few chords; an arranger may just be searching for a specific effect.
This is not exclusive to barbershop: the tighter the voicing in a low range, the muddier the sound. SATB arrangers pay attention to this, too, as do good instrumental arrangers.
In a generalized nutshell: the higher the melody, the tighter the voicing whether male or female.
Lead -- 1984 International Champions "The Rapscallions"
Master Director -- "Heart of Ohio Chorus", (SAI)
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Tim Buell
Sent: Saturday, December 02, 2006 12:13 AM
Subject: [bbshop] Arrangement characteristics
I have heard that when Men's barbershop arrangements are done for women, some of the parts need to be re-voinced, and the key needs to be changed, but I have never seen an adequate explanation for what actual changes need to be made and more importantly why specific things are done. I have daughters, and have been working with their High School choral teacher to introduce barbershop to the students, both male and female and I would like to know the answers when asked. Maybe someone could help? Actually, it sounds like a perfect topic for the Wiki page.
Heart of Maryland Chorus
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