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The Beginning
Resource and
Work Book

Supplemental Materials for
MUSC 316 Choral Conducting
Student Version


Dr. John W. Hugo

2009 John William Hugo, All rights reserved

This book is intended as a class resource for students taking the MUSC 316 Choral Conducting
at Liberty University. It contains exercises, bibliographical references, class notes, worksheets,
and other materials designed to help students gain skills in working with choirs. This version is
also supplied to students in an on-line format so that they can work with the worksheets and
materials that are included. Materials for many sources are referenced here, some in summary
form from Garretson and Neuen, and much previously unrecorded advice is drawn from my
studies with Fred Wilson, Ann Hannah, Donald Bailey, Lorna Cooke deVaron, Robert Shaw,
David Stocker, and Douglas R. McEwen, and many others.

Choral conductors practice an art that integrates a wide variety of skills, including management,
interpersonal, and musical skills. If Jesus Christ had been a choral conductor, he would have
applied the biblical principles he taught his disciples to the art, and that is what this course
attempts to accomplish. We should honor God in our conducting by treating our singers as we
would like to be treated if we were on the other end of the baton! We also must learn to train
choirs to effectively convey the truth of the scriptures through the vehicle of choral artistry. We
must work to achieve the potential he has built into people to create beautiful things out of nothing
more than vibrating air, fleeting evidence of the very glory of the Creator as seen in His creation!

Conducting involves leadership, inspiration, historical knowledge, mental clarity, teaching skills
and attitudes, sound moral judgment, patience, creativity, empathy, hopefulness, humility, and
especially love. The goal of the choral conductor is to produce beautiful music in such a perfect
way that music is all that is noticed: audiences need the immediate special acoustical beauty that
only singers can produce. The gift of music is a gift to be shared with others; the gift is given to
some to enrich the lives of other people who can only participate by listening. Christians need to
fill the world with beauty in everything they do.

If music be the food of love, in a broader sense than that meant by Shakespeare, our attitude
should resemble that of the grandmother who annually prepares that special Thanksgiving dinner
every year: that special time is prepared with a sure and loving hand according to a well tested
plan; she joyfully anticipates the special pleasure it will bring. Hopefully, those taking this course
will understand that Choral Conductors are like good cooks sharing the happy labor of preparing
a delicious and satisfying choral meal for all who attend the concert, a special musical meal that
will be enjoyed and savored for all the beauty that can be rehearsed into it.

Choral conducting is not the art of being followed, but rather the art of guiding and teaching
others in the pursuit of a special kind of beauty that can only be obtained by paying careful
attention to detail through a joyful process of growth. The goal of the process is to bring glory to
God by achieving the potential for producing beauty he has placed in singers, especially in those
through whom music speaks most directly.

We should therefore dedicate ourselves to the service of God through music, realizing that we will
give an account to God of how we made use of the gifts he entrusted to us. Lets work hard,
therefore, to grow as much as we can in the short time we have! Let us participate as
encouragers and not as critics. Let us be joyful, creative, and mutually supportive in our work,
and remember to ask God for His continuous help.

Table of Contents

Issues in Choral Conducting.1
Choral Facts of Life3

Elementary Considerations about Tempo..3
Hugos Tempo Name Table..4
Hugos Tempo Variation Terms Table.5
The Conducting Space (The Strike Zone!).6
Basic things that affect the size of the beat pattern..6
Basic Beat Styles: Legato, Staccato7
The Role of the Left Hand in Choral Conducting...7
How do I start and end a piece?.......................................................................8
The preparatory beat, attacks, and releases..8
What are the parts of a conductors beat?........................................................8
Preparatory Beats in Detail...8
How to start a piece or prepare a cue..8
Basic Rehearsal Wisdom..9
Hugos Getting Started Exercises..10
Hugos Release Exercises..12
Hugos Release Exercises in Musical Examples.13
Fermata Speaking Script No. 1: Release is Preparation16
Hugos Fermata Exercises in Musical Examples17
Fermata Speaking Script No. 2: Release is not Preparation18
Hugos Fermata Exercises in Musical Examples19
Fermata Speaking Script No. 3: Fermatas with no break..20
Hugos Fermata Exercises in Musical Examples21
The five levels of conducting.22
Score Study and the Conductors Preparation ..23
Don Neuens ideas on rehearsing24

Finding and encouraging a singers best posture for singing...26
Developing good breathing.26
Teaching Free Phonation26
Good Resonance..27

Factors in Choral Tone28
Choral actions leading to unified choral tone..28
Helpful Rehearsal Tips28
Rehearsing for Good Intonation.29
Developing Rhythmic Ensemble29
The Good Choral Warm-up.30
Choral Diction32
Hugos General Observations on Vowel Treatment.32
Rudimentary Principles of Vowel Modification..33
Donald Neuens Advice on Consonants.34
Choral Diction Technique and Performance Style: Some Practical

Auditioning SingersQuickly.36
Choral Seating and Standing Arrangements for larger ensembles..37
Hugos Basic Principles: How Many People38
Organizing Everything For A Major Concert!..................................................39
Budget Planning41
Programming: Selecting Music: Common Sense44
Program formatting..48
Poster Assignment...49
Long Range Planning Basics.50
Short Range Rehearsal Planning..51
How to Present a Choral Concert.54
Hugos Crash Course in Copyright56

String Shape Experiments..58
The Four Basic Patterns..59
Less Often Encountered Patterns..60
Asymmetrical Patterns: 5/4.61
Asymmetrical Patterns: 7/4.62
Mixed Meter Practice Chart No. 1..63
Mixed Meter Practice Chart No. 2..64
Multimeter Practice Chart No. 1.65
Tempo Math..66
Choral Performance Practice: The Basics67
General Character of Choral Music in the Renassiance Period...68
General Character of Choral Music in the Baroque Period...69
General Character of Choral Music in the Classic Period.71
General Character of Choral Music in the Romantic Period.72
General Character of Choral Music in the Early Twentieth Century73
General Character of Choral Music in the Late Twentieth Century.74
Choral Wisdom.75
Trusty Major Works that Choirs Love to Sing.80
Trusty Anthems and Songs..81
Annotated Bibliography of Selected Choral Conducting Resources85
Expanded Basic Bibliography for Choral Conductors87

Lesson 1 Issues in Choral Conducting

The Who, What, Why, Where, and When of Choral Conducting

WHO: Anyone who can acquire __________________________ skills and who is called to be a
musical leader can lead a group of singers in the pursuit of the choral art. Conductors are not just
____________________________ but interpreters.

WHAT: Leading a group of singers in a __________________________ performance of music.

WHY: Because singers need a single ____________________to be able to sing with perfect

WHERE: Wherever people gather to sing together in unity: schools, camps, churches, community
centers, performance halls, theaters, civic functions, private homes, conventions.

WHEN: About twice a week at rehearsals and periodically at performances!

Major Issues in Choral Conducting
Gestures: basic technique
y Beat Patterns
y The Uses of the Left Hand
y Beat styles: legato, marcato, staccato
y Starting and Stopping (Preparatory Beats and Releases)
y Fermatas (Five basic types)
y Cueing
y Tempo matters

Score Preparation
y Anticipating problems
y Learning the notes: finding structure and patterns in the music

Rehearsal Technique
y Rehearsal planning
y Developing good intonation
y Developing healthy choral tone: models
y Developing dynamic variability
y Developing Rhythmic Ensemble
y Developing clear enunciation
y Developing phrasing and articulation
y How to teach the music
y Five levels of conducting

Teaching Vocal Skills in Rehearsal
y Posture
y Breathing
y Phonation
y Registration
y Resonance
y Articulation
Identifying and solving common vocal problems


Content Knowledge
y Conducting Vocabulary
y Historical style and performance practice
y Choral resources: appendices and bibliography

y Programs
y Publicity
y Seating plans
y Auditions
y Budgets
y Long range planning
y Short range planning

Lesson 2
Choral Facts of Life (based on Garretsons Conducting Choral Music, pp. 27-42)

The basic conducting patterns are basically useless i9n themselves as expressive motions but
they are very important to master, because:
y they are used to convey the _______________________
y they provide the _____________________________ context through which the
conductor conveys musical and expressive instructions,
y they are universally employed and understood by musicians throughout the world and
universally understood as the ______________________________ for conveying
information to a musical ensemble,
y they help singers and instrumentalists alike by marking the _______________in a
composition via downbeats, and this is especially important to players who are counting

Meaningful conducting gestures need to change with the expressive needs of musical moment.
Conducting is __________________expressed musical ideas.
The primary function of the right hand is to present a ________________________ while
maintaining full expression.
For the right hand, cuing is a secondary function.

Elementary Considerations about Tempo
What factors are involved in deciding what tempo to use?
y Tempo relates to the _________________________________of the music.
y Some music has metronome marks that tell you how fast or slow a piece is meant to go.
y Mood (emotional values in the text can influence tempo choices).
y Skill of the singers (a tempo can be too fast or too slow for the ability of the singers)
y Acoustics: with live acoustics, slower, with dead acoustics, faster.


Hugos Tempo Name Table (for Lesson 2)
These terms are used in musical scores so often that a conductor must know what they mean.
They should become a basic part of every conductors rehearsal vocabulary.
Modern Interpretation Median M.
Grave Grave or solemn Broad and solemn, often needing a
subdivided beat to sustain the phrases.
Often a minor key accompanies this mark.
Largo Large or Broad Broad, often needing a subdivided beat to
sustain the phrases. Often a major key
accompanies this mark.
Larghetto a little slow Slow, but a little faster than largo 54
Lento Slow Slow 60
Adagio Slowly, softly Slowly, usually softly; a tempo that allows
for ornamentation
Andante walking, that is,
moderately slow
moderately slow, especially slower than
allegro, but faster than adagio
Andantino a little moderately
slow, like walking,
but a little faster
a little less slow than andante 80
Moderato moderately slower than allegro, but faster than andante 90
Allegretto somewhat merry
or lively
slightly less fast than allegro, and perhaps
lighter in texture as well
Allegro merry, lively fast, or moderately fast 120
Vivace lively, brisk usually faster than allegro, and sometimes
used in the score to indicate now the
allegro becomes even faster and livelier.
Presto very fast Faster than allegro 144
Prestissimo very, very fast as fast as possible 144 +


Hugos Tempo Variation Terms Table (For Lesson 2)
The terms in the table below are used to describe internal changes in tempo. These terms
usually appear in the score at specific points where the composer wants to alter the tempo in
special or expressive ways .
Italian Tempo Modifying
Meaning of the Italian Modifying Term
Accelerando (accel.) gradually becoming faster
Ritardando (rit.) gradually becoming slower (usually for a few notes, and then
returning to the tempo; often used at the end of a phrase)
Rallentando (rall.) gradually becoming slower (usually for more than a few notes,
often used at the end of a piece or to draw attention to an
important phrase of the text)
Allargando gradually becoming broader and louder (often used at the end
of a piece)
Calando gradually becoming slower and softer (often used at the end of
a piece)
Stringendo gradually becoming faster and livelier (often used in transitions
from slower to faster tempi)
poco a poco little by little
poco meno mosso a little less motion (a little slower along here)
poco piu mosso a little more motion (a little faster along here)
a tempo at tempo, that is, return to the previous tempo
a tempo primo (a tempo Io) at the first tempo (return to the opening tempo)
doppio movimento immediately exactly twice as fast
subito Suddenly


Lesson 2 (continued)
The Conducting Space (The Strike Zone!)

y High and Low (Vertical Axis)
The right hand should be no lower than your _______________________ and no higher
than your _____________________.
y Left to Right (Horizontal Axis)
The right hand should move no further left than the left side, and no further right than six
inches outside your right ____________________________.
y In and out (Saggital Axis)
The right hand should remain between 6 and 18 inches from

Leaving these boundaries is advisable only for special effects.

Basic things that affect the size of the beat pattern within the strike zone.
y THE SLOWER THE TEMPO, THE ______________________ THE PATTERN
y THE FASTER THE TEMPO, THE _______________________ THE PATTERN

Well talk about negating the beat later on, but remember that you must always give a
downbeat, because the conductor always has to mark the measure, particularly with amateurs,

Lesson 3, The Basic Beat Styles: Legato, Staccato, Marcato (based on Garretsons
Conducting Choral Music, pp. 99-102; 43-44)

Legato: (Italian for bound; French term: li [tied]; German term: gebunden (tied or bound);
Spanish term: ligado [bound]); a very smooth style, with no separation between notes. Therefore,
the ictus (beat point) of each beat is indicated chiefly by the change in direction of the hand as it
moves through the patterns. Legato conducting tends to be more _______________and loopy
than the other styles. Some have said that legato feels like moving your hand through thick
gelatin, or like moving sand with the palm of the hand. [Diction implications: Vowels and
consonants should be unaccented, and syllables and words should be performed with great
fluidity and sonic connectedness. The articulation of ____________________is a big issue here,
and the careful treatment of diphthongs is also important].

Staccato: Italian for detached; the precise implication of this marking originally meant that the
note should be played ___________________________________as if there were rests between
each note [could it be that this musical shorthand was a way of saving printers ink?!].
Alternately the sound of a note is shortened to a desirable length, as if rests were inserted
between the notes. The conducting gesture style used to indicate this style is the antithesis of
legato: the hand or baton gives sharp vertical beats that stop briefly between each ictus.
Staccato beats can occur within ________________________ contexts. [Diction implications:
Words should be sung in a detached way such that each syllable is separated by a space.
Treatment of consonants is the most important consideration here, and decisions have to be
made in favor of unity of utterance and intelligiability].

Marcato: (Italian for marked) _____________________________is a good word to describe
this beat style. It is characterized by forceful and vertical gestures and is used to evoke a heavy
accented effect. Marcato is not necessarily characterized by shorter in note values (like
staccato), but is a heavily accented style. (Dr. Hugo doesnt like to stop the hand very much,
because stopping the hand stops the breath, which isnt good! So his patterns look a little more
continuous). [Diction implications: The vowels are strongly projected from the
abdominal/intercostal muscles. The trick is not to allow the consonants to
_____________________________against the mouth parts (tongue and soft palate [e.g: g, k, qu,
ks] , tongue and hard palate [e.g.: t, d, rrr, s, z, dz, j, ch], tongue and teeth [e.g: th sounds], lips
and teeth [e.g.: f, and v], lips alone [b, p] and combinations of these sounds) the breath must
always be allowed to flow freely through the vocal tract.

The Role of the Left Hand ion Choral Conducting

y The left hand should not habitually mirror the movements of the right hand unless there is a
specific reason for doing so.
y The left hand is used primarily for cuing, showing dynamics,
y To show a crescendo: start the left hand low and raise it slowly, palm up, with the crescendo.
y To show a diminuendo: turn the palm of the hand toward ______________________, and
lowering the hand gradually.
y The left hand can also be used to create ethereal effects if it is permitted to ____________
parallel with the right in renaissance music.
y The left hand is used to cuing, reinforcing strong _____________________________, and
often to indicate entrances and releases (cut-offs).
To reinforce choral entrances (and exits, really)
Cuing should not really show when to come in, but ______________________.
Cuing can be done with the hands, the eyes, the head, or the lips (but this last
method is rare).

Lesson 4: How do I start and end a piece?
Notes on Garretson pp. 16-23

The preparatory beat, attacks, and releases

The goal of indicating attacks and releases is________________________: you need to help the
singers to things at exactly the same time. In order for them to do this, they have to be watching
you! Preparation for showing an entrance or attack involve lifting the hand (either hand, but often
the right hand) in a ready? Go! sort of way: an entrance cue always involves two parts, a
ready? gesture (the preparation for the entrance) and the go! gesture (the moment of the
entrance). Gunther Schuller said that Conducting is the art of__________________. He meant
that every meaningful gesture must happen before the music actually happens. Pointing at the
various parts as they enter is not cuing: it means nothing to any one.
Hugos Note: remember that the direction of the rebound is ________from the following

First we had better talk about the parts of the beat in general.
What are the parts of a conductors beat?
1. The preparatory beat (an ictus and its rebound)
2. The directional swing (the motion toward the beat point or ictus).
3. The beat point or ictus.
4. The rebound.

Preparatory Beats in Detail
How to start a piece or prepare a cue.
The most important beat of any piece is the preparatory beat. Each beat pattern has specific
gestures that indicate the start of a piece on a given beat. The following principles apply to all
preparatory beats at the start of a piece:
1. The conductor must have a specific tempo firmly in mind before he/she initiates the first
preparatory gesture.
2. The conductor always gives the ___________________ immediately preceding the
entry beat. That means that the conductor must give the directional swing, the ictus,
and the rebound of the previous beat and the directional swing of the entry beat. In
practical terms, a beat always begins with the directional swing toward the preparatory
3. The preparatory beat must be in the tempo, dynamic, and style
4. The procedure does not change when fractional pick-up note (e.g., an eighth note in 4/4
time) begins the piece, because the preparatory beat indicates the beginning of the beat
of which the fractional pick-up note is a part. The conductor should only ever give one
preparatory beat. The preparatory beat helps the conductor give the first beat, not
necessarily___________________! [There is some disagreement on this point, as some
think this procedure produces two preparatory beats.]

Below are diagrams of how to give preparatory beats on each beat of 2/4, 3/4, and 4/4.
Put your finger in the little circle to begin the exercises.

These drawings may seem confusing, but they show the precise directions and gestures for
giving preparatory beats for every beat in the most familiar patterns. You can practice these
gestures placing your hand in the pattern where the circle is (the location that marks the
beginning of the directional swing preceding the preparatory ictus) and moving your hand in the
directions shown. They can be combined to construct all of the basic beat patterns.

Basic Rehearsal Wisdom
There are three things that must be learned: ________________, __________________, and
_______________________. When teaching, it is always good to rehearse only two of these
things at once. The most successful order is: Words and Rhythms, Rhythms and Pitches, then all
three together, no matter how hard or easy the piece is. This approach always lays the
groundwork for greater future success, and always gives the singers a feeling of accomplishment.


Lesson 5: Releases

There are several ways to show a release, but several things are common to most releases:
1. In choral music, the release is generally prepared a beat in advance, and the prevailing
pattern is suspended for a beat (in a way): the release must look
___________________________the normal beat.
2. Phrase-ending releases followed by silence, or that end on a _____________________
consonant are usually done in a counter-clockwise motion that says Ready? stop.
3. When the last sound is a continuing consonant, the cutoff gesture can curl and then be
released by showing a subdivision (this contradicts a forthcoming caveat against this
kind of subdivision, but in a detailed interperation, a release may come on a smaller
division of the beat, and this can be shown by using subdivision).
4. When the chorus is holding a note, any sudden motion will often cause the chorus

Exercises for developing clear and decisive final cut-offs in 2/4, 3/4 , and 4/4.

(Cut-offs are also called releases in many texts, but the word cut is used because it has only
one syllable and is more rhythmically practical that the word releasein the exercises shown
While conducting the familiar patterns, speak the following texts and execute the cut-offs. Each
exercise consists of a free measure and a cut-off measure
These are final and not continuing cut-offs, so it is important to stop all motion when the word
cut is said.
Use the diagrams at the right to help you execute the cut-off correctly.
Practice this exercise with and without the baton.
Advice: when cutting off with the right hand, circle counter-clockwise, turning the palm of the hand
slightly to the right.

Release Exercises

Cutting off on Beat 2 in 2/4 time
Conduct: (2) |1 2 |prepare cut
Say: prepare |one two |prepare cut

Cutting off on Beat 1 in 2/4 time
Conduct: (2) |1 2 |1 prepare |cut
Say: prepare |one two |one prepare |cut

Cutting off on Beat 3 in 3/4 time
Conduct: (3) |1 2 3 |1 prepare cut
Say: prepare |one two three |one prepare cut

Cutting off on Beat 2 in 3/4 time
Conduct: (3) |1 2 3 |prepare cut
Say: prepare |one two three |prepare cut

Cutting off on Beat 1 in 3/4 time
Conduct: (3) |1 2 3 |1 2 prepare |cut
Say: prepare |one two three |one two prepare |cut

Cutting off on Beat 4 in 4/4 time
Conduct:(4) |1 2 3 4 |1 2 prepare cut
Say: prepare |one two three four |one two prepare cut

Cutting off on Beat 3 in 4/4 time
Conduct:(4) |1 2 3 4 |1 prepare cut
Say: prepare |one two three four |one prepare cut

Cutting off on Beat 2 in 4/4 time
Conduct:(4) |1 2 3 4 |prepare cut
Say: prepare |one two three four |prepare cut

Cutting off on Beat 1 in 4/4 time
Conduct:(4) |1 2 3 4 |1 2 3 prepare | cut
Say: prepare |one two three four |one two 3 prepare | |cut


Lesson 6: Subdivision

What is Subdivision?
Subdivision in conducting is the practice of placing __________on smaller parts (fractions) of the
main beat, particularly in tempi where notes coinciding with the ictus proceed so slowly that it is
difficult for the conductor to regulate the tempo. A rule of thumb is that as the tempo of the
___________________ approaches 48 bpm, the more attractive the idea of subdivision

When is subdivision used?
Subdivision is used in very slow tempi, and it can be used to help control a rallentando or
ritardando at the end of a piece or section. Some conductors subdivide by adding an extra
(minor) bounce or bounces to the main beats. The ________________ of the subdivided beat
moves in the direction opposite the following main beat.

Is there an occasion where subdivision should not be used?
Using subdivision to show smaller divisions of the beat to clarify rhythms is not usually effective
in _____________________________. The rule of thumb is that subdivision should only be used
in very slow tempi, or to regulate retards or rallentandos in moderate tempi.

Why not?
Using subdivision to dictate the rhythm is____________________, because usually the
subdivided beat gesture arrives simultaneously with the singing attack itself; such a subdivide
ictus comes too late to be influential in the performance. Subdivision can make the conductor
feel very __________________in the making of music, but it can also be ineffectual,
meaningless, and confusing if not used appropriately. It is better to give clear icti on the major
beats than to subdivide. Some think that subdivision can actually destroy
a________________________: the paradox is that while you want the singers to be consciously
subdividing every beat into very small units, your beat should rarely show the subdivision.

But Ive seen you subdivide in this way! Why shouldnt we do it?
Subdivision is usually_______________, even in a moderate 12/8 or slow 4/4, but in order to
assist in creating a more flowing or sustained legato line by conducting the eighth notes in
subdivision. Sometimes at different stages in the rehearsal process (especially when rehearsing
a passage at a slower tempo), subdivision can help clarify the_____________, but as soon as
possible, the subdivision should disappear from the pattern.

But what about syncopation? Shouldnt you subdivide for syncopation?
It is unnecessary (and indeed unwise) to subdivide to show_________________. It is better for
the conductor to stop the beat (eliminate the rebound) right before the syncopation so that the
singers can respond to the stop beat, syncopating around the clear beat. Singers should be
trained to realize syncopations around the beat. Remember this principle: spot subdivision to
indicate the timing of an impending attack is usually comes too late to influence the precision of
the attack. Singers have to be trained to subdivide the beat in

Anecdote: I knew a conductor who seemed to show sixteenth note subdivision in everything he
conducted. He looked like a little wind-up toy, actually marking with his head, showing the beat in
his elbows, and indicating the 16
note subdivision with his forearms and wrists! The toylike
impression was only enhanced by his use of a baton. He was a lovely, sincere, and extremely
precise man, but people laughed behind his back, even at the concerts. It is ironic that when he
taught conducting, he always made us conduct smoothly. It may have been that his vigorous
motions were an attempt at inspiriting rhythmic energy in his ensemble, but these motions only
proved risibly distracting and largely ineffective.

Lesson 7 Fermatas

Fermatas come in five basic types:
y A Fermata can indicate the end of a __________________(as in an extended final beat,
or the end of a da capo aria, where they are not observed the first time through)
y A Fermata can merely indicate the end of a___________________, as in Bach Chorales
y A Fermata can indicate a musical hold followed by a break of _______________length
y A Fermata can indicate a musical hold followed by a break of _______________length
y A Fermata can indicate a musical hold not followed by a______________________.

The right hand can move somewhat during the fermata if it helps sustain the sound.

The right hand should control ________________and therefore the cutoff should really be given
with the right hand, but the left hand can be used for the release of a fermata if it works!

Fermatas can occur on any beat or part of a beat. When they appear over a note or rest, the
conductor must know how to ______________ according to the type of effect that is appropriate.

y For fermatas appearing at the end of a composition (as in an extended final beat, or the
end of a da capo aria), the conductor sustains the rebound until he /she wishes to end the
music. This is done be giving a preparatory beat and_____________, generally in an up-
down or and-stop gesture. In most such cases, a _________________is implied.

y For fermatas that merely indicate the end of a musical phrase (but not a break in tempo),
the conductor merely gives a release on the beat over which the fermata is placed, and
__________________________(In choral music, releases given on the beat where the
ensemble still has a pitch to sing are interpreted by the singers as a breathing place.)

y When the fermata indicates a musical hold that is followed by a break of definite
length, the conductor sustains the rebound of the beat over which the fermata appears, gives
____________________in the tempo of the following beat (the cutoff is preparation for the
next beat), and continues conducting as before.

y When the fermata indicates a musical hold that is followed by a break of indefinite
length, the conductor sustains the rebound of the beat over which the fermata appears, gives
a cutoff to stop the sound and holds his or her hand very still during the break. When the
conductor wishes to continue, he or she gives a preparatory beat and brings the ensemble
back in. (In this case, the cutoff is not preparation for the next beat!)

y When the fermata indicates a musical hold that is followed by no break, the conductor
sustains __________________of the beat over which the fermata appear, stretching the
length of the note by refusing to proceed to the next beat. When the conductor wishes to
move to the next beat, he or she changes the ________________________ of the beat
(giving the directional swing only) so that the hand moves immediately to the next ictus,
without any preparation, and in tempo.


Fermatas that break and continue without an indefinite pause, where the cutoff is the preparation
for the next beat.) For all of these exercises, speak the script as you conduct and work out the
details. Hints: The cutoffs are generally of the counter-clockwise circle-out-to-the-right variety.
Following the cutoff, the hand should be in a position to go to the next beat.

For patterns in 2
a. hold on beat one
conduct: (prepare)| 1 2 | 1 cut, 2 | 1 2 | 1 prepare | cut
say: (prepare)| one, two | hold cut, two, | one, two | one prepare | cut

b. hold on beat two
conduct: (prepare)| 1 2 | 1 2. cut| 1 2 | 1 prepare | cut
say: (prepare)| one, two | one hold cut| one, two | one prepare | cut

For patterns in 3
a. hold on beat one
conduct: (prepare)| 1 2 3 | 1 cut, 2 3 | 1 2 prepare | cut
say: (prepare)| one, two, three | hold cut, two, three | one, two, prepare | cut

b. hold on beat two
conduct: (prepare)| 1 2 3 | 1 2. cut, 3 | 1 2 prepare| cut
say: (prepare)| one, two, three | one holdcut, three | one, two prepare| cut

c. hold on beat three
conduct: (prepare)| 1 2 3 | 1 2 3 cut | 1 2 prepare| cut
say: (prepare)| one, two, three, | one, two, hold cut | one two prepare| cut

For patterns in 4

a. hold on beat one
conduct: (prepare)| 1 2 3 4 | 1 cut, 2 3 4 | 1 2 3 prepare| cut
say: (prepare)| one, two, three, four | hold cut, two, three, four | one, two, three. prepare| cut

b. hold on beat two
conduct: (prepare)| 1 2 3 4 | 1 2. cut, 3 4 | 1 2 3 prepare| cut
say: (prepare)| one, two, three, four | one hold cut, three, four | one, two, three prepare| cut

c. hold on beat three
conduct: (prepare)| 1 2 3 4 | 1 2 3 cut 4 | 1 2 3 prepare| cut
say: (prepare)| one, two, three, four | one, two, hold cut, 4 | one, two, three, prepare| cut

d. hold on beat four
conduct: (prepare)| 1 2 3 4 | 1 2 3 4. cut | 1 2 3 prepare| cut
say: (prepare)| one, two, three, four | one, two, three, hold cut | one, two, three, prepare| cut


Fermatas where the cutoff is followed by an indefinite break. In these exercises, the word cut is
followed by an indefinite pause. For all of these exercises, speak the script as you conduct.
Hints: These cutoffs are generally of the counter-clockwise circle-out-to-the-right variety. At the
cutoff, the hand must be immediately still and not move again until the preparation for the next
beat is given. It is good general advice that at the stop, the hand be held a little higher, so that
the preparation can begin from above without additional motion.

For patterns in 2
a. hold on beat one
conduct: (prepare)| 1 2 | 1 cut, prepare 2 | 1 2 | 1 prepare | cut
say: (prepare)| one, two | hold cut, prepare, two, | one, two | one prepare | cut

b. hold on beat two
conduct: (prepare)| 1 2 | 1 2. cut| prepare 1 2 | 1 prepare | cut
say: (prepare)| one, two | one hold cut| prepare one, two | one prepare | cut

For patterns in 3
a. hold on beat one
conduct: (prepare)| 1 2 3 | 1 cut, prepare 2 3 | 1 2 prepare | cut
say: (prepare)| one, two, three| hold cut, prepare two, three | one, two, prepare | cut

b. hold on beat two
conduct: (prepare)| 1 2 3 | 1 2. cut, prepare 3 | 1 2 prepare| cut
say: (prepare)| one, two, three | one holdcut, prepare, three | one, two prepare| cut

c. hold on beat three
conduct: (prepare)| 1 2 3 | 1 2 3 cut prepare | 1 2 prepare| cut
say: (prepare)| one, two, three, | one, two, hold cut prepare | one two prepare| cut

For patterns in 4

a. hold on beat one
conduct: (prepare) |1 2 3 4 | 1 cut, prepare 2 3 4 | 1 2 3 prepare|cut
say: (prepare) | one, two, three, four | hold cut, prepare two, three, four| one, two, three. prepare|cut

b. hold on beat two
conduct: (prepare)| 1 2 3 4 |1 2. cut, prepare 3 4 | 1 2 3 prepare| cut
say: (prepare)| one, two, three, four | one hold cut, prepare three, four | one, two, three prepare| cut

c. hold on beat three
conduct: (prepare)| 1 2 3 4 | 1 2 3 cut prepare 4 | 1 2 3 prepare| cut
say: (prepare)| one, two, three, four | one, two, hold cut, prepare 4 | one, two, three, prepare| cut

d. hold on beat four
conduct: (prepare)| 1 2 3 4 |1 2 3 4. cut prepare| 1 2 3 prepare| cut
say: (prepare)| one, two, three, four| one, two, three, hold cut prepare| one, two,,three, prepare| cut


Fermatas that stretch a note without breaking the phrase. For all of these exercises, speak the
script as you conduct. Stretch the beat on which the fermata occurs, and when it is time to move
to the next beat, the conductor changes the direction of the motion toward the next beat.
Experiment with different lengths of time. Learn to sustain the note with your hand without
running out of space!

For patterns in 2
a. hold on beat one
conduct: (prepare)| 1 2 | 1 . 2 | 1 2 | 1 prepare | cut
say: (prepare)| one, two | hold two | one, two | one prepare | cut

b. hold on beat two
conduct: (prepare)| 1 2 | 1 2 | 1 2 | 1 prepare | cut
say: (prepare)| one, two | one hold | one, two | one prepare | cut

For patterns in 3
a. hold on beat one
conduct: (prepare)| 1 2 3 | 1 2 3 | 1 2 prepare | cut
say: (prepare)| one, two, three | hold two, three | one, two, prepare | cut

b. hold on beat two
conduct: (prepare)| 1 2 3 | 1 2 3 | 1 2 prepare| cut
say: (prepare)| one, two, three | one hold three | one, two prepare| cut

c. hold on beat three
conduct: (prepare)| 1 2 3 | 1 2 3.. | 1 2 prepare| cut
say: (prepare)| one, two, three, | one, two, hold | one two prepare| cut

For patterns in 4

a. hold on beat one
conduct: (prepare)| 1 2 3 4 | 1.. 2 3 4 | 1 2 3 prepare| cut
say: (prepare)|one, two, three, four | hold two, three,four | one, two, three.prepare| cut

b. hold on beat two
conduct: (prepare)| 1 2 3 4 | 1 2 3 4 | 1 2 3 prepare| cut
say: (prepare)| one, two,three four | one hold three, four| one,two,three prepare| cut

c. hold on beat three
conduct: (prepare)| 1 2 3 4 | 1 2 3 4 | 1 2 3 prepare| cut
say: (prepare)| one,two,three,four | one,two, hold, four | one,two three, prepare| cut

d. hold on beat four
conduct: (prepare)| 1 2 3 4 | 1 2 3 4 | 1 2 3 prepare| cut
say: (prepare)| one,two,three,four | one,two, three, hold | one,two, three, prepare| cut


Lesson 8: The Five Levels of Conducting (expanded from Royal Stanton in The Dynamic Choral

The Starting Level: The Very Beginning!
When a conductor first approaches a group of singers, he/she may discover that the singers
know nothing about choral music. The conductor should evaluate the levels of personal
maturity, musical skill, and interest in the group. The major challenges at this level are not
musical, but motivational; it is necessary to _____________________________________ among
the group members and produce in them an enthusiasm for the projects you have in mind.

The Teaching Level: Words, Pitches, and Rhythms!
Every group moves from opening the music for the first time to performing it, preferably from
memory. The conductor must ________________________________________against the
difficulty of the music and the time allotted to achieve performance objectives. At this
stage, the focus of rehearsal should be the establishment of the correct words, pitches, and
rhythms. It is not too early at this stage to begin to address general dynamic levels and overall
performance style (legato, staccato, and marcato).

The Learned-Note Level: Polishing!
Once the correct words, pitches, and rhythms are established, the focus of rehearsal is ensemble
__________________in all respects: dynamics (esp. crescendo and diminuendo), refinements
of style (legato, staccato, marcato), diction (precise and rhythmic articulation of consonants),
blend (vowel unity), tempo (esp. accelerando, rallentando, rubato), and mood (the relationship
of the text and musical setting) are all addressed. The challenge at this stage
is________________________________________: unless the conductor insists, the singers are
usually satisfied with achieving the limited goals of the teaching level.

The Creative Level
Once the musical values are established, the singers creativity must be more deeply engaged.
The singers must be led ________________________________________________________
represented by the text and musical setting. This is possible only through the suggestions of the
conductor in word and gesture (including facial expressions). At this stage the greatest challenge
is patiently and persuasively establishing the delicate _____________________________
__________________________. At this stage, the conductor may need to convince individuals
to sublimate noticeable vocal characteristics in the effort to unify the choral sound.

The Artistic Level
When the ensemble has attained a consistent level of musical precision and ensemble unity,
when the indescribable thing we know as music is present at every performance, when the
preparation of the singers is so complete that it frees them to concentrate on nothing else aside
from the music itself as it flows from them, when there is nothing at all to detract from the unity
and beauty of the performance, then the artistic level is _____________________________. It
will seem at this level that the music is more than sound, that the sound has been transcended by
beauty, goodness, and truth.

Lesson 9: Score Study and the Conductors Preparation

1. Always begin your study of choral music with the text (the words).
a. How does this text relate to the other literary content of the program?
b. Is the text appropriate to the ensemble, the audience, the performance
c. What is the relationship of the words to the music?
Syllabic, Melismatic, Neumatic?
Major, minor, modal?
d. How does the text relate to the form of the music?
e. Underline important words and phrases in the text.
f. Is the message of the text significant enough to merit a public reading?

2. Play the music at the keyboard (or listen to a recording).
3. Analyze the music for form, texture, harmony, phrase structure, dynamics, tempo and
4. Circle any difficult intervals (if when reading the music, you even hesitate, circle the error,
because surely your singers will have trouble with it!).
5. Circle any rhythmic difficulties.
6. Work to understand what the composer was attempting to express in the setting of the
text to music.
a. How does the music convey the composers feelings about the text?
b. What musical mood is he or she trying to create?
c. Silent study with conducting is an excellent way to develop and expressive
d. From this kind of study, the gestures you use will become more and more informed.
7. Sing every part the way you want your choristers to sing themexplore the smallest
problems, be very critical of your performance. Much is learned by this method.
8. Purposely choreograph your gestures to reflect your interpretation (translate your
discoveries into gestures that convey your interpretation. Practice these gestures in
isolation while you sing the music.

Principles to Ponder:


1. All the parts can be sung on demand with no mistakes, and with the head mostly out of
the score.
2. All parts can be played on the keyboard on demand with no mistakes.
3. All parts can be cued to indicate all entrances (both initial and internal) and releases (as
practical and necessary.
4. An expressive approach to each phrase can be articulated in speech, singing, and
gesture, and an overall stylistic intention has been determined and can applied to the
articulation of the performance. (The conductor can demonstrate through vocalization
and gesture what he or she wants the singers to do).


The psychology of rehearsal order
y Begin the rehearsal with__________________________________________!
y Neuen suggests that the first song in a rehearsal should build__________________, and the
second song should be the ___________________________ you plan to rehearse that day.
y He also suggests that the rehearsal achieve some ________________________________or
at least with a positive and successful feeling.
y Keep a _____________________________ rehearsal pace. If they can keep up with you,
you are probably not ___________________________________!

How to work in rehearsal
y Rehearse only passages that need it, and you dont always have to start at the beginning of a
y Let the neighboring parts help each other in rehearsal.
y Let the singers sing as many of the notes as they can (no idle singers in the choir!)
y Neuen suggests that working ___________________________________ section by section
is a good idea. Why?
[Breaks up the routine, it can help to link the piece if you overlap a little each time, which build
confidence by reinforcing previous success]
y Neuen advises that the conductor rehearse whole sections without stopping, as frequent
stopping ___________________________the singers who want to make music and sing
through! Let them complete musical ideas!
y Be careful to practice a difficult passage with the notes that lead into it. Why?
[So that there are no break downs on the difficult passage when it is placed into its context].
y [Hugos strict rule: know what you want to rehearse in isolation, rehearse it thoroughly, sing
the whole section without stopping, and move on. It is no good to just let the choir try a
passage and then tell them how badly they did it when you stop in the middle! This is deadly!
Plan, rehearse, insert the passage into context, move on!]
y [Hugos other strict rule: Tell the choir you plan to work on a_______________________, or if
you are going to sing through without stopping, then________________________________.]
y Memorize early while ______________________________________: stressing
memorization has many benefits.

Miscellaneous Advice and Ideas
y Let the choir sing without the ______________________sometimes, all turning to the center
and singing to one another. This is a good idea, because it develops a feeling of sensitivity
and teamwork; its o.k. for the singers to move the music a little so that they can stay
together. It builds their confidence, and its fun!]
y Tell the _______________________to think ahead of you and to give pitches before you
even ask for them.
y Always have the accompanist give the starting pitches bottom to top (bass to soprano)!
y The conductor must be looking up _________ percent of the time.
y The rehearsal atmosphere should be businesslike and dignified, and positive, cheerful, and

y Learning a new song
Try to let the choir to read the whole selection without unnecessary stops (skip over the
It is good to help them practice rhythmic patterns before you help them read it, and if the song is
quite difficult in harmony or language, let the singers speak the text in rhythm before attempting
the pitches.
y Sing on _______________________________
y Sing __________________________when learning a new song
y Sing ____________________________ when learning something new or difficult
y Count-singing as a technique

y Speak or ___________________________difficult rhythms (in isolation)
y Let the chorus sing one part all together. Benefits? [Confidence, group stays busy, sight
reading practice]

Developing a natural choral sound in the choir ala Don Neuen
Neuen identifies three elements in this his discussion of natural choral sound: energy, beauty,
and placement: all three are necessary!.
Energy without beauty or placement can sound like yelling.
Beauty without energy and placement can sound dull and lifeless.
Placement without energy and beauty can sound weighty and droning.
Neuen recommends the following advice:
_____________________vibrato and dynamics for music before 1600
Sing in a fuller, freer style for music after _______________________
Occasionally eliminate ______________________for special techniques or effects.
Neuen and Hugo rarely talk to their choirs about blending their voices because when singer are
using healthy vocal technique and uniform vowels, their voices blend as it were, automatically.
Choirs that sing in a healthy way sound free, healthy, natural, vibrant, beautiful, musically
expressive, and personally communicative.
Preventing singers from singing with vibrato (vibrancy) is unwise and unnecessary.
Giving the place in the score
y Give the page Page 6,
y Give the system Second System,
y Give the measure Third bar,
y Give the beat First beat,
y Give the words at Leads forth

Lesson 11: Teaching Voice in Rehearsal

Finding and encouraging a singers best posture for singing
The Angelwing Procedure is meant to reveal to the singers their own best posture for singing, and
to tone muscles that help them retain good posture while singing.
1. Stand on two feet in a relaxed bus stop posture.
2. Raise the hands sideways (like wings) high over the head until the backs of the hands
are touching.
3. Feel where the ribcage is while the hands are held overhead.
4. Bring the hands back down to the side without moving the ribcage
5. Observe how high the chest feels for a moment or two.
6. Relax
7. Repeat three or four times.

Developing good breathing: Abdominal breathing and control with no excess pressure on
the larynx.
Breath suspension exercise:
1. Do the Angelwing Procedure, but as the hands are coming down, allow them to sing into
this position: the left thumb is placed just below the ribs about four inches from the center
line of the body, and the fingertips of the right hand on the sternum.
2. Without raising the ribcage, draw air down by pushing the abdominal muscles out against
the left hand, to a count of eight.
3. Briefly suspend the breath, for a count of two.
4. Make a z sound, while pushing out against the left hand and not letting the right hand
fall, retaining the abdominal expansion as long as possible.
5. Repeat, but without the z sound.

Teaching Free Phonation
Most jaw problems are caused not by the jaw, but by ________________ muscles under the
tongue that pull against the jaws to control the pitches produced in the_____________________.
Here is how to help the student discover and eliminate this tension over time:
1. Place the thumb lightly beneath the jaw under the chin and swallow.
2. Notice that the muscles under the jaw contract and release to help you swallow.
3. Leaving the thumb in position, hum up and down a half step
4. Notice that the same muscles are activated to change the pitch!
5. Repeat the hum but try to do it without activating the swallowing muscles
6. Using a breathy sound will help the singer accomplish this.
7. Increase the interval or raise the pitch levels, and the tension will be more obvious
The solution to this problem is to let more air pass through the larynx while eliminating the
interference from the muscles under the tongue. Beginning singers rarely use enough air when

A second area of interference is created by the long muscles at the side of the neck. This tension
can be eliminated by telling the singers to turn the head lightly from side to side while vocalizing.
The moment the head stops moving (usually when there is not enough breath pressure), extrinsic
neck muscles start interfering with__________________. The solution is to let more air pass
through the larynx while turning the head. The muscles generally start to interfere as the breath
pressure flags in the middle of the phrase, or as the singer approaches the first register break.

The last area of local interference is the muscles of the _________________ (mainly trapezius
and pectoral muscles). Often a singer will pull the shoulder toward the larynx in order to feel
the emotion of the music. Contraction of this musculature restricts the freedom of the larynx.
_____________________the shoulders while singing eliminates this tension and frees the larynx
to respond more effectively to______________________________.

There are other tensions, but these predominate in inexperienced singers.

Good Resonance:
What is good resonance?
Good resonance is the sound of well-coordinated singing that has no
What are the characteristics of good resonance?
It is better to ask how is good resonance achieved. Generally, the throat must be open,
the palate raised, the tongue in a generally low and forward position, the jaw in a low
positions, and the mouth in a vertical oval shape and lips forward away from teeth. Good
resonance depends on effective postural, breathing, and phonatory processes.
What about nasality and throatiness?
Nasality is undesirable unless it is a component in a vowel or consonant sound. It occurs
when the _____________________is left open and air is allowed to pass into the nasal
sinuses. It can also happen when the palate is not raised sufficiently high. Although
opinions on this topic vary, the tone is generally more pleasing when the nasal cavity is
not united with the vocal tract unless it is necessary for the articulation of the text.
________________________(a dull sound) is created when the palate is in a low
position, the nasal port is closed and the tongue is too close to the back of the throat. All
of that soft tissue blocking and reducing the volume of the vocal tract steals
_______________________from the tone generated in the vocal folds.
How can a good resonance be achieved?
Garretson said that there were two principal components of good resonance: high
forward resonance and a_____________________. This idea helps the singer
understand that the pharynx should feel open during phonation, and that the tone should
be aimed at the back of the top front teeth.

This approach produces a tone that is full sounding and yet has some point or intensity. It is
Hugos experience that this approach is successful, especially when applied to vocalises. Vowels
for developing a deep set vowel include aw and oh. Vowels that help in producing high
forward resonance are ee and ay. Consult Garretson for a full exposition of this topic.

To obtain very good _______________- ______________, two things must be borne in mind (1)
the vibrato of the trained voice must be minimized, and the volume diminished, and (2) the
general dynamic level of singing by individuals in a chorus is lower than that used by trained solo
singers. Unless this is done, both blend and intonation can be adversely affected. Still, with
these restrictions, there is no reason why choral singers cannot sing with a very vital and healthy
vocal technique.

Lesson 12: Rehearsal Techniques to Develop Choral Tone

Tone must be addressed and cultivated constantly, but the warm up is the chief time in rehearsal
for building choral tone. There is no single successful way to develop choral tone, but exercises
should be chosen that help the singer become increasingly aware of their need to modify their
singing so that a unity of tone is achieved. This must nearly always be done indirectly, with
everyone contributing to the success of the groups effort to produce a beautiful sound together.

Factors in Choral Tone
A chorus is defined by its__________________; if the tone is not beautiful or attractive, the
performance will always be the poorer, no matter how well the chorus does in other areas.
Choral tone is the product of combined individual vocal techniques. The more similar the sound
production method, the more unified the sound.
Principle: The larger the choir, the more _______________________ it sounds, but individual
voices can still stand out!

Choral actions leading to unified choral tone:
y Perfectly matched ___________________________at all times (this means eliminating
regional differences).
y Careful attention to intonation at all times, both vertically and horizontally.
y Reduced amplitude of individual___________________________.
y Very similar ________________________ from each singer in a section.

Helpful Rehearsal Tips:
A conductor is ready for the first rehearsal when he or she:
y Can ______ every ______________________on demand with no mistakes
y Can _____________________ every voice part separately on the keyboard with no mistakes
y Can __________________all parts as necessary according to their entrances and releases.
y Can _____________an expressive approach to each phrase of music in both singing and
y Can ______________________through speech and gesture precisely what he or she wants
the singers to do.

Each rehearsal needs a plan. The rehearsal plan should always account for the choirs level of
progress toward a specific performance goal.
y Rehearse in small complete sections (phrases).
y Solve difficult musical problems in isolation before you rehearse the small section.
y If a problem is not completely solved, move on anyway and attack the problem again next
y Patiently allow for steady improvement instead of demanding instantaneous perfection.
Excellence takes________________!
1. A _________________is easier for a choir to execute than a________________.
2. Choirs tend to go ____________________ in diminuendos.
3. Choirs tend to ____________________________ in diminuendos.
4. Choirs must be trained to diminuendo __________________ (they always fade
too suddenly).

Use counting on crescendo/diminuendo exercises that shows the singers that the grading of
intensity in dynamic change can be evenly controlled.


Lesson 13: Rehearsing for Good Intonation
Exercises that encourage Good intonation: Singing half steps in tune
1. On a hum or on an [u] vowel, have the chorus sing in octave on fs above and below
middle c.
Cueing each change, tell the singers to sing up a half step, and then back down.
Cueing each change tell the singer to slide slowly up to a half step over four counts (they
start to move one and reach the half-step on 4. Then start down (they move on the first
count and end on the fourth count.
Increase the count to eight (Shaw used to go 16 counts!)
2. Hugos half steps chromatic cruncher.
Do the exercise below very slowly, telling the singers to make short descending half
steps and wider ascending half steps. Reverse the exercise. You will quickly discover
why this is a challenging exercise that really helps the singers focus on intonation. The
penultimate chord is very interesting.

3. Weird Chords
In weird chords, spell out the pitches at the keyboard and then have the students move
the chord up or down by different intervals of increasing difficulty.

A variation of Weird Chords is starting with any of these chords and moving one voice at a time to
alter the chord in very dissonant ways; this helps the other parts learn to defend their tone against
the other parts.

Developing Rhythmic Ensemble
Erratic conducting: The conductor tells the chorus to count 1+2+3+4+ as you conduct a four
pattern (you can combine this with Weird Chords or any chords you like, or just speech). Start
conducting in a regular way, and then do anything you like and make them follow you. This
technique can be used with repertoire, especially when the chorus is bored.
Things to try:
Conduct erratically, speeding up and slowing down, changing the tempo
Reduce and increase the size of the pattern to indicate dynamics
Change your conducting style (staccato, marcato, legato)
Use fermatas, stretch beats, give cut-offs
Subdivide and merge (see if they will automatically drop the +s when
you do).

The Good Choral Warm-up (but not everything every time)!
The warm up should therefore address every aspect of technique in a somewhat routine way.
Posture: Some _________________ stretching is useful, followed by the angelwing procedure.
Breathing: Exercises that help the singer bring the breath under conscious control by mental
counting and suspension of the breath with a free feeling in the throat
Phonation: Exercises that ease the larynx gently into activity that is different from speech
Resonance: Exercises that help expand the feeling of _________________in the vocal tract
(space in the whole pharynx and oral cavity).
Articulation: Exercises that help the organs of articulation resonate the voiced consonants and
propel the unvoiced consonants without interfering with laryngeal airflow.
A vocal warm up should be as much _____________as it is _____________________.
A sample warm up (this is a long and thorough warm up that takes longer than 10 minutes)
y Address the students in a positive and friendly way, and ______________________at the
individuals before you
y Reach the hands high in the air, palms forward and sway gently from side to side like a grove
of trees in a light breeze.
y Tell the students to hum in imitation of the_______________________ as they do this, in
long breathy sirens.
y Tell them to notice where they feel the breath in their ribs and abdomen
y Change the vowel to an oo sound, being sure that the dynamic is very soft and that the
notes are in the ______________________________ of the voice.
y Follow with a brief ____________________ ________________(plus opportunity for
y When the massage is done, do the angelwing procedure 3 times.
y Do the angelwing 3 times combined with the suspended breath procedure, pointing out that
there should be no feeling of pressure in the larynx.
y On the word ja sing slow gentle 5 note descending scales, starting in the middle and
descending to about G, and then ascending to about F two octaves away.
y On the vina pattern, alternate eh and aw, matching the feeling of resonance for each
y The Miller ay ah aw exercise is very good here for building dynamic power in good tone.
y Slow bih beh bah, baw, boo patterns on varying consonants (performed on a tuning chord) is
a good way to end the warm up.


Vocal Skills: Cascade exercise

The descending NU OH AH EH EE Exercise


Lesson 14: Choral Diction

Hugo General Observations on Vowel Treatment


Spoken English vowels are far less ___________________________than they need to be, so
singers must be taught to open their mouths and throats more than they are used to. Always
differentiate between speech vowels and singing vowels. The best time to train singers about
singing vowels is during the_____________________, where you can work on vowels in
isolation. The step that most conductors forget is transferring the work of the
___________________________ into the language used in actual pieces.

These true vowels are the only sounds that _______________tone for singing (speech vowels
are too neutral and undifferentiated).
The first vowel sounds in the following words are the best vehicles for______________________.
(This list is not exhaustive or very detailed, but in choral work, often simplifying this matter without
distorting the sounds is a reliable path toward vowel unity and blended choral tone.)

[ ] bard Italian ah
[ ] bed Open e
[ e ] bade Closed e
[ i ] bead Closed i
[ I ] bid Open I
[ o ] bode Closed o
[ ] bought Open o
[ u ] booed Closed u
[ U ] bush Open u
[ ] bird
[ ] bad

Principle: A chorus sounds infinitely better when all the vowels are formed the same way by every singer:
this is where ______________________ really comes from.
Principle: Speech vowels are not used in singing; they are too small to carry enough tone. They are often
too nasal as well!
Principle: Singers need to know how to _______________ their vowels so that they sound well in different
registers of their voices and can sing with freedom through an acceptable vowel shape.
Principle: When there is more than one vowel in a syllable, the first vowel often begins to
form______________________, thus back-contaminating the purity of the first vowel.
Principle: Singing is a ______________________vowels should break on the beat, that is, the
consonant must occur before the beat when it precedes a. vowel.

Rudimentary Principles of Vowel Modification

In the middle of the voice (below the first passaggio or break) most people can use a vowel
formation that is more or less consistent with the vowel sounds of the word being sung. However,
in general, as the singer approaches the__________________, singers are often trained to
modify the vowel sound so that the pitch produced in the larynx tunes better with the resonant
spaces of the oral and pharyngeal cavities. If we assume that there are ______________ basic
vowel families, the modifications are fairly straightforward.

As the pitch rises through the singers first register break (primo passagio),
ah as in body modifies toward uh as in the [] [^]
ay as in bade modifies toward eh as in bed [ e ] []
ee as in bead modifies toward ih as in bid [ i ] [I]
oh as in boat modifies toward aw as in bought [ o ] []
oo as in boot modifies toward as in put [ u ] [U]

y Making these modifications can enable a singer to sing with greater laryngeal freedom in
the ______________________and in the higher ranges.
y Not making these modifications will probably lead to vocal strain in the upper ranges,
especially in sopranos and tenors.
y Often conductors say that the singers should sing with a _______________ jaw position
for higher notes, but it is far better (and achieves better results) to tell the singers to use
slightly more open vowels and to modify their vowels when they encounter higher
y The singers should understand that they do have to get their teeth apart to sing well,
y Singers should not be encouraged to keep ______________________apart for some
vowels (like ee and oo).

CAVEAT: It is possible to do to too much __________________ too soon! It is also possible to
carry all of this to unreasonable extremes. Whatever the modification, the sung vowel should
_______________________ the vowels used by the other singers in the choir.

Hint: Encouraging the singers to sing with their lips __________________________________,
having the lips just off the teeth will make all their singing easier (again, like any technique, this
one can be pushed to extremes).

Choral Diction
Donald Neuens Advice on Consonants

1. M, N, TH, and L and R sounds often need _____________________ than other consonants
to be heard.
2. Never ______________________ the last consonant or vowel of one word into the beginning
of the next word.
(Hugo says: This is good general advice, but there are many cases were this rule does
not apply.)
3. ___________________________________ (especially d) are rarely given enough energy:
a shadow vowel must be added to it if it is to be perceived as a consonant sound (buh, duh,
guh, adage(uh), but not for l, m, n, r, vuh, or zuh)
4. Voiced _________and ________________ always need added energy to be heard.
5. W and WH are different sounds and must sound different.
6. In diphthongs, prolong the first vowel as long as possible.

Voiced Consonants b
[ b ]
[ d ]
[ v ]
[m] [n] z
Unvoiced Consonants p
[ p ]
[ t ]
[ f ]
Other Voiced
[ ]
th [] [r] [l]
Other Unvoiced
[ h ] th []

Choral Diction Technique and Performance Style: Some Practical Guidelines

Choral music is predominantly ____________________ in performance style. To achieve legato
singing, the rule of thumb is to tell the singers to sing on vowels until the very last second, moving
the __________________________- as far as possible to the right.

There are many exceptions to this rule, but one rule that cannot be violated is that the articulation
of consonants must never impede airflow in the larynx. Consonants must always
___________________________ the tone.
Singers need to sing mainly on vowels, not on consonants.

Singers should never________________________________, but should make vowel and
consonant sounds that __________________ the audience into thinking that words are
being sung! The audience has a right to expect the chorus to enunciate so clearly that every
word is easily comprehensible, as well as conveyed with appropriate feeling.

Singers should be trained to retain an open singing feeling in the vocal tract when taking breath,
that is, singers should ______________________ through a large vowel shape, preferably the
one they were just singing.

As the vowel and consonant sounds are connected to create the legato style, one should be
vigilant about possible____________________________________.

Singing in staccato style can be tricky, because words are often broken into syllables, and the
conductor must tell the singers how to ______________________ each consonant uniformly.
This matter is particularly problematic when a consonant ends a syllable. The dictionary should
be consulted to see where the actual consonant breaks should be (the syllablic divisions are not
always correctly indicated in some editions). Intelligibility and naturalness are paramount, and
unanimity of _____________________________ is essential. In other words, try to discover the
right way to articulate the text, find the most natural and accurate solution, and reinforce it from
the first rehearsal: dont leave such things to chance.

An example: Should a staccato tricky be divided tri/cky or trick/y (I think it would normally be
divided tri/cky). Mer/cy, not Merc/y, Sanc/tus, not San/cuts, Bo/nus, not bon/us, Mis/ter, not

In ____________________________ contexts, where every note is accented, the same
considerations regarding syllable division are necessary; the conductor must make these
decisions in advance.
Diesen Kuss der ganzen Welt is best divided Die- / sen / Kuss / der / gan- / zen / Welt
(from Beethovens 9

Lesson 15: Organization: Auditioning SingersQuickly!

When singers arrive for their big audition, you may not have very much time, but you need to be
thorough. You must evaluate each singer quickly, yet thoroughly and respectfully, especially in
school situations.

Here is a fast and fairly reliable method (the method assumes that you know how many singers
you are going to hear and how many you need to take to fill your ensemble):

y Have the _____________________________fill out an information form that tells you
practically everything you want to know about them (Name, Address, Phone, Grade in
school, how many years of choral experience, other interests, possible rehearsal and
performance conflicts, what voice part they normally sing).
y Place an ____________________________ outside the audition room to help people fill out
the information form.
y Have the assistant send the auditioner, form in hand, to see you in the audition room.
y Look the auditioner in the eye to learn about their intelligence and
________________________________, shake their hand and greet them warmly.
y Listen to the quality of their ________________________ as they respond to your questions
about the information on the form.
y Move quickly to the audition by playing a ________________________________________
on the piano.
y Say This will only take a minute, and immediately take the singer down to their lowest note:
If man cannot reach the low_____, he is not a baritone, and therefore a tenor (in choir!).
If a woman cannot sing lower than_____, she is not an alto, and therefore a soprano.
y After ascertaining the low note, play an ascending-descending pattern on _____ and move
up from there in a repeating pattern:
If man starts to strain immediately, he is a baritone: if not, he is a tenor.
If a woman starts to strain immediately, she is an alto; if not, take the voice a little higher
until there is a little strain. If this strain begins around G, she is probably a second
soprano. If she sings easily in that range, she is probably a first soprano.
y If your analysis agrees with the card, say so. If not, ask the singer if it would be all
right to assign them to another part.
y Give the singer a copy of a ____________________________ and play chords with them as
they try to sing the example: rate the singer as poor, good, or excellent. One can generally
tell if a singer has a clue about reading immediately!
y Make quick notes on the form, ______________________________ the whole audition,
using words like: no, yes, take if you can (you will not remember all you want to, so it is
better to make a more or less final judgment immediately).
y Stand and shake the singers hand warmly, and tell them when you plan to post the results of
the audition, and escort them to the door, where the next auditioner should be waiting.

On the surface, this procedure might not seem very accurate, but it is surprisingly accurate.
Obviously, the singers will improve with training, especially the tenors. _____________________
counts for a lot, so take advantage of it. A beautiful voice and a good sight-reader in one person
is great! You want beautiful voices in your choir, but never shun a good sightreader with an
average voice! The women are generally better musicians than the men, but the men can be
Take as many men as you dare, because you choir must be balanced! In other words, you may
have to be more selective about the womens voices, so that the balance never exceeds about 60
women to 30 men.
Much beyond that, it becomes noticeable that the choir has built-in _______________________.

Lesson 16: Choral Seating and Standing Arrangements for Larger Ensembles

Important Principles: Micro
1. Place __________________singers toward the back.
2. Place __________________voices next to __________________voices.
3. Place __________________voices next to __________________ones.
4. Place __________________musicians next to _______________ones.
5. If possible, put _______________between the singers so that they may

Important Principles: Macro
1. Placing sopranos near (in front of) _____________________helps intonation in general.
2. Place tenors near (behind) the ______ so they can more easily make tuning adjustments.
3. Place numerically small sections toward the ___________ and toward the____________.
4, When there are more women than men, place the men___________________________.

Chorus and Orchestra
When performing with orchestra, place the chorus S-A-T-B in sections behind the orchestra, with
the sopranos behind violins, the altos behind the woodwinds, the tenors behind the violas, and
the basses behind the cellos and contrabassi. Beware of placing the chorus too far back on the
stage. Whenever possible, the chorus should stand on risers high enough to ensure that the
singers can see over the orchestra and its equipment!
S1 S2 A1 A2 T1 T2 B1 B2

A Cappella Concerts
For a cappella concerts, the best theoretical arrangement is to have the men in the back rows
and the women in the front rows, basses behind sopranos and tenors behind altos.

B2 B1 T2 T1
S1 S2 A1 A2

Special Seating for Double Choirs
Although there are several possibilities, the standard way of dividing a choir for chori spezzati
works is


Scrambled Seating
In scrambled seating, the singers are distributed so that no one sits next to a person singing he
same voice part. The arrangement shown below is strictly theoretical and an infinite number of
variations is possible. Preserving quartets is a good goal.
t a b s t a b S t a b s t a b s
a b s t a b s T a b s t a b s t
b s t a b s t a b s t a b s t a
s t a b s t a b s t a b s t a b

It is highly unlikely that in a group of 64 singers that you will have 16 singers on each part (the
tenors would be far too numerous), but you can see the principle involved in this type of plan.
Scrambling is possible in many situations, and it will often produce a very blended sound from a
medium to large chorus: it is most useful for _____________________music. _______________
can help diffuse the power of an over-populated section (too many sopranos). It can also
produce an immediately better ____________________ not easily obtained as when the singers
are divided into sections.

y Try to determine the size of a mixed chorus based on the number of ________ available.
y Always recruit tenors like crazy.
y The number of women in the choir should not be more than ____________________ the
number of men in the choir.
y Seeking even numbers of men and women in a large mixed choir is not practical, unless
you arbitrarily control the number of women based on the number of available men.
y ________________-are more important in a choir than tenors, but you cannot do without
y Try to have at least ____________________ as many basses as tenors.
y The best ratio of sopranos to altos is about _____________ but no higher.
y The ratios hold fairly well, although the problem is that it is easier to recruit women than it
is to recruit men: you have to choose among preserving the ratios and turning away
women, splitting the ensemble to have a mixed and a womens choir, or having some
women sing tenor.
y It is possible to perform with ______________ than the ideal number of men, because
you can ask singers to double parts not their own to fill the gaps in the sound.
y The more singers you have, the more _____________________they can sound (around
the average tone of the singers in the group).

Workable Numerical Balances in Mixed Choral Groups, given a minimum number of men,
to reduce the potential for treble dominance
Total Number of
Singers in a Chorus
Soprano I + II Alto
I + II
I + II

I + II

12 3 3 3 3
16 4+2 3 3 4
20 4+2 2+2 2+2 3+3
24 4+3 3+3 2+2 3+4
30 6+4 3+3 3+3 4+4
40 8+6 4+4 3+3 6+6
50 10+7 6+7 3+3 6+7
60 12+8 7+9 4+4 8+8
75 14+10 8+10 6+6 10+12
100 20+14 10+10 8+7 14+17
120 24+16 12+14 8+8 16+20
150 32+18 14+18 12+12 18+26
200 35+25 24+26 15+15 25+35
St. Olaf 58 18 (11+7) 15 (7+8) 11
14 (5+9)
St. Olaf 46 14 (8+6) 12 (5+7) 8 (4+4) 12 (4+8)
Westminster Choir 40 10 (5+5) 11 (5+6) 8 (4+4) 11 (5+6)
Robert Shaw 30 8 (4+4) 7 (3+4) 7 (4+3) 8 (4+4)
Roger Wagner 24 6 6 6 6
Norman Luboff 30 14 women 16 Men
Fred Waring 22 4 (SI) 4 (3SII+1AI) 3+3 3+2+3
LU Concert Choir F2006
22 (14+8) 15 (7+8) 14
14 (8+6)

There can be nonmusical limitations that may be taken into account:
How big is the_____________________, or how much space is there on the risers?
How many ________________________are going to be available?
How many seats are the on the tour bus (48)?
How many singers does the piece require?

Lesson 17: Organizing Everything for a Major Concert!

If you have 10 weeks to prepare a concert program, this is what has to be done by when! There
are more things, and you have to make a note on this plan when you have to add something for
next time! Surprising, isnt it?
What has to be done Deadline t-
Keep revising the rehearsal plan Weekly/daily
Plan a budget for the next three years to ensure that you will be able to argue
strongly for what you need
Monitor attendance carefully (get help in taking attendance, ask where people
Keep a supply of AA batteries on hand (for mikes) Continuous
Review attendance Continuous
Motivate students to invite their friends and family to the concert Continuous
Develop a requisition that your school or church will approve for the purchase of
new music
15 weeks
Announce auditions for the chorus, widely 15 weeks
Schedule Choral Auditions 15 weeks
Announce Choral Auditions 15 weeks
Post choral auditions announcement on the choral bulletin board 15 weeks
Count the old music and reorder 14 weeks
Order the music from the best discount jobber 14 weeks
Secure the service of a good piano accompanist 14 weeks
Create a leadership team within the group to help you accomplish the many
details that need accomplishing
Refine the long range rehearsal plan 12 weeks
Prepare a policy statement about attendance and conditions of membership. 12 weeks
Secure sectional rooms for sectional rehearsals 12 weeks
Secure professional recordings of each piece of music if possible. 12 weeks
Check on number of Choral audition forms 12 weeks
Print up choral audition appointment sign up sheets 12 weeks
Edit the concert flyer mailing list. 12 weeks
Stamp new music with the organizational seal 11 weeks
Number and catalog the new music 11 weeks
Develop a plan of rehearsal so that the music is evenly rehearsed 11 weeks
Order a large box of pencils 11 weeks
Put at least two pencils in every folder 11 weeks
Assemble music packets 11 weeks
Purchase manila folders (more than you need) 11 weeks
Begin composing Concert Program in a word-processed document 10 weeks
Reserve the room for the concert 10 weeks
Have the singers measured for concert attire 10 weeks
Distribute the music packets 10 weeks
Inform the singers of the concert date 10 weeks
Make a list of folder numbers for the chorus, so that you can identify missing
10 weeks
Inventory choir folders and order new ones if needed 10 weeks
Auditions singers 10 weeks
Inform singers of their acceptance 10 weeks
Assemble a correct list of all singers with their voice parts 10 weeks
Order the concert attire 9 weeks
Collect the money for concert attire 9 weeks
Develop standing/seating plans for the singers depending on the music 9 weeks

Create an attendance book using the seating plan 9 weeks
Hold elections for President (M/F), Social Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer,
Librarian, Attendance Coordinator
9 weeks
Produce a concert poster, get it to the printer! Arrange to pick it up! 8 weeks
Arrange transportation for the singers for the concert site. 8 weeks
Hire a person to make a quality recording, and purchase what is needed to
accomplish a good recording.
8 weeks
Announce solo audition time and requirements 8 weeks
Audition soloists 7 weeks
Arrange to have the concert poster widely distributed by the singers 6 weeks
Send out Public Service Announcement (PSA) to radio and television stations. 6 weeks
Inform the calendar section of the local newspaper about the concert information. 6 weeks
Set up a post concert receptionfood, drink, cups, plates, utensils, workers 6 weeks
Find a place for a post concert reception 6 weeks
Finalize Concert program and strategize about printing options 6 weeks
Requisition money for instrumentalists 6 weeks
Order a piano tuning 5 weeks
Agree with piano tuner on best time to tune and schedule that time with the hall
4 weeks
Identify alternate piano tuner in case of emergency. 4 weeks
Order recording media (tapes, cds) for concert 4 weeks
Collect money for recordings 4 weeks
Pass out flyers in rehearsal for people to post around town; use facebook and
emails to help singers invite people to the concert
4 weeks
Send a special letter to your administrators and special guests inviting them to the
4 weeks
Get your own concert attire to the cleaners 3 weeks
If possible, have your local church announce the activity in the bulletin 3 weeks
Reconfirm on the piano tuner availability and cost 3 week
Order a check to pay the piano tuner 3 weeks
Take the program to the printer (or have it printed) 2 weeks
Get ushers (4) for the performance 2 weeks
Arrange for risers and podium to be delivered and set up for the dress rehearsal
at the concert site
2 weeks
Arrange for the risers and podium to be taken down and returned to storage
following the concert
2 weeks
Secure enough music stands for the concert and have them delivered to the
concert hall
2 weeks
Arrange to have the music stands returned from the concert site after the
2 weeks
Write thank you notes to everyone who is helping in the concert effort 1 week
Pick up concert attire from cleaners 1 week
Check on the Piano Tuner 1 week
Remind administrators to attend the concert (note, not e-mail) 1 week
Spend time rehearsing, not worrying about details. days
Have a final preconcert meeting with assisting personnel so that you dont have
to worry that something was left undone
Collect the music right after the concert and assign someone to take it back to the
rehearsal room by the next day
Concert day
Sort and put away the used music 1 day after
Send thank you notes, send nice e-mail to the singers and everyone who helped 1 day after
Check to see that everything has been replaced 1 day after


Lesson 18: Budget Planning

Working with a Budget

A choral director has to plan a ____________ for each years activity. You will have to work with
your sponsoring organizations budget administrator to get what you need. You will succeed or
fail based on getting the __________________________you need!

A budget is a plan for spending, as well as a plan for bringing in revenue. The spending figures
represent the maximum amount an ___________________________will agree to spend on the
items listed in the budget. You should create such a budget proposal for the entire year so that
you can know what financial needs you will have.

How can you raise money for your activities?
You can________________________, but there are legalities that must be looked into
(royalties and taxes mainly).
You can ________________________________, but there are legalities that must be
looked into (licenses and permissions, and taxes mainly).
How else can you raise the money? Let your budget administrator help you by allocating
funds from the general budget for your activities (if you dont ask for funding, the budget
administrator will reallocate the money for other purposes). This can only happen if you
submit a yearly budget request or if you have a standing budget allocation every year
(hopefully you will be able to get a little more money every year as your program grows).

Choral membership dues (usually not more that $25.00 or so annually to help defray expenses
like music and folders) can be a means of fundraising. ____________________________
(usually formed of interested business people and parents) can be of great help in fundraising.

Sometimes for an advertisement or mention in the concert program, a business or individual
might be convinced to contribute in support of the choirs activities. More often than not, a civic
organization or church will provide services or some funding in support of concert activities.

Choral fundraisers are also possible, in the form of candy sales, bake sales, carwashes, and
other creative methods, but it is difficult without a sponsor to finance a concert, even if the
participants contribute financially to the project. Counting on ticket sales can also
be____________________: if this approach is taken, one must be careful to look into the legal
side of performing protected works in public.


An annual budget might look something like this
Quantity Item Approximate Cost
8 Batteries for microphones $10.00
30 X 50 New music (the number of singers X the number of
pieces X the cost of each piece) You will not need
to order all new music, but you will draw on the music
you already have in the library.
$2100 (shipping, handling,
and taxes mean that you
should inflate this figure to
1620 Printing of programs (the two times the number of
singers plus the number of seats in the hall plus 25 X
the number of surfaces you plan to print X six cents)
20 New folders to replace worn and lost ones at about
$10.00 a piece.
$200.00 (this figure would
include shipping and
4 Concert services of a good piano accompanist (10
weeks, $100 per rehearsal)
4 Services of a professional recording engineer with
his own equipment
1 Printing and photocopying expenses (other than
poster and program printing, including printer paper
and ink cartridges)
100 Pencils $30.00
100 Manila Folders $12.00
1000 Custom Concert Poster $500.00
2-3 Reception expenses $750.00
1 Transportation for the singers for the concert site. $3000 (and this is for a
short distance!)
Fees for soloists and instrumentalists (number of
players X number of services X the amount you can
hire them for.) [four soloists at $400 each, 5 strings, 6
winds, percussion, two trumpets, three services, at
$65.00 per service = $3930.00
Miscellaneous Office Supplies (per concert) $200.00
Mailing Costs (per concert) [mailing list times .37] $600.00
Website Expenses $200.00
Professional Piano tunings $600.00
Recording media (tapes and blank cds) $100.00
Grand total: $18,642
It might be noted that if 400 people bought a $50 season ticket, $20,000 (before taxes and
royalties) could be raised. As this is unlikely, it is better to tell the administrator that ticket sales
will only offset _______________- of the expenses. It might also be good to convince the
administrator that while ticket sales can augment the budget, _______________________ will
keep people away from the concert. As the directors goals should always be to pack the house,
a reasonable ticket price is essential, with appropriate discounts for the young and the elderly. If
the concert is free, your sponsoring organization or some other source of funding will have to foot
the bill,

This annual budget is realistic for an established independent choral program, but if one is
creative, even this amount can be reduced. It should be noted that the
______________________________ is not accounted for here, and should be somehow
included in the budget. Depending on the vigor of the program, a conductor in this situation
should expect not less than $1,500 per concert, but not more than $3,000. As you can see,
musical activities can be expensive, but the performance will never be worth the time and
expense unless a good director is found and compensated.


Your administrator, to be a good__________________, will ask you about the items in the
budget, and you will need to justify each one with a good argument (he/she probably knows very
little about what it takes to sustain a_____________________, but you do, so it is your job to
educate him/her). Be ready to tell him/her the truth about every item. Be
________________________________________ and rational at the same time. If you are
asked to help trim the budget, state that you have not padded any expense, but that you have
rounded some figures up a little because prices can change unexpectedly, and there might be
unanticipated expenses associated with some purchases. Tell him/her that you expect to
______________________________________________________ if there are no unforeseen
irregularities. If the budget is cut below what you think is reasonable, you should tell your
administrator that you will have to cut back on your plans and present a less impressive musical
program to the public, and that you hope that your program can be better funded in the next year.
Ask if there is anything you can do to help ensure that this will happen. Also, offer to
_____________________________ in a variety of ways to supplement the budget if you need to.

One thing to be careful about: If you raise your own money in addition to what your sponsor
provides, the budget administrator will see that he can ______________________ your funding
by that amount in the coming budget year, and reallocate the money formerly allotted to you for
other purposes. Get an agreement in advance that any money your raise for your program will be
used for special activities or ________________________________________in support of your
program, above what is normally provided for in the budget. Without such an agreement, you
could lose out after expending so much effort to raise extra funds for your program.

Lesson 19: Programming: Selecting Music: Common Sense

Program _________________
Choose music that fits the ___________________________ of the singers
but dont discourage the singers by your choices
Choose music in a ______________________________
Choose music in a ______________________________
Be mindful of ___________________________________between the pieces to that the
program flow is not interrupted by an awkward change of key
Choose music according to a ________________________________ if possible
Know what your ______________________ is and stay within it!
Stay within your _____________________ for performance
Carefully consider the amount of ________________________ available for the program

Programming: Unity and Variety
Most successful programs are planned as a progression of musical moods that build
slowly to a climax and then relax.

A chart that gives several successful program scenaria
Christmas Around the
Concert Sacred Patriotic Concert
Medieval Chant for Christmas Renaissance motet:
The Star-Spangled Banner
Early English Carol Major Baroque motet: Crucifixion My country tis of thee
Early English Minor, fast Romantic: Resurrection Billings Chester
American Carol Major Renaissance: Ascension Battle Hymn of the Republic
Spanish Carol Romantic Motet When Johnny comes
German Carol Romantic Motet Patriotic Medley, armed
Caribbean Carol 20
Century Anthem Im a Yankee Doodle Dandy
Negro Spiritual-Carol 20
Century Anthem Patriotic Medley, non military
Traditional Christmas Favorite Brilliant Hymn Arrangement God Bless the USA
Traditional Christmas Favorite Rhythmic Spiritual America the Beautiful
Audience Carol Sing- Joy to
the world and Silent Night
Benedictory Piece God Bless America

In the Christmas program pattern, a historical framework is suggested. Using a variety of
musical styles about the general theme of Christmas-around-the-world theme can result in a
unified and varied program.

The Sacred Concert Program is for more ____________________ groups. It relies on the
historical progression of styles, but ends in more popular and exciting and derivative works. The
gospel message is presented and the opportunity for _____________________is present: unity
is found in the broad theme of religious texts (which should relate to each other) and variety is
achieved through the chronological approach

The Patriotic Program is _______________________by the expected works that typically appear
on such programs. The approach taken above is basically______________________, tracing
music from early days in America (the first tune is God save the King) through the Revolution,
the Civil War, Armed Forces, Broadway, Popular patriotic songs, Post Viet Nam patriotism, and
the classic____________________. Theres a little something for everyone, and the most
_________________________________________ pieces are saved for the end.


Programming Assignment:
Using only the music in your anthology, create a program that a senior high school mixed chorus
could perform, consisting of one half-hour of music using the criteria discussed in class. Put the
program in its proper format, placing precise timings next to each title (see lesson 17 for the
proper format). The program must be between 30 and 35 minutes of music (do not account for
time between pieces. You will use this program in a long range planning project to be assigned in
lesson 18, so be careful! This project is due on the day of Class 18. You will have 13 50-miniute
rehearsals, including the dress rehearsal, to prepare this program. Both the program in format
and the rationale sheet must be handed in together (rationale sheet appears on the
following page).


Program Project using Five Centuries of Choral Music, Volume 1
Use this sheet to draft your rationale for the pieces you choose. This sheet must accompany
your program in format assignment.

Title and Page Composer Period/Style Key/Tempo/Meter Character Timing









Program Project using Five Centuries of Choral Music, Volume 1
Use this sheet to draft your rationale for the pieces you choose. This sheet must accompany
your program in format assignment.

Title and Page Composer Period/Style Key/Tempo/Meter Character Timing









Program formatting

This pattern works well (remember to word process and not type!

<Title Page>

<The Name of the Sponsoring Organization>


<The Name of the Performing Group(s)>
<The Name of the Director>, director

<The Name(s) of Assisting Performer(s)>

<The Location of the Concert.>
<The Day, Month, Date, and Year of the concert>
<The Time of the Concert>

<Admission Fee(?)>
<Program pages>

Piece Title (from <Name of Larger Work>)
(soloists name, soloists instrument)
Translation: < >
<Program Notes>: < >

<Acknowledgments or announcements about receptions or future concerts are appropriate here>
Back pages for personnel
<Name of Choral Group>
<Directors Name>, director
<Pianists Name>, piano


<Names, in Alphabetical Order>

<Names, in Alphabetical Order>

<Names, in Alphabetical Order>

<Names, in Alphabetical Order>


Poster Assignment
Create a publicity poster for your Christmas concert!

Your high school mixed chorus is giving a Christmas concert on Thursday December 17
. Using
the word Christ in the public schools is often not permitted, but in some places it is. So, just
pretend its permitted for this assignment.

The following information must be included:
The Name of the Sponsoring Organization
The Name of the Group
The Name of the Director
The Title of the Concert
The Day, Month, Date, and Year of the Performance
The Time of the Performance

You should make an 8 x 11 visually appealing poster that is easily legible 8 to 10 feet away.

This assignment is due on the day of Class ___________ for class presentation.

Lesson 20: Long Range Planning Basics

y Determine the number of ____________________ you have to present in the year ahead.
y Determine the precise number of _____________________________available (you can only
use about 75% of the time you have for music rehearsal, so if your rehearsal lasts for an
hour, account for 15 minutes of non-rehearsal time).
y Determine what repertoire is _________________________________ for the rehearsal time

ASSIGNMENT: Create your own Long Range Plan. You have 12 40-minute rehearsals and a
dress rehearsal to prepare the program you have already created. To do this assignment, you
will have to know how long each piece lasts! If you discover that you have planned a little too
ambitiously, you may have to change your program!

Dont guess at how much time it will take to rehearse what you need to in each piece: really find
out by timing yourself! Using the chart below, pencil in the times for each piece through the
stages shown. This assignment is due on the day lesson 21 is taught.

Long term rehearsal planning
Rehearsal time spent on each piece
Teaching the
Polishing Running
Rehearsal Number 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Total
Title of
programmed work
Total Minutes 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 40 520

In the chart above, decide how many minutes you will spend on each piece per rehearsal. Under
each number (1, 2, 3, 4 ) write the number of minutes out of about 40 minutes that you plan to
spend on each piece in that particular rehearsal.

Short Range Rehearsal Planning

Principle: Every ___________________________of the rehearsal must be planned; that is, you
have to know what you want to do with every minute!

Each rehearsals plan must _________________for a responsible warm up and announcements.

The rehearsals must be planned in detail so that short term goals are consistently achieved,
leading to the accomplishment of ___________________________and expressive performance.

The rehearsal should be fast paced and styles of music should be alternated: Never fuss too
much about the details of any single piece. Write out the plan according to strict time schedule
and then try to stick with it! Learn how to be _______________________!


In the chart below, plan a rehearsal from the long range planning assignment from the 7
week of
the plan.
Time Activity
2:00 Call to Order and

2:03 Warm up exercises Posture and Breathing:
Phonation and Agility:
Resonance and Articulation:
Works What you hope to accomplish in the allotted time*
2:10 1
3:00 Dismissal
*If possible, you should try to get through each piece at least once from start to finish after you
work to solve some problem! Let the form above expand.

Lesson 21: Recruiting

Organization: Recruiting:

The day you stop recruiting is the day your choir begins to shrink. No singers, no choir,
no job.

y Go to___________________________________: show your support for student activities.
y Make friends with the ____________________________________.
y Invite people to sing with your choir at every opportunity.
y ___________________________ concerts and auditions very well.
y Have a committee that focuses on helping you recruit.
y Get the choir to ______________________ as much as possible
y Meet with parents groups and other organizations that support youth activities
y Get other teachers to ________________________ students to sing in your choirs!

Other advice that helps you build the choir
y It is easier to recruit for an active program that everyone knows is _____________________!
y Dont just take the best singers; ____________________ the singers who come!
y Perform ______________________________: unison choir singing sounds great!
y Get a crackerjack ___________________________ who loves to play and rehearse.
y Recruit the ______________________________ and the athletes will follow!
y Be friendly with the other teachers and ask them who you should recruit
y Be a ______________________! Work with students in the lower grades and tell them you
look forward to seeing them when they get to your school
y Put up signs, get a message on the Internet Webpage!
y Get a web page and post things about how exciting you group is! Be sure to post pictures!
y Ask the singers in the choir to tell their ____________________ about how good choir is!
y Invite parents to your concert and announce at the concert how people can become involved
in the choir!
Have a party where the choirs sings just for fun with their friends!

Lesson 22: How to Present a Choral Concert

The formal concert has certain expected procedures. Below is a plan that details these
1. The Hall should be open for seating no later than ______________ before the concert is
scheduled to begin. __________________ should be ready and turned on a this time, and
the house lights should be on.
2. Ushers (not singers) pass out programs and seat those with special needs or with special
seats reserved for them. (Usually four ushers are needed)
3. It is often better to start a concert a few minutes later than the starting time to allow for
parking delays or other normal late-comers to be seated.
4. A formal welcome by a _________________is customary in some situations and it is a good
way to calm the audience. The house lights should be dimmed before the speaker appears.
5. The choir processes in an orderly (and sometimes fancy way) in silence to its starting
positions. (Or a curtain opens)
y (If the accompanist is a student, he/she normally slips into position unnoticed as the choir
enters. If the accompanist is a professional, they follow the conductor in and bow with
him/her if they wish, from the keyboard).
y If the choristers carry_____________________________, they should be carried in the
hand away from the majority of the audience.
y If the choristers walk in _____________________, the folder should be held in the
inside hand.
y Upon arrival in position, the choristers should keep their eyes front and remain
6. When the choir is in position, the conductor walks briskly to the podium without turning to the
audience until the podium is reached, but not ascended.
7. The conductor turns and faces the audience with a look of ________________at such a
lovely audience, bows lightly, and then turns and ascends the podium with the foot away from
the audience (that is why it is generally best to enter from stage right if possible to avoid any
8. The conductor immediately gives the gesture that means ______________________.
y In a cappella pieces, the chorister charged with giving pitch gives the first pitch; the
conductor raises his/her hands and begins the piece.
y In accompanied pieces, the conductor checks in with the choir, raises his/her hands,
and cues the accompanist to begin.
9. When the piece is over, the conductor should normally hold perfectly still for a moment and
then drop his/her hands. When the audience_________________, the conductor should turn
and bow lightly, and then immediately acknowledge the choir, the accompanist, and any
soloists before bowing again.
10. Coming up from the bow, the conductor should immediately retake the podium.
(Lather , rinse, repeat)
11. Any comments from the podium should be brief (remarks about the piece to be performed
should be limited to about________________, and the remarks should be carefully planned).
12. Often just before the final selection, the conductor says a few words of thanks to the
audience and makes any necessary announcements.
13. After the last note of the concert, the conductor takes a little longer, ____________________
the choir, the accompanist and bowing twice a little more deeply and slowly, and then leaving
the stage.
14. The conductor returns if the applause is still enthusiastic for another bow, during which
he/she either performs an encore (not a repeat, but a piece not on the program) or simply
repeats the final bow procedure.
15. The conductors look of great pleasure all through this bowing process is very important.
16. The chorus then leaves in an orderly manner (or the curtain closes)
17. The conductor should greet members of the audience and thank them for coming, or
congratulate the choir for their fine work, or both if possible.

It is possible to insert other ____________________into this basic format, but this is the minimal
standard way of presenting a choral concert. The audience enjoys it when the conductor speaks
about the music about to be performed, or comments on an irregularity of performance. The
conductor is never ____________________and knows how to roll with any punch thrown by the
world, the flesh, or the devil. If a conductor is not full of _______________, he/she is in for a
miserable life, because a conductor must be able to forgive any error, while leading the choir
away from repetitions of the same! Criticism and ____________________ are meant to
accomplish the same thing, but encouragement goes down smoother. Criticism rarely contains a
strategy for_____________________________.

Lesson 23: Hugos Crash Course in Copyright

To protect your organization there should be a notice posted on the ______________________
stating that The making of a copy may be a violation of copyright law.

Things that are illegal: Practically Everything!
y Copying protected music to_____________________________.
y Copying protected music for any kind of performance
y Copying protected music without including the printed copyright notice
y Copying to create anthologies or compilations
y ________________________ material designed to be consumable such as workbooks,
standardized tests, and answer sheets.
y Charging students more than the actual cost involved in making copies as lawfully
y Mass production of a recording of a concert performance unless the appropriate licenses
are obtained and _____________________________.

Penalties For Infringement (If you get caught, heres what can happen!)
A music educator found making illegal copies, or otherwise infringing, will face a fine of from
____________________________ (statutory damages) and if the court finds willfulness, up to
_____________________________ per copyright infringed. If willful infringement for commercial
advantage and private financial gain is proved, criminal fines of up to $250,000 and/or five years'
imprisonment, or both. Ignorance of the law is no excuse. You are going to court, and you
are going to_______________________!

Practices that are USUALLY considered Fair use of copyrighted works,
y You can make a photocopy of a work to replace a purchased copy in a
_____________________________________, provided that purchased replacement
copies are then substituted in due course. [If you photocopy in this way, you have to
buy a copy, and destroy the photocopy; merely destroying the photocopy is not
enough to satisfy the law.]
y For academic purposes other than performance, multiple copies of
_________________ of works may be made, in no case more than 10% of the whole
work (and even then not a performable part), and only one copy per pupil.
y You can edit or _________________ printed copies, so long as the fundamental
character of the work is not distorted, you cant alter the lyrics, and you cant add lyrics if
none exist.
y A single copy of recordings of performances by students may be made for evaluation or
rehearsal purposes and may be retained by the educational institution or individual
teacher. Once phonorecords of a non-dramatic musical work have been distributed to the
public in the U.S. under the authority of the copyright owner, any other person may
obtain a compulsory license to record the work by complying with certain
procedures and by the payment of the royalty provided in Section 115 of the Law
(currently as of 1/1/98, 7.1 cents per selection or 1.35 cents per minute of playing
time, whichever is greater). Music educators who wish to make phonorecords may
procure a license from the copyright proprietor. Many music publishers, however,
use agents for licensing this right and a number of music publishers use The Harry
Fox Agency, Inc. as their non-exclusive agent for this purpose.
y A single copy of a sound recording (such as a tape, disc or cassette) of copyrighted
music may be made from sound recordings owned by an educational institution or an
individual teacher for the purpose of constructing aural exercises or examinations and
may be retained by the educational institution or individual teacher. [This pertains only to
the copyrights of the music itself and not to any copyright which may exist in the sound


Without having secured permission, music educators may:
y Make a copy of a lost part in an emergency if it is
y Make one copy per student of up to 10% of a musical work for class study as long as that
10% does not constitute a ________________________.
y Make a single recording of a student performance for study and for the archives.
y Make a single recording of _____________________ or tests using copyrighted material
y Preserve or replace library copies when not available for purchase
y Make _____________________ of a short verbal or a graphic work for teacher's use

Derivative works
Making arrangements of a piece of music is an exclusive right of the copyright owner, but under
the music Guidelines amplifying the Fair Use section of the Law the following are, with specified
limitations, conceived to be reasonable exceptions:
y Printed copies which have been purchased may be edited or simplified provided that the
fundamental character of the work is not distorted or the lyrics, if any, altered or lyrics
added if none exist.
y The _____________________________ for recording (see the previous paragraph)
includes the privilege of making a musical arrangement of a work to the extent necessary
to conform it to the style or manner of interpretation of the performance involved, but the
arrangement shall not change the basic melody or fundamental character of the work.
This privilege is not meant to extend to "serious" compositions.
y Anyone wishing to arrange a copyrighted work with the exceptions noted above
must obtain permission from the copyright owner

The Reproduction of Recordings of Copyright Works
To distribute recordings, a license from the copyright holder or representative is necessary for
each work on the recording.

Performing Copyrighted Works
It should be emphasized that a performance of a dramatico-musical work--an opera, a ballet, a
musical comedy, etc.--is customarily licensed by the copyright owner of the performing right, or
his agent, rather than ASCAP, BMI or______________-. [Complete information concerning
licensing of performances of copyrighted non-dramatic musical works may be obtained from
y Performance of non-dramatic literary or musical works or of dramatico-musical works of a
religious nature, in the course of services at places of worship or at a religious assembly.

Duration of Copyright (When does a work enter the public domain?)
Useful Information: How to tell if a work is protected by copyright.
All copyrights from September 19, 1906 which had been renewed but which would otherwise
have expired were extended so that they did not fall into __________________. Thus, all
subsisting copyrights, if renewed, will have, under the 1976 Act, a term of copyright of 75 years
from the date copyright was originally secured. Since all copyrights subsisting on January 1, 1978
must have been or will have to be renewed at the end of __________________ in order to
continue to be protected, there is a possibility that no renewal was or will be effected and the
work is or will be in the public domain. This is unlikely in the case of those musical compositions
with which ______________________ work. Assume that all works are under copyright
unless you know different. There is a web site that tells which composers works are no longer
under copyright.

Out-of-print works
When copyrighted works are out of print it may be, occasionally, that music educators would like
to procure a copy or copies for specific purposes. For that reason, the music publishers' trade
associations have prepared a simple form relative to the procurement of out-of-print works.

Performing Rights Organizations
The following are the addresses of the three performing rights organizations:
y American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers (ASCAP)
One Lincoln Plaza, New York, NY 10023, (212) 595-3050
y Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI)
320 West 57th Street, New York, NY 10019, (212) 586-2000
y SESAC, Inc.
156 West 56th Street, New York, NY 10019, (212) 586-3450
Dramatic Works Performance Rights Organizations
y Tams-Witmark Music Library, Inc.
560 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10022, (212) MU8-2525
y Rogers and Hammerstein Library
1633 Broadway, Suite 3801, New York, NY 10019, (212) 541-6600
y Music Theatre International
545 Eighth Avenue, New York, NY 10018, (212) 868-6668
y Samuel French, Inc.
45 West 25th Street, New York, NY 10010, (212) 206-8990
Recording Rights Organizations
The Harry Fox Agency, Inc.
711 3rd Avenue, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10017, (212) 370-5330
Finding Addresses of Hard-to-Find Publishers
y National Music Publishers' Association, Inc. (NMPA)
711 Third Avenue 8th floor, New York, NY 10017, (212) 370-5330
y Music Publishers' Association of the United States (MPA)c/o NMPA/HFA, 711 Third
Avenue 8th floor, New York, NY 10017 (212) 370-5330
The Copyright Office
The Copyright Office, the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., 20559






Mixed meter exercise charts
The charts on the next few pages are designed to help you learn to freely change between
different meters; this will help you to be able to automatically adapt your conducting pattern to the
needs of any situation where the meter changes, but it will also demonstrate that you have good
control of the basic patterns.

Mixed Meter Practice Chart No. 1: Simple three-pattern change chart
To use this chart, set your metronome at a desired speed (which as you improve, you should
increase), and conduct 3/4, 4/4, and 6/4 patterns, following the rows and columns any way you
wish (you can go backwards, forwards, up, down, or diagonally): keep the exercise interesting
when you can get though the chart successfully at quarter = 144 bpm without difficulty (or any
mistakes!) you may move on to the next chart! It helps to count out loud on the 1/8 note (1+2+3+

3 6 4 6 4 4 3 6
3 4 3 6 6 4 3 6
3 4 6 3 3 4 3 3
4 6 4 3 4 4 6 6
6 6 4 3 4 4 6 6
3 6 4 3 3 6 6 3
4 6 3 6 6 4 3 4
3 6 4 3 4 4 3 4

At quarter = 60 bpm, it takes 1:04 to get through the chart one time.

Mixed Meter Practice Chart No. 2: Simple four-pattern change chart

To use this chart, set your metronome at a desired speed (which as you improve, you should
increase), and conduct 2/4, 4/4, and 6/4 patterns, following the rows and columns any way you
wish (you can go backwards, forwards, up, down, or diagonally): keep the exercise interesting!
When you can get though the chart successfully at = 144 without difficulty (or any mistakes!)
you may move on to the next chart. It helps to count out loud on the 1/8 note (1+2+3+ etc.)!

2 3 4 4 4 3 2 4
6 6 3 2 6 4 3 3
2 6 3 4 3 3 4 6
2 4 2 4 6 3 6 4
3 3 6 4 6 6 3 6
6 3 3 4 6 6 3 4
2 2 2 2 4 6 3 4
6 4 6 3 4 3 2 4

At quarter = 60 bpm, it takes 1:04 minutes to get through the chart one time.


Multimeter Practice Chart No. 1: Complex meters of all kinds
To use this chart, set your metronome at a desired speed (which as you improve, you should
increase), and conduct the meters below on the chart, following the rows and columns any way
you wish (you can go backwards, forwards, up, down, or diagonally): keep the exercise
interesting! You can use this exercise to experiment by assigning eighth notes as the basic value
with different meters. The main thing is to keep track of the beat notes unchanging value
throughout the exercise. To begin with, set the metronome at k = 60 and see what happens.
Can you solve the problems you encounter? When you can get though the chart successfully at
k = 144 without difficulty (or any mistakes!) you may move on to the next chart. Note: you will
need to subdivide sometimes! It helps to make a tut sound on each 1/8 note!



Tempo Math

Think about being caught in the following situation:

You are backstage ready to go to the podium. You know that you have to find a certain tempo,
but you dont have a metronome. The tempo must be fairly accurate, because if you choose too
fast a tempo, the players cant play the sixteenth notes, but if you go too slowly, the wind players
cant sustain their long phrases. You are nervous and feeling unsure about the tempo. How can
you find the confidence you need to set just the right tempo!

Watch the sweep second hand on your wrist watch or on a clock (or the pulsing display of a
digital time piece). In the space of 5 seconds, try to count out the number of beats that the chart
below says will give you the tempo you want. You can get fairly close to most tempi that you
might want; at least you will have confidence that your choice is not arbitrary, but based on a
reliable method.

If you memorize this little table, you will always have a way of choosing tempi that are very close
to the ones you wish, while you are getting tempos into your bones.

Pulses in
5 seconds
Tempo Tempo Name
4 pulses 48 Largo
5 pulses 60 Lento
6 pulses 72 Andante
7 pulses 84 Molto Moderato
8 pulses 96 Moderato assai
9 pulses 108 Allegretto
10 pulses 120 Allegro
11 pulses 132 Vivace
12 pulses 144 Presto

These tempi are VERY convenient reference tempi that are often used in this course for
practice. Using them frequently will begin to form a fairly precise tempo sense in the
young conductor, all except for note = 48 m.m., which pulse is often too slow to sustain
without subdivision, but which is much like 1/8 note = 96 m.m., subdivided 8 beats to the


Choral Styles have changed over time, and the complete choral conductor knows the traits
of musical performance expected for each period. The purpose of this section is to briefly
introduce the major style periods in choral music. Later we can go into greater depth in
each period as we study music from each period.

Medieval Choral Music 1100-1450 Mainly unison chant by a small chorus of men led by a
cantor, or music performed with a drone base, or music improvised in faburden and related

Renaissance Choral Music: 1450-1600 Mainly four-voice music (performed by men and boys
[religious music, masses and motets] or male soloists in small chamber ensembles with one
person on each part. [secular music chansons, madrigals]), based on contrapuntal and imitative
styles, instrumental doublings possible.

Baroque Choral Music: (1600-1750) Concertato style dominates, instruments join the ensemble
of singers (often doubling the parts), and basso continuo becomes the norm, Religious music
begins to strongly influenced by the styles of opera, especially in masses, oratorios, and
passions. Music seeks to depict emotion (not necessarily to express it).

Classic Choral Music: (1750-1775; 1775-1825) The choral/orchestral medium matures, the
chorus becomes a truly independent section of the orchestra (less instrumental doubling). Every
aspect of musical expression is carefully controlled and moderation is the rule.

Romantic Choral Music: (1820-1900) The choral/orchestral ensemble is greatly expanded. The
music becomes more intentionally dramatic, great human themes are explored. Extremes of all
expressive elements are explored, and harmony is continuously expanded. A cappella music is
re-explored, particularly in religious and part music.

Early 20
century Choral Music: (1900-1970) Composers explore dissonance and
counterpoint as means of musical expression, but in a tightly controlled counter-traditional
context. The music is anti-sentimental and derives from formulas influenced by numerical
relationships and new systems of musical organization, often very radical.

Late 20
Century Choral Music: (1970-2009) Composers realize that the public cannot
appreciate the beauty of a music they cannot readily comprehend. 19
century harmonies and
forms return, along with traditional musical means and choral/orchestral organization. While
qualities of the music in the early part of the century are still echoed in the present, this is a
consonant, heritage conscious time; people listen and perform mainly for pleasure; musicians are
not concerned with a search for truth.

(ABOUT 1600-1750): Advice on Conducting Renaissance Music

Conducting Implications: Religious music is typically extremely legato, while the character of
style in secular works varies with the text. Often, conductors choose to conduct in one (up and
down, or in an elliptical pattern) to emulate the kind of conducting thought to be common in the
renaissance and to avoid the persistent downbeat stress that the standard patterns can create.
Many conductors prefer to lift away from beats to give the music a lighter sound, and to conduct
in the upper part of the strike zone with arms extended and rounded. palms facing mainly down.
In secular music, composers often used pictorial musical devices to represent verbal images,
and the conductor should use good taste in drawing attention these effects in performance: the
singers should certainly be made aware of such effects, particularly if they do not understand the
original language.

Meter and Stress
Most renaissance music was originally unmetered, and stress was usually associated with the
stress of important words. If downbeat stress imposed by barlines in modern editions is
exaggerated, it destroys the seamless flow the music is intended to have.
Unless one has great skill at interpreting the meaning of mensural notation, one will have to rely
on editors for an idea of tempo. One word of advice: tempos in the renaissance usually have a
basic beat between 60-72 (called the tactus); tempos are not extreme in the renaissance.
Dynamics in this period are moderate and related to the mood of the text. A person of that time
was expected to have good taste and to avoid extremes.
After Dufay and through about 1520, most choral music has 4 voices: most sacred music could
be sung without accompaniment, but some secular music was accompanied or performed
interchangeably with voices or instruments. After 1550 to about 1600, one will find 5 and 6 voice
textures to be common. Imitative textures and contrapuntal textures were common: when a
melodic idea is first introduced, it should be heard, and every imitative entrance that follows
should be emphasized somewhat to help the listener become aware of the structure of the music.
Expressive Features
Sacred choral music of the renaissance is in general serene and other worldly. Suspensions
should be leaned on by the parts involved to heighten the effect of the device. Secular music
however, is extremely varied in musical expression depending on the poetry being set. Text
painting should be recognized and realized in the performance. Again, expression is to be
realized with delicacy and moderation.


(ABOUT 1600-1750): Advice on Conducting Baroque Music

General Character:
PASSION, VIGOR, energy, dynamism, tension, contrast, drama, grandeur (in Protestant music,
these tendencies were moderated by the pietistic belief that ostentation distracted the believer in
Major Composers: Sacred Music: Gabrieli, Monteverdi, Purcell Schtz, Lully, Bach, Handel.
Secular Music: Lully, Purcell, Hassler, Monteverdi, Scarlatti, Handel.
Performance Medium: Most choral music in the Baroque is accompanied, at first by basso
continuo and later with other instruments. The choral forces of the Baroque were not that much
larger than the ones used in the Renaissance, but the concertato medium demanded more
instrumental participants: since the instruments used did not have the dynamic power of todays
instruments, fewer choristers were necessary.
Form: In the early period, the imitative forms of the renaissance are still present, but later in the
period new forms replace them, such as the chorale, the choral fugue, dance forms. There were
three main musical styles: Theatre music, Chamber music, Church music, and two compositional
practices (prima prattica: basically the Palestrina Style and seconda prattica, represented by the
Venetian School). Progressive Baroque music usually mixed instruments and voices, and choral
parts were often doubled by instruments.
Texture: Concertato, that is, a mixture of singers and groups of different instruments. There are
still four voices in the texture, but there is a growing polarity between the Soprano and Bass
Harmony: During the Baroque, especially by 1700, most music was falling into the sound of what
today we call major and minor tonalities, and the practice of musica ficta has all but disappeared.
By the end of the period composers had learned to use harmonic progression to give momentum
in the direction of the cadence.
Pitch: Broadly speaking, Baroque pitch A was about a half step lower that our A=440. Still, pitch
was not stable in the Baroque. That fact may account for occasionally uncomfortable tessituras
in some Baroque music.
Melody: The former smooth contours of melodic lines in the Renaissance gives way to more
triadic and disjunct melodies. Brilliant roulades and sequences abound in festive music, and the
melody rests mainly in the highest voice. Melodies are often emotionally charged.
Rhythm and Meter: Noting here that recitative in opera and oratorio is characterized by very
flexible rhythm, choral music takes a regular, even approach to rhythm. Barlines came into
regular use during this period, and a light downbeat stress is appropriate: we start to talk about
strong and weak beats. With respect to dotting, this is a complex notational issue: in compound
meters, dotted eighths with sixteenths are not 3:1 but 2:1 (they are not duple but triple). In
French music particularly, a written single dot was often performed as a double dot.
Tempo: Despite the late 20
century trend for using very fast tempi in Baroque music, tempo in
the Baroque was probably not extreme. It is possible to go to fast or too slow! The tempo terms
should be interpreted as mood indications as well as tempo indications. It is often appropriate to
relax the tempo and dynamic at cadences, but only slightly and without interrupting the musical
flow significantly. final cadences slow more decidedly, and sometime a lift is inserted before the
last chord. Some are convinced that the penultimate note may be held practically indefinitely
before resolving to the final note: this practice should be moderated by good taste.
Dynamics: The term terraced is often used to describe the sharp dynamic contrasts found in
consecutive phrases in Baroque music. The levels of dynamics in the Baroque were a little
louder than in those of the Renaissance, but the size of musical forces is larger and therefore
more potentially powerful. When a phrase is repeated (echoed) literally, the practice was to use a
lower dynamic level on the repeated phrase, and then to return to the louder dynamic in the next
phrase, even when the change in dynamics is not indicated. Avoid extremes: stay within a
conservative range of piano to forte. Crescendo and diminuedo were not unknown in the
Baroque, but it is not characteristic in this period.


Distinctive Features: Italian music: passionate, impetuous, affecting, unrestrained, harsh, and
eccentric [contrast], the player has more discretion in ornamentation. French Music: smooth,
easy, soft, flowing, restrained, and coherent. ornaments are clearly written out. Baroque music is
viewed as passionate and emotional, especially as it compares to the austere style of the
Palestrina Style. Baroque music aims at sustaining a single emotional state for whole

Conducting Implications: The conductor needs to be aware of the mood that the composer is
trying to create through musical means, and this information is usually found in the text. Certain
important words may be given special musical treatment, and the text painting of the
Renaissance becomes emotion painting or mood painting in the Baroque. The conductors beat
should be very clear and crisp in allegros and legato in slower tempi: tempi can be rather slow in
largo movements and subdivision is often necessary.


(ABOUT 1750-1825):
General Character:
Moderation, elegance, naturalness, balance, symmetry, serenity, control
Major Composers: Religious Music: C. P. E. Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Beethoven. Secular
Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Beethoven.
Performance Medium: Usually a small choir of men and boys, accompanied by a small
orchestra (absent the basso continuo), especially with the organ.
Form: The mass and the motet are the most common choral forms
Texture: Light contrapuntal and homorhythmic textures. The melody is nearly always in the top
voice, conceived against a simple bass, with the two inner voices filling in the harmony
Harmony: A predilection for slow harmonic rhythm and a preponderance of primary harmony (the
system of harmonic progression firmly established during the Baroque was available in the
classic, but it was used with moderation and refinement.
Melody: Typically stepwise, or triadic, often with phrases of complementary lengths; melodies are
influenced by cadential formulae.
Rhythm and Meter: Moderate, and uncomplicated.
Tempo: Moderate tempi are appropriate: allegros are lively, but not rash or precipitous.
Dynamics: Moderate; from piano to forte (Beethoven used intense contrasts, while Haydn,
Mozart, and Schubert were more moderate); crescendo effects become more common during this
Distinctive Features: There are many special effects: the normal smooth contours are
interrupted at times with accents and staccatos, even sforzandos!
Conducting Implications: Generally, a light beat is better than a heavy one; classic music is
airy and not tied to the earth; it is free and unfettered by earthly care: it is an escape.


(ABOUT 1825-1910)
General Character:
Passion, drama, dynamism, extremes, grandeur, mysticism, yearning, heroism, individual
Major Choral Composers: Mendelssohn, Bruckner, Brahms, Faur, Mahler, Verdi, Berlioz:
composers viewed as transitional are Debussy and Vaughan Williams, both of whose musics
retain romantic characteristics but also explore new harmonic and expressive possibilities.
Performance Medium: There are three types of choral music in this period: choral part song
(usually mixed chorus SATB with piano), religious music (usually motets a cappella or with
organ), and large choral orchestral works)
Form: Strophic, Modified Strophic, Throughcomposed; motet and mass continue; choral
symphony, cantata, oratorio.
Texture: Thick, rich, contrapuntal, full sounding, alternately homorhythmic.
Harmony: As the century progressed, harmony became more complex in its relationships and in
its progressions. Harmony moves gradually toward atonality, but not as quickly as it does in
instrumental music.
Melody: Many leaps, chromaticism and unusual inflections, dramatic changes of melodic
direction, a notable lack of melodic lack of sequences.
Rhythm and Meter: Rhythms become increasingly complex, and composers begin to experiment
with hemiola. Changing meters are not especially common, but you might find more than one
meter in a single movement
Dynamics: Extremes of dynamics (ppppp to fffff) are used to increase the dramatic effect of the
Distinctive Features: Pathos, the extreme expression of human emotions in music. A slight
constant variation of tempo is expected (a lot of slight accelerandos and rallentandos are
expected, and tempo can relate to dynamics).
Conducting Implications: The temptation is to conduct everything with a too large beat, but if
this is done, the special effects are harder to show!

(ABOUT 1900-1970)
General character:
A period of experimentation, music often shocking, dissonant, angular, rhythmically and metrically
complex, contrapuntal, defiant, confrontational, and marked by a departure from traditional (major
and minor tonalities, strongly emotional or anti-emotional, and strongly related to the individual
musical philosophy of each composer.
Major Choral Composers: Schnberg, Webern (expressionism and 12 tone writing); Stravinsky
(atonality, primitivism); Hindemith (quartal harmony); Poulenc (contrasts, extended harmony);
Durufl (modality), Britten (tonal eclectism), Barber (neo-romanticism); Penderecki (tone clusters,
nontraditional notation); Pinkham, Ives (American eclectism, transcendentalism) ; Delius,
Debussy (Choral Impressionism)
Performance Medium: The four-part (often divisi) chorus is still the norm, although it participates
with a wide variety of instrumental ensembles, and with piano
Form: varied, but often text generated. Stanza forms, ABA forms, throughcomposed form, and
Texture: varied, but contrapuntal and homorhythmic textures are used; some composers use the
chorus in unison or in mysterious isolated lines.
Harmony: Ranges from atonal to quartal to expanded tonalities and modalities, but composers in
this period were not the least bit fearful of dissonance.
Melody: Often angular, disjunct, and requiring a advanced music reading and ear training skills
Rhythm and Meter: highly complex as a rule, and the text setting does not always match the
word accents.
Distinctive Features: High levels of contrast, very precise notation
Conducting Implications: Clarity of beat is essential as control of rhythm and meter are
paramount. The conductors preparation is more crucial to success in this style than in any other.
Gesture must show every detail of articulation and dynamics in advance which makes it all the
more difficult. The conductors challenge is to find and convey the music in the composition so
that the performance has liveliness and is not a mere cold recitation of difficult music.
Tempo: Tempo is usually clearly indicated in the score via metronome marks.

(ABOUT 1970-2009)
General Character:
A period of reconsideration of earlier trends, a return to audience friendly music (more tonal, less
angular, more lyrical, more phrase oriented, more formally simple, more traditional in form and
content, but above all, more popular.). Choral Jazz and Show Choir styles also became

Representative composers: Clausen, Fissinger, Bernstein, Alice Parker, Rutter, Lauridsen,
Part, Paulus and a host of arrangers. Others compose in the popular vein, adapting trendy music
to performance by new and traditional ensembles.
Performance Medium: Four-voiced mixed chorus, often accompanied by piano is the most
common, but a wide variety of media (both acoustic and electronic) is used. In accompanied
worship music, the function of the bass is filled by the electric bass and keyboard, and the singers
cover the tenor, alto, and soprano parts; there is a lot of unison singing in worship performance
(not continuous, but frequent, and there is also more individual improvisation and by-ear singing.
Form: varied, but usually true to the form of the texts used: the ABA forms are fairly common. IN
contemporary worship music, the most common form is a sectional form characterized by an
alternation between two or three formal sections; there is often a modulation toward the end of
the piece.
Texture: The four-part texture predominates, but composers write for many different
combinations, but texture is often highly variable.
Harmony: Modality is being rediscovered, and anything present in late 19
century harmony and
jazz harmony is used, as well as the expanded harmonic language found throughout in the 20

century. Cadences can be inconclusive or non-existent. In more popular worship styles, final
cadences are often unresolved subdominant chords, suggesting a modal rather than tonal
harmonic conception.
Melody: Melody had become less chromatic and more diatonic and even folklike, a possible
reaction to the difficult atonal/rhythmically complex music of the early 20
century; composers
have adopted a more vocal style that has more stepwise and triadic melodies, with phrases of
regular length. In worship music, many melodies are very narrow in range and have many
repeated notes and repeated phrases.
Tempo: The recent tendency is to keep steady tempo with little romantic variation. Scores
usually have very specific indications about tempo variations.
Rhythm and Meter: While most choral music of this period is not as rhythmically complex, some
composers still exploit changing meters with great success, often to reflect more accurately the
natural rhythms of prose poem texts that do not fall into traditional poetic meters.
Distinctive Features: Overall, there is a sweetness, clarity, and optimism in most choral music
written in the last 30 years. Text is often very important and music must be carefully conveyed
and shaded. As always, quality arrangements of popular music are available and when possible,
it is a good idea to include quality arrangements.
Conducting Implications: Often, a more energetic, rhythmic approach is useful, and the beat
should be buoyant. Mood is a very important feature of recent choral writing, and that mood is
generally upbeat! In the popular music, words tend to dominate the rhythmic and melodic

Gleaned from field experience by John W. Hugo

y The accompanist is not the conductor, but often the choir sings with the piano first and the
conductor second, if at all. Therefore, in rehearsal, conduct passages often without the
accompanist, and conduct erratically on occasion to teach the singers to watch you.
y The accompanist can make or break a choral effort: find a good sight-reader and get them
the music ahead of time. Artistry is more important than sight reading ability.
y A steady and alert piano accompanist is the conductors best friend and an indispensable
part of any rehearsal, and rare as hens teeth. They are angels sent from God.

Conducting Technique
y If the singers are not taking your tempo, conduct smaller, not bigger.
y Conducting is not time-beating: time beating only establishes the context for conducting.
y Never have to say: There they go, and I must follow them, for I am their leader!
y Conducting can be like bailing out the boat while building it: the sooner the hull is sound, the
y more effective the bailing. Focus on building the sound, not on correcting mistakes!
y Be careful to teach the students specifically what your gestures mean.
y Tell the chorus what you want from them, and as you do so, show them with your hands.
y When the choir is singing too anything, it is likely related to the conductors gesture style:
y you usually get just what you conduct.
y Do not tell the choir to hold their music up unless you want them to see what you are doing.
y Never conduct a big pattern and expect your chorus to sing at a soft dynamic!

Conductor Preparation
y The person standing before the choir must know the music before the choir does (the lead
dog has to stay ahead of the pack).
y If the conductor learns the music along with the choir, mutual frustration will result.
y The conductor sees and hears much more when he takes his nose out of the score.
y If your head is constantly in the score, the music has not yet made it into your mind or heart.
y If your head is in the score, you dont know the music well enough to conduct it.
y The conductor cannot help the choir members meet musical challenges unless he himself
has overcome them first.
y The conductor should always know the piece better than the choir members do, always..
y The conductor must anticipate problems and have in mind effective solutions before the
problems are encountered in rehearsal. This is part of vision.

y Discipline is easiest when the group shares the directors vision and enthusiasm for the task
at hand.
y A fast rehearsal pace, rapid transitions, and engaging material make for good discipline.
y Find the troublemakers and learn what makes them tick; win them over or kick them out!
y Recognize that most choristers join the chorus because they like to sing to sing; do not
tolerate any individuals unruly, disruptive, or unproductive behaviors.
y Without the personal discipline of each singer, great performances are always out of reach.

y The conductor is a teacher, not a preacher.
y There are two kinds of critic: the conductor cannot be of either kind!
y A successful conductor is always an encourager. He knows how to make singers want to go
where he wants them to go.
y Give the singers a chance to succeed by setting achievable goals.
y Conductor is Greek for Problem-solving Encourager.

y Always have a solution, not a criticism. Criticism is always interpreted as negativity.
y Negativity has no place on the podium.
y A conductors patient diligence is contagious.
y Encourage better performance, dont criticize bad performance.

y Always laugh at honest mistakes, but solve the problems.
y Laugh with your singers when something funny happens, but move on!
y Sarcasm has not place on the podium.
y Let your creativity inform your humor; let your humor inform your creativity.
y Dont be afraid to kid a section, but dont dish it out if you cant take it!
y Ridicule types and behaviors, not individuals!
y Smile and take pleasure in the choral experience, and the singers will also.
y Humor brightens the rehearsal and is good for intonation.
y Love laughs, doesnt it? So laugh!
y A smiling singer usually sings in tune.

y Flatting begins with postural faults, poor use of breath pressure, inefficient phonation, poor
resonator adjustments, poor vowel formation, and a lack of awareness. Identify and address
the causes and try not to mention flatting.
y Singers often try to remedy flatting by compensating for bad technique with more bad
y Clear sky, bright light, low humidity, fresh air, coolness, good physical conditioning, vigor,
enough sleep: all of these lead to good intonation.
y Singing without accompaniment encourages good intonation; pianos are slightly out of tune
and orchestras usually play well in tune, but at a variable (usually elevated) pitch level.
y Tuning exercises encourage a habit of good intonation.
y Singers like to sing in tune, but this is not easy to do without practice and intense listening.
y Performing a selection a half step higher often instantly improves overall intonation.
y A faster rehearsal pace creates the alert mental attitude that can engender good intonation.
y Pianos are slightly out of tune: orchestras play more in tune.
y Orchestras often play higher than A=440: prepare accordingly.
y A choir that forces the tone or dynamic level will not sing very well in tune.
y Lax discipline leads to poor intonation and poor rhythmic ensemble.
y Slow tempi invite flatting.
y Long phrases go flat unless care is taken
y Ascending passages often flat, and descending passages invariably flat unless care is taken.
y Repeated pitches flat unless care is taken.
y Poor posture leads to flatting.
y Dead rooms invite flatting, while live rooms encourage good intonation.
y Overcast days, dim lighting, high humidity, stale air, hot, poor physical conditioning,
weariness, negative attitudes; all these lead to flatting: account for these factors when
y Poor intonation is a sign of technical or attentiveness deficiencies: frequently refresh the mind
and body.
y Choirs that are criticized for poor intonation do not improve: training and awareness solve
poor intonation: solve, dont criticize.

Learning Music
y Sectional rehearsals can help achieve results in a shorter period of time, especially for
contrapuntal works.
y Rhythm and words first: rhythm and pitches second: words rhythm and pitches third.

y Music is most thoroughly learned by achieving short term goals and repeating sections of
music frequently.
y Most singers learn by rote. Most singers can learn to read what they have learned by rote.

y It is unfortunate but true that annual auditions are necessary to evaluate each members
ability to contribute meaningfully to the choral enterprise.
y It is a bitter thing to say goodbye to an old member who does not realize that they can no
longer contribute positively to the sound of the group.
y Membership in a choral group is a great privilege. Conducting a choral group is the highest
y A good choral singer is a team player, not a star, no matter how well they sing.
y Good choral singers realize that they must repay the debt they owe to those who once
tolerated them as they grew into good choral singers by tolerant choristers of the foregoing

Motivating Singers
y Choristers do not sing to perfect the music, but instead for the pure love of singing.
y Conductor approval is important to the choir only when it is clearly well-earned!
y Encouragement and praise are two different things! Encourage progress, praise results!
y The conductor experiences anger and frustration only when he/she has run out of ideas.
Successful, creative conductors are rarely frustrated or angry.
y The first rehearsal is important: it should be an exciting, positive experience: get to singing as
soon as possible.
y Never let the singers remain in neutral! Push them constantly to higher levels of
performance excellence.

Music and Sound
y The music we can hear is only sound: the real music lives in the minds and hearts of the
performers and is perceived and experienced in the minds and hearts of the listeners.
y Sound is secondary to music, but music cannot be sensed without it. In other words, sound
is only the vehicle of music, not music itself.

y The wise conductor gets a lot of help from their singers in accomplishing the details that
make a performance more successful, but the conductor must organize these things and
follow up on them or they will not get done.
y If you are not recruiting, your choir is shrinking. If you are not recruiting constantly, your choir
is shrinking irrevocably.
y Have an attendance taker, a librarian, a social chair, a riser crew, and other officers.
y Invite dignitaries to your concert without fail!

y Perfection is impossible to achieve, so far!
y Perfection comes ion stages and with time, so dont try to perfect everything at once.
y Perfection alone can be excruciatingly boring. Expressiveness by itself can be excruciatingly
dissatisfying. The wise conductor neglects neither perfection nor expressiveness.
y Perfection plus feeling renders a performance moving and unforgettable.

y The day you stop recruiting is the day your choir begins to shrink.
y Talk about your choir all the time, and personally invite people to come sing!
y Never turn down an offer to perform if at all possible
y Schedule your rehearsals at a good time and day.

Rehearsal Planning
y Planning more repertoire than the rehearsal schedule allows is planning to present a concert
that is not well-prepared.
y Planning repertoire that is not achievable in the rehearsal time is planning to fail.
y There is never enough rehearsal time, so the conductor must plan every minute of the
y Set goals for each part of the rehearsal: without goals, rehearsals bog down.
y Never spend too much time on a single piece in rehearsal: achieve that days goal and move
on quickly.
y Plan the order of music to make for a varied and stimulating rehearsal (put the rehearsal
order on the blackboard).
y A rehearsal must be planned in some detail or you will not accomplish all you need to.
y The more detailed the rehearsal plan, the smoother the rehearsal.
y Consecutive rehearsals must be planned and linked with respect to desired stages of
y Rehearsal planning needs to anticipate the growth of the choral product; a choirs
accomplishments must meet the conductors expectations on schedule.
y Continuously assess the choirs progress and be ready to push them to the next level.
y The longer or more difficult the piece, the more rehearsal time it takes.
y Low expectations are easily fulfilled: dont be afraid of presenting high expectations: if the
conductors expectations are not high, the performance will invariably suffer.

Rehearsal Technique
y Singers hate to stop; they love to sing through a piece.
y Instead of stopping for every mistake, decide what is worth stopping for: some things fix
y The two principal challenges to choral singers are rhythmic and melodic, in that order.
y The more times the choir sings through a piece, the better it gets (singers can solve some of
their own problems, given enough chances).
y The concert performance cannot be expected to be better than the best rehearsal.
y The conductor should never be at a loss as to what to do next in a choral rehearsal.
y When introducing a new piece, it is best to read it straight through without stopping (with
piano help as necessary).
y If a passage is rhythmically complex, start work by isolating the rhythm, add words, and
finally add pitches.
y Performance pressure always makes the choir improve at a faster rate.
y Never be caught saying again unless the singers understand why you are repeating a
y Demonstrate by singing for the choir the way you want something to sound: demonstrating is
usually more successful than talking about how you want things to sound.
y Choristers learn to perform by imitation. Be a good model to imitate.
y The conductor who sings along with his choir cannot hear his choir.
y Sing only to demonstrate.
y In correcting errors there are two choices (1) address them before they have a chance to
occur, or (2) correct them after they occur; it is better to anticipate errors and address them
early and often in isolation.
y Often, once a choir has made a pitch error in the first rehearsal, it will be hard to repair: fix
such errors as soon as possible; it is better to introduce a really hard section of a piece
before the read-through.
y Purposely erratic conducting in rehearsal can help the choir learn to watch your conducting
more closely.

y When rehearsing a piece to improve it, always start with the detail and then put the improved
performance into the context of the piece. This approach holds the singers attention and
maintains a positive rehearsal atmosphere.
y Scolding singers for not living up to unstated expectations is unfair, and they know it.
y It is often better to let the chorus finish the piece (or section) before correcting errors than
stopping in the middle to do so.
y Make an improvement, run the piece or section, move on!
y There is rehearsal for perfection and rehearsal for performance (singers instinctively know
when the piece is ready for rehearsal for performance, but the conductor may not!)

y A choir feels and sings one person at a time.
y Every singer in the choir is a person, not a voice, a singer without which the choir is worse
y Always respect every individual in the choir, try hard to know every name of every singer as
soon as possible: they know your name: why shouldnt you know theirs?.
y Devise a way to know every name of every person in the choir as soon as possible.
y Even a good conductor can be disrespected by members of a choir: work to sin them over by
your fine musicianship.

y When a choir is sight reading, watch them to be sure that their eyes are in the score; it is
not really necessary to conduct, except to beat time.
y When sight reading, a choir should focus on pitches and rhythms, not words: use neutral

y When singers are talking, they are not singing: they ought to be singing so much that they
never have a chance to talk together: quicken the rehearsal pace and strategize as to how to
keep everyone musically busy all the time.
y A talking chorus is often a bored chorus. Make the rehearsal musically stimulating!
y The more the conductor talks, the more slowly the choir improves.
y The more the conductor talks, the less the choir sings.
y You cannot talk to your chorus during the performance, so talk as little as possible in the
y Conduct with your hands, not your voice or your lips.
y If the choir members have time to talk, they are not busy enough. Begin your comment or
instruction before they have a chance to think of something to say.
y Words like good should never be followed by but; instead say Good!... now, lets add (fill
in the blank) to make it even better!
y The conductor speaks with his hands, not his mouth.
y Sometimes merely stopping and starting over without comment will solve a problem, as the
singers often know what is wrong and will fix it without comment.
y Try changing your conducting gestures if you are not getting what you want.
y Rehearse occasionally without speaking at all: it can be very enlightening
y The conductor must remain silent in performance, and in rehearsal for performance.
y Choral singers come to sing, not to hear you talk.
y Praise what is good and ask for better.
y Its hard to be excellent, but that fact should not prevent anyone from being excellent.

Final Wisdom:
The aftermath of conducting is usually regret (for those who are perfectionists), and this is as it
should be for anyone with a conscience. But be careful to remember that your success depends
on the work of others: even the most effective conductor cannot inspire perfection all the time!

Trusty Major Works that choirs love to sing.
This is not an exhaustive list, but these works are among the most popular.

Bach Christmas Oratorio* (w/orch)
Bach Cantata 140 Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme w/orch
Bach Cantata 4 Christ lag in Todesbanden (w/small orch)
Bach b minor Mass*# (w/orch)
Bach St. John Passion* (w/orch)
Bach St. Matthew Passion*# (w/orch)
Barber Lamb Of God (Agnus dei) (a capella)
Beethoven Elegy (with strings)
Beethoven Symphony 9* (w/orch)
Beethoven Missa Solemnis*# (w/orch)
Beethoven Mass in C (w/orch)
Bernstein Chichester Psalms* (w/orch)
Brahms Ein deutsches Requiem*# (w/orch)
Brahms Liebeslieder Waltzes (with two pianos)
Brahms Neue Liebeslieder Waltzes (with two pianos)
Britten Rejoice In The Lamb* (w/organ)
Buxtehude Magnificat (with strings and organ)
Copland In The Beginning (a capella)
Durufl Requiem* (w/orch)
Dello Joio A Jubilant Song (with piano)
Elgar Go Song Of Mine (a capella)
Faure Requiem* (w/orch)
Handel Messiah (Oratorio)# (w/orch)
Handel Israel in Egypt (Oratorio) (w/orch)
Haydn The Creation (Oratorio)# (w/orch)
Haydn, J. Mass in Honor of St. Nicholas (w/orch)
Haydn Mass in time of War
Haydn Nelson Mass
Mendelssohn Elijah (Oratorio)*#
Mozart Coronation Mass*# (w/orch)
Mozart Mass in C minor*
Mozart Requiem*# (w/orch)
Mozart Vesperae solennes de confessore* (w/orch)
Pachebel Nun Danket Alle Gott (w/brass and organ)
Pinkham Christmas Cantata*
Pinkham Wedding Cantata*
Rutter Requiem*(w/orch)
Thompson The Peaceable Kingdom* (a capella)
Schubert Mass in G* (w/orch)
Stravinsky Symphony of Psalms*# (w/orch)
Vaughan Williams Five Mystical Songs* (w/orch)
Vaughan Williams Pilgrims Journey* (w/orch)
Vaughan Williams Serenade To Music (w/orch)
Verdi Requiem*# (w/orch) #Hugos top ten
Vivaldi Gloria* * Extended Work

Trusty Anthems and Songs (most of which will show up on the J. W. Pepper catalog on the Internet).

Ahrold The Bells
Albrecht, S. No Need to knock
Allitsen/Stickles The Lord is My Light
Anderson, Leroy Sleigh Ride
Dawson There Is A Balm In Gilead
Dawson Mary Had A Baby
Dawson Ezekiel Saw De Wheel
Bach Jesu, Joy Of Man's Desiring
Bach Komm, Jesu, Komm (SATB/SATB)
Bach O Scared Head Now Wounded
Bach Singet Dem Herrn
Bairstow I Sat Down Under His Shadow
Bartholomew Little Innocent Lamb
Beck Every Valley
Barber The Coolin
Barber Lamb Of God (Agnus dei)
Barber Sure on This Shining Night
Berger Alleluia (SATBB)
Berger The Eyes Of All Wait Upon Thee
Berger Harvester's Song
Berger It Is Good To Be Merry (SSAATTBB)
Berger O Magnify the Lord
Berger The 150th Psalm
Beethoven Elegy
Beethoven Hallelujah (Mt. of Olives)
Beethoven The Heavens Are Telling
Billings Chester
Bird Canticle of Faithfulness
Brahms Ach, Arme Welt
Brahms Create In Me
Brahms Der Abend
Brahms Es ist das Heil (SATBB)
Brahms How Lovely Is Thy Dwelling Place
Brahms In Stiller Nacht
Brahms Lass dich nur nichts nicht dauren
Bruckner Christus factus est
Burleigh My Lord What A Morning
Burt The Alfred Burt Carols I
Burt The Alfred Burt Carols II
Burt The Alfred Burt Carols III
Byrd I Will Not Leave You Comfortless (SSATB)
Canteloube Bailero
Christiansen, F. M. Praise To The Lord
Christiansen, P. Mary And Martha
Christiansen Beautiful Savior
Clausen All that hath life and breath
Clausen Set Me As A Seal
Clydesdale I Sing The Mighty Power Of God (SSATB)
Clydesdale Holy Is He
Copland Zion's Walls
Copland In The Beginning
Cousins Glorious Everlasting (SSAATTBB)

Dawson, W. Swing Lo, Sweet Chariot
Davies The Prayer Of The Dove
Dawson Ain'A-That Good News
Dawson Everytime I Feel The Spirit
Dawson Soon-Ah Will Be Done
Debussy Dieu! Qu'il La Fait Bon Regarder
Debussy Quando J'ai Ouy Le Tabourin
Debussy Hiver,Vous N'Estes Qu'un Villain
Dello Joio A Jubilant Song
Dennard Hush! Somebody's Callin' My Name
DiLasso Echo Song
Durufl Ubi caritas
Effinger No Mark
Effinger Wood
Elgar Go Song Of Mine MS
Farrant, R. Lord, for thy tender mercie's sake
Fettler Make A Joyful Noise
Finzi Haste On, My Joys (SSATB)
Flummerfelt Danny Boy
Folstrom The Water Is Wide
Gabrieli Jubilate Deo
Gearhart Dry Bones
Gesualdo O Vos Omnes (SSATB)
Gillman And He's Ever Interceding
Goemmanne Cantate: Sing To The Lord
Graun Surely He Hath Bourne Our Griefs
Gretchaninoff Svete Tighiy
Handel Hallelujah!
Handel Hallelujah, Amen
Hall Let Us Break Bread (SATTBB)
Halloran Witness
Handl, J. Pater Noster (SSAATTBB)
Hayes Go Down Moses
Hugo Lord, I Keep So Busy
Hugo We Wish You A Merry Christmas
Hairston Elijah Rock (SSATB)
Hairston Hold On! (SATBB)
Hairston I Want Jesus
Hairston Who'll Be A Witness For My Lord
Harris In This Very Room
Hindemith A Swan
Holst Lullay My Liking
Holst I Love My Love
Holst This Have I Done For My True Love
Homilius Ich freue mich Im Herrn
Hovhaness From The End Of The Earth
Ippolitof-Ivanof Bless The Lord, O My Soul
Ives Sixty-seventh Psalm
James Almighty God Of Our Fathers
Jannequin Le Chant Des Oiseaux
Jannequin La Guerre
Johnson Ain't Got Time To Die
Jngst While By My Sheep
Kirk Little Wheel A-Turnin'
Leavitt A Parting Blessing
Leisring Let All The Nations Praise The Lord

Lotti Crucifixus (SSAATTBB)
Luboff All My Trials
Luboff Do Lord
Luboff Ezekiel Saw De Wheel
Luboff Still, Still, Still
Manz E'en so Lord Jesus quickly come
Mascagni Anthem For Spring
Matthais Let The People Praise Thee, O God
Mendelssohn Heilig (SATB/SATB)
Mendelssohn The Hundredth Psalm
Mendelssohn I Waited For The Lord
Moore Daniel, Daniel, Servant of the Lord
Moore I'm Going Home
Mozart Ave Verum corpus
Mozart/Hugo Menuetto
Niles I Wonder as I Wander
Lvovsky Hospodi Pomilui
Nystedt Cry Out And Shout (SSATTB)
Nystedt Thou, O Lord
Parker/R.Shaw Sometimes I Feel
Parker/R.Shaw I'm Goin' to Sing
Parker, Alice Hark, I Hear the Harps Eternal
Purcell, Henry Hear my Prayer, O Lord
Pachebel Nun Danket Alle Gott (SATB/SATB)
Palestrina Adoramus Te
Palestrina Sicut Cervus
Passereau Il Est Bel Est Bon31
Pinkston I Am Thine O Lord
Porter In The Still Of The Night
Postgate Holy, Lord Of Hosts
Pottle Jabberwocky
Poulenc Hodie Christus natus est
Poulenc Quem vidistis pastores dicite
Praetorius Lo How A Rose E'er Blooming
Purcell In These Delightful Pleasant Groves
Purcell Sound The Trumpet (SSATB)
Rorem Four Madrigals
Rutter Banquet Fugue (SATB)
Rutter Love Came Down At Christmas
Rutter O Come, O Come Immanuel
Rutter Praise The Lord, O My Soul
Rutter Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day
Shaw, M. With A Voice Of Singing
Shaw/Parker He's Gone Away
Shaw/Parker Ride On, King Jesus
Schickele/PDQ Bach Good King Kong Looked Out
Schickele/PDQ Bach O Little Town of Hackensack
Schickele/PDQ Bach Throw the Yule Log on
Schtz Ehre sei dir, Christe
Simeone Jingle Bells
Sleeth Joy In the Morning
Stanford Beati quarum via (SSATBB)
Stanford Coelos ascendit hodie
Stanford Justorum animae
Stonehill Shut De Do
Shaw/Parker My Dancing Day

Shaw Set Down Servant
Shaw/Parker Fum, Fum, Fum
Smith Ride The Chariot
Stainer God So Loved The World
Stevens Like As The Culver (SSATB)
Sweelinck Hodie Christus Natus Est (SSATB)
Tallis If Ye Love Me
Tallis O nata lux (Incarnate Light)
Thompson Alleluia
Thompson Choose Something Like A Star
Thompson Glory To God In the Highest
Thompson The Last Words Of David
Thompson The Road Not Taken
Thompson The Best Of Rooms
Toch Geographical Fugue
Vaughan Williams Ca' The Yowes
Vaughan Williams Five English Folksongs
Vaughan Williams For All The Saints
Vaughan Williams Greensleeves
Vaughan Williams Linden Lea
Vaughan Williams Loch Lomond (SSATB)
Vaughan Williams O Clap Your Hands
Vaughan Williams The Old Hundredth Psalm Tune
Vaughan Williams Pilgrim Journey
Vaughan Williams The Turtle Dove (SSATB)
Vaughan Williams Valiant-For-Truth
Victoria O Magnum Mysterium
Victoria O Vos Omnes
Wesley, S.S. Lead Me, Lord
Wesley, S.S. Wash Me Throughly
Wilberg I'll Ay Call In By Yon Town
Wilberg My Love's In Germany
Wilberg O Whistle And I'll Come To Ye
Wilhousky Battle Hymn Of The Republic
Wilhousky Carol Of The Bells
Willan Hodie Christus natus est
Willan, Healey Rise up, my love, my fair one
Willan Healey The Three Kings
Yon Gesu Bambino
Young Now Sing We Joyfully Unto God
Young To Him We Sing (SSAATTBB)
Zimmerman Psalm 100


Annotated Bibliography of Selected Choral Conducting Resources
Compiled by Dr. John W. Hugo

Bunch, Meredith, Dynamics of the Singing Voice. 2
ed. New York: Springer-Verlag, 1993.
Through 68 figures describing the musculature of singing and descriptions of the
processes used, Bunch gives a very thorough account of the way the voice is designed to
work, and especially good accounting of the psychological factors of singing. There is
considerable debunking of commonly held notions about singing, based on solid scientific
data. An excellent book, highly recommended.

Decker, Harold, and Herford, Julius. Choral Conducting: A Symposium. Englewood Cliffs, NJ:
Prentice-Hall, Inc. 1973. There have been further printings. This book is a classic and
indispensable resource for information on Choral Tone, The Choral Rehearsal, Early
Twentieth Century Choral Music, and score study. It also has an excellent bibliography
for the choral musician. Contributors include Swan, Pfautsch, Collins, Moe, Herford, and
J. G. Smith.

Doscher, Barbara M. The Functional Unity of the Singing Voice. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow
Press, 1988. Another classic work, with a typeface and format that resemble Vennards
works. Very useful yet technical text that is more valuable in the details than it is as a
successful philosophical work. Highly recommended.

Garretson, Robert L. Conducting Choral Music. 8
ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall,
1998. This book has been criticized roundly for its errors and inaccuracies, and yet it
remains the classic text in many courses in choral conducting. It is however a text that
has many good ideas and introduces sound procedures that really work well with choirs,
despite the apparent lack of scientific accuracy: the methods worked very well for
Garretson. Part of the trouble is that Garretson did not use what today is viewed as
proper terminology in his writing. It is still a very good resource, especially for the young
conductor precisely because it is not overly technical. It also has good repertoire lists
and some of the same types of information that can be found in Roes Choral Music
Education. Despite the criticism it has received, it is still a very good introductory text.

Jeffers, Ron. Translations and Annotations of Choral Repertoire, Volume I: Sacred Latin Texts.
Corvallis, Oregon: earthsongs, 1988. This is an essential part of the church musicians
library, as it translates word for word all of the most commonly encountered Latin texts! It
also contains other valuable liturgical data, a glossary of terms, and a pronunciation
guide for Latin. Highly Recommended.

McKinney, James C. The Diagnosis and Correction of Vocal Faults: a manual for teachers of
singing and for choir directors. Nashville, TN: Genevox Music Group, 1994.
This is a classic work that can help the choir director understand how to identify and
solve vocal problems in individuals. The approach is practical rather than scientific, and
the advice is very useful and easily comprehendible. Highly recommended.

Miller, Richard. The Structure of Singing: System and Art in Vocal Technique. New York:
Schirmer Books, 1986. The popular classic work by one of the worlds greatest scientific
teachers of voice. The volume contains wonderful exercises for the development of the
singing instrument as a unity. Much anatomical data and advice about vocal health is
included. Not a bedside read, but a manual that every serious singing should pay
attention to. Highly recommended.

Neuen, Donald. Choral Concepts. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Group/Thomas Learning, 2002.
Donald Neuen, protg of Robert Shaw, has very strong opinions about choral music and
the nature of the conductors character and dedication. He has a great passion for
producing beautiful choral music and is himself a very dynamic conductor. His text is

inspiring and offers a personal glimpse into the mind and heart of one of Americas
leading choral conductors. Some of the concepts are advanced and the tone is often
dogmatic, but the advice he gives certainly bears strong consideration. The text provides
diction guides for Latin.

Robinson, Ray, and Winold, Allen. The Choral Experience: Literature, Materials, and Methods.
New York: Harpers College Press, 1976. This text focuses on several aspects of choral
practice. Following a discussion of the development of choral singing, it discusses the
changing role of the conductor throughout history. There follow chapters on Choral
Sound, Diction, Rehearsal Techniques, General Musicianship, and Period Performance
Practices. While not an exhaustive text, it is especially valuable for its discussion of
performance practice issues in choral music.

Roe, Paul F. Choral Music Education. 2
ed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall Inc. 1983.
This is the classic guide to conducting successful choral programs in school. It has
advice about Junior High situations, Class Management, Rehearsal Techniques, and
other topics of interest to both novice and veteran choral teachers.

Sandborg, Jeffrey, ed. English Ways: Conversations with English Choral Conductors. Foreword
by John Rutter. Chapel Hill, NC: Hinshaw Music, Inc. 2001.
This volume consists of a series of interviews with leading British choral conductors. It
sheds light on the current state of choral philosophy in England. It is worth reading
because it stimulates ones thinking about key choral issues.

Shepherd, William, A Conducting Workbook. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Group/Thomas Learning,
2002. This is a 21
century text on basic conducting! It comes with a CD-ROM video
that takes you through the program text, so you can practice with a professional
conductor the basic conducting patterns in a series of lessons. Good as a supplement,
but not a substitute for a conducting teacher.

Smith, Brenda, and Sataloff, Robert Thayer. Choral Pedagogy. San Diego, CA: Singular
Publishing Group, 2000. An interesting book for several reasons: (1) Dr. Smiths style
has a rhapsodic quality that can be inspiring, though somewhat less than scientific, (2)
Dr. Sataloff provides an excellent technical explanation of what happens in the larynx
during phonation, wit h many helpful diagrams, (3) Very good advice is given on the
psychology of the choral rehearsal, (4) many creative ideas are presented which can help
the young conductor develop a personal rehearsal style, (5) an excellent bibliography of
books and articles is included. A good text for more advanced study or as a
supplemental reference book.

Stanton, Royal. The Dynamic Choral Conductor. Delaware Water Gap, PA: Shawnee Press,
1971. A good text that seems a little old-fashioned now, be a text that sharpens the
thinking of the conductor by the questions it raises and the level of commitment it
inspires. It has many good rehearsal ideas.

Wall, Joan, and Robert Caldwell, Tracy Gavilanes, and Shiela Allen. Diction for Singers: A
concise reference guide for English, Italian, Latin, German, French and Spanish
pronunciation. Dallas, TX: PSTInc., 1990. Fast becoming the favored basic diction
text, this work provides extremely valuable information to the choral professional,
especially regarding certain common Latin texts. If you dont know the languages, and
even if you do, this is an excellent source of information and should be in every singers
library. Highly recommended.


Expanded Basic Bibliography for Choral Conductors

Boyd, Jack. Rehearsal Guide to the Choral Director. Champaign, IL: Mark Foster Music
Company, 1977. [MT88.B82R4 1977]

Corp, Ronald. The Choral Singers Companion. New York, New York: Facts on File
Publications, 1987. {MT875.C681987]

Darrow, Gerald F. Four Decades of Choral Training. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1975.[MT

Davison, Archibald T. Choral Conducting. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press,
1950. [MT85.D28C4]

Davison, Archibald T. Choral Arranging. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press,
1945. [MT70.5.D35]

Decker, Harold, and Herford, Julius, eds. Choral Conducting: A Symposium. Englewood Cliffs,
NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1973. [Contributors include Swan, Pfautsch, Collins, Moe,
Herford, and J. G. Smith.)] [MT85.C444 1988]

Ehmann, Wilhelm. Choral Directing. Translated by George D. Wiebe. Minneapolis, Minnesota:
Augsburg Publishing House, 1968. [MT85.E413]

Emmons, Shirley, and Chase, Constance. Prescriptions for Choral Excellence. New York:
Oxford University Press, 2006. [MT875.E.46]

Finn, William J. The Art of the Choral Conductor. Two Volumes. Evanston, Illinois: Summy-
Birdhard Company, 1960. [MT85.F52]

Finn, William J. The Conductor Raises His Baton. London: Harper & Brothers, 1944.

Garretson, Robert L. Conducting Choral Music. 8
ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall,
1998. [MT.GG175C6 1993]

Green, Jonathan D. A Conductors Guide to Choral-Orchestral Works, Classical. Lanham,
Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 2002. ML128.C48 G703 2002

Green, Jonathan D. A Conductors Guide to Choral-Orchestral Works [20
Century, Part I],
Classical. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 1994. ML128.C48G7

Green, Jonathan D. A Conductors Guide to Choral-Orchestral Works, Twentieth Century, Part II.
Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 1988. ML128.C48G7 1994

Hammer, Russell A. Pragmatic Choral Procedures. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1984.
[MT875.H18 1984]

Hawkins, Margaret. An annotated inventory of distinctive choral literature for performance at the
high school level. Tampa, Florida: American Choral Directors Association, 1976.

Heffernan, Charles W. Choral Music. Engelwood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, Inc., 1982.

Howerton, George. Technique and Style in Choral Singing. New York, NY: Carl Fischer, Inc.,

1957. [MT 875.H85]

Kaplan, Abraham. Choral Conducting. New York, NY: W. W. Norton and Company, Inc., 1985.
[MT85.K3278 1985]

Kohut, Daniel L. Learning to Conduct and Rehearse. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall,
Inc., 1990. [MT85.K683 1990]

McElheran, Brook. Conducting Technique For Beginners and Professionals New York: Oxford
University Press, 1966. [MT85.M124C7 1966]

McKinney, James C. The Diagnosis and Correction of Vocal Faults. Rev. ed. Nashville, TN:
Genevox Music Group, 1994. [MT820.M44 2005]

Neuen, Donald. Choral Concepts. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Group/Thomas Learning, 2002.

Plank, Steven E. Choral Performance: A Guide to Historical Practice. Lanham, Maryland:
Scarecrow Press, 2004. [MT875.P53 2004]

Robinson, Ray, and Winold, Allen. The Choral Experience: Literature, Materials, and Methods.
New York: Harpers College Press, 1976. [MT88.R7]

Roe, Paul F. Choral Music Education. 2
ed. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall Inc., 1983.
[MT930.R65 1983]

Sandborg, Jeffrey, ed. English Ways: Conversations with English Choral Conductors. Foreward
by John Rutter. Chapel Hill, NC: Hinshaw Music, Inc. 2001. [ISBN 0-937276-26-X]

Shepherd, William, A Conducting Workbook. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Group/Thomas Learning,

Smith, Brenda, and Sataloff, Robert Thayer. Choral Pedagogy. San Diego, CA: Singular
Publishing Group, 2000. [ISBN 0-769-30051-0]

Stanton, Royal. The Dynamic Choral Conductor. Delaware Water Gap, PA: Shawnee Press,
1971. [MT85.S82]

Summer, Robert J. Choral Masterworks from Bach to Britten: Reflections of a Conductor.
Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 2007. [ML1500.S86C53 2007]

Thomas, Kurt. The Choral Conductor. English Adaptation by Alfred Mann and William H. Reese.
New York, New York: Associated Music Publishers, 1971. [MT85.T513]

Willetts, Sandra. Upbeat Downbeat: Basic Conducting Patterns and Techniques. Nashville, TN:
Abingdon Press, 1993. [MY85.W59 1993]