Thursday, June 28, 2012

Your music theory questions please

I’ve been planning for a long time to write a beginner’s guide to music theory and jargon for singers who learn by ear.

music theory

I’m going to try very hard to write it this summer. Honest!

So ... I’m asking for your input.

What musical jargon or concepts would you like me to explain?

I’m just going to cover those bits of theory that a singer in a community choir who learns by ear might encounter. I’m not going to deal with written music (so nothing about repeat signs, key signatures, treble clefs, etc.).

Do leave a comment and let me know if there’s anything particular you’d like me to cover, whether it be ‘thirds’ or ‘semitone’ or ‘pitch’. Any questions welcome, no matter how elementary they might seem.


Chris Rowbury's website:

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Why the singers in your choir still love you even though they look bored

Even though I’ve been teaching for almost 30 years, I still get affected by that glum-looking face in the third row.

glum men

... and it's not just the men!

Just one frown amongst a sea of smiling faces is enough to make me doubt myself. But what might that glum face mean?

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Arranging songs for your choir 2: the basics of arranging

Last week I wrote about choosing suitable songs to arrange.

Tuesday 19th September 2006 Menorca, Sa Mesquida.
Jigsaw pieces - a selection
on bridge at Sa Mesquida

This week I want to get down to the nitty gritty of how to create an arrangement.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Arranging songs for your choir 1: choosing the right song

A friend of mine asked the other day: “How do you find songs? And how do you do vocal arrangements of them?”


Well, it’s a long story and I certainly can’t teach song arranging in a blog, but I can give a few pointers. There’s quite a lot to cover, so I’ve split the subject in two. Second part next week.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Singing: what a difference a man makes!

A woman came up to me last Saturday and said “I like coming to your workshops because there are always lots of men”.

Men's singing workshop 2012

Keen singers from The OK Chorale

Little did she know that only a week before there had been 45 women and just one man enrolled on the workshop!