Monday, August 20, 2018

New season, new songs – how to find new repertoire for your choir

Here in the UK autumn is in the air. Choirs often start back in September, a time when new songs are needed.

choir songbook

I’m here to help! Here are some resources for finding new songs for your choir.

Planning a new choir season is not just about finding new songs. See Finding songs for the new choir season.

But there will come a time when you need to source new material.

There are plenty of big publishing companies out there. Most of them focus on western classical music or popular songs.

But what if you’re on a tight budget or are looking for something a little different?

try something a little different

My own interest is in traditional songs from around the world, often in the original languages. These can often be easier to teach and learn than many well-known songs. They tend to have fewer words and less complicated structures. See Don’t be too quick to dismiss songs that aren’t in English.

I also teach all my songs by ear so don’t want to buy a copy of the sheet music for every singer that I work with.

Although traditional songs are not subject to copyright, arrangements of them are. But these arrangements tend to be self-published in affordable songbooks. Or they can bought as single songs as downloads.

affordable arrangements of traditional songs

As it happens, I have around 70 song arrangements that are ridiculously cheap and easy to buy as downloads! You only need to buy one copy and are free to perform the songs with no extra payment. All songs are available as sheet music and/or recorded parts.

You can find all the information on my website: buy my song arrangements.

other resources

Here are some websites that I use frequently. They range from free to affordable:

You can also read a substantial post I wrote a while back that covers several song collections:

Songbooks and other resources for choirs (that will also make great presents) – this also has links to other posts about finding songs for your choir

If you’re a teacher you might want to read Using world songs in the classroom: a teacher’s guide to sourcing songs and how to use them

I hope that gives you some ideas. Good luck for the new season!

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Chris Rowbury



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Chris Rowbury


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