Author Topic: question for Eupher  (Read 1838 times)

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Offline franksolich

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question for Eupher
« on: September 04, 2016, 03:00:16 PM »
This is addressed to Eupher, because it’s right up his alley, but if anyone else knows anything at all about the matter, please feel free to illuminate me.

As many here know, I “listen” to youtube via the help of a couple of implements that hearing people would find insufferable, but which are necessary for me to “hear.”

Anyway.

There appears to be two basic set-ups for church choirs, one of them where the choir faces the audience, like these two examples:




And then there’s another setting where the choir walks in and separates into one of two sides, such as shown here:








Okay, my question.  I am aware there are two sorts of male voices, bass and tenor, although to be honest, even if someone were to put a gun to my head and demand that I “listen” and tell the difference, the trigger might as well be pulled, because I can’t.  Bass, tenor, both sound pretty much alike to me. 

(I can however differentiate between soprano and alto in women—of course given the appropriate equipment--although I have no idea why.)

In the example of the “split” choir, is there one side that’s bass and the other side’s tenor? If so, which is which?

It seems to me the case of the full choir facing the same way is rather more complicated, because they put the younger ones up front, and the older ones out back.  I have no idea but I bet this presents a totally different “hearing” experience, as compared with a “split” choir.

Does it?

Remember, these might seem like stupid questions, but I can’t hear, so I have no idea myself.
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Offline ExGeeEye

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Re: question for Eupher
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2016, 06:55:01 AM »
In my experience, which is not comprehensive, a Soprano-Alto-Tenor-Bass (SATB) choir is arranged with the higher registers to one side and lower to the other, and the women or boy singers in front of the men. 

First example, an adult choir of 20 members in two rows, across the front of a space:

T  T  T  T  T  B  B  B  B  B  <--men

S  S  S  S  S  A  A  A  A  A  <--women

                 L   <--choir leader


   Audience/Congregation

In the second example, a 20 member male choir (using boys in the upper registers) in the (architectural) choir of a large church or cathedral basically splits the above and rotates the halves left or right, thus:

Men     Boys          Boys     Men
 T        S            A        B
 T        S            A        B
 T        S            A        B
 T        S            A        B
 T        S            A        B
                L

   Audience/Congregation

Hope that's clear.  Naturally, it may not be universally correct.  Local custom and/or numerical imbalance my require adjustment.
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Offline franksolich

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Re: question for Eupher
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2016, 08:05:47 AM »
Thank you sir; that answer is exactly what I was seeking, and explained so well.  You and Tanker must be brothers or something.

Since it's all kind of, sort of, a muddled mess to me (although with all this new technology, considerably less muddy), one might wonder why the curiosity about the placement of voices in a choir.  It's because I use the imagination to fill in the blanks of what I can't hear--certain notes and their intensity--and I prefer the imagination be based upon reality.

So generally, the further to the left, the higher the men's and women's voices?
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Offline ExGeeEye

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Re: question for Eupher
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2016, 02:43:10 PM »
Generally.

Clustering the voices makes for easier rehearsals, among other things.  Like clustering the instruments in an orchestra or band. 

Part of the aesthetic enjoyment is hearing the different voices positionally; not only when they blend, singing the same thing in harmony, but when they go off in different but harmonious directions.   See, if you can find it, the score of the Confutatis of Mozart's Requiem where the Tenors and Basses are playing off each other.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2016, 02:45:16 PM by ExGeeEye »
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Offline freedumb2003b

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Re: question for Eupher
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2016, 03:26:50 PM »
Thank you sir; that answer is exactly what I was seeking, and explained so well.  You and Tanker must be brothers or something.

Since it's all kind of, sort of, a muddled mess to me (although with all this new technology, considerably less muddy), one might wonder why the curiosity about the placement of voices in a choir.  It's because I use the imagination to fill in the blanks of what I can't hear--certain notes and their intensity--and I prefer the imagination be based upon reality.

So generally, the further to the left, the higher the men's and women's voices?

Not necessarily.

Many times the chorus is split to have similar sounds on L/R to match each other -- this arrangement can produce a rich "3D" sound.

The problem with that approach is that it requires singers of almost perfect pitch as they can't hear and match each other.

The general default is as EGY said: similar registers together as with a band to ensure pitch fidelity.
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Offline Eupher

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Re: question for Eupher
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2016, 03:57:08 PM »
As I am fundamentally an instrumentalist, the setup of choirs of any sort is pretty much unknown to me. Looks like ExGeeEye has it pretty well down.

BlueStateSaint is a singer of some repute, so I imagine he can talk toward this as well.  :cheersmate:
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Offline Eupher

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Re: question for Eupher
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2016, 04:13:14 PM »
Here's the score to Confutatis from IMSLP. Interesting how someone has analyzed the chord progression in the last few pages.

http://imslp.org/wiki/Requiem_in_D_minor,_K.626_(Mozart,_Wolfgang_Amadeus)
Adams E2 Euphonium (built in 2017)
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Shen SB-180 double bass (we're talkin' strings, baby)
Mouthpiece data provided on request.

Offline franksolich

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Re: question for Eupher
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2016, 05:46:36 PM »
Generally.

Clustering the voices makes for easier rehearsals, among other things.  Like clustering the instruments in an orchestra or band. 

Part of the aesthetic enjoyment is hearing the different voices positionally; not only when they blend, singing the same thing in harmony, but when they go off in different but harmonious directions.   See, if you can find it, the score of the Confutatis of Mozart's Requiem where the Tenors and Basses are playing off each other.

I checked it out on youtube, as apparently did Eupher.  It's there, there's a lot from which to select, and I "favorite-placed" six of them for later "listening" for, as you suggested, the competition between the two voices.

It's all new to me.

Our good friend Eupher's got no cause to be so damned modest; he knows more than what he's letting on.  I knew his expertise was in instruments, not vocal music, but at the same time, I look at Eupher in music--any sort of music--the same way I look at Tanker for military illumination; I always ask Tanker first, and if he doesn't know, he'll direct me to a source that does.

I figured BlueStateSaint would be an expert too, but what's one to do, when members excepting for Eupher and a few others spend all their time in the DUmpster, rather than at least surveying the topics in other forums here?  It's best to direct a question to someone who's likely to see  it.
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