Magic Choral Trick #57 Balancing a Major Chord

When you come to a Major chord that just will not lock in – check the tuning, check the vowel – and if that doesn’t seem to be the problem you’re in for a treat. (Unless it’s just a bad arrangement)

The first part of Balancing needs to be done within the section. Have all the people singing the same part sing their note/word until everyone notices the sound locking in and it sounds like one voice. Singing with eyes closed seems to produce the best results.

Do this with each part on their note for the chord in question.

A unison, locked in sound will become like a drug for the singers in the chorus. Once you’ve experienced it, you develop a hunger for it, and want more and more.

But that’s not even the best part.

No matter who has what note of the chord, here’s the Balance for a Major chord.

Bottom octave Root, and the Fifth – strong and locked in together before the upper Root and Third are added. If the sound is straight enough – think sine wave straight – the chorus will be able to hear the Third even though no one’s actually singing it.

Upper Root – folded into the sound of the lower Root – so we experience an expansion of the sound – not that we’re being hit over the head by the upper octave.

If the other parts are doing their job, the Third of the chord needs to be just barely there – very lightly sung – because all it should be doing is amplifying the harmonic that’s already ringing.

When all this is right – everything seems right with the world. When all this is right – the hair on the back of your neck will stand up and when all this is right – you want the moment to go on forever.

It’s that much fun.


About janetkidd

I've been waving my arms in front of choirs now for more than 35 years - and these are descriptions of all the very best things I've learned. I direct a Women's Competitive Barbershop Chorus, a Men's Competitive Barbershop Chorus, a Med School choir, and for a few weeks each year - Big Choir (about 100 voices) - which performs at an annual fundraising concert. Hope at least some of these Choral Magic Tricks will be useful to you - and thanks for reading. Janet

Posted on January 13, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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