Magic Choral Trick #156 Playing With Resonance

I’ve been experimenting with using these tricks the last couple of evenings with my men’s and women’s choruses – and the results are quite amazing.

I was working with four different places for feeling resonance – very far forward in the mouth (feeling the resonance in the mask using the Lip Ring ); the top of the head; the back of the head; and the chest.

I asked the singers to place a hand over the spot where I was asking them to try to feel some vibration as they sang.

When the hands were all on top of the head, we got a flutey head voice sound.

When the hands were at the back of the head we got a slightly darker quality – but quite a gentle, very well blended sound.

When the hands were on the chest, my women’s chorus sounded Bulgarian. (We’ll definitely be using this one!) They were still singing with good quality forward sound, but the richer darker tones of the voice were emphasized.

When the resonance was being felt in the mask – and most of all in the upper lip area, the sound was brilliant and clean.

Perhaps the most intriguing part of all this experimentation happened at my men’s chorus rehearsal on Monday evening.

We often have only about 18 or 19 singers out to rehearsal – so there isn’t a big enough group to just absorb all the different kinds of voices, so I’ve always tended to put all of the really forward, bright voices close to the back of the chorus, and the ‘blender’ voices in the front row. With these resonance tricks I was able to give such specific instructions that voices which would never in a million years have blended before became beautifully matched. I just asked the guys with bright voices to place a hand on the back of their head – and told the guys with naturally further back sound to bring the sound forward with the Lip Ring technique.

It was wonderful not to feel that I had to ask anyone to back off their volume in order to get a good blend.

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 June 13, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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