In ‘Cantate Domino’, Pitoni makes effective use of hemiolas (hemiolae…?) – as do many other composers across the choral repertoire. This week’s Social DistanceSING looks at the rhythmic device, starting with an explanation of core musical concepts that often get blurred together in order to explore how, where and why composers use hemiolas, and how we as singers respond to them.
A hat-tip to Daniel Cook, Organist and Master of the Choristers at Durham Cathedral, whose idea about the opening of the piece I mention in this video. Daniel’s been uploading a daily virtual organ voluntary since the start of lockdown – you can find his videos here.
This week’s Social DistanceSING starts looking at a new anthem – Pitoni’s well-known setting of verses from Psalm 149, ‘Cantate Domino’. The video features some brief historical introduction, learning tracks, and some thoughts on singing new songs in strange lands.
My final video in this series looking at Tallis’ anthem ‘If ye love me’, bringing together many aspects of interpretation into a final performance of the piece. If you have any ideas of what I could look at next, let me know!
This week, I’m taking a break from SocialDistanceSING to acknowledge the truly terrible suffering that has happened, both recent and historic, as a result of racism. This video contains a performance of a piece by African-American composer Florence Price, with links to reading and further anti-racism resources in the description.
This third video looking at Tallis’ ‘If ye love me’ is all about diction – pronunciation of vowels and consonants, and how we as singers use this to create and communicate the meaning of the text we’re singing. Diction is a key part of so many different aspects of singing, including tone quality, projection, and musical phrasing – in my opinion, a detailed understanding of diction is one of the most important skills a choir member should have.