the wonders and pleasures of vocal harmony

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the wonders and pleasures of vocal harmony

Post  WillyNilly on Thu Oct 25, 2012 4:15 pm

here's one of the best renditions of vocal harmony i've heard in a long time:

a part of arvo part's kanon pokajnen

it's a small part of an epic composition by estonian composer arvo part (umlaut on the 'a'), and sung by a choir. there must be 10 or more voices in the choir, coordinated by the composer's meticulously crafted, written music, to fit together and generate a whole sound that's greater and richer than the sum of its parts, the individual voices.

"kanon pokajnen," i suppose, in estonian, means "canon of repentance." it is religious music, but i have little or no interest in the religious dimension.

here's info on arvo part from wikipedia:

arvo part

galleazzo frudua, a vocal harmony enthusiast, especially of the beatles' music, and a marvelous "breaker-down," i.e. analyzer, of harmonies, brings us this gem of a tutorial on how a beatles' vocal harmony can be sung by mortals, but not how it's composed. here, he uses lennon's "this boy" as an example:

frudua intends to reproduce the beatles' rendition of "this boy" faithfully, accompanied only by a single acoustic guitar and a metronome (a simple time-keeping device). first, he sings the song whole, rendering all three parts himself (multi-track recording?), then analyzes it, singing each part - lennon's, mccartney's, and harrison's - separately. do watch the brief, textual notes at the bottom of the video screen.

finally, he synthesizes the whole song from the parts, producing divine harmony, ironically, using words and feelings about young love as experienced in the blue-collar liverpool of the beatles' youthful days.

frudua has many more tutorials; i hope to post a couple more of my favourites.

here, finally, is a live performance by the beatles of their original "this boy," which was released as a single in 1963:

btw, i have no training in music, and cannot answer technical Qs.

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