Vocal exercise CD
  • gregpgregp
    Posts: 632
    I'm looking for a CD that I can recommend to schola members who want to sing on a more regular basis than our weekly practices, and want to sing along with a CD.

    Anyone have a good recommendation for something that would specifically help with chant?
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,870
    I have been recording the chants so my own schola has something to learn from at home. You are welcome to the files. I will be singing a half a dozen in a few days covering Lent and Easter and posting them on our site.

    Here's an example.

  • Have a look at Inclina Domine, new from OCP. It is one of the most interesting and energetic CDs of parish chant I've ever heard.
  • gregpgregp
    Posts: 632
    Those are both wonderful, but I wasn't clear: I'm looking specifically for exercises, vocalises, etc. The kind of thing that we do to warm up, taken further to train and extend the voice.

    I should confess that I've never done these, partly because, other than clearing throats, I've never really known what their purpose was, so I couldn't be sure whether we had achieved the desired purpose or not!
  • JDE
    Posts: 586
    The Marier chant workshop CD has a lot of good exercises, but they are only repeated once or twice each. I hate to say it, but you might have to make your own. You could do it as audio or MIDI and just run through the exercises over an appropriate ambitus for each section, burn your CDs and voilà!
  • gregpgregp
    Posts: 632
    Yurodivi, I think the schola would get tired of hearing my "curmudgeonly" voice and revolt!

    I get lots of results from a search on "vocal exercise CD", but I was wondering if anyone here has one or could make a recommendation.
  • kevinfkevinf
    Posts: 1,112
    Let me put on my voice teacher hat now and say that the purpose of warmups is to get the vocal muscles moving, to deal with some aspect of the work ahead and to begin to once again get a choral sound.

    Jan Schmidt's Fundamentals of Singing (4th and 5th edition) has a whole chapter on warmups and vocal exercises. I fashion my warmups on some aspect on my rehearsal task and also use them to practice ear-training, interval work and vocal development. Crossing over the passagio for high voices, dealing with breathy voices can all be part of the warmup.

    Let the warmup be a part of the rehearsal, not separate from it in task and character.
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    Greg, first of all I was told by my voice teacher "clearing the throat" is a bad habit, just have a bottle of water, better.
    I don't know you ran across James Jordans' books.
    James Jordan's 'The Choral Warm-up' has an accompaniment CD. It's not geared for chant singing, but it has lots of legato ex.. The accomp. has also cello for legato singing and second time meledy with dominant chords. (it also has body movements to go with. Fun and works!) I think it's pretty good, after you do this, you can learn the technique of making up vocalise and make up something for chant singing. Like podatus excercises on modal scales on pure vowels (and add consonants too, one at a time for a better focus), I also have the schola sing some solfeges like re to la, then back to re for 're mode' (mode I). (up and down, not too complicated. I don't have them sing the whole scale yet. They get very confused, so I do only five notes up and dowm for now) So they just get used to naming the solfege names. ( I do a short Solfege reading later in the rehearsal)
    Just type James Jordan in GIA pub. (which I don't like the pub too much any more) He also has Modal excercises.
    Also, you can make up vocalise by taking a short part of the chant you are working in. For example, when we were singing Veni, Veni, our torculus were not very smooth. So worked on torculus on various pitches and vowels. I have them draw a big triangle in the air for fun and then draw a big circle while they are singing the three notes. Of course with the circle they can feel the legato and smooth line than the triangle. First they actually sounded like a triangle with big angles. We corrected the problem, and of course we didn't have to draw a circle when we sang in the mass :-) One way to feel the music. (Hopefully some day we will learn to do 'chironomy' too)

    Don't forget a few minutes of deep breathing excercise too. (I do this with stretch excersice together.) Deep inhale (not shallow on the chest) and slow exhale (count). Some people don't want to spend time on these, But I do, even if it's only for a few minutes. These are options you can consider.
    How are you doing with your new schola? Are you coming to Colloquium?
  • gregpgregp
    Posts: 632
    Thanks to all. I'll look into these.
  • miacoyne
    Posts: 1,805
    Just to make sure. The CD I mentioned above is an accompaniment CD (instrumental), no actual voice singing. I hope you find what you need.