Page 79 - Chorister's Companion
P. 79

                                  The music we sing
find a translation (or ask your choir trainer or teacher to tell you what the words mean). Even if the words are in English, don’t just sing them without thinking – what are they about? What mood, meaning or story are they trying to express? How can you put this across?
The music
If the words were the only important part of a song or anthem, you could just read them aloud like a poem or a Bible reading without any music at all. But the words have been set to music for a reason: to help you to express a particular mood or meaning.
Think of a text which has been set to music by more than one composer (e.g. ‘The Lord is my shepherd’ or ‘Ave Maria’) - although the words are the same, the music may make one version have a very different emotion or mood to another.
Every time you sing, think about the mood of the music as well as the meaning of the text. What mood is the music trying to convey? How can you put this across as effectively as possible in your performance?
The purpose of the piece
Very often a piece of music is written for a specific occasion or time of year. Rather than singing on ‘automatic pilot’ it is useful for you as a performer to know why a piece was written, and to think about

   77   78   79   80   81