Page 9 - Voice for Life Workbook 4 - Red
P. 9

 It may help to read the text out loud before singing it, so that you know from the sense of the words when to breathe. It may also help to discuss the meaning of the words with other choir members, or your choir trainer. Here are a few more hints to help you decide:
Knowing when to breathe
Part of learning how to manage your breath is knowing when you should breathe in a piece of music. There are some general rules that will help you decide when it is suitable to breathe. The most important thing is that your breathing should make sense of the words, so you need to look carefully at the text you are singing to decide when to take a breath.
  • It is usually best to breathe when you see a comma or full stop in the text.
• You don’t need to breathe at every comma – if you carry on without breathing, this makes a longer, smoother phrase.
• Never breathe in the middle of a word (unless you are ‘staggering’ your breathing – see page 10).
  Look at the music below. There are breath marks throughout the piece (shown as little tick or check marks above the stave). Some of the breath marks are in sensible places, but others are not. Circle the breath marks that you think are correct.
    
          Day by day, dear Lord, of thee three things
5        
      pray; to see thee more clear -
9  
            love thee more dear - ly, fol - low thee more
12     
near - ly, day by day.
Module A: Using the voice well 9 Red book UK prepress January 2020.indd 9
Not all musicians have the same views about when it is best to breathe in a piece of music. However, when your choir trainer or conductor asks you to breathe (or not to breathe) in a particular place, he or she is trying to achieve a particular musical effect, which only works if all the singers follow the instructions.

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