Page 26 - Voice for Life Songbook 1
P. 26

                                6. Shalom chaverim
Track 6
The Hebrew word ‘Shalom’ is used on a daily basis in Israel to greet people or bid them farewell: it is also understood around the world to mean ‘peace’.‘Shalom’ (Prince of Peace) is one of the descriptive names the Bible uses to indicate the ministry and personality of the Messiah.
The words of this song transalated into English are:‘Shalom, my friends, shalom, my friends, shalom, shalom; Till we meet again, till we meet again, shalom, shalom.’
‘Lehitraot’ is literally ‘until seeing each other [again]’ as in ‘Auf wiedersehen’ (German) or ‘Au revoir’ (French).
Teaching the song
Ask your singers to greet each other with the words ‘Shalom chaverim’.They should pronounce ‘ch’ as in the Scottish ‘loch’ and ‘im’ as ‘eem’.
This song is from the oral tradition and can be taught without the music in two-bar phrases. Once it is familiar, encourage your singers to sing four bars to one breath.
When it is secure, try singing it as a two-part round, with the second part coming in when the first part reaches figure 3. Once this can be sung with confidence, try it in four parts.
Using the voice well
The first note of the piece is quite low for most singers and may therefore sound a little weaker than the rest of the phrase. Encourage your singers to find a full, resonant sound for this note so that it can be heard.
Some singers may find it difficult to sing legato in bars 5–6.To help them achieve this, suggest that they make the vowels as long as possible, particularly on the ‘hit’ of ‘lehitraot’.You could also practice this phrase without the consonants, sliding between the notes to make it as smooth as possible – but make sure it stays legato when you reintroduce the consonants.
Musical skills and understanding
At a first glance this song appears to be in E minor but it is missing the characteristic D sharp that is usually found in this key.This is because it is written in the Aeolian mode (also known as the natural minor) – a scale used in folk music around the world.You may like to ask your singers to sing this scale before they rehearse the piece. Can they identify the pattern of tones and semitones?
You can also play the Aeolian mode on the piano starting on A and then playing all the white notes up to the next A.
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