Blow The Wind

Complexity Level: easy

Parts: SAAB  (I popped the tenors with the sopranos and everyone seemed happy enough)

Genre: English Folk Song

Deets: G major 3/4

Well this is a tad embarrassing isn't it? My two week Christmas vacation has extended to July! In my defence I will say touring in Co-Opera's The Mikado on and off over a three month season earlier this year took up all of my time and energy. I naively packed, along with my fishnets and false eyelashes, lots of tour projects - reading, writing, composing including a list of songs to arrange and share on this blog. Lol and lollol - I did none of those things. Instead I toured. Turns out touring filled up my days. I did face down a few opera based fears I had been halfheartedly nurturing as a little hobby, like an office plant on a nearby filing cabinet. Which was a splendid thing. Turns out Opera (even G&S) is music, just like all the other music. And the secret to singing it is to shut up and sing it. 

All done and dusted now.

So this weekend just gone we were back in Melbourne at our beloved Newport Folk Festival. Taking the festival choir. I did this arrangement of Blow The Wind for it. I think I've said it here before - traditional four part writing rules only help so far in arranging songs for choristers who mostly learn by ear. You remember your part rules - Basses sing bass notes and only occasionally inversions. Sopranos sing the tune. Altos and Tenors sing whatever is left, carefully written so their lines are the MOST BORING POSSIBLE. If you double thirds or have parallel fifths the world will probably end. Semitones yearn to resolve. In contrast tones have no desires. The other parts keep away from the basses and maybe they should consider showering more often. Just sayin.

Now those rules are all very well, but boring lines are hard to remember and no fun to sing. For folks who want to enjoy singing and require tuneful lines to stick in their musical but not music-reading heads, EACH PART MUST BE GOOD TO SING. I feel like I did the first section of this piece successfully in this regard. The second half I've lent towards simplicity over catchiness. 

At any rate - Blow The Wind. From the North Country of dear old England. The Newport Festival Choir sang it with such a lovely lilt - I didn't ask for that, they just started doing it - which I thought was a great sign that the arrangement worked.