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Acapella 2-4 part easy harmony songs

31 Dec 01 - 02:05 AM (#618899)
Subject: Acapella 2-4 part easy harmony songs
From: TeriLu

Hi Folks, I'm looking for some relatively easy-to -learn acapella songs to teach a bunch of teenage girls in a couple of months. So, 2-4 part harmonies, and things that would appeal to the high-school set. These kids are pretty open-minded musically. can you throw a few offerings out there for me? Thanks much! And Happy New Year! TeriLu


31 Dec 01 - 02:59 AM (#618914)
Subject: RE: Acapella 2-4 part easy harmony songs
From: Mark Cohen

TeriLu, I'd go with rounds. They come in all ranges of difficulty and intricacy, they create their own harmony "automatically", and they're loads of fun to sing. There's "The Penguin Book of Rounds", and a wonderful little book called "101 Rounds for Singing", which I obtained many years ago from the publisher, World Around Songs, Inc., Route 5, Box 398, Burnsville, NC 28714. Some of my favorites are, in no particular order: "Great Tom is Cast", "Grasshoppers Three", "Hava Nashira", "Sweet Rest (Time Sends a Warning Call)", "Ride a Cock Horse", "Froh Zu Sein", "Rise Up O Flame"...Then there are the simpler ones, still good and fun: "Make New Friends", "Hey, Ho, Nobody Home", "Lady Come Down and See"...even "White Coral Bells". Have fun!

Aloha,
Mark


31 Dec 01 - 04:53 AM (#618928)
Subject: RE: Acapella 2-4 part easy harmony songs
From: GUEST,Grammar police

That's a capella ["chapel style"] {two words}


31 Dec 01 - 05:26 AM (#618933)
Subject: RE: Acapella 2-4 part easy harmony songs
From: Amos

Simple barbershop arrangements for 2 r 3 voices which we learned to do as children:

White Wings (They Never Grow Weary)
Down by the Old Mill Stream
Daisy, Daisy
Mavourneen
Shine On, Harvest Moon
Hey, Mister Banjo
Oh, Mister Moon
I Wandered Today to the Hill, Maggie
The Old Oaken Bucket

Those are the ones I can remember. The parts are mostly simple. And once learned, kids I've seen really get into the swing of it and enjoy it a lot.

A


31 Dec 01 - 07:29 AM (#618946)
Subject: RE: Acapella 2-4 part easy harmony songs
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)

TerriLu, please email me at animaterra@monad.net
I direct a 50-voice a cappella women's chorus; most of what we do is fairly simple and very appealing! We sing music from all arounnd the world and I do many of the arrangements. I would be delighted to share some of them with you.
Check us out(click)!


31 Dec 01 - 09:13 AM (#618969)
Subject: RE: Acapella 2-4 part easy harmony songs
From: GUEST,Bo

If you want something with an historical bend I'd try the work songs and shanties, especially if you have any strong voices in your group.

One song I've done very successfully with small groups is in the DB as "Hanging on the Old Barbed Wire". It starts out as a lampoon of army life, and it can be pretty naughty but it ends with a powerful image of a soldier, from WWI historically, hanging on barbed wire.

Done right it sort of sneaks up on you but with things in Afghanistan and India\Pakistan it may have some relevance with your audience\performers.

Bo


31 Dec 01 - 12:35 PM (#619038)
Subject: RE: Acapella 2-4 part easy harmony songs
From: Joan from Wigan

Animaterra, that link didn't work (it somehow included "www.mudcat.org" in the URL). Hopefully, this will: Animaterra


31 Dec 01 - 03:24 PM (#619119)
Subject: RE: Acapella 2-4 part easy harmony songs
From: tremodt

i would like to find a site for barber shop songs in 4 part harmony and be able to prinbt the sheet music

ron


31 Dec 01 - 03:46 PM (#619130)
Subject: RE: Acapella 2-4 part easy harmony songs
From: M.Ted

How about some tips on creating and arranging those "easy" 2-4 part harmonies? Especially interested in knowing if it is really possible to teach a small group of singers to spontaneously harmonize in 3 or 4 parts, or if it has to be all worked out in advance--


31 Dec 01 - 03:54 PM (#619134)
Subject: RE: Acapella 2-4 part easy harmony songs
From: Deda

Two that are easy enough that my ex-husband was able to teach me to sing and hold the main melody while he sang harmony: Let me call you sweetheart, and a very pretty Hebrew song called (phonetically) Ma Toh Vu.


31 Dec 01 - 03:58 PM (#619136)
Subject: RE: Acapella 2-4 part easy harmony songs
From: Willa

M.Ted At a recent Folkworks w/e, in the harmony workshop, our group leader had us singing in six part harmony - fantastic fun, and most of us had not sung harmonies before.


31 Dec 01 - 04:05 PM (#619138)
Subject: RE: Acapella 2-4 part easy harmony songs
From: Amos

M. Ted:

My ma taught us by ear, I'm afraid, so I wouldn't know how to describe the finding of tenor or bass parts in words, exackly. Makes me feel orful ignorant, too!!

A


31 Dec 01 - 04:47 PM (#619158)
Subject: RE: Acapella 2-4 part easy harmony songs
From: M.Ted

My question is really for Animaterra or someone else that works with a chorus--I have read many desriptions of old time get togethers, in Runyon-esque dives, where hard boiled types regularly joined in a few choruses of some song or another in close four part harmony, and I wondered if that kind of thing really happens--I have heard many folks through on a tenor harmony as naturally as making pancakes, and, depending on style, a bass part can really just ride on the chord fundamental--I am really curious to know if it is possible to just pull that third part out of the air--

just to give you a reality check, I *can* write out multi-part vocal arrangements(as can anyone who knows the basics of harmony), and do know how to write that third part--


01 Jan 02 - 11:29 AM (#619442)
Subject: RE: Acapella 2-4 part easy harmony songs
From: Peg

M. Ted I would also be VERY interested in hearing such advice. My new a cappella group consists of four people and so far the harmony we do is stuff we improvise while rehearsing and try to remeber what sounded good and keep it! We have no "artistic director" to decide on final arrangements. I have done some arranging and have tried to help with this but since I grew up singing soprano (and often take the melody line with this group since I have a bigger and higher voice than the other two women) hearing harmonies is tricky for me and does not come all that naturally. I find it a tad frustrating since I come from a choral background and read music; the other members are not comfortable with this approach. And yet to be a successful a cappella group we WILL need to find a way to work in harmonies a bit more effectively.

so suggestions from experts like Animaterra would be welcome!!!

Peg


01 Jan 02 - 11:37 AM (#619450)
Subject: RE: Acapella 2-4 part easy harmony songs
From: Rick Fielding

I know what you mean Ted. I always wondered how those street groups used to just grab all the parts to songs, when I had to carefully write out a Bluegrass baritone part for my band...and then agonize 'cause I'd be told 'it's too hard'.

I think it may be environment. Me? I was meant to have been born on a farm in Tennesee.....in 1920!

Rick


01 Jan 02 - 02:35 PM (#619505)
Subject: RE: Acapella 2-4 part easy harmony songs
From: MAG

Do you know the I love the mountains, I love the rolling hills;
I love the flowers, I love the daffodils;
I love the fireside, When all the lights are low;
Boom --dee --ah--tah (4x)

Find out what they already know; warm up with Row row row your boat -demonstrates that they already know more about parts and harmony than they think.

Do they know "White Coral Bells?"

Da book -- ie, RUS -- has a rounds section. good luck.

This is important, and fun work. MAG


01 Jan 02 - 06:51 PM (#619608)
Subject: RE: Acapella 2-4 part easy harmony songs
From: paddymac

Animaterra's kind offer might be the best response to your query. You could also do a google search for "spebsqsa", and another for "sweet adelines", both of which will provide you with much info. There are a number of free downloadable arrangements on the spebsqsa site, but you'd probably need to adjust them to make them more suitable for womens voices. There may aslo be some at the sweet adelins site, but I didn't expressly look for any there.


02 Jan 02 - 11:26 AM (#619887)
Subject: RE: Acapella 2-4 part easy harmony songs
From: TeriLu

Thanks so much for all of your responses. I'm looking forward, with some trepidation,to pulling this off. But I think it will be a lot easier than the high school folk music class of 31,half boys, half girls; 9-12 graders, around 10 who don't want to be there! I'll let you know if we become famous! (Or Infamous!) TeriLu


02 Jan 02 - 02:23 PM (#619977)
Subject: RE: Acapella 2-4 part easy harmony songs
From: pattyClink

M.ted, I am into barbershop harmony. The old-timers spontaneously harmonizing is called "woodshedding". It can be done by 2 kinds of folks: those who have spent a lot of time singing a harmony part, and those who have unusual native talent. I'm finding after a few years of singing barbershop according to formal written arrangements, I'm finally starting to "hear" where to spontaneously sing baritone parts which had been mysterious to me before. But I've yet to become a woodshedder, which may be a lost art soon because so few people sing, and fewer have time to pursue this arrangement-less craft.

At any rate if you want to get that skill, all I can tell you is abundant practice in one part seems to be the key. (If you really want to get immersed in woodshedding you could start at the SPEBSQSA website.)

I think maybe this is why those close-harmony family groups can get so good, it's not just that their timbres blend but the fact that they simply have, or make, the luxury of spending a lot of time harmonizing, hours at a time, years on end. It's frustrating for the rest of us, we want harmony singing to be as easy as solo singing or chord-strumming, but it's more like piano and you have to have a bunch of people agree to play with you.


02 Jan 02 - 03:23 PM (#620005)
Subject: RE: Acapella 2-4 part easy harmony songs
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)

Hmmm. How to arrange for 4 part women's voices in one easy lesson? It's hard to explain. I'm classically trained, and the harmony classes at Boston U in the 70's were centered around Bach chorales- soprano, alto, tenor, bass. That, and just years and years of singing harmony myself, have trained me to "hear" what should work- and often it does!

-I like putting melody into a middle voice, let's call it alto.
-Then you can stick a descant, kinda soaring harmony, above it.
-Then stick in a bass riff in the lowest voice. Be careful not to arrange the key so the lowest notes are too low for your voices!

-Sometimes a fourth harmony creates a nice rich texture; either a third below the melody or more of a kind of drone between the melody and bass voice.
-Check to make sure none of the harmony voices are doubling each other too much!

Voila! a capella!


03 Jan 02 - 09:40 AM (#620326)
Subject: RE: Acapella 2-4 part easy harmony songs
From: GUEST

These might or might not be relevant, depending on what sort of harmonies the thread-maker had in mind:

19th-century Welsh Hymns 19th-century Russian Hymns 19th-century American Shape-note Hymns (examples( Medieval polyphony (example)


17 Oct 07 - 07:49 AM (#2172873)
Subject: RE: Acapella 2-4 part easy harmony songs
From: GUEST,Marilee Cain

I am looking for some help with It's A Wonderful World. It is my father's favorite song and my siblings and I would like to sing it to him for his 90th birthday. We can sing but have never been very good at harmony.... can't really read music... but we can momorize the harmony. We are looking for either 2-4 party harmony. Thanks...


17 Oct 07 - 08:01 AM (#2172878)
Subject: RE: Acapella 2-4 part easy harmony songs
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)

Where are you and how much practice time do you have?
And do you mean, "What a wonderful world", as sung by Louis Armstrong?


17 Oct 07 - 08:42 AM (#2172900)
Subject: RE: Acapella 2-4 part easy harmony songs
From: Rockhen

In my limited experience, if you can make all parts interesting in themselves, rather than just complimenting a melody line, it is more enjoyable to sing. (Sorry if someone already said that, I skim read this thread.)It is ok to sing a 3 note harmony part sometimes but it can get boring. If parts meet sometimes and even cross over, it CAN work, in my opinion, although some would disagree. It is really satisfying to throw in an unusual note leading into a chord, sometimes, too.


22 Sep 11 - 11:43 AM (#3227195)
Subject: RE: Acapella 2-4 part easy harmony songs
From: GUEST,Collin Bourland

I know it's a guy's song but you could teach them "Little Deuce Coupe" by the beach boys it has one lead part and then either two or three supporting parts. Me and my freinds are fairly new to this, but wu picked this song up in about three hours. Here's a youtube link, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXFFLuoaMzM.