Friday, June 8, 2012


One of my weak spots in singing is sight-reading, i.e. singing what's on the page in front of you without having seen or heard it before. It's a very handy skill for learning new music in a group (saves time teaching each person/section their part), and it's a normal (and scary) part of auditions. So I've resolved to work at getting better at it, and I have a plan...

Robert suggested I practise sight-reading the tenor parts of Bach chorales, because they jump around in interesting ways, and so I acquired a book of Bach's chorale harmonisations. There are 371 in the book, so that's plenty to be going on with. My plan is to do one chorale per day, which should be easy enough to fit in. I'm up to Day 10 today. :)

I've been starting with the soprano part, as a gentle start - they're just simple hymn tunes, without many jumps. Then I do the alto part, the tenor part (which is usually the trickiest), and the bass part (up an octave). Bass parts tend to have big jumps, so they're good practice for me.

(a nice short one)

The only problem with the book I'm using (the old Riemenschneider edition) is that it doesn't have the text of the chorales written in. I'll have to find something else in addition to practise sight-singing with words. :p

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