James Jordan, in his book Evoking Sounds, Fundamentals of Choral Conducting 2nd edition, gives an overview of how music creators can allow their music to “speak” to the right audiences. In chapter 23, the author explains that there are four main phases that have to be considered when creating memorable music. The four phases are preparing and marking the score, arranging the tonal materials of the music, anticipating tonal problems, and working on the text. Jordan argues that the four phases have to be followed in a sequence in order for music to resonate with both the singer and the audience.
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The first phase, preparing and marking the score, has nine factors to be considered. First, one has to hum through the strings and then sing all the parts of the song.1. Jordan explains that the third step is to practice Alexander-based alignment sensations while staying aware of body mapping principles.2. The fourth step is marking the score, while the fifth is conducting while humming the piece.3. Jordan goes further and explains the importance of studying the breath of the music as the sixth step and then performing the piece while inhaling and exhaling frequently.4. The eighth step is breathing the “color” and effect of the music, and lastly, one has to study the breath process that connects the phases for a full sound in the ninth step.
Additionally, the author explains that preparing tonal materials for the music allows the composer to learn the tonal aspects of the score.5. This also makes it easier for the composer to then anticipate any vocal problems, which can be solved by ensuring singers have the ability to perform the highest and lowest pitches of the piece. Practices such as correct posture, flexibility, and expanding the tract are all useful to enhance the ability of the singer to perform the piece. According to the scholar, the last step is to prepare the text, which will ensure the composer understands the “color” of the music.6.
Jordan, James. Evoking Sounds, Fundamentals of Choral Conducting. 2nd ed. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2009.
- James Jordan. Evoking Sounds, Fundamentals of Choral Conducting, 2nd ed. (Chicago: GIA Publications, 2009), 307.
- Jordan, “Evoking Sounds,” 308.
- Jordan, 309.
- Jordan, 310.
- Jordan, 310.
- Jordan, 311.