The Choirmaster's Manual


THE

Choirmaster's Manual


A GUIDE

FOR

BUSY AND AMATEUR CHOIRMASTERS

ESPECIALLY FOR THE

DEVELOPMENT OF THE BOY'S VOICE

AND FOR THE

TRAINING AND DISCIPLINE OF BOY-CHOIRS


BY

HAROLD NEWTON CLARE




NEW YORK

G. SCHIRMER

35 Union Square

1908


Copyright, 1908, by G. Schirmer.

20534


To My Brother

ARTHUR J. CLARE

Organist and Choirmaster
of the Church of St. John the Divine
Balham (London), England


PREFACE




"A theory that is not the outcome of successful practice is worth but little: and only such practice is valuable from which a clear, intelligible theory can be deduced." [Bagge.]

Considering the numerous books already in existence on the subject of Choir-Training and Voice-Production, one might well be pardoned for asking the question, Is there room for yet another? The author, a choirmaster with twenty years' experience, having read a great many books on the subject, finds that those written by the highest authorities take too much for granted. As an example, most of the books by the great cathedral and other well-known choirmasters are written from the standpoint of their own experience, which experience, inasmuch as it invariably means dealing with only the very best of picked voices, boys especially, is practically valueless to the choirmaster of a small parish church in England, or a town church in America, where only the crudest of material can be obtained at the start, often without any "tradition" behind them; besides many other difficulties which a successful choirmaster of the prominent church is happily ignorant of, or does not choose to enlarge upon.

In the present little book, the author's intention is to discuss the formation of choirs, more especially boy-choirs, and their training. The book does not pretend to be exhaustive, but it is the result of many years' experience in meeting and overcoming the chief difficulties which confront the amateur and professional choirmaster.

The exercises are all explained, and have had the test of nearly twenty years' continual usage in conquering faults and producing the results desired.

The book is primarily intended for directors of choirs in our smaller towns; but, nevertheless, the exercises will be found helpful to those who have, perhaps, been obtaining results by a more circuitous method.

CONTENTS



Preface, pp. iv–v.

Chapter I, pp. 1–5.
A Talk to Choirmasters: Selection of Boys—Tests—Order—Discipline—Age—Probationers—Agreements—Payment—Deferred Pay—Music Hints for the Practice-room.

Chapter II, pp. 5–7.
On Breathing—Exercises 1–3.

Chapter III, pp. 7–10.
On Voice-production, Exercise 1—Registers, Exercises 2–4. Resonance.

Chapter IV, pp. 10–12.
On the Attack, Exercises 5–8.

Chapter V, pp. 12–14.
Blending the Registers, Exercises 9–12.

Chapter VI, pp. 15–17.
The Scales, Exercises 13–22.

Chapter VII, pp. 18–19.
Enunciation.

Chapter VIII, pp. 20–24.
Notation—Time—Sight-reading—Interval-practice, Exercises 23–24.

Chapter IX, pp. 24–28.
Expression—Some Words Denoting Expression—Exercises 25–26; Beating Time—Rhythm—Phrasing—Balance.

Chapter X, p. 29.
A Word on Men's Voices, Exercise 27.

Chapter XI, pp. 30–34.
Full Practice—Psalms—Hymns—Monotoning—Conclusion.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1925. It may be copyrighted outside the U.S. (see Help:Public domain).