Arranging Exercise: Homophonic

homofoon 2One of the basic techniques of arranging is writing homophonic parts. Homophonic means that all voice groups sing the same lyrics at the same time. In this exercise you will be writing simple four-part chords in the song Eternal flame by The Bangles. In the accompanying pdf the melody and chord symbols are given. As an example, the first bar of the bass is written out. The exercise looks like this:

Arranging Exercises: Writing Triads

totem 3If you want to learn how to arrange, you have to practice writing chords. In my classes I often find that writing chords over four staffs is difficult for aspiring arrangers. Therefore, I devised some easy exercises. First, here is an exercise for writing triads.

Polyfonic Warm-Up

polymeerMost warm-ups I think of have two layers at most. But this time I have an exercise with three layers, in which the two upper voices imitate each other:

Beating Animation

dirigeeranimatieLast week, I showed a first version of the animation of beating patterns. The application is more extensive now. You may find the new animation here (sorry it’s in Dutch).

Beating Patterns by the Computer

movementAt the conservatory where I teach, I often see the students have difficulty learning a good beating technique. In the books on beating technique there are pictures of beating patterns. These pictures indicate the directions in which to move. But they do not indicate the speed of the movements. The pictures cannot convey the ‘bounce’ in the beat. Therefore, the use of the books in learning a good beating technique is limited.

Swinging Pachelbel

karmaturk08Lately I heard the lovely Canon in D by Pachelbel again. Because the chords are repeating, the music can easily be made into a warm-up for multiple voices. Here is my attempt to create a swinging Pachelbel. The canon now is in G:

Warm-Up with Sixth

stairsThis exercise for singing in canon is built up of seconds and sixths. The warm-up looks like the exercise form my book ‘Harmoninic warm-ups’, but it is just a little different:


jump2From the moment I started making music, when I was eightteen, I wondered why there is such a vast difference between classical music and pop & jazz. I know, I’m generalising. There are plenty of listeners who enjoy both styles of music. Some musicians work in both fields. There are classical composers who were inspired by jazz, like Stravinsky and Poulenc. And there a rock musicians inspired by classical masters, like (the Dutch) Focus and Robin Thicke.

Warm-Up with Latin Syncopations

Salsa2In one of my choirs there is a singer who insists on doing swinging warm-up exercises. Thus, I wrote another. This time, there are fast syncopations in a latin style:

Arranging Exercise: Sharp or Flat II

pijlen 2Here is part two of the exercises in which you have to chose between notating a sharp or a flat.

The exercise looks like this. Indicate whether the left or right version is more correct: