General characteristics of a song for your chorus

1) Ensure there is a good mixture of songs in the repertoire including:

  1. A) uptunes (a good opener and a good closer)
  2. B) rhythm
  3. C) ballads
  4. D) novelty (eg. Soul, Gospel, Comedy, Parody, Classical)

2) Ensure a choice of contestable uptunes and ballads.

3) When refreshing repertoire, dropping and replacing songs ensure you maintain a balance of songs in categories A to D above.

Specific characteristics of a song for your chorus

For example

1) one which the director and a majority of the chorus likes

2) one which the audience will like,

3) one which is within the capability of the chorus (e.g. tenors not above B, leads not above G, baris not above F, basses not below F).

4) one which is not too difficult to learn for other technical reasons eg chromatics, rhythm and the genre of the music (e.g. Calypso !!)

5) one which has manuscript music and associated learning tracks readily available

6) one which is within the budget of the chorus

7) check the lyrics especially with respect to controversial areas e.g. racist, misogynist, sexual, religious connotations.

8) check whether you have enough songs suitable for contest

BABS choruses and quartets can check if the next song planned for their group has been previously used in contest, and how it scored. To access this database please click here The results include data up to Quartet Prelims, each year. The current listing is for 2019.

LABBS and Sweet Adelines should contact their Music Judges to see if an arrangement fits the judging requirements.

Factors to Consider

 

Buy a published
arrangement

Buy an
unpublished arrangement

Commission a
new arrangement

Simplicity

The most straightforward

More complicated

The most complicated

Arranged yet?

Already arranged and ready to go.

Already arranged and ready to go.

You’ll have to find an arranger, but it will be bespoke for your group.

Copyright Clearance?

Copyright clearance is usually already obtained (but check it is valid in the UK).

You will have to get rights from the copyright owner in the UK

You will have to seek permission from the copyright owner in the UK to have it arranged and to buy the right to print copies.

Unique?

Lots of other groups could sing this arrangement

Less likely to be sung by other groups

If you have an exclusive agreement with the arranger only your group will be allowed to use the arrangement.

Cost

This depends on the source of the music and can be complicated by shipping and sometimes import duty costs.

This can be the lowest cost especially for small groups like quartets and octets. There may however be arrangers fees that have to be paid

This is usually the most expensive as you may have to pay the arranger and for permission from the UK Copyright Holder

Usual copyright rules…

Every member of your group must have a legal, original copy (or photocopy) of the music. See the Copyright Section for more information.