Throughout history the human voice has played a big part in
the growth of music in our Western civilization. After all the
human voice is a perfect instrument for musical expression, and
every human being is equiped with one at birth. It has the capability
of many different tonal qualities and nuances. It blends well
with most all other instruments, and is very effective when grouped
with other voices. Singing in parts is a natural thing that's
found not only in sophisticated societies but also among aboriginal
groups such as certain of the Polynesians, the Maoris, and many
It is no wonder, then, that vocal groups have been major part
of our secular (or "popular") music scene for quite
a while. Today there are a very large number of men and women
that sing in "barbershop" quartets and choruses. The
Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet
Singing in America (SPEBSQSA) has chapters everywhere. Through
their conncerts and "after-glows," and local, regional,
and national competitions they entertain a lot of people. In our
public and private schools there are thousands of children and
teen-agers participating in various and different kinds of vocal
groups, large and small, singing "popular" songs in
parts. In the junior highs and senior high schools the kids are
singing in "Swing Choirs."
In the past years there have been many fine professional vocal
groups that have achieved a high degree of popularity and have
made a lot of successful recordings. In the "Swing"
era most all of the vocal groups were attached to, and part of,
a big-band. Later, as individual singers started making records
on their own, so did the vocal groups, and we began to see the
emergence of many vocal groups never were associated with a big-band.
Among the most successful of these were all male groups like
the "Hi-Los," and the "Four Freshmen." Among
the top all-female singing groups were the "Andrews Sisters,"
and the "King Sisters." The mixed-voices category was
headlined by the "Pied Pipers" (with the Tommy Dorsey
band), the "Modernaires" (with the Glen Miller band),
the "Axidentals," the "Signatures," the "Honey
Dreamers," "The Fifth Demension," Manhattan Transfer,"
and the unmatched "Singers Unlimited."
All of the above groups had a compliment of three to six voices.
The most standard (if there is such a thing) of the mixed-voices
small group is probably one lead voice on the top line with three
or four parts beneath the lead singing in close harmony. We still
hear this type of voicing in many commercials on TV and Radio.
In the 1950 - 1970 decades, larger singing groups became quite
popular. These groups probably came about largely as a result
of the musicians union chief James Petrillo's ban on instrumental
recording. During the ban many songs were recorded using only
voices as the musical backing for a singer. When the ban was lifted
the combination of the mixed voice choirs with instruments proved
to be a very marketable musical resource. There were a good number
of these larger groups recording a lot of good songs. Among the
most highly rated and most popular of these vocal ensembles were
"The Norm Luboff Choir," "The Ray Charles Singers,"
"Fred Waring's Pennsylvanians," and "The Randy
Van Horne Singers."
Today there are still some vocal groups doing some wonderful
recording and concertizing. In a class by their own are the "Swingle
Singers". Then there is the fine group from England called
the "King's Men." There are at least two all male groups
that are up and coming today: one called "Rare Silk"
and another named "Take 6." And there are others on
Arranging songs for various types of vocal groups has long
been a favorite musical activity for Max Myover. Over the years,
Max has sung in many groups, and coached and directed groups with
different combinations of voices. In the list below are some of
his most favorite vocal arrangements of well-known popular songs
as well as some vocal arrangements of his own songs.
Arrangements for female voices
Arrangements for 3 or 4-part female voices.
"Paper Moon" - for SSAA quartet. Two choruses
"Pass That Peace Pipe" - For SSAA quartet. Intro,
verse, and two choruses with extended ending.
Arrangements for male voices
Arrangements for 4-part male quartet, and/or TTBB chorus. In
some cases some of the parts may divide to provide for 5 or 6-part
harmony, or the group may include a male or female soloist. Most
of these vocal arrangements do call for a high tenor, a lead tenor,
a baritone, and a bass.
"Balalaika Serenade" - One and one-half choruses
with special ending. Includes a violin and mandola, or mandolin,
solo backed by the male choir.
"Be a Clown" - music and lyrics by Cole Porter.
For male chorus. Two choruses, verse and chorus with an extended
"Besame Mucho" - lyrics by Sunny Skylar, music
by Consuelo Velazquez. Two and one half choruses with alternative
endings. Soprano solo and male chorus.
"Brazil" - Two and one-half choruses; male choir
with integral soprano and tenor solos.
"Come On Down South" - For male choir. Chorus,
verse, chorus with extended ending.
"Cherokee" - For male choir. Verse and two choruses
with special ending.
"Cheyenne" - For male choir. One chorus plus a
"Deep In My Heart Dear - Soprano solo with male chorus
"Down By the Old Mill Stream" - verse and chorus
with extended ending in "barbershop quartet" style.
"Hello Brother Lion" - lyrics by Virginia Humphrey,
music by Max Myover. For Male choir.
"High Ho, High Ho!" - For male choir. Several choruses
with special lyrics by Max Myover.
"I Could Have Danced All Night - lyrics by Alan Jay
Lerner, music by Frederic Lowe. Verse and four choruses. Soprano
solo with male choir..
"I Feel a Song Comin' On" - One and one-half choruses.
"I Hear a Rhaposody" - Two and one-half choruses
with an extended ending.
"I Love You" - Two choruses with soprano solo.
"I'm Beginning to See the Light" - music and lyrics
by H. James, D. Ellington, J. Hodges, and D. George. This arrangement
is written in the style of the "Hi Lo's" - intro and
two choruses with a partial instrumental solo on the 2nd chorus.
"In My Harem" - music and lyrics by Irving Berlin.
Verse and chorus repeated with a special ending.
"In the Still of the Night" - Intro, chorus, and
"Istanbul" - several choruses
"Lazy Bones" - one chorus
"Liechtensteiner Polka" - Intro, three choruses
with verse and interlude. Calls for a solo tenor or baritone.
Two of the choruses have German lyrics.
"Lucky To Be Me" - music by Leonard Bernstein.
Verse and two choruses with soprano solo.
"Matilda" - with special calypso lyrics by Virginia
Humphrey. Intro, multiple choruses with special ending.
"Old Chuck Wagon" - music and lyrics by Max Myover.
This two chorus arrangement of Max's rollicking song for male
quartet and male choir includes one chorus of the western ballad
Home on the Range.
"Red River Valley" - Intro and two choruses with
"Romany Life" - Three and one-half choruses, with
inserted verse and other melodic material, and an extended ending.
"Side By Side" - two choruses with counter melody.
"So In Love" - music and lyrics by Cole Porter.
Intro and two choruses with soprano solo.
"Somewhere, Over the Rainbow" - One chorus with
special introductory music and lyrics.
"The Girl From Ipanema" - English lyrics by Norman
Gimbel (with additional lyrics by Max Myover), music by Antonio
Carlos Jobim. Special verse, two choruses and a special ending.
"The Lady From Twenty-nine Palms" - For male quartet.
Special intro, two and one-half choruses, with interlude, and
"The Man On the Flying Trapeze" - humorous multi-choruses
(some with new words) and verses with changes in tempo and snatches
of other melodies. A production number.
"The Peanut Vendor" - this repetitive tune takes
on a new character with special lyrics by Max and some neat vocal
and rhymic effects.
"There is Nothin' Like a Dame" -
"The Riff Song" - Verse and two choruses.
"Try a Little Tenderness" - Intro and one and one-half
choruses with an incidental tenor or high baritone solo.
"Shenandoah" - Three choruses with an extended
"Stella by Starlight" -
"We Saw the Sea" - One chorus and a half with Anchors
Aweigh and a sailor's hornpipe interlude.
"Yellow Bird" - Lyrics by Marilyn Keith and Allan
Bergman, music by Norman Luboff. Two verses and two choruses
with special ending.
"You Alone" -
Arrangements for Mixed Voices in a Small Group
The following songs are arranged for a 4 to 6 part mixed group,
such as a quartet, quintet, sextet, or chorus. In some cases,
the lower parts may divide to provide for 5 or 6 part harmony.
However, most of these arrangements will call for at least a female
lead voice (could be a soprano or high alto voice), an alto, a
tenor, and a bass.
"A Hundred Miles"
"Always Something There to Remind Me" - lyrics
by Hal David, music by Burt Bacharach.
"Day by Day" - from the musical "Godspell"
"Downtown" - Verse and one chorus.
"Easy Streeet" - Two choruses.
"Everybody's Everything" - words and music by Santana,
Moss and Brown.
"Home Sweet Home" - Verse and chorus
"I Get a Kick Out of You" - music and lyrics by
"I Had the Craziest Dream" - Intro, one and one-half
"I'll Never Smile Again"
"I'm Beginning to See the Light" - similar to the
arrangement for 4 part male, but arranged for SATB quartet.
"I Say a Little Prayer for You" - lyrics by Hal
David, music by Burt Bacharach.
"It's Impossible" - lyrics by Sid Wayne, music
by A. Manzanero.
"Joy to the World" - words and music by Hoyt Axton.
"Moonlight Becomes You" - baritone solo and mixed
"Moonlight in Vermont"
"Never My Love" - words and music by Don and Dick
"Oh, the Games People Play Now" - music and lyrics
by Joe South.
"Old Devil Moon"
"On the Atcheson, Topeka, and the Santa Fe"
"One Note Samba" - lyrics by Newton Menonca, music
by Antonio Carlos Jobim.
"Our Love is Here to Stay" - One chorus
"Something" - words and music by George Harrison.
"Time and Love" -
"Walkin' in a Winter Wonderland" - One chorus.
"We've Only Just Begun" - lyrics by Paul Williams,
music by Roger Nichols.
"What the World Needs" - a medley of three songs:
1. What the World Needs Now is Love (lyrics by Hal David,
music by Burt Bacharach), 2. Put a Little Love in Your Heart
(words and music by Jimmy Holiday, Randy Meyers, and Jackie
De Shannon), and 3. If We Only Have Love (lyrics by Mort
Schuman and Eric Blau, music by Jaques Brel).
"You've Got a Friend"
Arrangements for Mixed Voices in a Larger Group
The following songs are arranged for a mixed chorus with SATB
parts sometimes dividing into as many parts as SSAATTBB. While
the mixed-voices arangements listed immediately above are wrtten
for a quartet, quintet or sextet, the following are written for
a larger vocal group of possibly 12 or more singers.
"Along Came Love" - lyrics by Virginia Humphrey
and music by Max Myover. Verse plus one and one-half choruses.
"Applause" - lyrics by Lee Adams, music by Charles
"Are You From Dixie" - .
"Beyond the Blue Horizon" -
"Blue Bolero" - intro and two choruses. Lyrics
by Virginia Humphrey and music by Max Myover.
"Bossa Nova Medley" - four bossa nova love songs
having lyrics by Virginia Humphrey and music by Max Myover: 1.
Magic Night, 2. Soft Glow of Summer, 3. Tell
Me, and One Life.
"Brother Love's Travelin' Salvation Show" - music
and lyrics by Neil Diamond.
"Button Up Your Overcoat"
"By the Beautiful Sea" - a medley of three songs:
1. By the Sea, 2. On a Sunday by the Sea, and the
first 16 bars of On the Golden Sands of Old Miami's Shore,
with a reprise of By the Sea and an extended ending.
"Can I Forget You"
"Czardas" - music and lyrics by Max Myover. This
arrangement calls for a solo soprano, unison women, and men's
voices in four parts. It begins with a repeated slow section
(Lassu) and ends with a fast section (Friska). The song tells
a romantic story of symbolic of gypsy life.
"Close to You" - lyrics by Hal David, music by
"Collegiate" - One chorus, special interlude, and
beginning portions of seven well known college songs plus a special
"For All We Know" - lyrics by Hal David, music
by Burt Bacharach.
"Green Dolphin Street" -
"Have a Very Merry Merry Christmas" - lyrics by
Betty Innes and Sharron Naumann, music by Betty Innes. Arranged
for SATB with accompaniment. Published by Studio P/R Inc.
"Here, There, and Everywhere" - words and music
by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Intro, one and one-half choruses
plus extended ending. Features an incidental tenor solo.
"Hey Jude" - words and music by John Lennon and
"How Deep is the Ocean" - music and lyrics by Irvng
Berlin. Special verse and two choruses.
"I'll Never Smile Again"
"I'm an Old Cowhand" - music and lyrics by Johnny
Mercer. Verse and chorus repeated with different lyrics and an
"Indian Summer" - Special intro, one chorus and
a special ending.
"In the Final Hours" - music and lyrics by Jim
"I Remember You" -
"It's a Big Wide Wonderful World" -
"It's a Good Day" -
"It's June in January" - Special intro, two choruses
and a special ending.
"I've Got Spurs That Jingle, Jangle, Jingle" -
A special intro, four choruses, a round, and a special ending.
"Ivy" - music and lyrics by Hoagy Carmichael. Two
choruses with a special ending.
"Jubilation T. Cornpone" - lyrics by Johnny Mercer,
music by Gene de Paul.
"Kites Are Fun" - words and music by Chris Dedrick.
Intro, two choruses and extended ending.
"Lazy Afternoon" - lyrics by Virginia Humphrey,
music by Max Myover.
"Let's Go to Old Brazil" - lyrics by Virginia Humphrey,
music by Max Myover
"Like Someone in Love" -
"Look for the Silver Lining" - Two choruses with
"Londonderry Air" - the timeless irish folk song;
Oh, Danny Boy
"Manãna" - special lyrics by Virginia Humphrey,
music by Peggy Lee and Dave Barbour. Female solo with mixed voices,
five choruses with extended ending.
"McArthur Park" -
"Mister Touchdown U. S. A." - A medley of Mister
Touchdown, You've Got to Be a Football Hero, and Cheer,
Cheer for Old Notre Dame, with an extended ending.
"Moonlight on the Campus" - Intro and one chorus.
"Moon Over Miami"
"My Foolish Heart, and Others " - a medley of Beware,
My Foolish Heart, Don't Blame Me,For All We Know,
and Thou Swell.
"Make Your Own Kind of Music"
"Moonlight Becomes You"
"Moon Over Miami" - Verse and one and one-half
"Namely You" - from the musical "Li'l Abner"
(lyrics by Johnny Mercer, music by Gene de Paul).
"Our Love is Here to Stay" - lyrics by Ira Gershwin,
music by George Gershwin.
"Our Place" - lyrics by Virginia Humphrey and music
by Max Myover. Intro and two choruses.
"Play Gypsies" - Intro and two choruses with extended
"Please Come Back to Me" - intro and one chorus.
Lyrics by Virginia Humphrey and music by Max Myover.
"Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head"
"Red Silk Stockin's and the Green Perfume" - Verse
and three choruses with a special ending.
"Save the Country" - music and lyrics by Laura
"Something" - music and lyrics by George Harrison.
"Spinning Wheel" - music and lyrics by David C.
"The Best Things in Life Are Free" - Verse, two
choruses and interlude with alternate extended endings.
"The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting)"
"The Desert Song" - Verse and one and one-half
choruses with extended ending.
"The Look of Love" - lyrics by Hal David, music
by Burt Bacharach.
"The More I See You"
"Try to Remember"
"You Go to My Head"
"Waitin' For the Robert E. Lee"
"Wichita Lineman" - music and lyrics by Jim Webb.
Intro, one and one-half choruses.
Certain of the above listed vocal arrangements are compatible
with the arrangements for other instrumental combinations listed
under Big Band Arrangements. To go there just click on the link