Max's Vocal Arrangements

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 African tribes.

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 the scene.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 below:

Max's Big Band Arrangements


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If you are interested in learning more about these arrangements, please contact Max Myover.

257 Shoreline Drive
New Bern, NC USA 28562-9557
Telephone: 1-252-637-5841
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