In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument
A great way to expand your ensemble's repertoire is to include arrangements from other countries which can also add a little international flavor to your concerts. Always fun to sing we have collected a wide variety of folk songs from all corners of the world.
African music is one of the first types that come to mind when you think of world music, especially in a cappella. Whether Gospel, Freedom songs or love songs, all of it is celebratory; African choirs and groups have an ability to convey joy and happiness that is unique and beautiful.
Although there is not a long tradition of choral music in Asia nevertheless Western style choral music has become popular and there are numerous world class choirs throughout the region. There is however a long tradition of traditional folk songs many of which choral arrangements are now available.
There are considerable national and regional differences between – and within – the three countries that make up the Baltic States; but they share a continuity of culture. All have folk song-poetry of the runo-song type and ll three countries saw the creation of Soviet-supervised folklore troupes and separate folklore revivals. Now, some composers are creating traditional musical forms and textures that connect with the present day.
There is a very deep and rich history of traditional vocal harmony singing throughout the British Isles and which has also been exported over the centuries to influence folk music in many other English speaking countries. Many of these songs are still very much being sung today and will be a part of choral ensembles repertoire for generations to come.
From the early slave songs on the plantations a rich folk tradition of vocal harmony singing has developed thru out the islands with each having its unique style. The many folksongs capture the spirit of the English, Spanish, and French speaking peoples of the Caribbean.
There is a long history of vocal harmony singing in Slavic countries with a rich tradition of polyphonic singing both liturgical and folk songs. There are many differences in styles and presentations throughout the region along with modern composers who add new dimension to traditional songs along with new compositions.
The French choral music tradition began centuries ago with both liturgical and court music thru the renaissance period and beyond. There have been many great French composers of choral music such as Faure, Saint-Saens, Poulenc, Ravel, Debussy and many more.
Germany has always flourished culturally and the choral music that developed along the way is no exception to the richness prevalent in other art media. Some of the world's most renowned composers hail from Germany, including Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frideric Handel, Ludwig van Beethoven, Richard Wagner and many other names that have become household names in Classical, Baroque, and Romantic music.
Most Latin American countries have strongly Christian ties, and as is common in Christian countries, there are some beautiful liturgical pieces written locally. But it's not all religious music - there are waltzes from Peru, tangos from Argentina, Cuban salsa, folk music from Venezuela, even a processional hymn sung in the Incan language Quechua! Whether the ensemble is a local or a foreign group singing the music of Latin America, it's all great stuff.
Their is a long tradition of choral singing in both liturgical and secular Jewish culture and there is a wide selection of Israeli songs arrangements. Though Arabic choral music has a long history in the Arab world, the non-Arab world is just beginning to engage with the genre.
Although a relatively young country as far as choral traditions go North America soon established it's own folk songs influenced not only by Europe but also from African slave songs and spirituals. There has of course also been a singing tradition in indigenous populations and we included several excellent examples here.
There is a long history of vocal harmony singing in Russia with Russian liturgical music being a part of the culture for centuries. There is also the tradition of folk choirs who sings the songs of old Russia and of life on the Steppes. Modern composers create new songs that keep the tradition alive and well.
Did you know that the Scandinavian countries have a higher average participation rate for choral groups than any other nations on the planet? In Sweden alone, 10 per cent of the population sings in a choir. In Norway, more than 125,000 people sing in choirs (in a nation with fewer than 4 million citizens). So in a region where vocal ensembles have such a high stature, it is absolutely no surprise that such a high value is placed on doing it well. Whether it's a children's choir from Finland, or an adult choir in Denmark performing symphonic works, you'll love what you hear from them.
If you’re like most people, you probably think of the “South Seas” in terms of warm beaches and great spots to vacation. You should know, though, that there is much, much more to this region of the globe – including some amazing vocal music. We’ve got music from one of the most southern of the inhabited places on the planet here! Here you can explore the chants and hymns from indigenous peoples whose music developed long before they were discovered by Europeans, and long before their musical traditions were influenced by the Church music of the day.
Catholic liturgical music has been, of course, a part of the choral tradition in Southern Europe for over a thousand years with the renaissance period being a particularly creative time for choral singing. Palestrina, Monteverdi, Rossini, Morales, de Victoria and many others are an essential part of the history of choral music.
While we offer a wide selection of songbooks and collections of vocal harmony arrangements we also carry thousands of individual folios. Here we have arrangements of every style and genre sorted by the various publisher's sheet music series featuring both a sacred and secular titles.
You knew that Christmas is celebrated in many countries, but did you know how much Holiday music comes out of those countries? You do now. Whether the groups are singing the Holiday music well-known around the planet, or the lovely music indigenous to one particular country, the music is wonderful and the message is communicated in any language. Some of these songs are indicative of centuries-old traditions that predate the birth of America; take the chance and explore a beautiful-sounding history!