Changing Voices is an exciting new series of choral arrangements written specifically for boys’ changing or ‘cambiata’ voices.
Changing Voices and Changing Voices Christmas each contains an exciting and eclectic mix of pieces ranging from classic folk songs to contemporary chart hits. Full of songs your boys will want to sing, together these two books offer a fantastic year-round resource for boys’ choral groups of all sizes and abilities.
Who are these books for?
These arrangements are designed to be sung by boys aged approximately 11 and up; precisely the time when many give up singing as their changing voices cease to fit comfortably within traditional vocal ranges (e.g. unison, SATB, SAB, SA Men, TTBB).
Changing Voices and Changing Voices Christmas contain arrangements composed using cambiata vocal ranges. Based on extensive research by leading experts in this field such as the Cambiata Institute of America for Early Adolescent Vocal Music (US, dir. Alan McClung) and Professor Martin Ashley (UK), author of Singing in the Lower Secondary School (OUP) and Contemporary Choral Work with Boys (Compton Publishing), these vocal ranges not only encourage boys to keep singing with confidence as their voices change but also offer them a clear vocal and social identity as young men who enjoy singing.
What is ‘Cambiata’ and how does it work?
In a choral context, cambiata simply means ‘change’. The cambiata concept was originally developed in the United States by Irvin Cooper and Don Collins, and can be summed up in a simple statement: “the song should fit the voice, not the voice the song.”
In a cambiata group or changing voice choir, a boy whose voice has recently started to change in earnest should initially be encouraged to sing the Cambiata I line. As his voice continues to change and deepen over time (exactly when will depend on the individual), he should then change part and sing the Cambiata II or (emerging) Baritone lines as appropriate. At any given time, a boy should sing the voice part whose range best fits with his own changing voice/vocal range.
Changing Voices and Changing Voices Christmas are suitable for boys’ choral groups of all sizes and abilities. Every piece has been written for Cambiata I, Cambiata II and (emerging) Baritone voices, plus piano accompaniment; however, several songs in each book can be performed without the lower voice parts if required.
Cambiata approaches & individual voices
More and more, teachers and choral practitioners worldwide are finding cambiata approaches to be an invaluable resource for encouraging boys to keep singing as their voices change. At the same time, it’s important to remember that each voice is different and such approaches must therefore have some limitations. Cambiata approaches encourage boys to concentrate on their developing lower range rather than use their higher registers whilst they still can; for some boys starting secondary school at 11, particularly those who have had prior vocal training, this might not be ideal and teachers/practitioners may want to encourage these students to continue to explore their upper registers in addition to their developing cambiata voice during their first year at school. Ultimately, we must be aware of individual students’ previous experience and manage the situation accordingly.
Increased participation leading to a life-long love of singing
One of the original aims behind the development of the cambiata concept was to increase the level of adolescent/teenage boys’ participation in singing/choral activities. Establishing and maintaining a boys’ changing voices/cambiata choir can have a huge impact on the number of boys in your school/organisation who actively choose to keep singing during the time of vocal change.
The increased confidence (both vocal and social) that boys can gain from singing with a changing voices choir can lead to them developing a life-long love of singing. Older boys in such a group (by now role models to their younger counterparts) may wish (and should be encouraged!) to try singing music arranged for TTBB and (SA)TB voices; not only will they be confident in themselves, in their identity as young singers, but also they will feel confident exploring new opportunities to sing, potentially in a myriad of musical styles
Music for boys’ voices that boys love to sing
Changing Voices and Changing Voices Christmas are collections of music written for boys’ voices that boys love to sing. We hope they will enthuse, encourage and inspire your boys to keep singing as their voices change and beyond.
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