Our Target Sound

On this page, I’ll post videos (as I run across them) of choral music that’s using our target sound. (Matched, standard vowels, just intonation, and minimal vibrato.) Keep in mind that we sing in many styles, and we won’t use the same sound for everything. So with what you hear below, be thinking, “If we were to sing this song, we’d want it to sound this way.”

This is the most inspiring example I know if the transformation from an under-inspired, under-energized sound to a well-supported, high-resonance sound. Note that the same singers can make BOTH sounds!
The vowel-matching here is superb, as is the intonation. Note also how the vibrato is quite minimal. And the tone quality is rich.
Notice there are hints of vibrato, but it’s minimal. Note how it fits better on a solo while the overall choral tone would be muddled with vibrato. And as you listen to the ladies sing, see if you can hear any airy-ness in their tone. There’s not much! Note also the cathedral-type reverb in the performance hall.
Note the vibrato on the tenor solo, and how it’s only the soloist who’s doing it, while the rest of the choir keeps a mostly-straight tone.
Note the “chest voice” resonance in many of the ladies–starting with the solo at the beginning. Also, note the expressiveness with which the individual parts sing their lines. And note that even though much of the song is soft, there’s still not much airy quality in the voices.
This is all kinds of excellent! Their diction is fanastic! The rhythms are precise. When it finally gets to it, check out the rich chest voice of the altos and sopranos (at about 1:28). Note that their vibrato is at times greater than we’ll opt for—though not throughout.
Note that this piece begins with a soprano soli over ooing from the rest of the choir. The sopranos use a moderate vibrato during the soli, but it’s minimal later in the piece when multiple parts are singing text. Nice touch!
Notice the vibrato here, more than in the ensembles above.
This is about the maximum we’d ever want to go on the vibrato.
It is impossible to attain to this sound with singers whose individual voices are airy and lack resonance. You can sing in tune all day, and get all the words and rhythms right, and never come close to this sound—unless the individuals are each doing it right.
This is certainly not our regular target sound, but we are going to import this song (“And Am I Born to Die?”–to the tune of “Idumea”) into the Chichy Wolly Wog suite. And we want to sing it as raw as it is here. (There are many songs in the video, but the first one is the one we’re doing.) Notice that they begin singing with Solfege syllables instead of lyrics. We will do the same thing.