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Weekly Vocalize #8 Slurs and Staccato

Here’s a vocalize I learned from singing in the Arbor consort. It uses the arpeggio in an interesting way to work on connecting notes separated by a considerable distance (a fourth) and singing staccato down an arpeggio.


The tendency will be for singers to accent or “punch” the upper c effectively disconnecting it from the g preceding it. They’ll also tend to sharply jump off the c too. If notice them doing either of these things remind them connect the notes together (i.e. sing legato) and to disconnect from the upper note gently. The second half of the vocalize can also pose problems. Intonation can be an issue because you aren’t on the note long enough to correct yourself, and articulation can be an issue in that the staccato may not be sharp enough. Alert your choir to these issues when you notice them doing them.

As a variation, you can alternate between having the descending arpeggio be staccato or legato to keep your singers on their toes. Not to mention just having the entire exercise be one long phrase or every note be staccato. As with all the exercises up till now, there are lots of options.

There’s quite a bit going on with this exercise, but one thing it doesn’t showcase is resonance due to the fact that you aren’t on the notes long enough to really feel it. I suppose advanced singers could execute resonance, but for ye average choir there are better exercises for that.

You can perform the exercise moving up or down chromatically or you can move by thirds or how ever you’d like. For example if you’re moving by thirds the next note after starting on g would be b. Experiment to see which sounds best to you.


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