Saturday, December 10, 2016

Boston Pops

We went to the Boston Pops, joined by the Metropolitan Chorale tonight, and they have a marvelous arrangement of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" which includes numerous musical jokes.  You can find that here.

I was surprised at how many of the vocal arrangements were SAB instead of SATB, with the bass line being carried by the cellos (or sometimes the double bass).


Sam L. said...

SAB and SATB mean nothing to me. Bells not rung. HUH?, I say. Please to explain.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Soprano-Alto-Baritone vs Soprano-Alto-Tenor-Bass. The women's voices are divided into two harmonies, the men sing together rather than dividing into higher and lower harmonies. I tended to think of SAB as the easy route for arrangers when I was growing up, because high school choruses use it a lot, not having enough strong male choral voices. I thought the full four-parts, such as in Handel's Messiah or older hymns, was the "real" way to do harmony.

Though I heard many SAB arrangements in my lifetime, I must still have thought that, because I was surprised that a professional chorale, which clearly would have an abundance of strong male voices to draw on if necessary, used it so much.