Style & Approach

In this choir, notes on the page take second place to sounds heard! The songs are learnt by ear for a number of reasons:

 •    Many people do not read music or read it only as instrumentalists

    Most of the repertoire is from oral tradition and the songs are based in modal, just scales not the later, ‘tempered’ or fixed western scales

    Some of the songs have not been notated anyway, but handed on by ear and even where notation exists, this is an approximation of the actual notes- a rough guide, which if taken too literally or precisely, actually causes the harmonies to sound untuned. This is because the natural scales and intervals of the human voice are not those of the piano or fixed western scales.

    The harmonies work best when the voice is felt as what it truly is - vibrations and air waves which meet other waves and ‘lock together’

    The sessions try to strike a balance between work on the voices, confidence building, learning new material and establishing and fine-tuning the growing repertoire.

    However, whilst the songs are learnt by ear, sheet music is usually given out following the learning of a new song.