Singing Suggestions for Beginners
If the singers in your choir are new to SATB and find the prospect of learning some of the bigger choral works daunting, why not try some of the pieces listed here?
We’ve picked a variety of simple 4-part choral works that are easy to learn, fun to practise, and guaranteed to please a crowd. Perhaps you are looking for a suitable encore piece? Many of these works make perfect short encores.
If you are setting up your own amateur choir and are short on funds, the following vocal scores are affordable and make a great introduction to SATB singing. For most of these works, all you will need is a competent pianist and two singers to a part.
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Easy Traditional Works for SATB
A poignant and memorable homophonic hymn for a cappella SATB choir, traditionally sung at remembrance services. Skill level: very easy.
Jean Sibelius: Be still, my soul, from the Tone Poem Finlandia op. 26, for mixed Voices and Piano. Text by Katharina von Schlegel. Translation by Jane Borthwick. Piano Arrangement by Alan Boustead. Breitkopf and Hartel. RRP $2.95
This inspiring hymn has been carefully translated and given a tastefully-rendered piano accompaniment. The choral parts contain the complete harmony, so if your singers are feeling confident, try experimenting by singing one of the verses a cappella. Skill level: easy to intermediate.
A lovely SATB arrangement with simple piano accompaniment, and both German and English text. Although the rhythmic and melodic material in this piece is quite straightforward, there are some particularly high notes in the Soprano part, so make sure your singers have properly warmed-up their voices! The piano accompaniment is very easy. Skill level: easy to intermediate.
Have Fun at Rehearsal
This piece will liven up your rehearsal and make a great encore piece for a secular Summer concert. Geographical Fugue creates a rhythmic and energetic counterpoint out of spoken place names. The first subject begins with the tenor line thus: ‘Trinidad… and the big Missisippi, and the town Honolulu, and the lake Titicaca’. As other parts enter, exiting cross-rhythms are produced. The score contains rhythmic notation only, but requires concentration to keep in time. Lasts approximately 2 minutes. Skill level: Intermediate.
Short Pops for SATB
This is a lilting Celtic ballad, arranged by Simon and Garfunkel for SATB choir. The piano accompaniment is simple and effective, but you may wish to experiment by substituting an amplified guitar based on Simon and Garfunkel’s recording, or by adding improvised instrumental parts, such as folk violin or tin whistle. The Celtic feel of this piece is well-suited to the simple untrained voice, and there are frequent opportunities for soloists to take the melody line. Includes some very simple canonic writing. Skill level: Easy
This arrangement of Bridge over Troubled Water really brings this song back to its gospel roots with full-bodied but simple SATB harmonies and a stirring piano accompaniment. You will need a proficient pianist, but the vocal lines are simple. A real crowd pleaser. Skill level: Easy.