Presenter James F. Daugherty, The University of Kansas
Presentation Title The Effect of Choir Spacing on Singers’ Perceptions of Efficient Vocal Production
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Link to speaker notes, if provided N/A
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1 Ron Sherer: From the point of view of the audience member, and closeness to the singing group and spacing: how close do you have to be? Well, the conductor is pretty close, probably the closest; does the conductor hear-obviously the conductor, does not hear what the audience hears. What is that spacing where the individual sounds begin to have that blend that you actually want the audience to hear? Are there troubles in many school auditoria, etc., about where the singers are and where the audience is and the effect you want to evoke? Audio link.
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2 Evangelos Himonides, London: I would like to agree, this is fascinating work, I say that as I have a choral conducting background as well, but I also work as a recording engineer. So many times I have often been called to combine both knowledges and try to provide a very good recording, and that is extremely difficult, especially when you try to record a choir. What I wanted to say is that although it is extremely important and it’s always great to have research about placing of singers and spacing between the singers, many times, that is not always a universal remedy. You also have factors like the venue; the actual repertoire is extremely important; and the placement of the listener as well. And how many listeners you have in the venue is important as well. From the recording engineer’s perspective, that’s a more chaotic model. And you can tell that because after recording a choral performance many times from one song to the other you have to apply different production techniques - different equalization, different dynamics processing in order to create a uniform result and compile a cd. I would like to thank you for your paper and we need to do more research about this. Audio link.
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3 Jeannette Lovetri, New York: Forgive me if you said this, I missed the very beginning of your talk. Does this apply to children’s choruses also? Audio link.
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4 Ray McConnell: For some of your coming up research, I might suggest you contact barbershop singers. Barbershop singers have been doing this for ages, and I don’t know if there’s any kind of definitive studies on this or not. I know as both barbershop choruses and quartets shuffle people around, there may be somebody who has done research that would be of benefit to what you are doing. Audio link.
5 Garyth Nair, Drew University: This is not a question, but a story that goes to your spacing. The most extreme spacing I have experience was with Robert Shaw, who liked to put us on a stage with 6 feet around each singer of space. That was so he could walk around and listen to us while we sang as a chorus. Some of us thought we sang better in that extreme position than closer together. Audio link.
6 David Howard: Quick comment. I really enjoyed what you said. You made a point in passing about auditioning, and I think this is a vitally important point that auditions typically are carried out with someone singing a solo from a repertoire they wouldn’t sing in the choir. Do you have any thoughts about how one might audition in a more practically relevant way to choir singing? Audio link.
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