Arranging for Choirs

5–26 Oct 2021 / Online


Date: 5–26 Oct 2021

Cost: $60 for the full course, $20 per one class, $30 for download only

Details: 7.30-9.30pm sydney time (9.30-11.30am UK time)

Location: On Zoom



Run by: Stephen Taberner

Further information:

A 4-week zoom course with Stephen Taberner presented by the Massive Singlet.

Tuesdays 5, 12, 19 and 26 October, 7.30-9.30pm Sydney time; 9.30-11.30am UK time.

bookings at

This will be a 4 week series of 2 hour classes wherein I (Stephen) will try to dispense the maximum amount of wisdom that I can muster on the above subject. It will be kind of like a lecture, with a fair number of musical examples, but there will always be the opportunity to spring questions, and we’ll also sample the zoom room for your preferences and thoughts. I’ll also set some tasks for you. To come up with this material is a lovely challenge because I have so many thoughts on the subject and so many unwritten laws that I will now write.

The likely broad subject areas will include the voice ranges and how to use them, how to construct chords, how to choose which chords, how to construct cadences (chord sequences), how to make each part’s voice leading fortuitous, a range of standard go to formats for 3-5 part arranging and how to do them, some looks at why various arrangements are good or not, a bit of a taste of georgian songs and why they are so cool, some very definitive lists of ALWAYS and NEVER, some ruminations on the wider aesthetic and what we are really trying to do.

This is not designed for beginners- I’d expect you to have a more or less OK grasp of what a scale is, what a chord is, what major and minor is, basic intervals, and what I mean by home (the tonic). But I think it’d be fine if you weren’t great at reading music. The great majority of what we’re talking about will be understandable by ear. The examples will all be played (even if some can be shown as a score too).

The price for the course will include the chance to do an arranging task and have me give some feedback on it. You’ll need to be able to send this as a sound file, a written score is a plus but not essential. There’s no maximum number of people for this course, but you can be assured that my depth of research will be in direct proportion to how many people are coming! It’s highly recommended to do the whole course or at least most of it, but you can attend a single class, at your own risk!