Today I’m thinking about how I use voices to create arrangements and how I liken the blending of sounds to cake.
This one appeals to nearly everyone. We know what a cake looks like (and tastes like) and we know how a successful cake should be.
So, if we use the analogy of a sponge cake with icing and one filling, the main tune (my yellows at choir) are the sponge. Lots of it and it’s light and fluffy but important. We can have a cake without filling or icing but we cannot have icing and filling and no cake right?
So the filling is the green harmony (lower altos for my choirs). The provide something extra, a little bit of classy texture and flavour to an arrangement. The icing is the red soprano part. The top (high) voices.
Now, in terms of balance, a cake with the same amount of sponge as icing would be horrid. Too much icing and you’d feel sick. It’s the same if you have too may sopranos to be honest. You just need a light dusting of them and the balance is marvellous. Likewise with the filling – OK we can have a little more of this but not as much as sponge. Making sense?
And finally we come to the blues, my tenors, the lowest part of my choirs. These people (as many are ladies in my choirs) are the cake board, the silver thing the cake is presented on. Solid, dependable and really very necessary to keep everything in one place and supported.
There are, of course, the odd occasions where a cherry is on top of the whole cake – we call this pink (very high soprano) and you really really don’t need more that one or two of those!
And so, when the cake is fully balanced it tastes delicious. When they choir is balanced similarly, it sounds amazing. Not too much on the harmonies, the tune singing through and held together by the depth of the tenors.
Right, I’m off to find some proper cake now – it’s making me hungry…..