2-3 part music for grown-ups
This is a compilation of responses for a message I sent requesting 2-3
voice literature for college level students. My original post is first
and then the responses. Thanks to all who responded.
We have a new choral group at Augustana College for students
who have had little or no prior experience in singing. We are looking
for two and three-part sacred or secular selections that are appropriate
for this age level (much of the two and three-part octavos are geared
toward younger singers especially in text content). We are looking for
pieces that have been used and are successful. Your help is greatly
A couple of my favorite 2-part pieces that I use occasionally with my
Lord of All Most Holy--Hal Hopson--Flammer, EA-5002
Sing Ye Joyfull--Don Besig--GlorySound, EA-5033
I recommend you look at Thurston Dart's "Invitation to the Madrigal
V.I (SAB). The pieces are of varying levels of difficulty but I have
done some of them with a relatively weak high school group. They are
not arrangements. If you have a small instrumental ensemble available
(two trble instruments/cont.), I also recommend some of the Buxtehude
cantatas. They are relatively simple, charming and an excellent
introduction to singing "classical" music. Good luck!
Thomas House Publications has a number of things that may fit your
Among them are:
Secular 3 part
Of all the Birds - Mundy (1C0288511)
Cease, Sorrows Now - Weelkes (1C0288510)
Secular 2 part
Two From America - Sanders (1C0149009)
Sacred 3 part
Three Spanish Romanzas - Anonymous
Templa bras, ese pslaterio (1C0288501)
Soberana Maria (1C0288502)
Angeles del cielo (1C0288503)
Remember Me - Penney (1C0538904)
We have some things which may be of interest.
1) We have several editions of early music for 3-part choir.
2) We will shortly be publishing a wonderful set of three
pieces for SAB choir by a composer named Edwin Childs.
Although they are composed on a technical level for a
junior high choir, musically they are pieces that any
choir will enjoy.
If you would like to see copies of any of this, just drop
me a complete email address and we'll send them to you
(although it might be a few weeks for the Childs piece,
as it is currently "on the press".
Mark Foster Music Company
P.O.Box 4012 Champaign IL 61824-4012
There is a beatiful piece by K. Lee Scott based upon an English folk
that is available for SAB and organ (but pno works well, also). Flute
oboe are optional. Lovely text by Jaroslav Vajda is...
The Anthem: "A Vineyard Grows"
K. Lee Scott
Amid the world's bleak wilderness a vineyard grows with promise green,
The planting of the Lord himself.
His love selected this terrain, His vine with love he planted here
To bear the choicest fruit for him.
We are his branches, chosen dear, and though we feel the dresser's
We are the objects of his care.
>From him we draw the juice of life, for him supply his winery
With fruit from which true joys derive.
Vine, keep what I was meant to be:
Your branch, with your rich life in me.
(Text by Jaroslav J. Vajda. ) c.1978 Lutheran Book of Worship)
Published by Morning Star Music Publishers.
Also "Think On Me" (text and tune by Mary, Queen of Scots, arr. by James
Mulholland for SA and pno. Gorgeous! Colla Voce 20-96900.
Minister of Music
Myers Park Baptist Church
I have just written a new composition entitled "Kyrie eleison" for two
part women and piano. I wrote it for my two daughters, age 10 and 12
and performed it in its first form with the children's choir at church.
I have since expanded it slightly for more mature women's voices. The
parts learn quickly, although you will need a fine pianist.
Pavane Music has just published it, and will be in print by February.
The women of my choir will perform it at the CMEA convention in March,
1999 in Upland, CA. If you are intersted in it, I will send you a copy.
If you decide to perform it, please buy copies when it is released in
Bakersfield College, CA
My wife is Linda Spevacek. I showed her you question and she marked the
pieces that she felt were most appropriate. I underlined them on the
attached brochure. Please feel free to contact us if you need any
additional suggestions. We have complimentary single copies of most
that the publishers have sent us. Let us know what looks interesting
we have them we will drop them in the mail.
(since the attachment is not included, the e-mail address is
I would urge you to go ahead and do SATB music so that no one will have
sing out of their range. One piece I am starting with my H.S. Choir at
that might work is *How Can I Keep From Singing?* arr. Gwyneth Walker.
lively and accessible, but not as difficult as it sounds. You do need a
accompanist, however. There are also madrigals, etc. I would look at
Church of the Saviour
I have a SAB setting of a Fred Pratt Green text called "Easter Carol."
a dynamite text and I have had great success with the piece with my
It is published by Augsburg Fortress.
Good luck. I would be interested in looking at a compilation.
I remember a very nice SAB work by Hugo Distler, I Know a Lovely Rose (I
think), by EAM. DR
I have quite a few titles to list and, for want of a better way, will do
by publisher, I hope this helps. It may be more information than you
bargained for!. I was on the headquarters staff of MENC (Music Educators
National Conference for 30 years, in charge of all national and regional
conventions. Since my retirement in 1986 I have enjoyed continued
as the musical director and conductor of a 100-voice choir here in the
metropolitan area of Washington, DC. We present 15-18 concerts a season.
also have a 30-voice church choir, and all of the following are in the
libraries of the two choirs, so all of them I have used, some of them
God Moves in a Mysterious Way (SAB) Raymond H. Haan 11-1924
That Easter Day with Joy Was Bright (Two part) arr. Dale Wood
Love Came Down At Christmas (SAB) arr. Carol Preus 11-1432
Lullaby (SAB) [Christmas] John Ness Beck BP1057
Let All Mortal Flesh (SAB) Katherine K. Davis 64176
My Shepherd Will Supply My Need (SAB) Virgil Thompson 2571
C.C.BIRCHARD You will need to check to see who handles Birchard.
Our God Is a Rock (SAB) Katherine K. Davis 1581
Peace, Peace (3 voices) Rick & Sylvia Powell B-G4013
A setting which combines with Silent Night on last
Praise the Lord, Alleluia (SAB) Wm.Boyce/arr. Douglas Wagner
ELKAN-VOGEL Don't know who distributes Elkan-Vogel
My Soul Will Exult (SAB) Jean Pasquet 1214
Be Glad, You Righteous (SAB) Robert J. Powell CM8139
Let Our Songs Fill the Skies (Two-part) Theron Kirk CM8135
God of Love and God of Peace (SAB) Mozart/arr.Hopson MF 2065
Thanks Be to God (Two-part) Hammerschmidt/arr.Hopson
The Jesus Gift (SAB) Gilbert M. Martin HMC-479
Carols Around (And a Round) (SAB) arr. Carl J. Nyard,Jr.
Who At My Door Is Standing? (Two-part) K. Lee Scott HMC-728
A Reflection of Christ (SAB) David Schwoebel HMC-812
Cover Him, Joseph (SAB) Gilbert M. Martin HMC-884
Behold the Shepherd (SAB) Natalie Sleeth HMC-901
Art Thou Troubled? (Unison w/keyboard or strings)
Sweet Was the Song the Virgin Sang (Unison) Eleanor
God of Love (SATB, but largely 2-part) Mark Wilson 409-07014
The Lord Is a Mighty God (SATB, but actually 2-part)
O Lord Most Holy (SAB) Cesar Franck/arr.Rob Roy Peery
Praise the Lord, His Glories Show (SAB) Robert
Hymn Tune: Llanfair
SACRED DESIGN (Schmitt, Hall and McCreary)
Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation (SAB) Dale Wood SD 6208
Mighty Lord, Thy Faithfulness Abideth Ever (SAB) Antonio Lotti
SCHMITT MUSIC CENTER, INC. (Schmitt, Hall and McCreary)
What You Gonna Call Your Pretty Little Baby? (SAB) arr. Erhet
SHAWNEE PRESS (Flammer)
Sing This Holy Day (Two-part Mixed) arr. Hal Hopson GE-5027
(A collection of ten anthems--1 Bach, 5 Handel, 1 Pachelbel, 1
Nettleton, 2 Hopson)
Be with Us, Lord (SAB) Bach D-5304
Come, Holy Spirit, Come (SAB) arr. Robert Preston D-5217
Crown Him King of Kings (SAB) Bach/arr.Hopson D-5297
The Festal Day Is Here (Two-part) 17th Cent. Dutch
The Gifts of the Children (Unison or 2-part) arr. Michael
Hymn Tune: Nyland
Great God of Nations (SAB) Johann Frank/arr.Ehret D-5220
Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother (Two-part) Joseph M.Martin
Let Heanvenly Music Fill This Place (SAB) Gordon Young D-5265
My Savior Died for Me (Two-part) Patrick Liebergen EA-5125
Now Thank We All Our God (SAB) Bach/arr.Paul Hamill D-5032
(Chorale from Cantata 79)
O My Soul, Bless God the Father (SAB) Amer.Folk/arr.Ehret
from The Sacred Harp
O Praise the Lord with Heart and Voice (SAB) Joseph
Praise the Lord (SAB) Handel/arr.Hopson D-5225 (from "Judas
Rejoice Ye Pure in Heart [Vineyard Haven] (SAB) Richard
Sing a New Song (SAB) Michael Haydn/arr.Hopson D-5306
Sing Praise to God (SAB) Handel/arr.Hopson D-5367
Go See, the King Is Born! (Two-part/flute) Roger
Jacobson/ed.Walter Rodby AD-2011
THOMAS MUSIC PUBLISHERS Not sure who distributes.
Come, Follow Christ (Unison) K.L.Hicken C1-752
HAL LEONARD The first three are available in SAB, but I have only
Edelweiss from "Sound of Music" Richard Rodgers/arr. Linda
Memory from "Cats" Andrew Lloyd Webber/arr.Ed Lojeski
(Bass, Guitar & Percussion parts available.)
What a Wonderful World from "Good Morning Viernam" Weiss
08639541 (Instrumental Pak and cassette available)
The Snow's Gotta Go! (Two-part) Mac Huff 08730036
(with Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!)
I find myself in much the same position. I have found a goodly amount
ssacred works for use by small church choirs, that our college kids can
handle. Finding secular pieces, though, has been tough.
Most recently I found a setting of poetry by Paul Lawrence Dunbar, "The
River Sleeps Beneath the Sky," for SAB set by Lightfoot, published by
Lorenz, that has been well-received by our singers.
Quality literature has been hard to find though. Please let me know
else gets suggested to you. If you wish I can send more about our
Thanks very much.
Duncan Memorial United Methodist Church
I've been in a similar situation and have
Gibbons: Veni Creator (Broude) -- Gibbons wrote it as 2 part. Option
additional parts are edited in. In English.
Bonia Shur: Kol Haneshama (Transcontinental) in Hebrew. Almost all of
piece is unison. There is some multi-part stuff at the end but you can
re-edit/re-arrange to avoid it.
Don't forget rounds (When Jesus Wept, etc.) or if the problem is
could go with any of that Billings or Sacred Harp stuff where the
are ment to be doubled anyway.
VanderCook College of Music, Chicago
I'm going to send you a piece of mine called Sahaytah. It is for
voicings. Works with SSA TTB, or SAB, or SSATBB. Is for choir, guitar
piano (much better with guitar, just folk-style strumming), and whatever
percussion is available, and soloist, with audience participation. It
call and response song in echo, and the text is different words in
exotic languages meaning, peace, joy, helpfulness, unity, love, etc.
learned in one rehearsal and is quite fun. The Waldorf Choir toured it
always enjoyed doing it. Those without percussion are encouraged to
has a world-beat or afro-caribbean feel.
Hope all is well there.
What is the age group of your new choral group? I am the choral
director of the choir of The Women's College, University of Queensland,
and I guess my girls are seventeen and above.
I've also written them a few pieces, as most of them have had little or
no exposure to singing in choirs (or indeed to singing in general), and
a lot of pieces seemed out of their range, or just plain unsuitable.
'An Alleluia' is mostly two part, and was extremely successful at its
premiere. It's in 7/8 and the altos have a very catchy ostinato
throughout. 'Mayem' is simplish three-part (though mainly just for a
few notes, and in a canon situation), and is a song of welcome. This
worked well also, although there are lots of time signature changes that
perhaps take a little getting used to. 'Endless Journey' is strictly
two-part, involves whispering, is very atmospheric, challenging without
being what I would term very difficult, and was also extremely well
received. Most of the pieces have been used with both my college choir
and secondary school choirs - all made up of keen, though mainly
untrained and unexperienced singers.
Choral Director - The Women's College, University of Queensland
Editor - Morton Music
123 Akonna Street,
QLD AUSTRALIA 4178
Buxtehude _In dulci jubilo_, and _Jesu meine Freude_. Do
you know _Rejoice in the Lord Alway_?
Also, there are those collections entitled Invitation to the
Madrigal that include a volume or two for three voices.
Joan Catoni Conlon
Jon Hurty, D.M.A.
Director of Choral Activities
639-38th Street, Rock Island, Illinois 61201
At long last, here is the the compilation of responses (slightly
edited). There were many requests for the list; a few suggestions were
duplicates and one or two made suggestions that were addressed in my
original post. Thanks for all of your help.
Original Post -
I conduct a college/community chorus at a small branch campus, where we
are regularly asked to provide music for various luncheons, meetings or
other programs, in addition to our concerts. Since these are often
daytime events, the community members of my chorus cannot usually sing,
due to work conflicts. My group is about 2/3rds community members and
1/3rd enrolled students, so I can't usually do things from our regular
repertoire. Generally, I will have a small mixed group present at these
kinds of events, not always balanced.
I would be interested in any two-part mixed music that you are aware of
or have done successfully. I've just about worn out J. Chris Moore's
beautiful arrangement of "I Know Where I'm Going" published by
Beckenhorst and we've also used the Persichetti choruses on e. e.
cummings, like "sam was a man." CPDL and Choralnet have a few titles
listed but I'm always in need of others. I'll gladly post a compilation
if there is interest.
Wright State University - Lake Campus
Celina OH 45822
One composer who has done beautiful two part works, often with children
in mind- however much of her music would be meaningful to all ages, is
Natalie Sleeth. In fact, if you contact some of the better choral
directors of children's music you will likely find other works that are
adaptable while you weed out others
As a retired chorister, I don't have an extensive knowledge of repertoire --
I always just sang what was given to me! But what about some rounds? Or
some of the better music for children's voices might work very well for you.
In particular, there's a Schoenberg round (interesting and challenging but
not "bad" Schoenberg) I don't know the name of that was used as a signature
piece of a local children's group, and the audiences always loved it. The
group is sure to have lots of ideas.
Don't forget to browse our online catalog (here's a direct link to the
secular section of 2-part chorals):
We (as Elkan-Vogel) have been known to publish a Persichetti or two,
ourselves, but you'll find quite the esoteric mix here.
theodore presser co
There is SIMPLE GIFTS of Copland, transcribed for two-part men and/or women by
Irving Fine. I think it's Boosey. Works nicely as ST/AB division, I think.
I would be eager to see a compilation. Good luck.
I am told, by people who have used it, that my arrangement entitled "Oh
Susanna Stomp," published by Music 70, is very effective. It certainly
has been every time I've used it. 2 pt mixed with piano, it is a setting
of Oh Susanna in 7/8...
I'd recommend Lajos Bardos' "Erik a som." It's in both Hungarian and
English, although I'd recommend the Hungarian. I can't remember who
it's published by off hand, but you can get it from JW Pepper. It is a
great, spirited folk song arranged for SB with a recurrent passage that
is scored SAB. It's a great program closer.
Check quality repertoire for the middle school. There are many 2 and 3 part
arrangements that are not "children's music" and are rewarding and
Check out quality children's series from editors like Doreen Rao or Jean
Definitely look at "All Things Work Together for Good" by John Carter.
Its one of the nicest two-part mixed numbers I have ever run across. I
have also enjoyed "The Twenty-Third Psalm" by Jay Althouse, which is
two-part treble, but works for mixed voices.
Brigham City, Utah
Our GLORIA and WHEN LOVE IS KIND would work nicely. Take a look at
http://consortpress.com Let us know if you'd like perusal copies.
I did a wonderful arrangement of "Over the Sea to
Skye" (arr. Jothen, and I don't have the publication
info on me, but I'm pretty sure it's a Colorado
company) with my women's choir, actually, having my
altos sing the octave above. It's quite simple, with
some ostinato creating a beautiful tension with brief
clashes of 2nds.
May I suggest that you look at my work, "The Duel," based on Eugene Field's
poem about the gingham dog and the calico cat. It's a musical romp through
original material and classical quotes, just right for a small group
setting. As the dog and cat battle it out, you'll get a quick ride with "The
Erlkonig," a jolt of "The Rite of Spring," and a dash of "Tocatta and Fugue
in D Minor." There's also a few lines of waay cool jazz before it's over.
It's great fun. Hope you will enjoy it.
The Duel - Thomas Jordan
E 0407 Shawnee Press
I have an arrangement of "Now is the Month of Maying" that my school's
faculty did successfully, scored for Men and Women and piano. I'll be
posting it on www.sibeliusmusic.com in the near future. I'll make it
free, so look for it before the end of the week.
Joseph Martin has composed a couple of songe in this vein--try "Songs of the Wayfarer" and "The Journey", both published by Shawnee press. Also, Hal Hopson has a great knack for taking classical pieces and rescoring them for that voicing. I love "With songs of Rejoicing" by Bach, but arranged by Hopson.
I too like the arrangement of I know where I'm going and used it for a very
weak middle school group. I don't have any other S/B but each year I choose
a lovely unison number to start the year. Bri-lee music usually has a couple
each year that are solid. or a three part any combination- Audrey Snyder
does that well. or a good two part number like Allan Naplan's Al'shlo Sha
(Not sure on the spelling but a great tune) or Vjay Singh's Medieval Gloria
meant for T/B? Canons not always easy there are some great extended ones
G. Schirmer used to publish a set of Duets of the Masters that was for
Soprano and the other voices
Mezzo and the other voices
Tenor Bari Bass Etc They tended to be operatic duets. I used them
for years with my high school choir. The kids loved all of them.
Some examples: Come To My Castle Now Love from Don Giovanni
Barcarolle from Tales of hoffman
Papagena, Papageno from Magic flute (Many Many more)
I was able to get Archive Copies printed, I then received permission to make
multiple copies for the group. Your folks would love them, the keys are