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Free Resources for Organists

Jump to: FREE MUSIC DOWNLOADS - Small Choirs Festivals - SUBMIT MUSIC - Easy SATB - Get Updates - Pitching - Following the Notes - CONTACT

Introduction and Explanation

This site is primarily intended for Small Church Choirs. That is, choirs which have few or no men.

Its main function is to make music for such choirs easily and cheaply available (see the link "Free Music Downloads"). By following this link, you can find music which may be downloaded and copied. Some of the pieces are flexible in that they are effective whether sung by a unison choir or in 2, 3, or 4 parts, and also that other texts can easily be substituted for the given one.

However, not all small choirs are elementary choirs; there are some which have very efficient members, but just not enough to make up a full four parts. There are, therefore, some pieces available which require a little more skill.

The secondary function is to promote Small Choirs Festivals (see the link "Small Choirs Festivals") - occasions when singers from small choirs (and anyone else who supports the aims of such festivals) come together, learn some of the latest repertoire, and possibly sing them at a service of thanksgiving.
The idea for a special resource for Small Choirs arose after Glynne Williams, who was at the time organist of St. Paul's, Goodmayes, wrote a letter to Church Music Quarterly - the magazine of the Royal School of Church Music. In her letter, Glynne lamented the sad state of choral singing in many churches. She also expressed frustration about the problem of trying to motivate the members of her own small choir. Her frustration was understood by Chris Stevenson (St. Francis', Barkingside) and Philip Norman (St. John's, Leytonstone) who worked with similar choirs. As all three sang in the same secular choir, they decided to arrange a special event for their church choirs - which quickly grew in size as more churches and singers became interested.

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Free Music Downloads

Follow this LINK to access the list of available pieces.

The pieces available have all been arranged or composed for small choirs. All are available as PDFs (which means that most computers will display and print them) and some as MIDIs (which give a rough idea of how the piece sounds).

Some of the pieces are new compositions, whilst others are arrangments of existing pieces.

The vocal requirements range from simple unison anthems, through to works for SSS-AAA-men. There are many pieces for SA-Men, and a large number of pieces with flexible requirements, so parts may be added or omitted according to availability.

The composers, arrangers and editors of these pieces come from the UK, USA, across Europe and Australia.

All the music is out of copyright, or the composers, editors or arrangers have given permission for their pieces to be used, so they may be freely downloaded and copied as required. It is hoped that the list of pieces available will grow, so if anyone has a suitable work and would like it to be included, please visit the "Submit Music" menu link.

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Small Choirs Festivals

A number of festivals have been organised at which new repertoire has been sung, after an afternoon's rehearsal, in the context of a service of thanksgiving for church choirs and their work. There are many possible formats.

The main function of these festivals has been to bring together members of small choirs who may otherwise feel somewhat isolated (but, as mentioned above, anyone from any choir which supports the aims of the festival is welcome to take part).

Also, as such festivals are based upon Small Choirs repertoire, participating choirs can manage all or most of the pieces in their own churches.

Originally, Small Choirs Festivals were organised by Glynne Williams, Chris Stevenson (+2010) and Philip Norman with the co-operation of other organists. For a while, Philip Luke of Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church was also involved. The most recent festivals were held in All Saints, Margaret Street, LONDON W1. Anyone who wants to can organise a festval in any format that they wish. There is no copyright on the concept.

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Submit Music

There are many organists and choir trainers who are busy writing music for their own small choir. This site provides the opportunity to make such pieces available for other choirs. If anyone can submit a score as a PDF, it will be included on the site. There are a couple of provisos to this:
  • The piece(s) must be copyright free, or the copyright holder has given permission for them to be used.
  • No one gets paid for having their music available - this site is run on a £0.00 budget and all the music is available for free download.
As for PDF, or Portable Document Format, this is a file type which is universally recognised and provides high quality, printable images. The easiest way to send a score as a PDF is as an attachment to pkn@pnms.co.uk . If you do this, please make sure that details of the composer and/or arranger are clear on the score or in your message, and for which liturgical season the piece is most suitable for.

Also, if you would like information about yourself as a composer/arranger included on the site, and possibly a link to other pages, please include that information.

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Easy Pieces for SATB

This site is, as mentioned, intended for choirs with few or no men. However, occasionally small choirs have enough men to sing in four parts and, occasionally, a simple SATB piece is submitted to the site. So these pieces can be accessed via this LINK.

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Pitching Exercises for New Singers

Occasionally, new singers volunteer who are inexperienced in singing in tune or matching pitch (singing the same notes as everybody else). This LINK leads to exercises which will help to improve this.

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Following the Notes

Some singers find it difficult to keep their place in printed music, especially if there are many staves to system or line, and repeats and Da Capos and the like. This LINK leads to a basic description of how printed music works. The document won't teach you to sight-read, but it will give you the basic knowledge for following a score and explains many of the most common terms and concepts. There's a lot packed into just 12 A4 pages, so it takes careful reading and contemplation to gain the full benefit.

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Get Updates about New Pieces

As new free pieces are being uploaded on a regular basis, it will become increasingly difficult to find these new works. If you fill in the form below, you will receive a monthly list of new pieces by email. A privacy statement, as applied by Philip Norman Music Services, is available via this LINK.

Name:

Choir:

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Contact

pkn@pnms.co.uk

07939 064 247



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