Songs and voice parts
I’m a chorus singer, and just started singing in my first quartet, and I’m really enjoying it. Can I come to the Brigade?
It’s really cool that you’re getting into quartetting! If you’re only just starting, though, the Harmony Brigade may not be the place for you. As a general rule, Harmony Brigades are targeted at singers with a pretty decent amount of quartetting experience. This is because when you get thrown together with three other people you’ve never sung with, it is much harder to get the song going and ring all the chords than if you’re in a chorus or even a quartet with people you’re familiar with. A Harmony Brigade is fun for everyone if everyone knows what they’re doing in a quartet. For beginning quartetters, there are better opportunities to take your first steps; and then we’ll welcome you to the EHB in a couple of years!
I heard the EHB is a mixed brigade. Will we be singing male or female arrangements?
We are following the tried-and-true model of most existing Harmony Brigades and use. This has the extra benefit that we can reuse arrangements from earlier Brigades, which reduces the organizational workload considerably. We have taken extra care to select arrangements in which the tenor, lead and bari parts can be sung by ladies. For future installments of the EHB, we will also consider other models of mixed singing.
I’m not sure I can sing lead on a male arrangement. What are the ranges of the songs?
Here are the typical ranges of the EHB songs, in scientific notation:
- Tenor: A3 to D5
- Lead: D3 to A4
- Baritone: C3 to G4
- Bass: F2 to C4
“Typical range” means that there are occasional notes that are slightly outside of these ranges. These notes are usually sung in unison with other parts, or are single outliers. If you are still unsure about what parts you could sing, feel free to get in touch with the organizers.
Do note that the range alone does not give you the full picture of how comfortable the song is to sing for you. For instance, the baritone parts may spend more time at the lower end of the range than the lead parts, although the ranges are similar. Female baritones might consider switching to tenor for this Brigade.
I am a female bass, how can I participate?
If you are a female bass, you will need to chose another part to sing. We suggest you look at the lead or bari parts of the songs.
What technical equipment do I need to participate?
You will need at least:
- ethernet cable connection to your computer
- stable internet connection
- microphone and wired headphones (no bluetooth) or a supported headset
- webcam for Zoom/Jitsi (can also be a separate device like tablet or phone)
You keep going on and on about preparedness. Is it really such a big deal if I don’t know a couple of notes?
Yes, it’s a really big deal. Coming unprepared is not an option. The core point of a Harmony Brigade is that you can grab any three other people and sing a song with them, and that singing with them will be fun. If you have to think about your notes and words when you’re practicing with a TimTrack, your confusion will be much worse when you’re singing with three other living people. These three people will have worked hard to have all their words, music, and interpretation down 100%. So please do your part to make sure they have fun singing with you.
What if I am not sure I can learn all the songs?
You will have about two months to learn the 6 songs, some of which you may already know. If you can get a few other people together, you can practice them at a run-through before coming to the Brigade. You may also contact the organizational team, or your local ambassador for advice. Please only apply if you are confident that you can come fully prepared.
Will there be teach tracks?
Yes! There will be high-quality teach tracks (e.g. by Tim Waurick) for each song.
Applications and payment
I read that I can’t just sign up, but have to apply. What does that mean?
There are a number of reasons why the organizing team has to make a selection from the people who apply to participate in the Brigade. One is that we want to ensure that everyone who comes is a reasonably experienced quartetter, for reasons explained above. A second reason is that we need equal numbers of tenors, leads, baris, and basses at the event (you want to spend your time singing, not hunting for leads). The organizing team will review all applications and will let you know whether you can participate as soon as possible.
I think some of the decisions you’ve made in organizing EHB 2019 are wrong, and I have suggestions for making EHB 2021 even better.
Absolutely, chances are that some things could be done better than we’re doing them now. We are going to schedule some time at the rally where we welcome comments and suggestions from participants. You’ll have noticed that the EHB work is done by a very small number of organizers. If you volunteer to take over some tasks for EHB, we will be more than happy to go for a more labor-intensive solution.