Pick Six By:
Repertoire and Resources Chair for Ethnic Music
St. Paul Como Park High School
Cara de Pingo
Rafael Trinidad, arranged Diana Syrse
VocalEssence Music Press, distributed by Graphite Press
SAB, piano, marimba, two guitars
This is a common folk song in the Michoacán tradition and there are ample opportunities on YouTube to see and hear some traditional performances of the piece. The 6/8 meter alternates between the flow of a doted-quarter receiving the beat and the feeling of 3/4 time. The baritone part is for changed voice but is doubled by the alto. It’s a great piece to get some older beginners singing. It also could be sung by only Sopranos and Altos. If you don’t have two guitars and marimba, never fear. This can be performed with piano only.
Lamma Badaa Yatathanna
Traditional Andalusian/Arabic Song
Arranged by Joy Ondra Hirokawa
Hal Leonard 08754586
2-Part, piano, violin, cello, dumbek
This is a beautiful melody in 10/4 meter divided 3+2+2+3. The swaying sound is hypnotic and the poetry secular. The Performance Notes included by the arranger are very helpful in the preparation of the piece.
Concepts for teaching include asymmetrical meter, slurred articulations, slides, mordents, minor mode and ornamentation to name a few. This piece is rich with opportunity to travel deeply into the Iberian Peninsula and Moorish Spain.
Folk tunes from Northeast Brazil
Arranged by C. A. Pinto Fonseca
SATB, a cappella
Wonderfully rhythmic with lots of learnable patterns, Muié Rendêra offers an intermediate mixed choir to sound advanced. Or, an advanced choir can learn this piece fairly quickly to fill out a performance. Your singers will enjoy finding the “groove” easily in this well constructed piece.
Arranged by Nick Page
Boosey & Hawkes/Hal Leonard
SAAB or SSAA, piano 4 hands with optional clarinet and tambourine
Another asymmetrical meter piece. This lists 9/8 but it is divided 2+2+2+3. The piano accompaniment guides this energetic piece on its rhythmic way. The opportunity play with tone color exists here as language and style have a bright, forward placement. There is information about the piece and it’s origins contained in the octavo.
Arranged by Michael Barrett
Santa Barbara Music Publishing
SATB, 2 tenor solos, a cappella
This is a fun to sing, easy to learn arrangement. The pairing of songs is unusual – one a “hello” and the other advice to get ready for war, but it is still remarkably satisfying. The voice leading works well, the language is easy to pronounce. Use the choreography from the video or create your own, your singers and audience alike will enjoy the experience.
Malaysian folk song in Dikir Barat style
Arranged by Tracy Wong
Cypress Choral Music
SA a cappella – CP 1537
And SAB is also available upon request
This is a song about a traditional Malaysian kite shaped like a half moon. Simple to learn, the song becomes more challenging with the addition of the choreography.