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Welcome to the Spring 2009 edition of the Your Accompanist Newsletter

In this edition, we hear about the origins of one our best loved melodies; we take a look at the life of Dubai-based singing teacher Joseph Moras; we get inspiration from young musician Alex Stobbs; we offer a crumb of comfort for singing leaders working with teenage boys' voices; we have a look at a few more Singing C's in our A-Z of singing terms; and we make an important announcement for anyone who would like to give their singing a bit more exposure on the web.

And of course we bring you the latest additions to the catalogue: We've been busy recording as always, and hope that there's something of interest to everyone. With 180 new tracks at your disposal, our library has grown to more than 1200 titles!

Best wishes from

The Your Accompanist team

PS: If this is the first time you've received a newsletter from us, you might like to take a look at the Newsletter Archive. All our back issues available to view online. You can view them in the original format, or browse the articles by type.

New to the catalogue

Anon L'Amour S'envole
There Is A Tavern In The Town
Widdicombe Fair
Arensky Die Tage Reich An Licht
Bach J S Passion Chorale (O Sacred Head)
Barri Odoardo The Boys Of The Old Brigade
Bellini Almen Se Non Possio
Bella Nice Che D'Amore
Ma Rendi Pur Contento
Malinconia, Ninfa Gentile
Per Pietà
Berlioz Nuits D'Été - 01 - Villanelle (high)
Nuits D'Été - 01 - Villanelle (low)
Nuits D'Été - 02 - Le Spectre De La Rose (high)
Nuits D'Été - 02 - Le Spectre De La Rose (low)
Nuits D'Été - 03 - Sur Les Lagunes (high)
Nuits D'Été - 03 - Sur Les Lagunes (low)
Nuits D'Été - 04 - Absence (high)
Nuits D'Été - 04 - Absence (low)
Nuits D'Été - 05 - Au Cimitière (high)
Nuits D'Été - 05 - Au Cimitière (low)
Nuits D'Été - 06 - L'Île Inconnue (high)
Nuits D'Été - 06 - L'Île Inconnue (low)
Bizet Agnus Dei (High)
Agnus Dei (Mezzo)
Quand La Flamme D'Amour
Serenade (À La Voix D'un Amant Fidèle)
Boito Arrigo Son Lo Spirito Che Nega
Burns Song A Highland Lad My Love Was Born
Burns Collection
Ca' The Yowes
I'll Aye Ca' In By Yon Toun
Carey Sally In Our Alley
Clay Frederic I'll Sing Thee Songs Of Araby (high)
I'll Sing Thee Songs Of Araby (low)
I'll Sing Thee Songs Of Araby (mezzo)
Collins and Leigh Don't Dilly Dally On the Way (My Old Man)
Cui César Es Fällt Ein Stern Herunter
Liebst Du Um Schönheit
The Statue Of Czarskoe-Selo (mezzo)
Delibes Lakmé, Ton Doux Regard Se Voile
Faure Gabriel Ave Maria
La Lune Blanche Luit Dans Le Bois
Le Don Silencieux
Rencontre (slower)
Tantum Ergo
Cygne Sur L'Eau
Jardin Nocturne
Reflets Dans L'eau
German Edward  Rolling Down To Rio
Gounod Charles Le Veau D'or (The Golden Calf)
O Divine Redeemer (Repentir)
Gruber Stille Nacht (6 verses)
Halévy Fromental  Si La Rigeur
Handel Angels Ever Bright And Fair
Angels Ever Bright And Fair (with recit:O Worse Than Death)
If God Be For Us (High)
If God Be For Us (Low)
Lascia Ch'io Pianga (with recitative) (high)
O Lovely Peace [short version] (lower)
Pena Tiranna Io Sento Al Core
Piangerò La Sorte Mia
Tornami A Vaheggiar
Harker How Beautiful Upon The Mountains
Haydn Rolling In The Foaming Billows
Le Brunn George Oh, Mr Porter
Massenet Épouse Quelque Brave Fille
Meyerbeer Piff Paff (Pour les couvents..."Piff, paff")
Moore Thomas Go Where The Glory Waits Thee
Love Thee Dearest (high)
Love Thee Dearest (mezzo)
Love's Young Dream
Moore Song Collection
The Harp That Once Thro Tara's Halls
The Meeting Of The Waters
The Minstrel Boy
Mozart Ah Se Fosse
Deh, Vieni, Non Tardar
Rivolgete A Lui Lo Sguardo
Mozart (Josef Mysliveček) Ridente La Calma (low)
Offenbach Scintille Diamant
O'Leary Shamus (attrib.) Teddy O'Neale
Parry Sir C.H.H. Armida's Garden
Pergolesi Que Ne Suis-Je La Fougère
Stabat Mater 01-Duet:Stabat Mater Dolorosa
Stabat Mater 02 Aria:Cuius Animam Gementem
Stabat Mater 03 Duet:O Quam Tristis Et Afflicta
Stabat Mater 04 Aria:Quae Moerebat Et Dolebat
Stabat Mater 05 Duet:Quis Est Homo Qui Non Fleret
Stabat Mater 06 Aria:Videt Suum Dulcem Natum
Stabat Mater 07 Aria:Eia Mater Fons Amoris
Stabat Mater 08 Duet:Fac, Ut Ardeat Cor Meum
Stabat Mater 09 Duet:Sancta Mater, Istud Agas
Stabat Mater 10 Aria: Fac, Ut Portem Christi Mortem
Stabat Mater 11 Duet:Inflammatus Et Accensus
Stabat Mater 12 Duet:Quando Corpus Morietur
Puccini Vissi D'Arte
Purcell My Dearest, My Fairest
Sound The Trumpet
Strike The Viol
The Day That Such A Blessing Gave
We The Spirits Of The Air
What A Sad Fate
What Can We Poor Females Do
Purcell Henry(attrib.) Lilliburlero
Rossini La Pastorella Delle Alpi
Russell Henry A Life On The Ocean Wave
Sanderson Wilfred You Along O Me
Schubert An Die Musik (low)
An Die Musik (mezzo)
Der Alpenjäger (D.524)
Der Blumenbrief (D.622)
Die Allmacht (D.852) (high)
Die Allmacht (D.852) (low)
Erster Verlust (D.226) (high)
Erster Verlust (D.226) (low)
Frühlingsglaube (low)
Frühlingsglaube (mezzo)
Im Abendrot (D.799)
Im Frühling (D.882)
Rückweg (D.476)
Schumann Mondnacht (original key)
Das Käuzlein (Opus 79 No.11)
Das Knaben Berglied (Opus 79 No.9)
Der Sandmann (Opus 79 No.13)
Frühlingsbotschaft (Opus 79 No.3)
Sonntag (Opus 79 No.6)
Vom Schlaraffenland (Opus 79 No.5)
Zigeunerliedchen No 1 (Opus 79 No.7)
Zigeunerliedchen No 2 (Opus 79 No.8)
Tate J. W. A Bachelor Gay Am I
A Paradise For Two
Tchaikovsky Lensky's Aria
Prince Gremin's Aria (Lyubvi fse vozrastï pokornï)
Terry Sir R R Aquinas (Adoro Te Devoto - O Godhead Hid)
Thomas Ambroise O Vin, Dissipe La Tristesse
Traditional Alleluia-Easter Hymn (All Creatures Of Our God And King)
Little Bo-Peep
The Girl I Left Behind Me
Traditional Irish I Will Walk With My Love
Verdi Ah La Paterno Mano (Macduff's Aria)
Vivaldi Se Cerca, Se Dice (Aria Di Megacle)
Nulla In Mundo Pax Sincera
Vieni Vieni
Wagner Winterstürme Wichen Dem Wonnemond
Ware George The Boy I Love Is Up In The Gallery
Weber Nein, Länger Trag' Ich...Durch Die Wälder (complete)

New collections

Berlioz Nuits D'Été (High)
  Nuits D'Été (low)
Thomas Moore The Thomas Moore Collection

New hymns

Anon Dear St Joseph
Hail, Glorious St Patrick
Crookall John Old Hall Green (O Come And Mourn)
Gauntlett H J St Albinus (Jesus Lives!)
St Fulbert (Ye Choirs Of New Jerusalem)
Hemy Henri Tynemouth (St Catherine's Tune)
Lyra Davidica Easter Hymn (Jesus Christ Is Risen Today, Alleluia)
Easter Hymn (Jesus Christ Is Risen Today, Alleluia) (low)
Parry Sir C.H.H. Repton (Dear Lord And Father Of Mankind)
Richardson J Tichfield (Lord,From Whom All Blessings Flow)
Stanfield F Divine Mysteries (Sweet Sacrament Divine)
Sullivan Sir Arthur Lux Eoi
Traditional Sawston (Faith Of Our Fathers)
Vulpius Melchior Gelobt Sei Gott
Wesley J Savannah
Wesley S S Aurelia (The Church's One Foundation)
Wurtemburg Gesangbuch Ellacombe (The Day Of Resurrection)

Latest additions:



Inspirations: Alex Stobbs' Passion

Alex StobbsAlex Stobbs is an extrordinary young musician. His struggle with cystic fibrosis has not reduced his passion for music, nor for aspiring to the highest standards of performance. His story is truly inspirational.

Alex was the subject of Channel 4's memorable documentary, 'A Boy Called Alex' where we watched him as a schoolboy fulfil his long-held ambition to conduct Bach's Magnificat. Now a choral scholar at King's College, Cambridge, he's on track to pull off the double - a performance of The St Matthew Passion ('all three hours of it!' he says) - with the Rudolphus Choir and the Southbank Sinfonia on the 5th April 2009 in London's Cadogan Hall.

The concert will raise funds for other suffers of Cystic Fibrosis. Unsurprisingly, it's is sold out, but you can still show support by making a donation.

For this and other insights into the life and work of this remarkable young musician, please visit: The Alex Stobbs St Matthew Passion Project


Let's make beautiful music together

Find YourAccompanist on YouTubeWe love to see how people all over the world are singing along to our rehearsal tracks. While we cannot give permission for use of our tracks in commercial recording projects, if you'd like to make a recording and post it on YouTube, all we ask is that you make friends with us, and refer to the full web address of our website in the description of the video.

Then, drop us a line to let us know it's there, and we'll add you to the playlist. If you don't have a YouTube account, we'll upload it for you.

Whatever kind of singing you enjoy, alone or with others, you'll find your favourite public domain songs in our catalogue. We cover a wide range of singing styles: classical to traditional; lullabies to lieder; operetta to art song; nursery rhymes to shanties and sea songs; oratorio to music hall. We've got over 1300 titles to choose from. So, get rehearsing and recording, and get in touch!

Here are a few hints for getting great results from your video: Tips on making a YouTube Video


Revised terms and conditions

We've recently revised our terms & conditions to increase the flexibility you have in using our tracks for non-commercial use. This means that you can now perform or record yourself using Your Accompanist tracks for personal use, or charity and not-for-profit projects without having to ask our permission. We'd still love to hear about what you're doing with them, and we'd be happy to publicise your charitable work in our newsletter.


Let's swap links!

Do you have a singing-related website that you'd like to share with more people? Drop us a line and we'll include you on our links page. It could be your personal singing portfolio site, your voice studio, choir or an association of some kind. We don't mind where you are in the world, all we ask is that it's singing-related and you link to us.




Issue 8
April 2009

In this issue:
What's new to the catalogue?
History of song: What's in a name?
Let's make beautiful music together
Singer Profile: Joseph Moras
Singing with Kids: Breaking though
Inspirations - Alex Stobbs' 'Passion'
A to Z of singing terms: the final Cs...
Let's swap links!
Are you a blogger?
Revised terms and conditions
How are we doing?
About Your Accompanist

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History of Song: What's in a name?

Picture of a doveA 'habañera' is a slow melodic dance with words to be sung. Characteristically, it has two beats in the bar split into four quavers with first one dotted. The melody starts on the second beat in two equal quavers with a triplet on the first beat of the next bar. The form, originally from Cuba (hence the name) is now firmly fixed in the Spanish and Spanish American music traditions, but is thought to have originated in Africa. One of the best known habañeras - hugely popular in the Spanish speaking world when it was written and still loved throughout the wider world today - is 'La Paloma' (La Colombe)[1861] by Yradier. It's one of the world's most recorded songs.

Not too much seems to be known about the life of Yradier. Born into a Spanish Basque family in 1809, he died in 1865, blind and in relative obscurity. We know he spent some time in Cuba and as a result, gave the world this wonderful piece inspired by his time there. We know too that his publishers persuaded him to change his name from Sebastián de Iradier y Salaverri to Yradier, presumably in the hope that it would be easier for most people to remember. One of his many habañeras, 'Ay Chicita' (from his work 'El Arregilito') was regularly sung in a popular Parisian café in the 1860s by a colourful character called (Celeste Vénard La Mogador) thought to have been Bizet's inspiration for 'Carmen' (although, not Merrimée's). It's said that Bizet believed 'Ay Chicita' was a just folk song when he heard Venard sing it (c.1865) and so used the tune in his opera, 'Carmen'. Today, we know it as the opera's famous Habañera - 'L'amour est un oiseau rebelle'.

Perhaps it's wrong to accuse Bizet of plagiarism, but Bizet and Yradier were contemporaries and it's highly likely that he would have known of the Spaniard's work. Who could blame Bizet for just recognising this song as an absolute show-stopper and using it in his opera?

From the dates, Yradier might only have recently died when Bizet decided to include it. Maybe Yradier was aware of it - or even approved. Who knows? The irony is that Bizet did not live long enough either to see how successful the Carmen habañera would become. He died only three months after Carmen's first performance in 1875 without knowing that the opera would ever achieve success.

So the next time you hear the 'Habañera' from Carmen, please spare a thought for it's original composer  - 'Yradier', the Basque composer who also gave us the wonderful,

Find La Paloma Accompaniment MP3


Singer Profile: Joseph Moras

Josef MorasSince we began nearly two years ago, we've had the privilege of getting to know manyoutstanding singers and voice teachers from all over the world. One of the first to find us was Joseph Moras - a voice teacher from South-west India who now lives in Dubai. We asked him if he would share some of his expertise with us and tell us a little more about his musical life and work...

So, tell us a bit about how you got into singing?

My interest in singing began with my participation in my parish church choir when I was a boy of six. Singing was the greatest thing that I enjoyed during my childhood - both at home and in school. I sang in the church choir, then the school choir and by the time I was eight, I was being invited more and more to sing solo at services and parish events, although at that point, I'd had no formal training.

My father and mother both had very good, melodious voices and took great interest in singing. I can remember all of us - my parents, brothers and sisters - sitting together at home, singing hymns, folk songs and movie songs - but not every one on earth is so fortunate. Where singing had been second nature to us in our family, I began to discover that I had something which not so many people around me had – a singing voice. Singing is one of the most beautiful performing arts in the world and I'd suggest to those who are blessed in this way, that they should make it their first priority to develop their voices. 

What do you like to sing? 

I love singing lieder, art songs and classical songs. I often include sacred songs like Mozart's 'Ave Verum Corpus' and Schubert's 'Ave Maria' in my performances. I think the greatest song composer is Schubert. He is my all time favourite composer.

Read the full interview

Would you like to be our featured singer? Contact us for more information.


Singing with Kids: Breaking through

Boy singingWhen a boy's voice 'breaks' it can be very upsetting for him until it settles down again into his adult register. It usually happens between the ages of eleven and fifteen and can be sudden or gradual. Male vocal chords more than double in length, the voice box tilts to create the distinctive 'Adam's Apple' and facial bones grow leaving bigger resonating spaces within the face.

The result of all this is that the frequency of the vibrating vocal chords may go from 200 times per second to around 130 - slower and deeper.
Sometimes to avoid adding to the embarrassment of random squeaks or croaks, teachers just excuse their students from singing temporarily until it sorts itself out, but some authorities recommend that a boy doesn't sing at all for up to five years until his voice has completely settled down. Probably, most would opt for a compromise because there is a serious danger that if boys do stop singing at this critical time, they may give up completely.

Teenagers have enough to cope with without this extra worry, so reassurance has to be very important. As a parent, carer or teacher, try to prepare them for it so that it doesn't come as a surprise. Explain the physiology. Tell them that it happens to every young man and that it won't last for long. Not to worry if it hasn't happened yet - Aled Jones was sixteen when his voice broke - and if they're still anxious, encourage them to have a chat with their GP.

Keep them singing a little and experimenting so that they can look forward to the voices they're going to have. Choose your material carefully - maybe fall back on some sea shanties or something like Coleridge Taylor's Viking Song. If they were standing among the sopranos, let them move over only when they feel ready. Support from peers is very important so get everyone involved to accept it as normal and enjoy the outcome. Added bonus - maybe you'll get that extra tenor you were hoping for...


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If you're a blogger and like what we do, why not mention us to your audience? Let us know before you do and we'll give you a little discount code to publish as well!


A-Z of singing terms: the final C's

Chanson - specialised meaning of 'song' in French - a medieval part song earlier than the madrigals that were popular in the rest of N. Europe. Like a lighter canzonet and often accompanied by lute. Sub-types: C. de Geste - heroic manly deeds and adventures; C. de Toile - for or about women and often assoc. with weaving or spinning ('toile' = Fr. 'cloth').

Chant - in church music, the singing of psalms to harmonised and measured tunes often with modified rhythms to fit the words.

Chant-fable - 13th century French narrative or story punctuated with songs.

Chanty - an old way to spell 'Shanty'.

Chest Voice - part of the singer's range used for singing lower notes - the resonance giving a sensation of coming from the chest. The opposite of 'head voice'.

Choral - type of singing associated with more than one voice - i.e. choirs.

Choral(e) - A Lutheran Hymn - originally in German it meant the choral parts of a Latin chant but with the Reformation came to mean a single unharmonised (monophonic) melodic line sung by a congregation. Many were adaptations of plainsong. In English, an 'e' is tagged on to avoid confusion with 'choral'.

Claque - the early 19th century opera equivalent of supporters' clubs or cheerleader team who would turn up at performances to cheer or boo. They originated in France (with a complex array of functionaries, like 'criers', 'laughers' and 'bisseurs' who shouted for encores) but rapidly spread to Italian opera houses. Often they were hired by promoters to applaud but also included fawning admirers of performers. Their leaders ('commissaires') regularly extorted money from singers too so that the claque would not boo them off the stage. Toscanini helped stop the practice as audiences developed a more decorous 'concert etiquette'.


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About Your Accompanist

We make real piano rehearsal tracks for singers.

All tracks are recorded by a real pianist on a real piano in a single take. You download them directly to your PC in MP3 format. They can then be transferred directly to any portable MP3 player (such as an iPod or, Sony MP3 walkman, Archos box or iRiver), or burned to CD.

They are ideal for soloists, ensembles, choirs and classrooms, for those who sing professionally, recreationally or secretly.

The quality of the musicianship and sensitivity of the performances means that the accompaniments make great listening, even for those who don't sing along.

Our catalogue covers a large part of the standard repertoire and is growing all the time. We bring you a wide variety of genres and composers, and aim to cater for all vocal ranges and levels of proficiency. Each track can be sampled on the site so you can be sure you've got the piece you want.

We believe very strongly in the importance of music in education, and have a great deal of experience in the field. We hope to support music teachers, promote singing in the classroom and provide an effective low cost solution for singing teaching situations where good quality live accompaniment is not readily available.

All of our tracks are available for instant download, so if we've already got the piece you want, there's no need to wait for a CD via post. If you'd like something we don't already have, or you need it in a different key, let us know. If it's in the public domain and we can get hold of the music, we could have it online for you quite quickly.

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