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California dreamin’

31 January, 2011

EDIT: hello, people from The Internet looking for sheet music! The arranger of this version of California Dreamin’ is Faith Watson, and she can be contacted here.


I went Home for my mum’s birthday*, and my parents and I went to the Big Sing.

It goes like this: 60-ish people turn up and choose a corner of the hall (soprano, alto, tenor or bass, more according to the part they feel like singing than anything technical) and Hilary and Alice teach a part to each corner.

They might start with the sopranos, teaching the first few lines through repetition and invisible diagrams waved in the air. They teach the alto part: we sit up and concentrate and try not to lose our part to the soprano’s tune. There’s the first glimpse of how the harmony is going to fit.

Alto and soprano parts by eirebecky

Then they teach the tenor part; the sopranos and altos are singing their part under their breath as we realise how it fits with the tenor, and now there are three parts at the edge of hearing. Finally the bass powers in (seriously, why don’t more men sing? It sounds awesome).

Tenor and bass parts by eirebecky

The whole thing takes just a few minutes and we’re ready to go. Alice and Hilary check the start notes; the chord hangs in the air as 60 people catch them and hold on.

There’s a pause.

There’s a count.

There’s four-part harmony:

California Dreamin’ by eirebecky


* #happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you…#

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3 comments

  1. Wonderful! And created without the use of a single sheet of music – no crotchets or quavers were harmed in this production!


  2. Fantastic – you’re right, men should sing more – four part harmonies rock! \m/


  3. It was a fabulous afternoon – Alice and Hilary worked wonders and the harmonies were tingling. The arranger of California Dreaming was Faith Watson and she also does community choir workshops.
    Yes – more men needed Why are you so shy?



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