You Get What You're Given: The agency of Choral Blend according to trained ensemble singers.

Research output: Contributions to conferencesPaperpeer-review



There are many different facets of ensemble singing, each of these working upon the singers in a temporal, visceral way. It is therefore unsurprising that Choral Blend is so ill defined in the literature, being used synonymously as a noun and verb. The verb ‘blending’ is used by singers to describe the felt phenomenon of the choral sound acting upon them during performance. Conductors and audiences alike use the noun ‘blend’ to describe the aesthetic quality of choral tone that individual conductor intervention leads to in rehearsal and performance situations. This temporal nature of ensemble singing, and factors such as self/other ratio, room acoustics, and repertoire concerns, amongst others, lead in to this term ‘Choral Blend’. With so many variables, this causes difficulty in evaluating what Blend means to both singers and conductors post-hoc. This paper explores these issues through twelve members of Royal Conservatoire of Scotland VOICES who recorded a rehearsal using head mounted omnidirectional microphones, and then analysed their own singing, as well as the whole choir sound. These interviews and the subsequent analysis were carried out using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis, and it is one theme of this which is presented here.


Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished or Performed - Aug 2019
EventOxford International Conducting Studies Conference: OICSC - Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Sydney, Australia
Duration: 2 Aug 20194 Aug 2019


ConferenceOxford International Conducting Studies Conference