Name: Jannelieke Schmidt
Main Subject: Classical Singing
Research Coach: Patrick van Deurzen
Title of Research: Combining Coco, Arranging for “Het Coco Collectief”
Research Question:How do I arrange from a market, artistic, voice technique and stylistic point of view mostly single-voiced by piano accompanied music for “Het Coco Collectief” which consists of five sopranos and one pianist?
Research Process: In order to develop my skills, theoretic knowledge and insight in the process of making arrangements I studied sources concerning music theory and chord writing, I made several arrangements, I interviewed arrangers and singers, I had my fellow Coco colleagues answer questions about their preferences concerning singing in the ensemble and I analysed my arrangements.
Summary of Results:
My paper contains all the information I gathered over a two year research period. It has become a little handbook of tips, tricks and rules. I gained skill and knowledge mainly through trial and error, rehearsals with the ensemble and analysing my interviews and questionnaires. I arranged three pieces by Rossini (La pastorelle delle Alpi, La Danza, La legend de Marguerite) one piece by William Bomcom (Amor) one piece by Johannes Röntgen (Op een Kwal) and one piece by Bizet (Adieux de l’hotesse Arabe). I used La Danza en La legend de Marguerite as material to compare arrangements before and after my research in order to detect differences in choice making and using gained knowledge and skill. I used Op een Kwal en Adieux de l’hotesse Arabe in order to explain how a piece changes through a rehearsal process and adapting the piece for either stage of radio.
Through talking to the arrangers and working on my pieces together with my coco colleagues and my research coach I found what I was looking for: skill. From the beginning of this research I was looking for justification of my choices. I found that for me to feel secure of my work I needed those two years of thinking that rules is all I needed. That if I could explain an idea by saying it there because of a style or historical context, from a voice technical of personality choice, from Coco’s image or other peoples opinion my arrangement would be good enough. If I could find arguments and explanations for why I did what I did, I should not have to justify why I dare to rearrange already ‘perfect’ repertoire. I created the handbook, containing tips tricks and rules: music theory, all the knowledge shared with me during interviews, Coco’s preferences, all the rules are there. Everything in order to be able to let go of them if it pleases me. My choices are still based on knowledge but now I can consciously use or not use the rules. I have developed a greater trust in my own artistic ideas about the pieces I arranged. I have developed a greater understanding of what it is to write for this ensemble, for these people. And as said before I have created a little booklet of rules for anyone who wants to arrange for voices and piano. During my presentation Het Coco Collectief will sing both La Danza and Adieux de l’hotesse Arabe.