Well, here's something different! Secretary Michael has composed 4 choral dialectics.
As the name suggests, a choral dialectic is a debate, a musical tussle between two points of view.
At the end there is hopefully some sort of resolution or harmony - or maybe not.

Choral Dialectics


The booklets can be purchased from amazon: Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, Book 4.
The digital scores can be purchased from Sheet Music Plus: Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, Book 4.
And cheapest of all, the .pdf files may be downloaded for free: Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, Book 4.


These scores have been put into the public domain, so you may legally copy them for your choir. (A commission is being offered to choirs that upload recordings of their performances)

Hopefully you'll find that these storylike works are interesting, fun to sing (SATB), fun to listen to, provide clear and rational argument, and help to diversify the choral repertoire. The subject matter is always egalitarian in spirit. Although choral dialectics can be challenging to write, these are quite easy to sing. A favorite technique of Secretary Michael is to combine earlier melodies into a glorious hodgepodge at the end. These choral dialectics really deliver in that department!

Please help open a brighter future for secular choral music by supporting experiments like these.


What is a Choral Dialectic?

A “choral dialectic” is a four-movement choral work (with or without instruments) in which a rational argument about any subject is battled-out musically. There’s only one rule: every choral dialectic must use the following four titles for its four movements:

Each dialectic begins with a statement of some sort. This will be the subject matter for the entire work. Oftentimes the statement is an ideal - an expression of how something might be in a perfect world.

In this movement, the "Principle" begins its journey through the meat grinder. The Argument's job is to pick apart the Principle, either supporting it or challenging it.

In this movement, the "Principle" gets supported or challenged again, but this time from a contrasting perspective. If the previous argument was sweet, this one will probably be sour. If the previous was about abundance, this one will probably be about scarcity.

Now that the "Principle" has been analyzed from different angles, some sort of final understanding will have to emerge. Maybe there will be growth, a new way of being, a new way of living in the world, a new “Principle”. Or maybe not.