In hopes of expanding the diversity of musical formats, Secretary Michael is experimenting with different musical architectures. Among them is the "choral dialectic". 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.

 

Choral Dialectics

    

    

Secretary Michael is currently composing 6 choral dialectics. The ones shown above have already been completed. These booklets may be purchased from amazon for only $6 each (click on images above), or downloaded for only $4 from Sheet Music Plus, or (cheapest of all) the pdf files may be downloaded for free from the following links:
1. Clean Water
2. Change
3. Balance
4. Excellence

These scores are in the public domain so you may legally copy them for your choir.

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 of Secretary Michael's works 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:

1. “PRINCIPLE
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.

2. “ARGUMENT
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.

3. “COUNTERARGUMENT
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.

4. “RESOLUTION
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.

 

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