What is a Choir?

Meaning of choir

A choir is a group of singers who perform together, with or without the accompaniment of musical instruments. Choirs around the world are incredibly varied, from informal secular groups that meet and perform regularly to highly organized church choirs with a variety of highly disciplined singers.

Both secular and religious music are composed for the choir, and some choirs also adapt existing pieces of music for performance.

King’s College Chapel at the University of Cambridge is home to the King’s College Choir.

The history of the choir is quite old. The Greeks used a chorus of chants to accompany theatrical performances, for example, and the medieval church also used plainchant to accompany religious services.

Gradually, the concept of a polyphonic or “many voices” choir began to emerge, with musical compositions featuring multiple parts that could be sung together or individually, and modern choirs typically perform polyphonic compositions featuring a variety of voices.

Choirs can include a variety of highly disciplined singers.

There are many different types of choirs. Mixed choirs feature both men and women, and it is also possible to find men’s choirs, women’s choirs, and children’s choirs, including gender-divided children’s choirs.

The type of compositions performed also varies considerably, depending on the members of the choir and the setting in which they perform.

A choir is a group of singers who perform together, with or without the accompaniment of musical instruments.

A choir is usually led by a conductor, in the same way that a conductor leads an orchestra. Singing in a choir is not just a matter of opening your mouth and singing melodies.

The choir members have to be perfectly coordinated or the performance will sound “wrong”, although it can be difficult to pinpoint why it sounds wrong. A good choir is made up of people singing together, perfectly in tune, with complementary voices and volume levels.

Mixed choirs feature male and female singers.

When a choir is well organized, its performances can be distinctive and highly convincing. Some very famous works have been composed for choirs, including Handel’s oratorios.

Choral performances are especially popular around the Christmas season and at classical music festivals, although choirs may also perform jazz compositions and works from other musical genres.

Some communities have informal community choirs that welcome anyone who wishes to join. Typically, people who want to join these choirs must demonstrate the ability to sing and read sheet music, and must be able to commit to a practice schedule.

Choirs can also be found in educational institutions, religious parishes, and musical artist collectives such as orchestras and city opera houses.

Churches tend to have very organized choirs.

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