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Cause I Couldn't Find a Tenor

for five-part male barbershop

  ·  Duration:  8m

Duration:  8m

Composer:   Robbie Ellis

Films, Audio & Samples

Sample Video

Sample: 0:33-01:33

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Sample Score

Sample: First 3 pages of music

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There is a real cultural difference between the homeland of the Western classical tradition – that is, continental Europe – and New Zealand. This cultural difference is in the willingness to sing, and more to the point, to sing high. Put simply, New Zealand blokes don’t like doing it, and finding willing tenors to realise Bach’s or Mozart’s expectations has been a long-standing bane of choir directors, musical directors of shows, and composers. As a composer, I would sometimes like to smack up the head certain men I know who will happily belt out the soaring heights of a Guns’n’Roses vocal line on the karaoke machine after a beer or six, but baulk at singing the D above Middle C in a proper “composition”. This song is dedicated to you, you pricks.

Text note

text by Robbie Ellis

Performance history

13 Oct 2006: performed by Jonathan Palmer, Mario Walsh, Warren Kilham, Jono Sawyer and Robbie Ellis