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angel: BoRhap for mixed choir06 Feb 2007 22:09
Hello everyone.

Firstly, let me introduce myself very briefly. My name´s Filip (Czech Republic). Denes Pinter might remember me from some really old times (but I was young and without any musical education at all, and my English was also terrible those times, so sorry, Denes ;) Now many things have changed and nowadays I am singing (and correpeting piano) at our University Choir in Olomouc (and I´m also studying the university).

Our conductor asked me to arrange Bohemian Rhapsody for our choir. And here is the very first pre-version (yet only in Freddie´s style of writing harmonies, but I´m going to write it down into the sheet of course). I would like it to show you because I consider many people from here as really amateur-profesionals and I would like to discuss it with many of you.

All I want from you is to take a look at the harmonies, at the arrangement, and, if you like to, bring me ANY ideas you get: about the arrangement, about harmonies which of course might be somewhere inaccurate, about your attitude to this project, about your personal experience with BoRhap performed by mixed choirs and so on and so on... Just tell me anything you think about it...

Finally, here comes the Bohemian Rhapsody...

1) The voices are, I think, obligate (S(1,2)=soprano, A(1,2)=alto, T=tenor, B(1,2)=basso))
2) Please mind that sometimes there are not any note numbers because mostly it is obvious, and when there are some, the notes are counted in the eastern numeration (-2). That means: Ab4 = Ab2 etc.


    is this the real life
S   Bb
A   G
T   F
B   D


    is this just fan - ta - sy
S   Bb      Bb    Bb   G    G
A   G       G     G    F    E
T   E       F     E    D    C
B   C       D     C    Bb   Bb


    caught in the landslide no e- scape from re-a- li-ty
S   A             Bb    A   -  -  Bb         Bb Bb F  F
A   F             G     F   F  F  F          G  F  Eb D
T   Eb            Eb    Eb  -  -  D          Eb D  C  Bb
B   C             C     F   F  F  Bb         C  Bb A  F


   o - pen your eyes  look up to the skies and see
S  F   F   F    F      F   F  F                Bb
A  D   Eb  D    Bb     D   D  D  Eb  F     Bb  G    
T  Bb  Bb  Bb   Bb     Bb  Bb Bb               Eb
B  G   G   G    G      Ab  Ab Ab               Bb

    I´m just a poor boy        I need no sympathy
A1: G                          F      G   F  C
    oooooooooooooooooooh pooor boooooooooy  be-cause I´m    easy come, easy  go...
                  S1:    D                               S:  H    Bb    A    Bb
S:  Bb            S2:    Bb    Eb                        A:  F#   F     E    F
A2: G                    G     C             F  F    G   T:  D#   D     C#   D
T:  Eb                   Eb    A             D  D    Eb  
B:  C                    -     F             G  Ab   Bb


    anyway the wind  blows   Doesn´t really matter to me...    To me...
A:  G         F(G)F  Bb      E              F F    -  -        

    oooooh the wind  blows
S:  Eb         D     Bb      Bb             A  Eb  C  A
T:  Bb         Bb    F       E              Eb C   A  Eb       A  Bb
B:  G          F     D       C#             C  F   F  C


(„mama“ – plus harmonies??? We´ll see..)

SECOND VERSE: „mama – I don´t wanna die“:
A:(lead)mamaa ooooooh                     I don´t wanna die...
        ooooooooooooooooooh              oooooooooooooooooooooh
S:      Eb     Bb  G                       Ab
                   anyway the wind blows
T:                 G C Eb G   D    C       F
        mamaa ooooooh
B:      Eb      D  C                      


    ooo-ooh  oooo-ooh  oooo-ooh  oooo-ooh  oooooooooooooooh
S:  C   Bb   Eb   D    G    F    C    Bb   Eb_______Bb  Eb
A:  melody
T:  C   Bb   Eb   D    G    F    C    Bb   Bb_______Ab  Eb
B1: C   Bb   Eb   D    G    F    C    Bb   G    F       C
B2: C   Bb   Eb   D    G    F    C    Bb   Eb   D       G  


    I see a little silhouetto of a man
B:  F#....


    Scaramouche,scaramouche will you do the Fandango
S:  E    A      E    A      E        D#     E   A  E
A:  C#   F#     C#   F#     C#       C      C#  F# C#
T:  A    D      D    D      A        A      A   D  A

     Thunderbolt and lightning-very very frightening me

S:   F1              F#1   S1: G(2!)     G#2         A2      - jedno/dvoučárkované
                           S2: G1        G#1         A1
A:   F               D#        E         E           E       - jednočárkované
T:   C#              C         C         D           C#      - jednočárkované
B:   G#              G#        G         E           A       - malé


     Galileo,  Galileo, Galileo,  Gali-le-o    Galileo    fi-ga-ro
S1:  E    F E           E    F E               E    F  E  D  C  H
B:             A   Bb A           A    Bb A    Bb   Bb A  G  F  E


     Ma-gnificooo_______________________.... ... .. .  .    .        
S2:  Bb, Bb´ Bb
A1:            G
A2:               Eb
T:                    C
B1:                    Bb
                            But I'm just a poor boy and nobody loves me
B2:                         Bb  H   Bb     A    Bb      H Bb   A     Bb


    He's just a poor boy from a poor family  Spare him his life from this mon..ty
S:  Eb2____________________________________  C     C   D   Bb   Bb   Bb   A    Bb
A1: C    Bb     A    Bb  C      Bb   A   Bb  Ab    Ab  Bb  G    Ab   G    F    F
A2: Ab   G      F#   G   Ab     G    F#  G   Eb    Eb  Eb  Eb   Eb   Eb   Eb   D
T:  Eb(1)__________________________________  Ab    Ab  Bb  G    G    G    F    Bb
B:  Eb(0)__________________________________  Eb    Eb  Eb  Eb   Eb   Eb   F    F

   Easy come easy go-,will you let me go
B: H    Bb   A    Bb  H        Bb     A


    Bismillah! NO!   -    we will not let you go   -   let him go__________  
S:  -  -       Eb         F       G   Ab  G   F        Eb__________________
A:  -  -       Bb         D       Eb  F   Eb  D        Bb
T:  Bb Eb Bb   G          Bb      Bb  Bb  Bb  Bb       G        T: Bb Eb Bb
B:  Bb Eb Bb   Eb   B1:   F       F   F   F   F    B:  Eb       B: Bb Eb Bb
                    B2:   Bb      Bb  Bb  Bb  Bb


      We will not let you go   -   let him go
S:    F       G   Ab  G   F        Eb__________________
A:    D       Eb  F   Eb  D        Bb
T:    Bb      Bb  Bb  Bb  Bb       G        T: Bb Eb Bb
B1:   F       F   F   F   F    B:  Eb       B: Bb Eb Bb
B2:   Bb      Bb  Bb  Bb  Bb


      We will not let you go   -   let me go
S:    F       G   Ab  G   F   S1:  Eb        
A:    D       Eb  F   Eb  D   S2:  Bb        
T:    Bb      Bb  Bb  Bb  Bb   A:  G        
B1:   F       F   F   F   F    T:  Eb        
B2:   Bb      Bb  Bb  Bb  Bb              
..go  Will not let you go  -   let me go    |Will not |let you |go  
                                            |         |        |      
S:    F    G   Ab  G   F   S1: Eb         S:|F    G   |Ab  G   |F    
A:    D    Eb  F   Eb  D   S2: Bb         A:|D    Eb  |F   Eb  |D    
T:    Bb   Bb  Bb  Bb  Bb   A: G          T:|Bb   Bb  |Bb  Bb  |Bb    
                            T: Eb           |         |        |      
B1:   Bb   Bb  Bb  Bb  Bb                   |         |        |
                                            |         |        |
    !!NE - VER     NE- VER             NEVER|NEVER    |NEVER   |NEVER
B2:   D    Bb      Eb  D            B: F  E  Gb F      Ab G     Bb A

   let me go______________   no, no...
       S2: Bb______________________...
       A:      Gb_________
       T:           E_____
       B1:           Db____________...
B2: D  D Db
        No, no, no, no, no, no, no    
S1:     D   E   Gb  Ab  Bb  D'  Eb'
 A:     Gb  G   A   B   E   F   G
 T:     B,  A,  D   Db  Gb  Bb, Eb
B2:     B,, A,, D,  Db, Gb, Bb,,Eb,  


   (oh) Mama mia,  mama miaaa,      mama mi-a  let  me  go  
B:  Bb  Bb   C Bb  Bb   C Bb    S:  Bb   C  Bb  Ab  G   F
                                A:  G    Ab G   F   Eb  D
                                T:  Eb   Eb Eb  D   C   Bb


     Be-el-ze-bub has a   devil put aside for me,    for me,     for      me

S:   Bb Eb Eb Eb  Eb  Eb  D  D  D   D  G  G   Ab-G-F Ab  C-Bb-Ab Bb  S1:  Bb(2)
A1:  Bb Bb C  C   C   C   C  C  C   C  Bb Bb  F      F   F       G   S2:  F (2)
A2:  Bb G  G  Ab  Ab  Ab  A  A  A   A  Bb Bb  D      D   D       D   A1:  D (2)
T:   Bb Eb Eb Eb  Eb  Eb  F# F# F#  F# D  D   Ab     G   Ab      G   A2:  Ab(1)
B1:  Bb G  G  Eb  Ab  Ab  A  A  A   A  D  D   D      D   D       D   T:   Bb(0)
B2:  Bb Eb Eb Ab  Ab  Ab  D  C  Bb  A  G  G   Bb     Bb  Bb      Bb  B:   Bb(-1)

So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye
So you think you can love me and leave me to die

Oh baby-Can't do this to me baby
Just gotta get out-just gotta get right outta here

    oooooooooooh  ooh yeah  oooh  yeah
S:  Bb  Ab  G     G   G     Ab G  G    
A:  G   F   Eb    F   G     F     G
T:  Eb  D   C     D   Eb    D     Eb
B:  Bb  Bb  C     H   C     H     C


Nothing really matters, Anyone can see,
Nothing really matters-,nothing really matters to me,

Any way the wind blows....

And now let´s start the brainstorming :-) I promise I will be very pleased with ANY note you bring. Thank you.

sources: PD´s BoRhap analysis, DTS tracks...

Thanks a lot for your time and attention.
1.PD 07 Feb 2007 11:14
Ahoj Filip!

Last time (last summer) we discussed about your diplom essay.
The reference work is still being written :)

About Boh Rhap vocals:
I did a solo guitar version for this song which was a similar project to yours (SATB arrangement).
The DTS tracks are perfect resource for you to transcribe the original vocal layers.
I think the arrangement has to be as close to the original as possible, no additional
dissonances needed (like jazzyfied arrangements often does). In the intro it is possible for recreat the harmonies note-by-note.
More resources: the making of BoRhap documentary. Check out also my harmony vocal tablatures available in the tab-section. That tab is easy to translate to notes. There must be mistakes in them, so double-check it.

Is there a piano accompaniment? If it's acapella, than many piano and guitar stuff has to be adapted to vocals, for example the fanfare-like arpeggios in the outro.
Opera-stuff: I saw you havent forgotten about the "never-never-never" vocals :)
2.Sebastian 07 Feb 2007 11:45
I beg to differ about the "as close to the original as possible". Think about your choir and adapt the arrangement to it, for it's got different strengths and weaknesses to a choir of Freddie's (or Fred's + Rog's + Bri's).

I actually like the idea of jazzying it up a bit, for instance, if you make the bass voice do a descending thing in some parts of the intro, resulting in Gm7/D > Gm7/C# > C7 and F7/C > F7/B > Bb progressions. Those sound quite nice and that's probably how Fred would have arranged them if he'd written the song in late '80s. If your choir's got good bass singers, that part'll sound ace!

I tend to prefer the penultimate "no" to be on a minor chord, so the last one is even more triumphant. As DTS tracks prove, the recording's got both minor and major thirds (Brian sings minor, Roger sings major on another channel), which is a nice short dissonance adding to the ear-pleasing resolution.
3.angel 07 Feb 2007 11:54
Hello Denes!

Glad to read from you... BTW I´m looking forward to your book in the impossible way :D
Do you have any guess, when it is going to be released???

You´re definitely right that it has to be as close to the original as possible. I also want it this way (no additional notes). But if there would be only the choir and the piano (yes, I will accompany it with the piano), the possibilities of the precise performance will always be a bit restricted (mainly due to the vocal range of the singers. This is one of the reasons why I decided to justify the whole BoRhap to the choir and not to the choir WITH the solist singer because singing the solo of BoRhap is similar to a musical suicide, as I´ve seen on youtube.com...)

Yes, I haven´t forgotten your vocal-tabs and it has really helped me (I´ve put it my powertab editor and it went perfect although there are some typing errors, I think. - e.g. in "mamma mia let me go" in the opera section, check the bass note... on D-string there is written "1--1-6-1--7---8--3" and that sounds wrong, I think. Anyway, it helped me a lot.

About the Making of BoRhap, yep, I´ve seen it a milion times :D but I will check it precisely, thanks.

You were talking about your SATB arrangement, could I see it?

And finally, about the "never-never..." vocals :-) Yes, I haven´t forgotten it, it is really pretty easy to hear on the DTS tracks. Although it is IMO hard to intonate, my colleagues in BASS gonna make it, I´m sure :-)

BTW my biggest problem will be to write it down into the sheets. Has anybody any experience, which note editor would be the best one for this kind of use?
4.angel 07 Feb 2007 12:05
2: thanks for suggestions :)

I also have many ideas and tastes to what to do differently. But as I said in 1., I want it much more to sound as close as possible. You are definitely right that it will never be the same, even due to different voices (Mind, that our choir is MIXED and and there´s not a single female voice on the original.) So it will always sound a bit different. Anyway, I just want the harmony to be the same.

Funny, I, independently to you, mentioned our basses to be good :-) I think that the bass singers are the strongest singers in our choir, that´s way I gave them really hard sections to intonate.

About the "no-no..." Are they really Db and D together??? Strange I haven´t realized that much dissonance. I will check it out, thanks.
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