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September 12, 2017 8:02 AM   Subscribe

Hello - I don't know what my favorite music is called. Help!

Hello - I don't know what my favorite music is called. I want to listen to it on Pandora but it is not working. My favorite music is choral, taize-ish, nun music ala the Sound of Music. Basically I want to listen to this all day but it is not socially acceptable. What is this categorized as and how can I frame my desires for Pandora?
posted by janelikes to Grab Bag (7 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
choral and polyphony seem to give me decent stations on pandora.
posted by noloveforned at 8:10 AM on September 12, 2017

I'd start with something like "Sacred Choral Music" or "Classical Choral Music" and refine from there. Your example is acapella, for instance, but there's also music with similar harmonies that has accompaniment and soloists —
which might do the same thing for you, or might not.
posted by brentajones at 8:14 AM on September 12, 2017

I'm also obsessed with listening to this type of choral music, and I find that it soothes me like nothing else. I love albums by the Benedictines of Mary at Ephesus. There are quite a few on both Spotify and Amazon Prime Music.
posted by hessie at 8:22 AM on September 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

From an extremely brief listen, it sounds like this is a chorale, which is good news for you, because J.S. Bach wrote approximately a million of the things. Bach is the main guy to look for, as he a) wrote just, a whole bunch of stuff and b) is widely regarded to have probably been the best ever at doing it. More complex stuff based on the same kind of harmony and ideas are cantatas, which are longer choral works. Most of his choral work was sacred music, i.e. set to Christian texts, but he also wrote some secular works like the coffee cantata.

J.S. Bach composed during the Baroque period, so you may be able to find some similar stuff looking through that as a keyword, but within the period there was still a large variety of music composed. Other Baroque choral composers you may have heard of were Handel, Purcell and Monteverdi. Baroque music is broadly characterised by small ensembles, multiple intertwining melodies (polyphony) and strict rules governing harmony and melody.

There are a lot of different European choral traditions - this kind of thing I would say is quite characteristically German, which makes sense for the general setting of The Sound of Music. Russia, the UK, France and Italy all have their own characteristic styles of choral music which are worth checking out as well, but that's a little outside the scope of this question.
posted by spielzebub at 8:32 AM on September 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

To apparently take the opposite tack to the previous answerer (which is a shame, because they seem to be a lot better informed than me):

Since that's a pastiche, there's lots of stuff that sounds like it, sort of, but less... Broadway. Some of the Voix Mystere de Bulgares is reminiscent (though some not. It's amazing, though. Perhaps a sharper edge to some of the singing than you want). The medieval version would be something like Hildegard of Bingen. If you want something genuinely mind-blowing try Spem in Alium - 40 singers, all singing something different. It's quite reminiscent of Orthodox choir music - Serbian, Russian (Russian seems to be dominated by blokes), Greek.
posted by Grangousier at 9:33 AM on September 12, 2017

You want Renaissance motets. Specifically look for compositions by Thomas Tallis. If you use spotify, there's a good playlist I follow called CM Anthems and Motets by Oli Peat that is exactly what you want.
posted by greta simone at 10:38 AM on September 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

Tallis is great, but if you go down the motet path, you might also check out Josquin Des Prez, maybe "Missa La Sol Fa Re Mi," which is an absolutely gorgeous piece of Renaissance choral music that also has an interesting story behind it.
posted by thivaia at 10:06 PM on September 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

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