What we're about

CircleSinging is a spontaneous, improvisational community-singing experience. In a circlesong, a leader starts by improvising a line of music and gives it / teaches it to one part of the circle. The leader then develops a second part that goes with the first and gives that part to another section of the circle. CircleSingers learn and repeat the exact part given to them. Soon we are singing a four part (at least) chorus that has never been sung before. This chorus can support individual solos.  
The effect: never-before-sung, wordless, fun songs, melodies, harmonies, and rhythms. The music may be glorious or goofy, complex or simple. Each circle is a unique experience, created by a spontaneously collaborating community.  
A leader improvises.  Circlesingers learn and follow their parts.  Voila! — a newly created choral piece.  It's easy to participate, you just repeat your part with other singers.  Anyone can volunteer to lead, but there is never any pressure, no one is put on the spot.

This is a “mistake-free” zone, for all levels of singers — we sing for the sheer fun of it! Sing beautiful harmonies without sheet music. Witness a circle of people creating music together. Come sing with us! Participants find it a joyful, exhilarating (and many have said spiritual) experience. Improvising and music-making can give insight into other life issues. Many notice cooperation, teamwork, and community. (The word cloud on this Home Page is made from words participants have used to describe their experience CircleSinging.)

We take inspiration from methods developed by the unique and illustrious Bobby McFerrin and his collaborators, and from circlesinging groups in cities around the US and the world.  
Check out what participants say, go to "Photos" then "More" then "Pages" :  (700 words that participants have used to describe their experience.)  
You can also contact circlesingingboston@gmail.com  

Below find:
-   A. More about CircleSinging - 9 video clips
-   B. A world map of circlesinging locations
-   C. An interview with David Worm about Circlesinging in general and Oakland's annual "Sing for Your Life Event" each December 30th.
- D. A description of CircleSinging by 3 of Bobby's close collaborators

A. More about circlesinging - 9 video clips: 
If you are new to circlesinging, you can hear and see examples in the videos below: 
1 - In this video you'll see a circlesong created with several parts.  (first, the leader does a little solo improvising).. click here   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a9C4O-ezpFU­
2 -   In the following video, Bobby McFerrin creates a circlesong with audience members, then riffs on top of it. Start watching at minute 5:25 (through 9:30)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WznXAdYo8xc
3 -  Berklee faculty member Joey Blake leads students in circlesinging in this video starting at minute 1:28. You also see individuals improvising solos on top of what has been created so far. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFHAf1vR9cE&list=P... 
4 -   In the following video, you come into a circlesong in progress; two sections are already singing their newly created parts as the video begins ….. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6WL7NYrT9Q 
5 -  Starting at minute 2:00 in the following video, see Bobby McFerrin starting a circle (and see also his playfulness with audience members) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWriGiWw6i4&spfrel...
6 - Here's a fun one from the TV show “SingOff”  start at minute 1:00  the link is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNlmU4nPySI&feature=youtu.be
7. - Video of a large gathering of circlesingers, led by Gael Aubrit in Lyon France.  He organizes Chant Pour Tous which sponsors circlesinging around France and nearby countries.  https://youtu.be/q7zbIDlwKdE
8. - Another video example; Bobby invited a 2011 music teachers' conference participant to try leading a circle...  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t6WL7NYrT9Q&feature=youtu.be
9. Not a video, but this blog posting by Sariyah Idan, a singer-songerwriter / producer based between Los Angeles and Berlin, describes her "Week with Bobby McFerrin and my Mom" after she attended the annual CircleSongs Workshop at Omega Institute in Rhinebeck NY, August 2018.   Link to her blog is http://sariyah-idan.com/news/

B. CircleSinging around the world !
Now there is a map that shows where to find CircleSinging around the world.  Take a look:
https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?fbclid=IwAR1VtCd6huBhBjgUzMljOcCdyvJD_N-5eGKd2hh9L-nGj_HtQS0xQcGwGtw&mid=1pspsAvGVZaZz9XTNMvjAfdgggu8GT4z8&ll=31.811726062462334%2C-14.581434556391173&z=4

C. Link to interview with David Worm:
https://www.sfcv.org/preview/one-voice-circlesingers/sing-for-your-life-transforms-lives-with-circlesinging

D. A description of CircleSinging by 3 of Bobby's closest collaborators:
This description of CircleSongs was written by a trio of improvisors, WeBe3, Rhiannon, Joey Blake and David Worm, fabulous individuals, musicians and improvisers, and also colleagues of Bobby McFerrin & faculty with him of the annual CircleSongs workshop each August.
"This bold experiment in music making is a participatory ritual, allowing a sharing of culture through the medium of music, the voice in all its forms and colors. Singers gather in a circle with a conductor in the center. Intention is declared.
Four improvised patterned parts are given to the Soprano/Alto/Tenor/Bass sections. These patterns are changed and shifted by the conductor so that the singing continues for long stretches, creating a rich, deep and joyful experience.
This form calls forth a wonderfully primal connectedness among the singers, strengthening relationships and developing leadership. Singers are invited to solo over this hearty vocal orchestra which requires both courage and musical focus.
Working this way stretches both individual and ensemble capability.
Because we sing in an invented language in this form, it is accessible across borders and cultures, making it possible to create this musical magic anywhere on the planet."

Upcoming events (2)

CircleSinging Arlington In-Person

First Parish Unitarian Universalist

Join in community to play with vocal harmonies, rhythms and expression - easy to follow along, and opportunities to lead and improvise (for those who want to.) No experience necessary. Masks are required.
SLIDING SCALE $15-$5. No one turned away for lack of funds. Doors open at 3:45 to sign in and get settled. Please try to arrive a few minutes early as we will start promptly at 4:00 and end at 5:30. All are welcome!

Metered parking is available in lots or street or take the 77 bus to Arlington Center.
Please RSVP (and if your plans change, update your response - thanks!)

1
CircleSinging Arlington In-Person

First Parish Unitarian Universalist

Join in community to play with vocal harmonies, rhythms and expression - easy to follow along, and opportunities to lead and improvise (for those who want to.) No experience necessary. Masks are required.
SLIDING SCALE $20-$10. No one turned away for lack of funds (note - slight increase in fee due to rental cost increase). Doors open at 3:45 to sign in and get settled. Please try to arrive a few minutes early as we will start promptly at 4:00 and end at 5:30. All are welcome!

Metered parking is available in lots or street or take the 77 bus to Arlington Center.
Please RSVP (and if your plans change, update your response - thanks!)

Past events (117)

November 27 CircleSinging at the Armory, Somerville

The Center for Arts at the Armory

Photos (53)