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Add the dynamics and tempo changes indicated in the score to create an expressive performance.
When the dynamic is quiet, sing with crisp, clear consonants so the words are very clear, even though they are being sung softly.
Have the student decide if there are any other words in the song that they wish to accent or sing in any special way to increase the expressiveness of the performance.
The original lyrics of the song describe elements found in the dark, October night. If a student wishes to use the song with a Halloween theme, have them sing the alternate lyrics provided.
The legato “ooh” section of the song has two “ooh” syllables. Can the student sing all four bars in one breath for an even more legato presentation?
Thinking about crisp, fall evenings conjures up thoughts of the mysteriousness that seems to descend when the trees have shed their leaves and we see only bare branches, with the full moon creating dancing shadows. Add in a few flitting bats and the haunting sound of owl hoots, and an October night is a delight for the senses. We often introduce songs in minor keys with legato “ooh” phrases in connection with Halloween. However, I don’t think we need to limit ourselves to a season to enjoy these elements. I like to use (and compose) songs that have multiple uses and that are as versatile as possible. October Night was written as a fall song without narrowing its use to be “about” Halloween. Versatility is very important in a society where there are complex combinations of people who may or may not have shared traditions. Adding optional lyrics means that those who wish to sing about Halloween may do so, and those who want to sing a beautiful song with a minor melody may add this to their fall repertoire, or any time of the year!
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