A Cappella Pieces (for unaccompanied vocal ensemble)

*Almost all of these can be adapted for female, male or mixed choirs*

Anytime (Brian McKnight) - TTBB with optional splits and brief tenor solo. Melancholy R&B ballad with rich harmony. recording

Blackbird (John Lennon & Paul McCartney) - TTBB with optional splits and brief tenor solo. Tender classic featuring vocal "finger-picking" and a reharmonized stretto outro. recording

Can You Get To That? 
(George Clinton & Ernie Harris) - SSATB slow, groove-based arrangement of a Parliament/Funkadelic classic. Lots of crunchy chords. Each section gets a moment to shine. midi  original tune

Come As You Are (Kurt Cobain) - slightly different SSATB, SATTB and TTTBB versions available. Brief, lush and meditative reharmonization of the Nirvana classic. Originally written for a mixed group with very low female singers. High baritone/tenor often featured on melody. Mostly tutti with a strong pulse a la "Words" by The Real Group. midi  original tune

Corcovado ("Quiet Nights..."; Getz/Gilberto) - SSATB with multiple female solos. Bass handles the Latin montuno feel; optional vocal percussion. midi  original tune

Enjoy the Silence (Martin Gore/Depeche Mode) - TTTBB. Lush, dark meditation on love and silence from XY Unlimited's second record. Alternating solos for each voice part in the second verse. recording

Fields of Gold (Sting) - TTBB with splits. Tense and hypnotic, as in a memory. Meditative unison pads requiring extended use of staggered breathing give way to lush, melancholy harmonies. midi  rough collegiate recording

Higher Ground (Stevie Wonder) - TTTBBB with solo. Standard 'collegiate' a cappella groove arrangement. Strong feature for a strong rock, pop or R&B soloist. recording

Mad World (Roland Orzabal/Tears for Fears) - SSATB or TTTBB. Haunting tutti ballad featuring unisons, tight harmonies and cascades. midi  partial live video 

My Favorite Things (Rodgers & Hammerstein) - SATB. Spirited, uptempo jazz interpretation. Metric modulation between 5/4 and 3/4, and lots of vocal jazz harmony. midi

Rainbow Connection (Kermit the Frog/Sarah McLachlan) - SSAAA. Rich, sophisticated arrangement with lots of splits. Lowest part briefly reaches an octave below middle C, so true Alto 2s are needed (or a mixed ensemble). midi  live performance  original tune

The Sound of Silence (Simon and Garfunkel) - TTTBB or SSATB. Meditative folk ballad with pulsing rhythmic counterpart. Each verse features a different section and differing styles of harmonization, from '60s trio to Take 6-esque reharmonized vocal jazz. midi  original tune

Sweet Surrender (Sarah McLachlan) - TTTBB or SSATB. Lush, crunchy, vulnerable and heart-wrenching love ballad. midi  original tune

Thriller (Michael Jackson) - a cappella group with soloist. Contemporary pop treatment of the ghoulish classic, including a tutti intro harmonization based on Vincent Price's poem from the original.  studio recording

What A Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong) - short SSATB rubato ballad with lots of close voicings and reharms. Several short solos for all voice types. live Swedish high school choir performance  demo recording  live university choir performance

You Are My Sunshine - SSATB or TTTBB. Slow, vulnerable and simple arrangement for bkgs. and baritone soloist, with a tutti climax. Staggered breathing (or long breaths) required. Extra verses optional. midi

Zombie (The Cranberries) - SATB or TTBB. '90s Irish pop/folk protest song arranged in a tense, lush choral style. Words speak of sorrow, violence and intergenerational conflict. Available in four- and six-part versions. midi (TTBB)  Partial iPhone demo (SATB)  original tune