Advertise on ChoralNet 
ChoralNet logo
The mission of the ACDA is to inspire excellence in choral music through education, performance, composition, and advocacy.

Canons and Rounds: Rounds for middle school

Thanks to all who responded! What an encouragement to me! Here is my
original post and a compilation of responses for the many who've asked.

Hello listers,
I conduct a 7/8 grade choir and I like to use rounds with my choir for
warm-ups, especially at the beginning of the school year. I am looking
for some ideas for rounds, preferably unaccompanied. I like to use rounds
that are clever, humorous, or more appropriate for this age level. (I
have volumes of elementary rounds.)
I'd welcome your ideas!
Joanne Tucker

Check out "PDQ Bach's" set, . Some are not
appropriate for school, but "Golly Golly Oh" is usable and fun.

Nick Jones
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

"Nero's Expedition of the Nile" by Moondog is very cool. Don't know where
you can find the melody though!

Great question--rounds are wonderful for warmups and group bonding. Will
you post the replies?

Cynthia Powell
Music Director and Organist
Christ Episcopal Church
105 Cottage Place
Ridgewood, NJ 07450

Jeffrey Bishop's "One-erum, two-erum", a
set of 12 canons based on traditional (rural) Sussex verse. The
is optional - and the general spirit is humorous.
Brichtmark Music/S.Brailove

Try the John Fierabend book of Canons - it is excellent.

1) The Catch book [music] : 153 catches including the complete catches of
Henry Purcell / edited by Paul Hillier.
Oxford [England] ; New York : Oxford University Press, c1987.

2) 150 rounds for singing and teaching [music] / Edward Bolkovac and Judith
[U.S.A.] : Boosey & Hawkes, 1996

3) The Penguin book of rounds [music] / [compiled by] Rosemary Cass-Beggs.
Harmondsworth, Middlesex : Penguin Books, 1982.

4) 101 rounds for singing [music]
Burnsville, N. C. : World Around Songs, [19--]

If you want something more advanced, there is this book that I used in my
undergraduate Aural classes.

5) Canons classiques sans les textes = Classical canons without text :
manuel de solfege = handbook of solfeggio / selection et notes explicatives
par Antal Molnar, edition revue par Laszlo Agocsy.
Budapest : Editio Musica Budapest, 1955

Mohamed Shahril Bin Mohamed Salleh
Kings College/University of Queensland
Brisbane, Australia

Look at Musica Dei Donum Optimi by di Lassus. It's part of the Doreen Rao
series from Boosey & Hawkes. Although it's not humorous, it is more
advanced with a "leapy," syncopated melody.

Colleen Kennedy
Choral Director
Hawthorne High School
4859 W. El Segundo Blvd.
Hawthorne, CA 90250

Do you have a copy of Classical Canons? It is a Hungarian book, available
through Boosey & Hawkes. It is popular with Kodaly pedagogy classes.
Unfortunately, the canons are textless, but there are many wonderful ones,
and they aren't easy! (Kodaly teachers do them with solfege.) I recommend
FYI watch out for the old English books of catches from the 17th century.
Many of those are really "dirty" if you know what I mean.

Kathy Bowers
St. Louis MO

Do you have "This Pretty Planet" ? -- It's beautiful.
Ruth McKendree Treen
Chatham, Massachusetts

Do you have the classical canon book? The kids could sing on solfege,
really good reading exercise as well as a warm-up.

There is a special new collection called "ETHNO KANONS" - 14 canonic
warmup rounds for singers, for mixed or treble voices, including
different vocal and rhythmical patterns to let the rounds grow in sound
and ethnic groove, they're even perfect for the performance on stage.All
songs are based on song-motivs taken from 4 continents - Australia,
Asia, Africa, South-America North-America.
You can listen to Audio-Samples in the Publishers Page: (Helbling Publishinghouse in Innsbruck/Austria) Though
this page is in german language (English section will be open soon), you
can find these rounds and many more Choral Music samples easily.


Three publications of rounds compiled and edited by Salli Terri and
by Lawson-Gould:
Rounds For Everyone from Everywhere
Round America
Around the Year in Rounds

We have single "archive" copies of each. They're terrific!

Paul Mark

There's a Boston-based women's group called LIBANA that sings rounds
as a significant part of their repertoire. They appeared at an Eastern
ACDA regional back in 1998 (I think). They have recorded several CDs,
and have published several accompanying songbooks as well. For example,
their CD and corresponding songbook "A Circle is Cast" contains several
rounds--you might want to check that out. female voices: as rounds, or
as (vertically) harmonized realizations.

Best wishes,
Becky Sample Rousseau
Director: Wretched Souls, a mixed octet in Southern New Hampshire
Director: A-Men, a men's a cappella chorus in Southern New Hampshire

The king's singers "Book of Rounds, Canons and Partsongs" has just what
you need. (Hal Leonard, $7.95) Great resource!

As a beginning warm-up for my advanced womens choir, I have used Greg
"Now I walk in Beauty" SATB, but have my women sing the melody and them 4
rounds. Its great! Wonderful way to work balance, blend and intonation.
Hope this helps.

Hi great question. I use several with my high school and 7/8 but could
always use more. We do the "Jubilate Deo" by Michael Praetorius, "Now I
walk in Beauty", I think is was written by Greg Smith, and another one
called "Vieni", That we learned at an all county. I don't think it was
actually written but more or less evolved. I could send you a copy if you
are really interested. Thank you for the question! Cindy Howell [
mailto:cmchowell(a) ]

Canons for All Occasions - unison - Greg A. Lapp bp890105
These six rounds can be very useful. They include canons for birthdays,
Christmas, parting, prayer, and to say thank you. All are accessible to
any age singer. All are a cappella.

I can't tell you which book, but the Kodaly materials published by
Boosey & Hawkes include more than you'll ever need. I'm not sure,
but they may be published without words for solfege practice. And
they're real music, not made-up exercises.


Have you looked into Gustav Holst's "Eight Canons for Equal Voices"? They
can be done mixed and most of them are polytonal! The copy I have is from
Faber Music Limited / G. Schirmer #2675.

M. Gray

on July 15, 2003 10:00pm
I have a nice collection of rounds I've written for school use. They've been tested in the field and have proved successful. You can contact me at for details.

Elliot Z. Levine(the Western Wind Vocal Ensemble)
on May 20, 2007 10:00pm
In a class with John Fierabend we learned quite a few rounds like Benji met a Bear, I Went Out with the Duchess for Tea, etc. The next year I used them for warm-ups at the beginning of class. When it was time for the spring concert we sang them as the first set and they were a wonderful success. The 5th graders loved them.
on September 15, 2007 10:00pm
I am a music teacher I need some solfege exercise pls
on June 9, 2008 10:00pm
There is a wonderful books of lots and lots of rounds collected by The Round Man" Sol Weber. This man loves rounds and collects and publishes them. I have used them for kids and many occasions. It is called Rounds Galore and is available at Amazon. Here is the link. Enjoy
on October 1, 2010 8:35pm
I am an Australian teacher with an interest in composition.  I have been composing rounds for 35 years and I now have 120, all unpublished.  Many are light and humorous, some are especially intended for young singers. I would be happy to send you .pfd and .wav files of some of them.  You would be free to use them with your your choir. Contact:
Brian Kogler