The October Project and the Book of Rounds

My first real feel of the absolute bliss of harmony was in the 5th grade, singing a round called Good Night. I’d sung rounds before of course, but this one was different. I got that rush. I’d give anything to sing it with a bunch of people again. It went:

Good night, good night
Time sends a warning call,
Sweet rest it sends to all,
Time, time sends a warning call,
Good night, sweet rest it sends to all.

I tried, unsuccessfully, to find a video of people singing it, but I did find a bunch of people talking about memories of singing it, so clearly others were transported by it and never forgot it.

When I spoke on a panel about singing at Yale earlier in the year I met a singer named Marina Belica who was involved with the October Project, and she told me they were coming out with a collection of original rounds, the Book of Rounds. I asked her to remind me when it became available. Because if I never forgot a round I sang a few times almost fifty years ago I’d say rounds are a powerful introduction to singing and harmony. And haven’t we all been singing the same rounds for, I don’t know, centuries?? I should add, rounds are not just for beginners of course, and the rounds in this collection would be satisfying for choirs and a cappella groups to sing.

You can hear their original rounds here (and also buy them) or follow the first link I posted and buy the actual book of the rounds and/or the CD or MP3s.

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

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