You don’t have to be an alto, a tenor or a bass.
These boys are singing a part called cambiata.
Cambiata means “change”. It’s a voice part especially and uniquely for boys who can’t sing treble because it’s too high, can’t sing tenor because it’s too low and can’t sing alto because their voice cracks right in the middle of the alto part.
The boy in the next sample had a voice started that changing, so he transposed the Mozart Ave Verum down a fourth to make it fit his voice.
Cool guy . . . But hang on a minute . . . doesn’t doing that make it too low for the basses? And there isn’t a cambiata part in my choir anyway.
Wondered when you’d spot that!
Cambiata music is written specially for teenage boys. It’s not all as heavy as Mozart and Byrd.
If ye love me (“me” being Thomas Tallis), ye might be a tad disappointed with cambiata.
How about this for a cunning plan? In Baldrick’s day, boys didn’t sing treble anyway. (Bet you didn’t know that!) They sang a different part called “meane” (or medius, or meany, or just plain “mean”. Baldrick wasn’t brilliant at spelling). The meane part was a bit lower than treble, more like cambiata . . . but for Taverner, Byrd and all those great composers.)
So what’s your cunning plan?
To bring back the meane voice!
What the heck is that thing!?
It’s part of my cunning plan! Might you be up for it?
Meanwhile, watch Quite a Special Crew. If you like what they’re doing, a cambiata choir like them might be just what you need (if you can find one). You’ll also need to decide whether you want a singing teacher to help you build an adult voice.