Saturday, October 1, 2011

A simplified (two-part) arrangement of "Sincere" from "The Music Man"

Our local school will be doing a spring production of Meredith Wilson's "The Music Man," one of my favorite musicals. One of the most difficult musical feats to pull off in the show is found in the close, barbershop-style harmonies of "Sincere", which is sung by a men's (or in this case, boys') quartet. The chromaticisms are intricate, and the difficulties of the song seem to be compounded by the fact that the lead voice (the melody) is placed in the baritone position (instead of the traditional second tenor position), where it is potentially harder for listeners, and the quartet members themselves, to hear.

This piece is difficult for experienced singers to successfully navigate; for newbies who might have difficulty even matching a pitch (much less carrying a funky chromatic harmony all by themselves), it could be pretty close to impossible. I thought that if I could create a two part arrangement of this musical number, it might prove more manageable.

Since many institutions might be facing difficulty with "Sincere" when mounting a production of "The Music Man," I am posting the simplified two-part arrangement here in case it might prove useful for others. (Note that the first few bars require three voices. There was no way around the need for at least three voices for those opening chords, but I tried to make it so that the top two voices of the chords moved in almost purely stepwise fashion.)

Download the score here.


  1. Hi Can you make one for the 2nd tenor and the first bass (baritone)? A small froup and i are singing this song for a competition.:)

    1. Hi Joey,

      Perhaps we can slightly customize the current two-part arrangement to suit your needs:

      -- Does the current upper voice fit into the range of your 2nd tenor singer(s)? If not, which notes are too high or too low?

      -- If the low F in measure 16 of the lower part is too low for your baritone(s), they can just sing it an octave up!