Last year, over on the Facebook group for Barbershop Arrangement and Composition, Jim Emery raised the following question:
I do actually have several arrangements that are OK but not stellar. One was performed in contest by my international competitor level quartet. Several others found their way to our quartet CD. But they seem kind of vanilla. Short of just "getting more creative", I'd love to exchange ideas for how to approach sprucing them up.
(Actually, while I’m at it I’ll make this implicit plug for the FB group more explicit. It’s not maybe as active as it might be, but it has some really good people involved in it, and has a wonderful range of experience, from relative beginners to some of the biggest names out there. If you’ve not been over there, do go check it out.)
Anyway, Jim’s was one of those questions that has stayed with me. He’s really put his finger on a particular dilemma: it’s all very well to recognise that you want your arrangements to be more creative, but how do you go about making that happen?