Partability create (to order, if necessary) specialist rehearsal CDs for use by your choral society, choir or small instrumental ensemble.
The idea is that singers or instrumentalists, particularly those whose sight-reading abilities are limited or still developing, can practise their own part at home with the aid of a CD designed just for this purpose, with their own notes emphasised. The musician subsequently gets more out of group rehearsals than having to rely on them as "notebashing" sessions, their colleagues (particularly the director!) may enjoy rehearsals more since they are not held back, and ultimately the audience will appreciate a more confident performance.
(In the following example, click on the name of a part to hear an extract of the recording which you would hear on a PartAbility CD. The samples have been compressed, so that even with a dial-up modem, each extract should not take longer than 20 seconds to download.)
For the SSATB choral piece "Never, Weather-Beaten Sail" (comp. Hubert H. Parry) PartAbility have created a set of audio files in five variants, each variant supporting solo practice by a singer of one of the vocal parts. The alto variant (for example) uses a clarinet for the alto part, which is recorded at a greater volume, and placed on the extreme right of the stereo mix (to allow the student to emphasise their part less or more, as their confidence increases). The other vocal parts use contrasting instrumental timbres, and are placed on the left at lower volumes. (This particular piece is unaccompanied, but in general, any accompaniment would be recorded at a moderate volume, and placed in the centre.)
The first soprano, second soprano, tenor and bass variants have their own notes emphasised, in a corresponding way. Note that each variant begins with a couple of lead-in bars emphasising "your" starting pitch and "counting you in". Clearly, the same concept can be applied to works written for more or less than five vocal parts, or for instrumental ensembles such as a string quartet.
Other companies produce rehearsal CDs for mainstream works that they are confident will sell safely; they also normally require you to buy a separate CD for each work, even if it's a short piece, or if you're only performing part of it; this can work out to be quite expensive.
PartAbility's business concept is a little different. We allow you to create a bespoke rehearsal CD with the items you need. We also welcome requests to create rehearsal material for new works. Look here to see how both of these processes work.