Choral divided writing

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OCTO
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Choral divided writing

Post by OCTO » 10 Nov 2016, 11:45

In a regular SATB layout, when one voice is divided in high/low voices, do they have separate voices/layers (=stems) IF the rhythm is completely the same AND when they have numerous grace notes as well?
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Last edited by OCTO on 11 Nov 2016, 06:13, edited 1 time in total.
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tisimst
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Re: Choral divided writing

Post by tisimst » 10 Nov 2016, 13:25

I think the obvious things to consider are 1) clarity (i.e., distinguishing between the parts) and 2) vertical spacing needs. I've seen both styles you are showing in plenty of choral scores. If the parts are rhythmically the same most of the time, I'd probably make them share a stem and only split them into separate voices during the passages of differing rhythms, if the lower voice needs to go above the upper voice (or vice versa), or if the two notes are a second apart or in unison. This usually gives the lyrics the most room (vertically).
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Knut
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Re: Choral divided writing

Post by Knut » 10 Nov 2016, 15:44

I think tisimst is right, although I think there is a stronger tendency for voices not to share a stem in vocal music than in instrumental music.

With regard to vertical spacing, if you decide to mix it up, as tisimst suggests, you should also consider the amount of space needed for lyrics when transitioning between single and double stemming on the same system. An unevenness in white space can be remedied by shortening the stems on the second voice, but might still be unattractive and less legible.

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OCTO
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Re: Choral divided writing

Post by OCTO » 10 Nov 2016, 16:04

Ok, friends, what should I do?
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Re: Choral divided writing

Post by Knut » 10 Nov 2016, 17:30

:n3
OCTO wrote:Ok, friends, what should I do?
I think we'll need to see a longer passage of the score to give you any more specific advice.

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OCTO
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Re: Choral divided writing

Post by OCTO » 11 Nov 2016, 06:13

(EDITED:)
I have checked some literature, and I see different approaches. Absolutely when SA placed at one staff they are divided, but here the same voice is split.
I think I will go with option 2, with shared stems. The shared voices are completely the same in the rhythmical move (shared A, shared T and shared B - which would add extra vertical space).

Also here (Gould):
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Why don't I look there first...? :( :idea: :(
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Knut
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Re: Choral divided writing

Post by Knut » 11 Nov 2016, 14:04

Thanks, OCTO. After doing a bit of research, my assessment of this has clearly been misguided, at least in regards to 20th century music.
I must say, though, that I'm not that crazy about Gould's example, but perhaps that stems from my limited exposure to more modern vocal music.

Anyway, I do agree that sharing the stem is the better option if the rhythms are equal.

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Re: Choral divided writing

Post by MJCube » 11 Nov 2016, 14:05

I agree about sharing stems when the rhythm is the same.

OCTO, another thing I notice about the first example: The syllables are aligned with the main notes, but it would be helpful to back them up to the position of the first grace notes. That is where they must be sung, after all.

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OCTO
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Re: Choral divided writing

Post by OCTO » 11 Nov 2016, 14:35

MJCube wrote:The syllables are aligned with the main notes, but it would be helpful to back them up to the position of the first grace notes. That is where they must be sung, after all.
That is correct. The example is just a nonsense, I added some text for visual purpose. Thanks anyway for pointing this out, that is the correct way.
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Re: Choral divided writing

Post by benwiggy » 15 Nov 2016, 09:02

I would want to emphasise that for short score writing, the parts should have individual stems. I'm something of a fan of unison noteheads side-by-side, but that's probably an archaic practice.
But for divisi within a single part line, yes, I concur.

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