is thi sa voice leading issue?

I'm running into issues when creating my harmony section for pop songs, I can create melodies, chord progressions, basslines and percussion but I'm running into issues with my chords.

To be more specific, generally are the chords on one instrument or can you spread each note of the chord across a few instruments? If I was to layer the chords with a different instrument can I invert them, add extensions, etc.

If I was to spread the chord across instruments should they follow 4 voice harmony theory?

If I was to spread them out should I have the closed chords as a main layer and the result spread out supporting them, e.g have the chords on a piano and then double the top line and put it on a pad.

Sorry for the noob question. Thanks

  • You can literally do whatever you want. Try it and see how it sounds. Aug 14, 2020 at 0:30

1 Answer 1


You can certainly use multiple instruments to voice chords, the real question is how to do it gracefully and get a good result. And for that, you'll need more that a few suggestions...

Here's a nice article that may help you get started. (I'm using the copy from archive.org because it looks like the website that was hosting the page is having some issues)


  • Very nice article, unfortunately, the volume isn't working. Do you have any recommendations for books on this topic? I noticed the author mentioned counterpoint in the article, would learning about that help me write for each instrument in my song correctly?
    – TheDud
    Aug 14, 2020 at 1:08
  • 1
    Hopefully the web site that hosted that article will get fixed and everything will work again - that article was really good, and hearing the examples too. Regarding books, I don't have a recommendation but I suggest that you create a new question on this site, asking specifically for book recommendations. Describe your interests in detail, and you'll get a few good tips for sure.
    – MMazzon
    Aug 14, 2020 at 11:01

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