Suppose I am writing for a string quartet. Don't make any assumptions about what I'm writing, just how many instruments (violin, violin, viola, cello). Suppose I write the violin part for a small stretch of melody. I now want to write the other voices.
I read somewhere recently that it is best to write the outer voices before writing the inner voices. Seemingly in support of this idea, Stephen Stone in Music Theory and Composition A Practical Approach states
"When writing a contrapuntal piece, all three voices should be equally independent and melodically interesting. The goal of this text, however, is to work toward understanding traditional harmonic progressions and part writing. In this light, it is appropriate to write "boring" inner voices; in fact, it is encouraged. While using many repeated notes and common tones in the outer voices leads to a dull exercise, using them in the inner voice is wise. If the inner voice does not move, it cannot create voice-leading problems." (page 128)
In Joseph Swain's Harmonic Rhythm: Analysis and Interpretation, he states:
“Acoustical science tells us that it is the lowest-sounding pitch, the fundamental, that determines the pitches of the other, higher partial frequencies, which some writers have cited to explain why the most stable chords are in root position. Indeed, the perceived strength of a chord’s identity and its function derive partly from its inversion. The pitch of the bass has always remained conceptually distinct from the identity of the triad, and that allows the bass voice its melodic freedom; it is not entirely a slave to the chord progression. Changing the inversion of a triad is a harmonic change of some independence.”
To me, these suggest that, after writing my first violin part, then writing the bass would come next, followed by the "inner voices." I'm confused why that is a good ideas.
I can see if I were writing a piece (suppose for vocals, so SATB) like the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah, like this
Then it would make sense to write the outer voices first. They aren't that different rhythmically in this case.
But consider Haydn's String Quartet No. 62 in C Major Op 76 No. 3 Movement 2
The second violin here has substantially more notes and rhythmically mimics the first violin much more than the viola or cello.
So in this case, it would seem to me to make more sense to write the alto part first.
If a composer has written the highest voice already, under what circumstances would someone write the inner voices first before writing the bass?