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After writing "solo" over a part intended for one instrumentalist in a section, what's the best way to indicate that the the entire section should again begin playing?

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There are a couple of standard conventions for this, depending on the instrumentation you are writing for.

The first, is just writing the word Tutti above the music where the rest of the section is to enter.

The second can be used only if there is a specific number of players in the section. For instance, in an orchestral piece with two clarinets, when the solo ends, a2 is written above where the other player is then suppose to come in. This tells the players that now two people are suppose to play. Similarly, a3 and sometimes a4 are used.

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  • I was staying away from "tutti" due to the fact that I thought that it generally indicates that the entire ensemble should begin playing. Just to be clear, it's safe to use it sectionally as well?
    – Smovies
    Jan 9, 2012 at 19:16
  • @Smovies, yes, when "tutti" is written in a part, and especially after the "solo" indication, it means for the entire section to enter. Jan 10, 2012 at 0:13
  • It is also possible, for winds and brass, to specify the numbers of all the players on a given staff. So, if 1st and 2nd horns are on the same staff, you could also write (1. 2.) to indicate that a solo ends.
    – aeismail
    Jan 10, 2012 at 11:55

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