When writing or arranging a song, is it acceptable to duplicate the notes between the vocal and the piano part, meaning that the top note of a chord in the piano part is the same note as the note that is being sung? Should I try to omit the top note and instead voice the chords differently to avoid this? Should my piano part be completely independent from the vocal part?

Personally I find that this adds more depth to the melody line, which can otherwise get lost among the chords, and makes it easier to sing to.

closed as primarily opinion-based by Carl Witthoft, Richard, Todd Wilcox, Meaningful Username, Dom Jun 1 '17 at 19:23

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    There's no Musical Board of Acceptability. It's art. If it makes the song better to double the part, then do it. If it makes it worse, don't do it. Whether it works or not is song-specific, there can be no general guideline. – Todd Wilcox Jun 1 '17 at 16:09
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    If you are writing for 7-year-old singers, you probably need to double all the voice part!. But apart from that, a good rule of thumb is that it's better to double that voice part at a different octave (either higher or lower,) not in unison - don't tread on the singer's toes! – user19146 Aug 1 '17 at 3:50
  • Yes, yes and yes. All ways are good. Choose the one that fits your music best. – Laurence Payne Dec 14 '17 at 22:49

Yes, and no. To an extent, it'll depend on who's going to be singing. If the singer is not too strong, he may appreciate the help provided. But, a good vocalist may well not need or want that in his way, as he could well embellish or even change certain phrasings. At that point, he's not going to thank the accompanist.

Also depends how it's going to be written out - as three lines is best, so there's the bass and treble clef for piano, and the vox line above. If it was me, I'd actually do two versions, one with the same top piano line, so that could easily be played with not even a singer, or with one who needed it, and a different arrangement with no, or few unison top line piano parts for the more experienced vocalists.

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