So I have written this violins part on one staff where at a certain moment I want the concert master to play solo and the others play something else (some pizzicato accents in this case)

What would be the best way to notate this? "div. solo" above the upper voice (which is the solo violin)? (and "pizz." beneath the second voice obviously)

It's not worth separating into two staves IMO, since it's only 4 measures long.


“div. solo” is redundant; just write “solo” for violin 1 and concertmaster will take it. For the others, you can write “gli altri” which basically means “the rest”.

To be super clear, add a dashed bracket for the solo bit and then mark “tutti” for them to come together again afterward.

  • I think the dashed bracket is maybe a bit overkill, no? Shouldn't "tutti" suffice?
    – Creynders
    Jan 28 '18 at 11:18
  • Extra question: since the rest played pizzicato I assume I can write "tutti arco", right?
    – Creynders
    Jan 28 '18 at 11:19
  • 2
    No one has ever complained to me that my scores were “too clear”. Sometimes when the music is quite complicated, it can be a little dicey unless you mark indications with brackets. To answer your question, just writing “arco” will have everyone playing that. If you’re switching from gli altri pizz to tutti arco then you’re fine. Jan 28 '18 at 18:21
  • @jjmusicnotes Exactly! How many bars do you have in a line, 8? 12? A 4-bar solo absolutely merits its own staff. Jan 29 '18 at 7:33
  • @KilianFoth - in my experience what determines a separate is the solo parts complexity. If it’s super simple and I can keep Vln1 stem down, great, but if it’s obnoxious, it’ll be too hard to read otherwise Jan 29 '18 at 11:53

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.