In have no idea what the abbreviation stands for nor its interpretation for the singer. The positioning of this abbreviation sits atop the staff sometimes. I could only find the (multiple) abbreviations for "SA" (meaning) but not how to sing this.

  • 2
    Give more context.
    – user48353
    Apr 28, 2018 at 2:27
  • 1
    We can't do any more than guess until you post a scan of the page. I imagine if this was a choral score you'd have said so? Apr 28, 2018 at 12:09

1 Answer 1


In a four-part chorale texture, there are four voices singing: soprano (the highest), alto, tenor, and bass (the lowest). We commonly call this an SATB texture, although there are other arrangements.

The "SA" stands for "Soprano and Alto," and it indicates which voices are shown on a given staff.

In the example below, "SA" next to the treble clef indicates that the voices in that staff are the soprano and alto; the "TB" next to the bass clef indicates tenor and bass.

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  • Certainly not denigrating the answer, but wouldn't it be apparent from the pitches written, and their placing on the stave/s? And - is that tune in G Dorian? Just curious! +1.
    – Tim
    Apr 28, 2018 at 6:23
  • Whether this applies to the OP's under-specified question is anyone's guess. +1 for giving an answer of general applicability.
    – user48353
    Apr 28, 2018 at 8:31
  • @Tim, I'd agree the SA and TB are not necessary, but do provide an extra courtesy. I would think this is mostly for untrained singers in choruses, who barely read music. The top clef could be misinterpreted as TT. Some people do not always notice there is a little 8 at the bottom of the clef sign to signify it is for tenors.
    – Heather S.
    Apr 28, 2018 at 11:03
  • 1
    A four-part chorale style does not have to be SATB. It could also be TTBB or SSAA.
    – Heather S.
    Apr 28, 2018 at 11:07
  • @HeatherS. - is it normal for tenor parts to be written in treble clef? The standard SATB is both, so why provide the extra courtesy which, for this OP, didn't mean anything anyway! And - I think the range would be a good giveaway.
    – Tim
    Apr 28, 2018 at 11:52

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