The word "choir" is pronounced /ˈkwī(ə)r/, but if I divide the syllables they are cho and ir.

So I imagine that if it's to be sung on two notes my choices are:

Some music with the word choir in it..

I think [based on this post}(https://music.stackexchange.com/a/52441/14836) that the second approach is called a melisma. I also think that the second makes more sense, but would love to get some input.

  • 1
    or maybe use "Chorale" ? softer than "chorus", at least. Feb 7, 2019 at 13:56

1 Answer 1


It looks like "choir" can be pronounced as either one or two syllables. If you want the two syllable pronunciation, you have to use the first way of writing it. The second way denotes one syllable spread over two notes, and the diphthong (combined vowel sound of the /oi/) will start on the first note, continue to the second note, and then the very end of the second note will have the /r/ sound.

The first way indicates that it's not sung as a diphthong but as two separate vowel sounds, the /o/ sound on the first note and the /i/ on the second note.

Side note: You could substitute the word "chorus" instead, which of course doesn't have a one-syllable version and eliminates the slightly awkward /r/ ending. But then again, "chorus" does not have the church connotations of "choir".

  • 1
    "...Like a chorus" doesn't have the same soft rhyme with "...of each other". Also we're from New Jersey where "choir" ends with a "yah" sound.
    – MikeiLL
    Feb 7, 2019 at 3:04
  • 2
    @MikeiLL if your kwyah sings with a Noo Joisy accent, it's not going to win the Nationals :-) Feb 7, 2019 at 13:52

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