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Questions tagged [satb]

For questions related to SATB (soprano, alto, tenor, bass) chorale-style composition. If the question is specifically about four-part voice leading, please also use the voice-leading tag.

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How do you read chords with beams?

I am having a trouble reading chords with four-noted beams. Do they divide up in half as marked in the picture? And also, the score is in non-SATB setting, I assume it is because "Harp" is ...
Sean's user avatar
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4 votes
0 answers
139 views

Exceptions to exposed 8ves/5ths?

I was recently approached by a student, who swore that they had read that exposed (i.e. outer voice hidden) 8ves/5ths were permitted between different inversions of the same chord. He said he came ...
mb_altho's user avatar
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4 votes
3 answers
1k views

Best practices for community choir audition with unknown song

I recently auditioned for an SATB community choir local to me. Prior to auditioning, I sent them an email and asked what the audition process entailed, so that I could prepare. The choir director ...
notmySOaccount's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
140 views

Research on homophonic voice-leading principles in (3-part) Black Gospel music and related genres?

I'm working on a thesis critiquing functional theory broadly, as incarnated in the text The Musician's Guide to Theory and Analysis (4th ed., 2021), but with one specific gripe: homophonic voice-...
Sineweaver's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
351 views

Is it possible to approach hidden 5ths & 8ves by contrary motion?

Is it possible to approach hidden 5ths & 8ves by contrary or oblique motion? Put differently, every time there is contrary or oblique motion between voices, are direct 5ths & 8ves allowed ...
med med's user avatar
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9 votes
4 answers
1k views

What one-octave set of notes is most comfortable for an SATB choir to sing in unison/octaves?

I'm scoring a piece for SATB choir and there is a moment that I want a melody sung in unison/octaves by the whole choir. The melody spans an octave. I first conceived of the melody in A minor, where ...
nuggethead's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
66 views

Where can I find melodies to practice basic four-part writing? [closed]

I'm a first year Music Student. In our theory classes, we're learning four part writing (SATB). In every class, our teacher brings a soprano or bass melodic line and asks us to harmonize it. I've ...
John05's user avatar
  • 335
8 votes
6 answers
2k views

How can I prevent a 4-part harmony from sounding muddy?

This is my 4-part harmony version of the first two phrases of the traditional song "Angels we have Heard on High". When I play it back, it sounds very thick and muddy, which is not what I ...
OprenStein's user avatar
  • 1,626
7 votes
3 answers
533 views

Reason for 4-voice music octave rule

As far as I know, a basic rule of 4-voice music is: -The two intervals between the upper 3 voices should not be wider than an octave, and when moving on to the next chord, each voice should proceed as ...
guss2222's user avatar
  • 149
8 votes
2 answers
803 views

Seemingly unsolvable SATB harmonization

Was working on the following exercise in RCM Harmony 9 - it seems like there's no solution if you follow all the SATB rules. It's in F# minor, so looking at the second note, we see that it's tonic (...
user87910's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
183 views

Which D do I use with choral tenors

I'm writing an SATB choral piece and I want the voices to end on unison D's. I'm going for a low, rich, sonorous, powerful, truiumphant sound. I'm planning soprano and alto on D4 (just above middle C)...
nuggethead's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
82 views

Are unequal 5ths going from i to ii°6 acceptable in 4 part harmony?

Im major this wouldn't work but in minor usually a P5 to a D5 is permitted right?
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1 vote
1 answer
61 views

When ^6 is raised in minor can it be approached by leap?

At the end of this passage I have realized a figured bass with an ascending line using melodic minor. I am instructed to use 10ths in the outer voices for bar 5 so I obviously will have ^6 in the ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
124 views

Can a chordal skip double another voice?

Here the soprano skips to the alto's C# on the second beat forming a unison. Is there anything wrong with this kind of skip or would it be perfectly correct voice leading?
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1 vote
1 answer
103 views

How to eliminate parallel 5ths with chordal skips

This is kind of the opposite of my other question Can 16th notes cause parallel octaves?. If chordal skips are able to cause parallel intervals then surely they are able to eliminate them as well. In ...
user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
1k views

Can 16th notes cause parallel octaves?

In another post I learned that an 8th note chordal skip can produce consecutive parallel intervals even when the parallel interval happens off the beat. But what about a 16th note descending line like ...
user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
358 views

Do metrically weak chordal skips cause parallel 5ths and octaves?

I am trying to decorate a descending fifths sequence by using chordal skips and passing tones. As you see the skip to the 3rd of the C chord creates parallel octaves in the outer voices when moving to ...
user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
476 views

SATB chord iib (AKA ii6) doubling

In SATB, the chord iib in D-flat major, the chord is realised as: G-flat, E-flat, B-flat, (G-flat is doubled). Why isn't the E-flat doubled, it being the root of the chord?
Lucienne Cauchi's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
225 views

How to harmonize a bassline with a scalar soprano

Here is an exercise I am working on and I can't figure out the second bar that has a bass that goes ^4 ^6 ^5. If I am right, the scalar soprano should start on ^6 and work its way down to ^3 over the ...
user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
120 views

How to write ii chord in minor (SATB)

In TCL grade 6 theory, Roman numerals should not contain diminished or augmented symbols like iio, III+, etc. Then how to perceive "ii" in minor scale. Because in A minor, B diminished which ...
user82819's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
94 views

How to resolve a vii°6 when there is a D5 in the upper parts

According to what I have learned, the dissonant interval of an A4 can resolve to a P4 when going from vii°6 to I but if there is a D5 it must resolve properly (a D5 can go to P5 under certain ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
67 views

How do I start a new phrase whilst modulating? [closed]

Hi guys, I have recently been composing and have run into an issue. I have finished a section with a perfect cadence (bar 52), and I would like to change to the subdominant key for the next phrase (...
EdB123's user avatar
  • 741
2 votes
3 answers
144 views

Is a figured bass symbol supposed to show a raised 6th scale degree?

I am harmonizing this figured bass Please look at the E note where the blue arrow is pointing. I have raised this note because otherwise there would be an aug 2nd leap to the F#. Can someone please ...
user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
260 views

Is it ok to change between keyboard style and SATB style harmony notation?

I began a harmony exercise in keyboard style but now my chords are opening up and I am finding it very hard to remain in keyboard style whilst still maintaining the smoothest voice leading. There ...
user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
135 views

What is the difference between a cadential V6-5 and iii6?

Please have a look at my harmonization. I am having difficulty labelling the V chords in this harmonization. I have labelled them as V chords with a 6-5 suspension. Would this labelling be correct ...
user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
324 views

How to write a 4 part progression going from V to VI in minor keys

Apparently the 3rd of the VI needs to be doubled but in this progression I have written the motion from V to VI with the normal doubling and it sounds great to me. I don't understand why they make ...
user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
264 views

How to think about SATB when analysing piece on piano? [closed]

I'm beginner, so I read music theory and didn't find straight clear answer about applying SATB in pieces (in modern particularly). What information could I get from dividing voices, seeing all this up ...
Suslove's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
506 views

Melody harmonisation: How to handle leaps?

I am currently harmonising a melody- the last three bars of the phrase are shown in the picture. The melody is in the alto part, and it finishes the phrase with a large leap down to G. I would like to ...
EdB123's user avatar
  • 741
3 votes
2 answers
96 views

Four part writing: Does quality and amount of dissonances affect use of non harmony notes?

Still writing four part. I have found that, even if dissonances are prepared and resolved by the book, they can still be quite jarring. So, I was wondering if it is normal to take extra factors into ...
EdB123's user avatar
  • 741
3 votes
4 answers
154 views

After writing the highest voice, does it matter what order I write the rest of the voices?

Suppose I am writing for a string quartet. Don't make any assumptions about what I'm writing, just how many instruments (violin, violin, viola, cello). Suppose I write the violin part for a small ...
Stan Shunpike's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
280 views

Is my SATB harmonisation correct in this example?

I am so paranoid about SATB harmonisation, because there are so many rules, and I feel overwhelmed. I literally feel like I have a hundred hidden mistakes in this question.
asdasd's user avatar
  • 11
6 votes
2 answers
3k views

Voice leading: is it allowed to move from a perfect fifth to an augmented fourth?

I understand that it is allowed to move from a perfect fifth to a perfect fourth, even if it is not the most preferable solution. However, would it be valid to move from a perfect fifth to an ...
Quaerendo's user avatar
  • 760
1 vote
1 answer
166 views

is fourth to fifth in parallel motion permittable in satb?

I am currently working out some SATB composition and I am wondering a bit about the alto-tenor part. There is fourth to fifth in parallel motion in the first measure. Is this permitted in strict SATB?...
peanut_butter's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
84 views

voice independence in SATB setting [closed]

I am looking for a suggestion for sheet music. I would like to study a piece of chorale or SATB style music that is simple to read (preferably transposed to C major) exemplifies good technique in ...
286642's user avatar
  • 1,396
1 vote
2 answers
175 views

Beginner SATB Music Theory - Are my nonharmonic chord tones correct in this example?

I am trying to create my own composition with a basic chord progression and nonharmonic tones for practice. I was wondering if I made any mistakes in adding the nonharmonic tones or in following other ...
user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
393 views

A question regarding SATB (4 part) harmonization

I'm working through examples in my Harmony 9 book from the RCM Celebration series and I stumbled across a SATB harmony question that I am unsure of. the red is what is given, you have to choose the ...
user avatar
6 votes
5 answers
763 views

How to make the Bass in SATB move more smoothly?

While writing for SATB, I realise I have a few chords where the Bass part is moving down in intervals of 6ths or 7ths from one chord to the next. For example, I have a chord progression iib in F ...
Grace's user avatar
  • 1,793
4 votes
4 answers
852 views

Is there a rule in SATB writing regarding the Soprano & Bass moving in contrary motion?

While writing a melody over a bass line, it is generally advised to have the melody & the bass line moving in contrary motion to each other. I want to know if such a rule also exists when you ...
Grace's user avatar
  • 1,793
5 votes
3 answers
2k views

Maximum interval between Alto & Tenor, & intervals when writing for SATB

What is the maximum interval permitted between the Alto & Tenor when writing for SATB? I have read it should not be more than a 10th, whereas another source said it should not be more than an 8th. ...
Grace's user avatar
  • 1,793
4 votes
1 answer
474 views

Tenor part written higher than the Alto part in SATB

I have read that Bach in his chorales wrote the tenor part high (frequently using ledger lines for this). Another source said that the Tenor part would be written higher than the Alto part - for ...
Grace's user avatar
  • 1,793
1 vote
2 answers
246 views

Using passing notes in SATB writing

When writing for SATB, which is the best voice in which you can use passing notes & auxiliary notes? Also, in a music exam where the Soprano part is given to you (and you have to harmonise the ...
Grace's user avatar
  • 1,793
12 votes
8 answers
4k views

Doubling the third of a root position major chord in four-part harmony

In a manual for four-part harmony that I am reading, it is suggested to avoid doubling the 3rd of a root position major chord, as it sounds harsh. On a minor root position chord however, it is ...
user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
2k views

How to write lyrics over multiple notes

When one wants to write a piece in which a 1 syllable word is split between multiple notes, how is this shown? Or a multiple syllable word over the same number of notes? A visual representation/...
S.L's user avatar
  • 492
0 votes
4 answers
182 views

Time signatures and verse

Recently I challenged myself to set a piece of religious text to music for SATB. However, I encountered timing issues caused by irregular numbers of syllables in verses, and when to break off phrases. ...
S.L's user avatar
  • 492
1 vote
1 answer
387 views

Can voice overlap occur in different phrases?

Is it possible for voices in one phrase to overlap with voices in another in SATB chorale style? For example: the alto sings middle C in one phrase and in the next phrase the tenor sings D. This ...
James Chen's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
114 views

What do these measures mean at the beginning of this choral piece?

The piece is "Es ist ein Ros entsprungen," and it was composed in the 1600s by Michael Praetorius. This score is edited.
magicmq's user avatar
  • 153
6 votes
3 answers
1k views

How should I write a SATB piece in Musescore with respect to its voice soundfont?

I'm currently writing a vocal piece for a high school SATB chorus in Musescore. Throughout the composition process, I've been using the Musescore playback, which presents all voice syllables in a ...
Plentelle's user avatar
  • 103
0 votes
1 answer
589 views

SATB - how to balance the parts?

I have been wondering how to determine the optimal balance of voices in SATB music. I have found quite a bit of material on how to arrange the parts but less on the numbers. The arrangement issues ...
badjohn's user avatar
  • 4,243