Vocal group


Audio: vocal group (0:04)

Vocal group
Figure: vocal group

vocal group plays four part harmony sung by a vocal group. The vocal group figure shows the harmony in SATB long score format.

A choir or a chorus is a vocal group of any size. Small vocal groups use similar terminology to small instrumental groups: soloist, duet, trio, quartet and quintet for one to five members respectively. A capella and its close cousin barbershop music are unaccompanied singing.

Vocal four part harmony is notated in SATB. In long score format each voice has a separate staff as in vocal group. Short score format is used throughout the guide because it is a more flexible option during the writing process. A short score can always be converted to a long score once the piece is finished.

In two part vocal harmony the melody is often in the soprano part and the second part is usually assigned to the bass. The third part is usually assigned to the alto in three part vocal harmony. In four part vocal harmony the melody is, as usual, assigned to the soprano, and the alto, tenor and bass fight it out for the honour of singing the remaining notes.

Doubled notes are usually assigned to the alto and tenor parts.

The separation of a single part into two parts is known as a divisi, or simply, divisi. It is marked in a score with the abbreviation, div.