Rules for writing piano accompaniment for SATB using 6 staves

• Apr 25, 2016 - 20:40

I am writing a cantata. If I vary the chord positions in SATB, can I write the piano accompaniment using only root position? This is the first score and has only 24 bars. As the text is very confident, root positions seem to suit it. Am I being terribly ignorant? Be very grateful for some advice!


Well, you can do anything you like of course. Doing everything in root position won't necessarily be terrible, but good voice leading is important on piano just as surely as it is for singers. Generally if the *top & inner* voices connect well, it won't matter so much what the *bottom* voicue does - both for singers and for piano. What will *not* generally work is not only putting the piano in root position, but also using only close position triads, so all voices need to leap the same amount in the same direction at the same time, plus it will either not be low enough to be satifying or will be too low and be muddy. Open voicings are important for piano to spread the notes out and provide good voice leading opportunities.

I can't thank you enough! I was completely mind boggled and googled desperately to no avail. It is 60 years since I did any 4 part writing and never with a piano accompaniment and writing this cantata - which will be a long work- means a great deal to me. Many thanks again

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