reading voices

• Nov 5, 2011 - 01:30

I've transcribed the first two measures of a printed guitar piece which has confusing voices (to me at least). To create these measures with MS, I used voices 1,2,4. I placed the first and last triplet of each measure in voice 1 and the middle two triplets in voice 4 (and then I deleted the voice 4 rests on the first and last beats). My question: is this a sensible interpretation of voices for these measures?

(as an aside, in the printed piece the note heads of the first note of each measure overlap. I figured out how to make MS do the same, but I didn't include that change in this version.)


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It works, sure, but I think the more straightforward solution would be to consider all the triplets as being in the same voice. It's the voice with the two quarters on beats two and three where I'd have hidden the rests on beats one and four. But really, it's six of one, a half dozen of the other.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I see what you mean about considering all the triplets to be in the same voice, but doesn't that discard the notion that the stems for a single voice should all point in the same direction? Maybe that convention isn't a strict rule when you have more than two voices? (I guess my question is more about reading this kind of voice notation, rather than specifically how to reproduce this notation using MS)

In reply to by mtherieau

As an ABRSM Grade 8 guitarist, I would go along with Marc's analysis of the parts.

Guitar music is peculiar in that it squashes everything onto one stave, apart from one or two examples - Benjamin Britten wrote on two staves for guitar.

In guitar music, the tendency is to discard voice conventions for what makes practical sense in squashing everything onto one stave, and in this case it is clear that you have a triplet accompaniment playing along with a dotted minim bass line and crotchet melody.

Incidentally I recognise the piece - a study by Giuliani? Or is it Sor?

Just my two pennorth :)

In reply to by ChurchOrganist

ok -- so, it's not as simple as "look at the stem directions" to pick out the voices. As I scanned through further measures, it became clear that the stems of the accompaniment voice triplets switch direction, depending on whether they line up with a bass note or a melody note. Thanks to both of you for the info -- much appreciated!
(and the piece is Etude in A by Carcassi ;-)

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