Correct formatting for hymns? [SOLVED]

• May 31, 2013 - 09:15

Dear all

I am in the fortunate position that I can spend perhaps a day a week in MuseScore as part of my full-time job. (My jobs keeps me very busy, though! I have very little spare time to work on the music I want to work on!) This occasionally includes writing out or transposing a hymn.

However, I am not sure of the correct formatting for hymns. Allow me to explain: Hymns are usually written in four-part harmony, so as to be played on an organ and sung by a choir.

Some sources therefore use separate voices in each stave (see this example ) while other sources tend to use singe voices, with the notes simply grouped together. (see this example )

Which one is correct? Or, more importantly, which one would be easier to be played by both an organist and a simple piano player?

Thanks so much!


In terms of performance by organist/pianist, then there is little to choose between the two systems.

If, however, you have a 4 part choir singing from your produced score, then the version produced in 4 voices - 2 for the top stave and 2 for the bottom stave is more correct.

This is because the direction of the stem shows which part is to sing which note, and so allowing the display of divisi which you will find sometimes


In reply to by ChurchOrganist

Thanks so much for the reply, Michael! I was actually hoping you would reply... ;-)

I understand why voices are used for choirs. However, I am more worried about what is the correct/standard way to write or print hymns.

In other words: If I went out to buy a hymn-book for accompaniasts today, which option would I be most likely to find?

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