Faking phrases ?

• Aug 30, 2022 - 02:21

I'm in the process of entering a score for an early baroque polyphonic piece for SATB. I plan to use it for playback, to make practice tracks for our choir. (I understand that playback is not the primary intended purpose for MuseScore.)

In case you're interested, it's Stabat Mater, by Juan Gutierrez de Padilla.

Each voice has phrases that start and end at different times, typical of this kind of music. Each voice has its own lyrics, too. Well, the same lyrics, but sung at different times. Phrases are not marked in the music, but it's pretty clear where the phrases are. The phrases should sound kind of subtle.

I set each voice to a different musical instrument, like Soprano = Violin, Alto = Clarinet, and so on, to separate the sound of the voices. Nevertheless, when I play it back, it all turns into a blur. Some kind of phrasing is needed.

I know that MuseScore has slur marks, which can look like phrase marks, but I don't think slur marks will do the job.

I'm wondering how best to mark this score so phrases will sound like phrases on playback. I've thought of marking each entrance as Forte, then entering a dimuendo after the entrance. I've thought of marking the first note of each phrase as marcato, or something like that. I've thought of making the notes at the end of each phrase shorter, by an eighth note or so, then adding an eighth rest.

It doesn't matter how the score looks. I'm the only one who will see it. The rest of the choir will be singing from printed scores we purchased from the publishers.

I really don't know what I'm doing. What do you advise?


You wrote:
Some kind of phrasing is needed.
I know that MuseScore has slur marks, which can look like phrase marks, but I don't think slur marks will do the job.

Perhaps this may be useful...
Using the Piano Roll Editor (PRE):
...you can tweak note lengths to create "phrases".

Open this score:
...and, in the PRE, look at the 'Len' settings of the notes in the 2 slurred phrases and compare to the other notes' 'Len' settings.

In reply to by Jm6stringer

Your effort is appreciated. I'll give it some thought, not sure I understand it yet. Never used the piano roll editor. My first reaction, which may be wrong -- It looks like this is another way of entering a slur into the score, while choosing the degree of legato in the connected notes. Does that sound right? If so, I'm not sure that's the right tool for the job, or I might need to use a combination of approaches.

In reply to by Timborino

My attachment was one I previously used in a forum to show how slurred phrases can be sounded. Years ago, note timings (on/off times) could be adjusted in the Inspector. Today the PRE can be used.
A musical phrase is notated as a slur, and the subtle playback does not occur automatically. The PRE is used to tweak the legato.

P.S.: This plugin: https://musescore.org/en/project/articulation-and-ornamentation-control
purports "to manipulate note attack and release" and "eliminate the need to struggle with the Piano Roll Editor."
I have never used it, but perhaps it allows note attack/release timings to be easily adjusted.

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