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Thread: One Voice Per Part -- need clarification

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    Senior Member GrosseFugue's Avatar
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    Default One Voice Per Part -- need clarification

    *Make an edit, so hopefully my confusion is more understandable*

    Please, could someone explain to me (a non-musician) the way One Voice Per Part works?

    I first heard of it in regards to how Rifkin uses voice in Bach. Let's take Kyrie Eleison from Bach's Mass in B Minor. Well, more than just one voice is singing, even in Rifkin's version.

    So it's not a matter of one voice at a time.

    That's because it's a fugue, right? That's what throws me. I think they should label it differently. Like One Voice PER INDIVIDUAL LINE OF MUSIC. Saying "per part" sounds like you can expect one voice for the Kyrie, one voice for the Christie, one voice for the Et In Terra Pax, etc. But that's not what's happening.

    I suppose a symphonic equivalent would be like saying: One Instrument Per Part and then you might expect only a single violin to play the exposition, a single basson to play the development, a single horn to play the recap, etc.

    You see what I mean? Hey, I'm not a musician! Have mercy or "eleison."

    Out of curiosity -- what was the usual Romantic # of voices per part? 9-12?

    Thanks in advance to all you voice people!
    Last edited by GrosseFugue; Jul-08-2021 at 04:17.
    "He [the average person] doesn't want to admit that there is music that challenges the intellect and rewards thought and sensitivity -- and that most music does neither and therefore appeals to lazy minds and ears."

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    Look up what "part" can mean in music. It is hard to avoid some confusion. Think of string quartet/quintet vs. string orchestra.

    For romantic choral music (and this actually started with some Handel performances already in the 1780s or even earlier) often choirs of hundreds were used. So 10 singers per part would be a moderate size. A large choir would be at least double that.
    The HIP Bach performances with small choirs would be 3-5 voices per part

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