A.4 Vocal ensembles


A.4.1 SATB vocal score

Here is a standard four-part SATB vocal score. With larger ensembles, it is often useful to include a section which is included in all parts. For example, the time signature and key signature are almost always the same for all parts. Like in the “Hymn” template, the four voices are regrouped on only two staves.

\paper {
  top-system-spacing #'basic-distance = #10
  score-system-spacing #'basic-distance = #20
  system-system-spacing #'basic-distance = #20
  last-bottom-spacing #'basic-distance = #10
}

global = {
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
}

sopMusic = \relative c'' {
  c4 c c8[( b)] c4
}
sopWords = \lyricmode {
  hi hi hi hi
}

altoMusic = \relative c' {
  e4 f d e
}
altoWords = \lyricmode {
  ha ha ha ha
}

tenorMusic = \relative c' {
  g4 a f g
}
tenorWords = \lyricmode {
  hu hu hu hu
}

bassMusic = \relative c {
  c4 c g c
}
bassWords = \lyricmode {
  ho ho ho ho
}

\score {
  \new ChoirStaff <<
    \new Lyrics = "sopranos" \with {
      % this is needed for lyrics above a staff
      \override VerticalAxisGroup #'staff-affinity = #DOWN
    }
    \new Staff = "women" <<
      \new Voice = "sopranos" {
        \voiceOne
        << \global \sopMusic >>
      }
      \new Voice = "altos" {
        \voiceTwo
        << \global \altoMusic >>
      }
    >>
    \new Lyrics = "altos"
    \new Lyrics = "tenors" \with {
      % this is needed for lyrics above a staff
      \override VerticalAxisGroup #'staff-affinity = #DOWN
    }
    \new Staff = "men" <<
      \clef bass
      \new Voice = "tenors" {
        \voiceOne
        << \global \tenorMusic >>
      }
      \new Voice = "basses" {
        \voiceTwo << \global \bassMusic >>
      }
    >>
    \new Lyrics = "basses"
    \context Lyrics = "sopranos" \lyricsto "sopranos" \sopWords
    \context Lyrics = "altos" \lyricsto "altos" \altoWords
    \context Lyrics = "tenors" \lyricsto "tenors" \tenorWords
    \context Lyrics = "basses" \lyricsto "basses" \bassWords
  >>
}

[image of music]


A.4.2 SATB vocal score and automatic piano reduction

This template adds an automatic piano reduction to the standard SATB vocal score demonstrated in “Vocal ensemble template”. This demonstrates one of the strengths of LilyPond – you can use a music definition more than once. If any changes are made to the vocal notes (say, tenorMusic), then the changes will also apply to the piano reduction.

\paper {
  top-system-spacing #'basic-distance = #10
  score-system-spacing #'basic-distance = #20
  system-system-spacing #'basic-distance = #20
  last-bottom-spacing #'basic-distance = #10
}

global = {
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
}

sopMusic = \relative c'' {
  c4 c c8[( b)] c4
}
sopWords = \lyricmode {
  hi hi hi hi
}

altoMusic = \relative c' {
  e4 f d e
}
altoWords =\lyricmode {
  ha ha ha ha
}

tenorMusic = \relative c' {
  g4 a f g
}
tenorWords = \lyricmode {
  hu hu hu hu
}

bassMusic = \relative c {
  c4 c g c
}
bassWords = \lyricmode {
  ho ho ho ho
}

\score {
  <<
    \new ChoirStaff <<
      \new Lyrics = "sopranos" \with {
        % This is needed for lyrics above a staff
        \override VerticalAxisGroup #'staff-affinity = #DOWN
      }
      \new Staff = "women" <<
        \new Voice = "sopranos" { \voiceOne << \global \sopMusic >> }
        \new Voice = "altos" { \voiceTwo << \global \altoMusic >> }
      >>
      \new Lyrics = "altos"
      \new Lyrics = "tenors" \with {
        % This is needed for lyrics above a staff
        \override VerticalAxisGroup #'staff-affinity = #DOWN
      }

      \new Staff = "men" <<
        \clef bass
        \new Voice = "tenors" { \voiceOne << \global \tenorMusic >> }
        \new Voice = "basses" { \voiceTwo << \global \bassMusic >> }
      >>
      \new Lyrics = "basses"
      \context Lyrics = "sopranos" \lyricsto "sopranos" \sopWords
      \context Lyrics = "altos" \lyricsto "altos" \altoWords
      \context Lyrics = "tenors" \lyricsto "tenors" \tenorWords
      \context Lyrics = "basses" \lyricsto "basses" \bassWords
    >>
    \new PianoStaff <<
      \new Staff <<
        \set Staff.printPartCombineTexts = ##f
        \partcombine
        << \global \sopMusic >>
        << \global \altoMusic >>
      >>
      \new Staff <<
        \clef bass
        \set Staff.printPartCombineTexts = ##f
        \partcombine
        << \global \tenorMusic >>
        << \global \bassMusic >>
      >>
    >>
  >>
}

[image of music]


A.4.3 SATB with aligned contexts

This template is basically the same as the simple “Vocal ensemble” template, with the exception that here all the lyrics lines are placed using alignAboveContext and alignBelowContext.

global = {
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
}

sopMusic = \relative c'' {
  c4 c c8[( b)] c4
}
sopWords = \lyricmode {
  hi hi hi hi
}

altoMusic = \relative c' {
  e4 f d e
}
altoWords = \lyricmode {
  ha ha ha ha
}

tenorMusic = \relative c' {
  g4 a f g
}
tenorWords = \lyricmode {
  hu hu hu hu
}

bassMusic = \relative c {
  c4 c g c
}
bassWords = \lyricmode {
  ho ho ho ho
}

\score {
  \new ChoirStaff <<
    \new Staff = "women" <<
      \new Voice = "sopranos" { \voiceOne << \global \sopMusic >> }
      \new Voice = "altos" { \voiceTwo << \global \altoMusic >> }
    >>
    \new Lyrics \with { alignAboveContext = #"women" }
      \lyricsto "sopranos" \sopWords
    \new Lyrics \with { alignBelowContext = #"women" }
      \lyricsto "altos" \altoWords
    % we could remove the line about this with the line below, since
    % we want the alto lyrics to be below the alto Voice anyway.
    % \new Lyrics \lyricsto "altos" \altoWords

    \new Staff = "men" <<
      \clef bass
      \new Voice = "tenors" { \voiceOne << \global \tenorMusic >> }
      \new Voice = "basses" { \voiceTwo << \global \bassMusic >> }
    >>
    \new Lyrics \with { alignAboveContext = #"men" }
      \lyricsto "tenors" \tenorWords
    \new Lyrics \with { alignBelowContext = #"men" }
      \lyricsto "basses" \bassWords
    % again, we could replace the line above this with the line below.
    % \new Lyrics \lyricsto "basses" \bassWords
  >>
}

[image of music]


A.4.4 SATB on four staves

SATB choir template (four staves)

global = {
  \key c \major
  \time 4/4
  \dynamicUp
}
sopranonotes = \relative c'' {
  c2 \p \< d c d \f
}
sopranowords = \lyricmode { do do do do }
altonotes = \relative c'' {
  c2\p d c d
}
altowords = \lyricmode { re re re re }
tenornotes = {
  \clef "G_8"
  c2\mp d c d
}
tenorwords = \lyricmode { mi mi mi mi }
bassnotes = {
  \clef bass
  c2\mf d c d
}
basswords = \lyricmode { mi mi mi mi }

\score {
  \new ChoirStaff <<
    \new Staff <<
      \new Voice = "soprano" <<
        \global
        \sopranonotes
      >>
      \lyricsto "soprano" \new Lyrics \sopranowords
    >>
    \new Staff <<
      \new Voice = "alto" <<
        \global
        \altonotes
      >>
      \lyricsto "alto" \new Lyrics \altowords
    >>
    \new Staff <<
      \new Voice = "tenor" <<
        \global
        \tenornotes
      >>
      \lyricsto "tenor" \new Lyrics \tenorwords
    >>
    \new Staff <<
      \new Voice = "bass" <<
        \global
        \bassnotes
      >>
      \lyricsto "bass" \new Lyrics \basswords
    >>
  >>
}

[image of music]


A.4.5 Solo verse and two-part refrain

This template creates a score which starts with a solo verse and continues into a refrain for two voices. It also demonstrates the use of spacer rests within the \global variable to define meter changes (and other elements common to all parts) throughout the entire score.

global = {
  \key g \major

  % verse
  \time 3/4
  s2.*2
  \break

  % refrain
  \time 2/4
  s2*2
  \bar "|."
}

SoloNotes = \relative g' {
  \clef "treble"

  % verse
  g4 g g |
  b4 b b |

  % refrain
  R2*2 |
}

SoloLyrics = \lyricmode {
  One two three |
  four five six |
}

SopranoNotes = \relative c'' {
  \clef "treble"

  % verse
  R2.*2 |

  % refrain
  c4 c |
  g4 g |
}

SopranoLyrics = \lyricmode {
  la la |
  la la |
}

BassNotes = \relative c {
  \clef "bass"

  % verse
  R2.*2 |

  % refrain
  c4 e |
  d4 d |
}

BassLyrics = \lyricmode {
  dum dum |
  dum dum |
}

\score {
  <<
    \new Voice = "SoloVoice" << \global \SoloNotes >>
    \new Lyrics \lyricsto "SoloVoice" \SoloLyrics

    \new ChoirStaff <<
      \new Voice = "SopranoVoice" << \global \SopranoNotes >>
      \new Lyrics \lyricsto "SopranoVoice" \SopranoLyrics

      \new Voice = "BassVoice" << \global \BassNotes >>
      \new Lyrics \lyricsto "BassVoice" \BassLyrics
    >>
  >>
  \layout {
    ragged-right = ##t
    \context { \Staff
      % these lines prevent empty staves from being printed
      \RemoveEmptyStaves
      \override VerticalAxisGroup #'remove-first = ##t
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


A.4.6 Hymn tunes

This code shows one way of setting out a hymn tune when each line starts and ends with a partial measure. It also shows how to add the verses as stand-alone text under the music.

Timeline = {
  \time 4/4
  \tempo 4=96
  \partial 2
  s2 | s1 | s2 \breathe s2 | s1 | s2 \bar "||" \break
  s2 | s1 | s2 \breathe s2 | s1 | s2 \bar "||"
}

SopranoMusic = \relative g' {
  g4 g | g g g g | g g g g | g g g g | g2
  g4 g | g g g g | g g g g | g g g g | g2
}

AltoMusic = \relative c' {
  d4 d | d d d d | d d d d | d d d d | d2
  d4 d | d d d d | d d d d | d d d d | d2
}

TenorMusic = \relative a {
  b4 b | b b b b | b b b b | b b b b | b2
  b4 b | b b b b | b b b b | b b b b | b2
}

BassMusic =  \relative g {
  g4 g | g g g g | g g g g | g g g g | g2
  g4 g | g g g g | g g g g | g g g g | g2
}

global = {
 \key g \major
}

\score {  % Start score
  <<
    \new PianoStaff <<  % Start pianostaff
      \new Staff <<  % Start Staff = RH
        \global
        \clef "treble"
        \new Voice = "Soprano" <<  % Start Voice = "Soprano"
          \Timeline
          \voiceOne
          \SopranoMusic
        >>  % End Voice = "Soprano"
        \new Voice = "Alto" <<  % Start Voice = "Alto"
          \Timeline
          \voiceTwo
          \AltoMusic
        >>  % End Voice = "Alto"
      >>  % End Staff = RH
      \new Staff <<  % Start Staff = LH
        \global
        \clef "bass"
        \new Voice = "Tenor" <<  % Start Voice = "Tenor"
          \Timeline
          \voiceOne
          \TenorMusic
        >>  % End Voice = "Tenor"
        \new Voice = "Bass" <<  % Start Voice = "Bass"
          \Timeline
          \voiceTwo
          \BassMusic
        >>  % End Voice = "Bass"
      >>  % End Staff = LH
    >>  % End pianostaff
  >>
}  % End score

\markup {
  \fill-line {
    ""
    {
      \column {
        \left-align {
          "This is line one of the first verse"
          "This is line two of the same"
          "And here's line three of the first verse"
          "And the last line of the same"
        }
      }
    }
    ""
  }
}

\paper {  % Start paper block
  indent = 0     % don't indent first system
  line-width = 130   % shorten line length to suit music
}  % End paper block

[image of music]


A.4.7 Psalms

This template shows one way of setting out an Anglican psalm chant. It also shows how the verses may be added as stand-alone text under the music. The two verses are coded in different styles to demonstrate more possibilities.

SopranoMusic = \relative g' {
  g1 | c2 b | a1 | \bar "||"
  a1 | d2 c | c b | c1 | \bar "||"
}

AltoMusic = \relative c' {
  e1 | g2 g | f1 |
  f1 | f2 e | d d | e1 |
}

TenorMusic = \relative a {
  c1 | c2 c | c1 |
  d1 | g,2 g | g g | g1 |
}

BassMusic =  \relative c {
  c1 | e2 e | f1 |
  d1 | b2 c | g' g | c,1 |
}

global = {
  \time 2/2
}

dot = \markup {
  \raise #0.7 \musicglyph #"dots.dot"
}

tick = \markup {
  \raise #1 \fontsize #-5 \musicglyph #"scripts.rvarcomma"
}

% Use markup to center the chant on the page
\markup {
  \fill-line {
    \score {  % centered
      <<
        \new ChoirStaff <<
          \new Staff <<
            \global
            \clef "treble"
            \new Voice = "Soprano" <<
              \voiceOne
              \SopranoMusic
            >>
            \new Voice = "Alto" <<
              \voiceTwo
              \AltoMusic
            >>
          >>
          \new Staff <<
            \clef "bass"
            \global
            \new Voice = "Tenor" <<
              \voiceOne
              \TenorMusic
            >>
            \new Voice = "Bass" <<
              \voiceTwo
              \BassMusic
            >>
          >>
        >>
      >>
      \layout {
        \context {
          \Score
          \override SpacingSpanner
          #'base-shortest-duration = #(ly:make-moment 1 2)
        }
        \context {
          \Staff
          \remove "Time_signature_engraver"
        }
      }
    }  % End score
  }
}  % End markup

\markup {
  \fill-line {
    \column {
      \left-align {
        \null \null \null
        \line {
          \fontsize #5 O
          \fontsize #3 come
          let us \bold sing | unto \dot the | Lord : let
        }
        \line {
          us heartily
          \concat { re \bold joice }
          in the | strength of | our
        }
        \line {
          sal | vation.
        }
        \null
        \line {
          \hspace #2.5 8. Today if ye will hear his voice *
        }
        \line {
          \concat { \bold hard en }
          \tick not your \tick hearts : as in the pro-
        }
        \line {
          vocation * and as in the \bold day of tempt- \tick
        }
        \line {
          -ation \tick in the \tick wilderness.
        }
      }
    }
  }
}

[image of music]


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