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Voicing Chords in Multiple Parts: Instrumentation

C (concert-pitch) score

A nontransposed score that shows all the parts in the concert key-i.e., all the pitches in the score are the pitches that the instruments sound. Also known as concert-pitch score.

C instruments

An instrument whose sounding pitch is the same as the notated pitch. Common C instruments include the piano, flute, oboe, bassoon, trombone, tuba, harp, and most of the string family.

concert pitch

The sounding pitch of an instrument. For transposing instruments, this differs from notated pitch.


In four-part writing, a triad pitch represented in two different voices.


Music set or composed for a large ensemble.

short score

A score that shows several parts combined on each staff.

tendency tone

A chord member or scale degree whose dissonant relation to the surrounding tones requires a particular resolution in common practice style (i.e., chordal sevenths resolve down, and leading tones resolve up).

transposed score

A score that shows the pitches as notated in the performers' parts (which may be transposed for certain instruments), rather than the sounding pitches.

transposing instruments

An instrument (e.g., clarinet, saxophone, or horn) whose notated pitches are not the same as the pitches that sound when played.

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