Talk:Angelus ad pastores ait (Claudio Monteverdi)

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The range of the parts precludes, IMHO, equal voices: Sop 1 goes up to G above the treble clef while Alto goes down to the G below the treble clef. So SSA or TBarB are fine. The comment about equal voices should be removed.

Marghek 04:49, 28 April 2011 (CDT)

The term equal voices today refers typically to placement along the pitch spectrum, and thus the grouping of types of voices, i.e., men's voices, women's voices. In fact, Renaissance music is characterized by what is called "equal-voice polyphony," in which a complex texture of different voices creates a more or less continuous, harmonious work. "Voices" do not mean individual singers but refer to different musical lines (soprano, alto, tenor and bass, for instance). In no sense does the term equal voices indicate that all ranges are the same in this type of music. For a dictionary definition: "voice 2.b. Music. equal voices: voices either all male or all female." The term is the antonym of "mixed choir" or "mixed-voice choir"; therefore, a choir of all men or all women (or, presumably, all children). Publishers use the term thus. Marchesa 08:47, 28 April 2011 (CDT)
After 50 years singing in and directing choirs I am well aware of what "polyphony" and what a "voice" in polyphony are. I also have gained some familiarity with Renaissance music: in fact I would say it is NOT 'characterised' by equal voice polyphony, unless one equates treble with bass! Polyphony can be for equal voices, but is somewhat specialised - often written for the trebles of e.g. cathedral choirs for services when the men are absent.
Back to the use of "equal voices" for choirs of SSA or TBB voices. IMNSHO opinion this usage 'bluntens' the language. If a piece is for equal voices it should be singable by sopranos (or altos/tenors/basses) only, i.e. SSS (AAA/TTT/BBB) only. To use "equal voices" otherwise can lead to confusion.
Publishers are in business to sell music - broad (perhaps even too broad) definitions sell more music. Editors can be more precise.
Marghek 12:12, 29 April 2011 (CDT)
I dont think anyone is advocating applying Category:3 equal voices (which does indeed contain music for three of one kind) to SSA or TTB music. But confusing or not, there is a widespread use in English of 'equal' as an equivalent of pares or égales, both used in the sense of 'unmixed'. As Victor Borge might say, we as editors dont own the language, we're just trying to use it. Richard Mix 17:28, 29 April 2011 (CDT)