SATB Part-Writing


Use the following ranges for each of the four voices.

Hard Rules

  1. Resolve all tendency tones.
    • Tido
      • Except when using a free resolution.
      • Except when frustrating the leading-tone in sequences.
    • Fami
      • Except when using a free resolution.
    • Lesol
  2. Avoid parallel perfect consonances (e.g., P1, P5, and P8) in all voices, including P5s or P8s by contrary motion.
  3. Perfect consonances in the outer voices (soprano and bass) must be approached through oblique or contrary motion. Breaking this rule creates hidden fifths or hidden octaves.
    • Except when soprano moves by step.
  4. No more than an octave between:
    • Soprano and alto.
    • Alto and tenor.
  5. Avoid crossed and overlapped voices.
  6. In three-note chords, double the most logical chord member. Never double tendency tones as this will require you to break either rule 1 or 2. From most to least common, the doubling preferences are:
    • Root
    • Fifth
    • Third