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Re: How to skip to chorus from stanza and return to next stanz?

From: Aaron Hill
Subject: Re: How to skip to chorus from stanza and return to next stanz?
Date: Tue, 16 Jul 2019 20:32:23 -0700
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On 2019-07-16 7:52 pm, John Helly wrote:

I have a guitar and vocal song with 6 stanzas and a chorus and outro
with lyrics.  I would like to jump to the chorus after the 2nd and 4th
stanzas and return to the 3rd and 5th, respectively, coming out of the
chorus.  Since I'm not formally trained in notation, I don' t know how
this should be approached (or if it's possible).  Here is the structure
of the song.  Any advice is most welcome.  I've tried inserting markup
text but haven't been successful although this would be my ad hoc approach.

Ad hoc is not a bad thing, to be honest, providing your notation is clear enough for performers to follow consistently.

There are a few approaches I have seen for this pattern.

1) Join paired stanzas together as a sort of meta stanza. If you have room on the page, simply have stanza one flow right into stanza two. This does mean duplicating notes and chords, but it only needs a simple repeat and produces a very clean roadmap. The added advantage here is that you can cut the number of lyrics lines in half. (Six is pushing it my experience, and you will likely need to space the lyric lines or add in dividing lines to make it easier for the eye to know where to jump at the end of each line.)

2) Keep all lyrics stacked and use a repeat with two voltas. The first volta will be a repeat back to the top of the stanzas for iterations "1.3.5.". The second volta (for "2.4.6.") will lead into the chorus. At the end of the chorus, use a D.C. or D.S. as appropriate, with or without an "al Coda" again as needed.

3) Notate the music as if the chorus follows each stanza and either add a text markup or rely on folks hand-writing in text that informs them of the roadmap. This option is very handy if the roadmap could change between performances. For instance, you might end up only singing stanzas 1, 2, 4, and 6, with the chorus after 2 and 6. Sometimes, it is nice to have printed notation that is more general and flexible than to be cluttered with potentially extra specificity.

-- Aaron Hill

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