Movement of Inner Voices

Most of the time, when arranging chords, you should try to move the “inner voices” (=all voices except for bass line and potential top melody line) by the shortest possible distance from chord to chord, using inversions of chords but also trying to sustain notes that are part of consecutive chords.

That procedure sounds more pleasing to our ear as opposed to chord progressions where several voices leap (potentially in the same direction) between notes. This is more or less the “standard procedure” for arranging chords and is most successful in homogenous sounding sections like the strings.

Of course, we also often see “violations” of that guidline to achieve dramatic effects etc. but for a learning composer/orchestrator, using that technique as a reference point is a good start.


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