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Why are some settings available
in both tenor- and soprano-led versions?

In the earlier part of the West Gallery period, most of the music was published and performed with the air or principle part in the tenor line, rather than the soprano. Later music was often published in the more familiar manner, though many choirs continued to sing in the tenor-led style.

This is the reason for the many tenor-led settings in Roding Music's list. At the time of writing (see the date of most recent update) all the tenor-led strophic settings have also been published in a soprano-led version. Occasionally the soprano-led version is closer to the original printed version, where the edition had been made from a tenor-led manuscript. Where the original versions were tenor-led, the adaptations do vary in their effectiveness. In some cases the music has been altered, especially where changing tenor and soprano spoils the effect of fuguing passages.

Where both versions are available, purists will prefer the tenor-led version. But many modern choirs will find the soprano-led version more practical, and it is the intention that Roding Music editions should be above all else practical.

In the future it is hoped to publish soprano-led versions of the through-composed settings, and suitably adapted keyboard versions. At present, all the keyboard editions are based on tenor-led versions, where they exist.

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