1. Choral Scores

Choral scores have been around the longest and are generally the least complicated. With the exception of works for accompanied choir which may employ transposing instruments, the voice parts are usually written in sounding pitch, although sometimes unfamiliar clefs may be used. While most of the choral scores published today would have been edited to use only the treble and bass clefs, choral scores might sometimes show all of the different c clefs: soprano (1st line), alto (3rd line) and tenor (4th line) clefs. Ideally, the conductor would need to be fluent in them. Another nuance the conductor needs to be aware of is the octave the tenor voice sings at when his part is written in treble clef since, in this case, it will sound an octave lower than written. Choral scores may also be divided into two categories: accompanied or unaccompanied scores.

Unaccompanied works are generally referred to as a cappella works, but one must be aware that some publishers might sometimes include a piano accompaniment that should only be used for rehearsal purposes. Accompanied choral scores could be categorised into works where the accompaniment is a reduction of the choral parts, sometimes meant only to be used in rehearsal, or scores/works where the accompaniment has a completely independent part that is an integral part of the work.

For the novice conductor, choral scores can be a good starting point for initial reading training and for inner-ear development.

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