User:John Hetland

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John Hetland is the founder and director of The Renaissance Street Singers of New York ( You can contact him at the email address below.

General information

Country of origin: USA

Contributor since: 2010-08-10

Works with editions by this editor: 457 (see list)

Notes on my editions

My editions of Renaissance music, produced using software I created, are well adapted for choral use, having features that are much appreciated by choral singers and conductors. Here are the main ones:

Ranges: The highest, lowest and average note of each part is indicated at the beginning of the piece, or sometimes of a section.

Custos: At the end of each line in each part is a custos, or guide, to indicate the next note, but only if the part has a note at the beginning of the next line.

Bar numbers: They are on the first and last bar of every line, so you always know where to find them.

Bar lines: My method here is a compromise among bar lines, no bar lines, and bar lines only outside the staff. I use regular barring, but if a note lasts over a bar line, that bar line is drawn only outside the staff. If a measure seems to you to have too many notes, notice that the line at the end of that measure doesn't go through the staff; the final note of the measure lasts into the next measure. However, if a note lasts over the end of a staff, I divide the note and draw a tie to the next line.

Text is large and clear, and does not interfere with the spacing of the notes.

Translation: Every piece not in English has a translation above the staff, as literal as possible. I also usually include the whole text and translation at the beginning of the piece, unless it is a very familiar text.

Subtle cues: Some features may have subliminal benefits. Half-rests are smaller than whole-rests. Sixteenth-notes are smaller than eighth-notes, which are smaller than quarter-notes, and so on. The spacing of notes is approximately proportional to their time value; long syllables and shorter notes in other parts do not cause weird spacing. Rests are placed where they begin: a whole-bar rest is at the beginning of the bar, not the middle.

Contact information



B.A., St. John's College, Annapolis, Md., 1965.


Singing in choirs and choral groups since childhood. Professional computer programmer for 41 years, retired in 2006. Director of The Renaissance Street Singers since 1973.