<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

The best practice for transposing is to transpose a piece you know well into a new key.

Play the part you have transposed; your own ears will tell you where you have made mistakes.

Got questions? Get instant answers now!

Choosing your new key

Before you can begin transposing, you must decide what your new key will be. This will depend on why you are transposing, and what kinds of vocalists and instrumentalists you are working with.

Working with vocalists

If you are trying to accomodate singers, your main concern in choosing a key is finding their range . Is the music you are working with too high or too low? Is it only a step too high, or does it need to be changed by a third or a fifth? Once you determine the interval needed, check to make certain this will be a comfortable key for your instrumentalists.

A church choir director wants to encourage the congregation to join in on a particular hymn. It is written in four parts with the melody in the soprano part, in a range slightly too high for untrained singers. The hymn is written in the key of E flat. Lowering it by a minor third (one and a half steps) will allow the congregation to sing with gusto.

The hymn is originally in E flat. The melody that goes up to an F is too high for most untrained vocalists (male and female).
The same hymn in C is more easily singable by a congregation.
Got questions? Get instant answers now!

An alto vocalist would like to perform a blues standard originally sung by a soprano or tenor in B flat. She needs the song to be at least a whole step lower. Lowering it by a whole step would put it in the key of A flat. The guitar, bass, and harmonica players don't like to play in A flat, however, and the vocalist wouldn't mind singing even lower. So the best solution is to lower it by a minor third , and play in the key of G.

The key of this blues standard is comfortable for a soprano or tenor, as shown in this excerpt.
An alto or baritone can deliver a more powerful performance if the music is transposed down a minor third.
Got questions? Get instant answers now!

You're accompanying a soprano who feels that this folk tune in C minor is too low for her voice. The guitar player would prefer a key with no flats and not too many sharps.

Tune in C minor too low for some sopranos voices.

Transposing up a major third , to E minor, puts the song in a better range for a soprano, with a key signature that is easy for guitars.

Moving tune up to E minor puts it in a better key for sopranos.
Got questions? Get instant answers now!

Transposing instruments

Transposing instruments are instruments for which standard parts are written higher or lower than they sound. A very accomplished player of one of these instruments may be able to transpose at sight, saving you the trouble of writing out a transposed part, but most players of these instruments will need a transposed part written out for them. Here is a short list of the most common transposing instruments. For a more complete list and more information, see Transposing Instruments .

    Transposing instruments

  • Clarinet is usually (but not always) a B flat instrument. Transpose C parts up one whole step for B flat instruments. (In other words, write a B flat part one whole step higher than you want it to sound.)
  • Trumpet and Cornet parts can be found in both B flat and C, but players with B flat instruments will probably want a B flat (transposed) part.
  • French Horn parts are usually in F these days. However, because of the instrument's history, older orchestral parts may be in any conceivable transposition, even changing transpositions in the middle of the piece. Because of this, some horn players learn to transpose at sight. Transpose C parts up a perfect fifth to be read in F.
  • Alto and Baritone Saxophone are E flat instruments. Transpose parts up a major sixth for alto sax, and up an octave plus a major sixth for bari sax.
  • Soprano and Tenor Saxophone are B flat instruments. Tenor sax parts are written an octave plus one step higher.
Why are there transposing instruments? Sometimes this makes things easier on instrumentalists; they may not have to learn different fingerings when they switch from one kind of saxophone to another, for example. Sometimes, as with piccolo, transposition centers the music in the staff (rather than above or below the staff). But often transposing instruments are a result of the history of the instrument. See the history of the French horn to find out more.

Questions & Answers

how can chip be made from sand
Eke Reply
is this allso about nanoscale material
Almas
are nano particles real
Missy Reply
yeah
Joseph
Hello, if I study Physics teacher in bachelor, can I study Nanotechnology in master?
Lale Reply
no can't
Lohitha
where is the latest information on a no technology how can I find it
William
currently
William
where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
Ali
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
learn
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
learn
Google
da
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Bhagvanji
hey
Giriraj
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
revolt
da
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
has a lot of application modern world
Kamaluddeen
yes
narayan
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
Bhagvanji
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
Damian
yes that's correct
Professor
I think
Professor
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
Alexandre
nanocopper obvius
Alexandre
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
Rafiq
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
Damian
How we are making nano material?
LITNING Reply
what is a peer
LITNING Reply
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
LITNING Reply
What is STMs full form?
LITNING
scanning tunneling microscope
Sahil
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Santosh
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
Mahi
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
Rafiq
if virus is killing to make ARTIFICIAL DNA OF GRAPHENE FOR KILLED THE VIRUS .THIS IS OUR ASSUMPTION
Anam
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Anam
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
Hafiz
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
Bob
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
brayan
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Damian
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
Privacy Information Security Software Version 1.1a
Good
Got questions? Join the online conversation and get instant answers!
Jobilize.com Reply

Get Jobilize Job Search Mobile App in your pocket Now!

Get it on Google Play Download on the App Store Now




Source:  OpenStax, Understanding your french horn. OpenStax CNX. Apr 03, 2006 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10219/1.4
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Understanding your french horn' conversation and receive update notifications?

Ask