I play E♭ tuba in a wind orchestra, and we always get the notes written in concert pitch, and we have to logically "transpose" to the instrument key on the fly.
How common is this approach? Why is it done?
Additional info to clarify:
When I was first learning to play tuba as a child in the school band, I always got to play sheet music written in G clef transposed for E♭ tuba. This means when the sheet note say C, it is really the tone E♭ in natural concert key.
This site gives a good basic understanding about what this is all about.
These notes read and sound as:
E D♭ C B B
Note that this is using bass-clef (or F-clef), which is below the G-clef - think of the lowest line in a note system for piano.
Transposed for E♭ tuba:
These notes read as:
C♯ B♭ A G♯ G♯
but sound as:
E D♭ C B B
Note that this is written in the G-clef, because it is transposed to look the same as if you played a transposed sheet for trumpet (or any other instrument).
It is most common to write tuba notation in concert pitch, and not the transposed version.
My question is WHY?