The shifting of a melody, a harmonic progression or an entire musical piece to another key, while maintaining the same tone structure, i.e. the same succession of whole tones and semitones and remaining melodic intervals.

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37
votes
2answers
3k views

Why do instruments have a key?

There are many instruments that have keys other than C. For example: The Eb Alto Saxophone The Bb Clarinet The Horn in F Why do these instruments have a key in the first place? Here's a more ...
22
votes
4answers
15k views

What are the practical reasons for still having transposing instruments?

I understand that historically there was a need for transposing instruments. e.g. Brass instruments would use lead pipes to change their key and players in brass bands would like to stick to the same ...
18
votes
7answers
13k views

Software that Transposes Music?

I would love to be able to learn the flute by playing more popular music. However, all the free sheet music that I can find for a flute in the key of C is lame stuff like "Jingle Bells." In my search ...
18
votes
2answers
506 views

Could B♭ instruments be built in C? Why are they in B♭ in the first place?

Why did the clarinet and trumpet get made to 'be' in B♭? Could they have been made to produce concert pitch C? This would make a composer's life so much easier when physically writing scores. ...
11
votes
5answers
398 views

Why is the choice of key considered so fundamental in Classical music that it often effectively becomes part of the name of the composition? [duplicate]

I often hear references to, e.g., "Bach's Fugue in G Minor," sometimes with a number (something like "Bach's Fugue in G Minor #13"). Why is the key of the piece so important that it becomes part of ...
10
votes
6answers
6k views

Why is it common to write tuba sheet music in concert pitch?

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 ...
9
votes
6answers
904 views

Algorithm for Transposing Chords Between Keys

I'm writing software that transposes sheet music between keys and I'm still new at music theory so I was hoping someone who knows more could let me know if my approach is correct. Here's my process ...
8
votes
1answer
7k views

What is a transposing instrument?

I've read this term many times. However, I'm not quite sure of what it exactly is. What is a transposing instrument? What would be an example of one?
7
votes
8answers
5k views

How much can transposing a song by a half step or a whole step help a vocalist?

It is not uncommon for a singer to ask for a piece to be transposed up or down a half step or a whole step. This minute change might be a big change for instrumentalist, like horn players, who have to ...
7
votes
2answers
467 views

Can the guitar be a “non-C” transposing instrument?

I do know that the guitar with standard tuning is a transposing instrument sounding an octave below written pitch. But what about a guitar with transposed standard tuning, can it be considered as a ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Meaning of diamond-shape notes on guitar staff

I am playing a piece for the guitar on the piano and everything sounds fine until I reach the last few notes in the score: all the notes marked with a '19' above the staff and represented with ...
6
votes
6answers
11k views

Which fret do I place a capo on, to play Eb music using C chords?

If the sound of the music is in the key of Eb and I want to play using chord shapes in the key of C, what fret do I put the capo on?
6
votes
3answers
618 views

Playing on white notes only

My keyboard has a transpose function which lets me transpose its keys up and down a given number of semitones. This consists of a button with # and a button with b. So lets say I'm playing a tune ...
6
votes
3answers
355 views

Why are there transposing instruments that transpose by octave?

Some instruments (for example the guitar, the bass guitar, and the xylophone) have written music in a typical clef, however the note written and the note played are an octave lower or higher depending ...
6
votes
1answer
353 views

“Ut” and “La” notation on horn and cornet instruments in orchestral score?

I'm looking at an orchestral score from the late 1800's (well, OK, it's "The Mikado" by Arthur Sullivan). In the portion of the score that I am looking at, the non-transposing instruments all have no ...
5
votes
10answers
594 views

transposing instruments: How to learn to play standard sheet-music?

I am learning to play trumpet. I would like to be able to play with my friends who play other instruments and be able to share sheet music with them. What is the best way to learn how to transpose ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

How to transpose slash chords for guitar

How do I transpose D/G, G/B etc. I want to do this in a program I'm knocking up, to display my music the way I want to see it, so an algorithmic description would be handy. If it's of any ...
5
votes
1answer
799 views

Transposing the human voice

I've been playing around with the pitch changer in Audacity. I noticed that when I change the key on instrumental music, while it may sound off, the timbre is mostly the same. In fact, it only sounds ...
5
votes
3answers
123 views

transposition while playing

I have sheet music for a song in F major. The original recording of the song is in E so I want to play in that key. All I know is that E is a half step below F. I could just look at all the notes on ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

Why transpose at the octave?

If an instrument has a range too high or too low for composers to easily write its music on bass or treble clef, the music may be written either an octave higher or an octave lower than it sounds, in ...
4
votes
2answers
444 views

Why transposing range of my digital piano is restricted by 5 semitones up?

My digital piano (Roland FP 80) can transpose the existing MIDI file at most five semitones up or at most six semitones down (does not allow to select more). Has it been done for my convenience ("too ...
4
votes
2answers
207 views

Is there a proper way to train the ears?

To become a better play, I want to figure out how I can train my ears to be able to pick something up by listening/watching to it and then being able to play it. Or to be able to listen to something ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

What key is correct when guitars are half step down?

I see many charts for praise and worship songs charted in sharp keys (A#, F#) major. One song is charted F# Major. I would think the guitars are tuned a half step down and they are playing like it is ...
4
votes
1answer
62 views

use Lilypond to transpose pattern around circle of fifths

I want to provide a pattern (e.g., the C major arpeggio, C E G) and have Lilypond automatically show it transposed (as one score) in all 12 scales. Here's my current attempt: music = { c' e' g' s } ...
4
votes
2answers
250 views

Singing the third instead of the root/melody

I play the guitar and sing for fun. I have some understanding of music theory but not much. I've been told a couple of times that I was singing the third. I also noticed that when I play around ...
3
votes
2answers
493 views

Choosing the right harmonica to fit with guitar part transposed using an alternative tuning

I play a song in standard tuning on the guitar. The song requires a 'G' harmonica. I tune the guitar down to D-G-C-F-A-D. What key of harmonica would I need for the same song in this tuning?
3
votes
2answers
35k views

On a guitar, what keys correspond to different capo postions?

I've long had this question. I know some music theory, but I can only get a vague idea as to the progression of keys when moving the capo down a guitar's neck. I'm fairly certain that the guitar is in ...
3
votes
3answers
612 views

Is there a simple way to transpose a song from one key to another? What is the methodology?

What is a simple way to accomplish transposing a song from one key to another key? In other words if I am looking at a song written in the key of C and can't sing it in that key and I want to ...
3
votes
2answers
71 views

Wind instruments and sharp keys

As far as I know, most of the wind instruments are transposing, and many of them are either in B, in E-flat or in F - these keys make them more suitable for playing in "flat" keys. My question is why ...
2
votes
1answer
91 views

Transposing a song for a desired vocal range and guitarist

I recently started composing songs for my post-hardcore band/project in which I'm the vocalist and we will mostly prioritize on recording the songs and video only... So when addressing this question ...
2
votes
1answer
192 views

Clarinet extension in Wagner's Tannhauser

A.S. I'm sorry if this question may seem stupid. I've been playing a the viola since years in many orchestras but I'm still a complete ignorant in the field of woodwinds. I've been trying to ...
2
votes
7answers
506 views

Transposing Second Waltz (Shostakovich) for Bb clarinet?

I would like to transpose parts of Shostakovich's second waltz for the Bb clarinet. However, I have had no formal instruction in music theory, and the resources online are somewhat unclear. Could ...
2
votes
3answers
208 views

Changing the key signature of a song for practicing new key

I play the saxophone (E flat instrument) and we got sheet music to play in the key of B natural minor or concert D natural minor. I want to practice that key signature so I want to change another song ...
1
vote
3answers
239 views

I have two versions of a song sheet and neither of them say the sharp should be used

I'm learning to play A Thousand Miles by Vanessa Carlton, I'm slowly learning to read music (self taught) but I have two different sheets for the song and one has a flat on the E staff with the tail ...
1
vote
7answers
872 views

Using a Capo to transpose from Eb to G

If I have a song in the key of Eb and I want to play it in the key of G, where would I put the capo? Also, would I then use the fignering for the G chord? So I have to transpose to the key of G, right?...
1
vote
6answers
335 views

Transposing on a guitar

I play flutes, whistles, and the alike in sessions and have recently got myself a decent guitar to start my journey. Whistles are transposing instruments so if I am playing a whistle in the key of D, ...
1
vote
2answers
114 views

How to transpose music written for bass to flute?

My jazz band is playing a song called "It's About Swing," and I'm playing the flute for this song. However, there is not flute part written in the chart, so my band teacher gave me the bass part. (I ...
1
vote
2answers
236 views

Why are art songs frequently performed in a different key from the sheet music?

In IMSLP, "Der Leiermann" is in A minor. But this performance is transposed to G minor. Are my key identifications correct, and if so, why would Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Alfred Brendel (the ...
1
vote
2answers
112 views

Which tone names should I learn on a transposing instrument like a saxophone?

I just started learning to play tenor saxophone which is tuned in Bb key. All the tutorials begin wit learning the C major scale, but this is actually the Bb major on a tenor sax. I sort of understand ...
1
vote
3answers
393 views

Transposing song that contains notes/chords outside the root key to a new key

I've been trying to figure out how to change the key of a song. I have a chart like this: I originally thought that I could just find the notes, and read off a different row, but apparently with ...
0
votes
4answers
132 views

Can a chord progression of a minor scale be transposed to become one of a major scale?

Let's take the I-IV-V-I progression for example. Can the I-IV-V-I progression in a minor key, after some transposing, sound like the I-IV-V-I in a major key?
0
votes
2answers
82 views

Music theory - transposing

I want to play this piece originally for cello. I need this music for a flute. Cello and flutes are both in the key of C, but cello is a non transposing instrument in the bass clef. How can I do this?
-3
votes
1answer
71 views

While transposing a note from one key to another, how to know the correct octave

Transposition is simple: C in C major reads as G in G major, but if that very C is C4, what G (G4 or G5) is the corresponding G? What is the rule to figure out the octave?