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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20
votes
4answers
7k 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 ...
16
votes
7answers
8k 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
320 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
215 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
4k 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 ...
7
votes
7answers
3k 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 ...
6
votes
6answers
4k 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
1answer
3k 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?
6
votes
1answer
626 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
3answers
304 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
250 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
778 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, ...
4
votes
2answers
314 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
4answers
863 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
139 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
1answer
317 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
58 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
161 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
57 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
8answers
137 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
133 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
352 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 ...
1
vote
7answers
207 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, ...
1
vote
6answers
151 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
127 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
183 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
69 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 ...