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18

The TL;DR answer: Some instrument families (saxophones, clarinets, double reeds) have variants which change the instrument range by something other than an octave. To make it easy to switch between instruments in the same family, the parts for these instruments are transposed so the same written note has the same fingering, but produces a different actual ...


17

Technically, there are no reasons, but practically, there are quite a few. Obviously, we've reached the point where we can construct instruments that are fully chromatic, so there is no need to change crooks and play only the overtone series. The practical reasons are many, and mostly stem from the fact that if all instruments were pitched in C, any time ...


14

A transposing instrument is one for which the standard practice is to write music in a key different from the sounding pitch of that instrument. For example, a non-transposing instrument is something like a piano (anything with a keyboard, really)--when you read a C on the staff, you play a C and it sounds a concert pitch C. Most pitched percussion ...


14

It depends on the source of the music, but I can think of two ways to do this. If I remember correctly, they can both be accomplished with Finale and Sibelius. If the source is Sheet Music: You are going to need to scan the music and use OCR software meant for music. Sibelius has a program called Photoscore that will do this. If the music is available ...


12

Why would you need more than that? Five semitones up and six down can make every possible key: Let's say the original MIDI file was in C major. Up 5 semitones and you can get C C# D D# E and F. Down 6 semitones and you can get C B Bb A Ab G Gb. I am aware that you cannot transpose to a different octave using that but for practical purpose that is easily ...


12

You should definitely check out the open source notation software http://musescore.org/. It has many features related to transposing.


9

The composers/arrangers/publishers of tuba parts and sheet music have no idea what key of instrument you play! In Europe, the Eb tuba is fairly widespread, but the standard issue tuba in American school bands is actually keyed in Bb! In a conservatory, you will find tuba players who own multiple instruments for a wide variety of different playing ...


9

This depends upon what you mean by "music is in the key of…" and "I want to play it in the key of…". If you mean that you want to play chords written in the key of C and have them sound in the key of Eb, put the capo on fret 3. Eb is three semitones higher than C (C-C#-D-Eb). (This seems likely.) If you want to play chords written in the key of Eb and have ...


7

There is an overarching reason for transposition of wind instruments, which can be corroborated by anyone who has played woodwind doubles in a pit orchestra. Regardless of the reason transposing instruments came into practice in the first place, the practice is still standard in writing circles (besides the valid observation that there alr4eady exists a ...


7

This goes back to the early days of "modern" instruments. Initially, instrument-makers did not have the accuracy of instruments (mechanical) to create keys, accurate boring, etc. If you look through the history of any wind instrument, you'll see such profound comments as "and then it received two keys!" Because most instruments were created at a time ...


6

There is a (modern) convention for representing octave shifts "at the clef": an "8" above the clef is equivalent to "8va", an "8" below the clef is equivalent to "8vb", and applies throughout the piece.


6

In a slash chord, the chord on the left is played over the bass note on the right. So for D/G a D chord is played over a G bass note. If you have separate player on bass, then a guitarist can play an ordinary D chord, while the bassist plays G. If you're trying to play D/G on a solo guitar, then you have to find a fingering in which your prominent bass ...


6

Vowels are formed using formants: the basic characteristic particularly of chest voice is a "pulse train" which has lots of harmonics. Those harmonics are then amplified or dampened depending on the shape of the mouth. The strongest surviving harmonics are called "formants". Basically, one hears the mouth shape under the "lighting" of the voice box, and ...


6

"Fugue" is just a form and style of composition of which Bach alone wrote hundreds. Same thing for "Sonata", "String Quartet", "Symphony", etc. it's not that the particular key is of central importance or that transposition would necessarily change the piece entirely, it's just a convenient way to distinguish between various iterations of the same form. They ...


6

These are all good answers, but I'd just add a historical note. Composers before the time of, say Beethoven, composers like Bach and Mozart, often did not publish all or even most of their musical works, either because no one wanted them, or because they wanted to keep the pieces for their own use. The vast majority of Bach's music was not published in his ...


6

Although your question is a little ambiguous, I'm guessing that you want to play music written in Eb, using chords in C, but keeping the music sounding in Eb. So, you put the capo on fret 3 and rewrite all your chords three semitones lower. However, just giving you this answer won't help you understand how to work out where to put a capo should you need to ...


5

Speaking as (primarily) a vocalist: A half step can be the difference between the singer being able to hit the high or low note at acceptable volume/clarity -- or at all! -- and not being able to do so. And that can vary from day to day, which is why it's a good idea to know and avoid the limits of their range (and to sanity-check during the band's warm-up). ...


5

I don't think it's unreasonable for a singer to accommodate the band with regard to a key change interval of a whole or half-step, or not. If your singer cannot do this, then maybe you need to find a better singer. But please read on. The short answer is that it depends on the particular song paired with a particular singer, and there is no hard-and-fast ...


5

It mainly depends on the RANGE of the song in question.In a song which has notes too high to sing comfortably, it needs to be lowered. Let's take it down a tone. This could make the highest notes easier to sing, and would make the lowest notes only a little lower - no big deal. But - if that song was moved down by a 4th, then the lowest notes would also be a ...


5

Originally there were 3 clarinets: A, B♭ and C According to Wikipedia, the C clarinet — being the highest and therefore brightest of the three — fell out of favour as the other two clarinets could cover its range and their sound was considered better. Building to make the composer's life easier wasn't one of the design requirements, and in fact isn't for ...


5

In practice there is little difference between using an octave clef and a normal clef for these "octave-transposing" instruments. An instrumentalist playing these instruments need not even think about the fact that the music sounds in a different octave to that written; although, of course, players and composers/arrangers should know that the sounding pitch ...


4

Here is a plausible explanation paraphrased from a discussion elsewhere. Trumpets and horn used to be valveless instruments. You could use a "crook" to adjust the pitch. If you wanted to play trumpet in the key of C you put in the C crook and you could play using the C major triad. To play in D you put in the D crook,and so on. So, they would write all ...


4

It's not confusing as long as it's consistently done in a particular way for particular instruments whose players are used to the notation. For example, classical guitarists don't care that when they play the middle C, what actually comes out of the instrument is the C below middle C. It would be confusing if different pieces for the instrument, or ...


4

In songs for voice, the singer's range has to be taken into account. In the recording of Fischer-Dieskau, the key was lowered in order to accommodate for the range of his voice.


4

The buttons Pressing the # key once will move the transposition up half a step (from a white key to a black key, or between two white keys that don't have a black key between them). So from C to E: C#, D, D#, E, that's 4 steps. Quickly recognising the transposition required From the question, it looks like you know about scales and keys. So you probably ...


3

There's lots of composition software that you can use to grab groups of notes and transpose them all up. (Finale comes to mind). However, you do this within a specific file format. "Sheet music" doesn't have a specific file format. It's often PDF, but PDF is designed for graphical layout and not for being read by music software. So you can't do this in ...


3

I can't say as to your original education, but in the United States, the tuba is not treated as a transposing instrument. Most students of the tuba learn to read music in concert pitch regardless of how their particular instrument is tuned. So, in the US, you wouldn't have been taught based on transposed music. This is primarily because the tunings of a ...


3

E♭ is three semitones above C. So you should put the capo on the third fret. Some of the other answers are quite thorough, but it is really a simple answer!


2

Alternative clefs have been proposed, but are not in common use. In the appendix of Rossing's The science of sound, there are clefs called the "super-treble" which is notated as two consecutive treble clefs, and the "supra-super-treble" written as three clefs, which indicate one and two octaves above standard treble clef, respectively. Similarly, there are ...


2

In addition to other brilliant answers here, I would also point out another benefit of generally being able to read concert pitch bass clef. From time to time, we have compositions that include parts written for contrabass or string bass, and those are naturally written in C natural. If there are important sections in those parts that are missing in the ...



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