Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

15

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 to them, the parts for these instruments are transposed so the same written note has the same fingering, but produces a different actual pitch. Even when the range of ...


15

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 ...


13

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 ...


13

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 ...


8

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 ...


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

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

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 ...


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 ...


4

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). ...


4

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 ...


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

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 ...


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

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 ...


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 ...


2

Every note for the Bb clarinet should be written a major second higher than the sounding pitch. You're correct that that is two semitones. This is true regardless of whether there are accidentals or not, every single note needs to be two semitones higher. (A nice little rhyme that might help you is, "A transposing instrument sees a C, but plays it's key.") ...


1

Look for a separate Octave Shift function. As David has already said above, there are two different functions, transpose, which shifts by semi-tones and octave shift which does the same thing by a whole octave. If you just want to shift the pitch by a whole number of octaves you need to use that function, if you then need to adjust by a few tones you need ...


1

Two aspects that have not yet been mentioned: For a performer to sight-read music, the performer must know at a glance that e.g. a note on the top line is F, the top space is E, etc. Examining the position of each note relative to e.g. the center of the C clef would be way too slow. From a sight-reading standpoint, it's easier for most performers to deal ...


1

The song was published in a key for a tenor, and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau is a baritone. So he asked the pianist to change it to a key that worked better with his voice. Most art songs were in fact published in two editions, in different keys: one for soprano or tenor, and the same music in a lower key for alto or bass. But any time any singer selects a ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible