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20

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 ...


13

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 ...


13

p-i-m-a indicate which finger to pluck with (thumb, index, middle and ring, the letters come from the Spanish names), and thus are guitar specific. Similarly the small numbers to the left of the noteheads indicate which left hand finger to use to fret that note. The diamond shaped notes are natural harmonics. I believe that the way it is notated here is: ...


12

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


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 ...


10

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 ...


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

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.


7

"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 ...


7

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 ...


6

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 ...


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

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 ...


6

Although it seems straight forward and simple, this is actually a tricky question. The tuning you describe is simply standard tuning - except one whole step flat. Everything Bob Broadley said in his answer is theoretically correct with one minor glitch (for G to F) created by the harmonica makers. In the example you used for your guitar tuning, if you ...


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

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 ...


5

For guitar players the keys E, A, D, G, C (and relative minors/modes) are considered "easy" keys -- the common, beginer open chords fall in these keys. And especially for acoustic guitars, the ringing of open strings in these keys is a part of the guitar's tonal quality, and is desireable for some styles of music. So what do you do when you want to play in ...


5

The issue is your assumption that the horn and trumpet are in fact in F and B-flat. Trumpets can be pitched in a variety of keys, and horn historically has played in one harmonic series or another without the use of valves, but by using crooks to pitch the instrument in one key or another. In this case, the horn part is written in C and the trumpet part is ...


5

First of all: This will take time! Don't worry or give up too quickly! It is possible to learn - but it will take time! Training your ear like this usually works best with a teacher or someone you can pair up with. This way you can practice together or a teacher can give you advise. Fortunately there are also free tools on the internet to train your ear. ...


5

Many professionals need to be adept at sight transposing. Accompanists need to be able to change the key to fit singers, and anyone playing a transposing instrument needs to be able to read concert pitch music at the very least. And anyone who plays in any kind of ensemble with transposing instruments will find it handy to be able to read other people's ...


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

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 ...



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