My friend and I have two different saxes, Tenor and alto, B flat, and E flat. We would like to harmonize in church to the song, Just as I am. What do we have to do in order for us to play together even though we have two different saxes keyed in two different keys. Must we rewrite the song for one sax in order to harmonize with the other? I'm confused. I have the song written in E flat.

  • Welcome to Music Stack Exchange. The site welcomes questions about theory, performance, and related subjects, which yours clearly is. Feel free to comment to my answer below if you need additional info. Other people will probably chime in with other helpful answers as well. Again, welcome. – L3B Mar 13 '17 at 21:30

Well, it's probably you and he and the piano, or a guitar - and they're in concert pitch (C).

Let's suppose the piano music for the song is on "white" keys like C. The tenor is going to play it in the key of D, and the alto is going to play in the key of A.

So you go up a major second, and he goes down a minor third from the piano.

If you're smart you probably just figured out that a major second and a minor third = a perfect fourth.

Sooo.. you guys could forget the piano, and ANY key you play in as a tenor, the alto plays in a perfect fourth down.

So if you play in F, he plays in C If you play in G, he plays in D etc. etc.

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  • if this answer has helped, please click accept for the benefit of searching. Thanks. – Oliver Williams Mar 18 '17 at 15:19

If the song is written in Eb concert pitch, then the Tenor part will be written in F (one flat) and the Alto part will be written in C (no sharps or flats). Work out the harmony in whatever key you like (probably Eb since that is what you have the song in), then transpose the parts into the keys I've stated.

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