Is transposing songs to your vocal range more octave based or pitch based? What I'm asking is can you transpose songs up or down an octave or are you looking to transpose to a different pitch within the octave its already written in? I posted a question a few days ago and didn't get a clear answer or maybe I just didn't interpret the answer or ask the question right. Below is the link to the question:

Transpose Songs To Fit My Vocal Range

What do they mean by accompaniment?

  • It would be easier to to explain if you provide a specific example. Like, I want to sing "Someone like you by Adele" but it is too high. My vocal range is x to y. What key should I transpose it to. Also don't make an answer as correct if you haven't gotten one that is satisfactory Mar 21, 2017 at 15:23

2 Answers 2


I think I get what you're asking. A few things to consider.

1) When a song is transposed you change the key not just the pitch. The key is the collection of pitches that you use to produce the melody.

2) When you transpose a song an octave the key remains the same so the song is effectively the same.

Accompaniment is the backing music that is played along with the song. So if you have a recording that you want to sing along with that would be your accompaniment. If you have a friend who plays guitar who will be playing along with you that would be accompaniment.

The specifics of transposition for singing is usually only a concern when there is accompaniment involved. This is why the answers on the original question mentions it. If there is none then you would just sing the song where ever is comfortable.

  • I think you've nailed it.
    – anonymous2
    Mar 21, 2017 at 15:22
  • "When a song is transposed you change the key not the pitch" -- really? A song in G transposed down a minor third to E changes the pitch, surely? Everything is pitched down a minor third from the original. I think both sentences in (1) are at best unclear, if not actually incorrect. Mar 22, 2017 at 9:34
  • When you change the key you also change the pitch. What doesn't change is the relative pitch.
    – Tim
    Mar 22, 2017 at 13:40
  • Changed it to say not just the pitch. I think the op was confused about the nature of transposition. I honestly wouldn't say transposing is changing pitch since pitch is a particular frequency of sound and a key is a collection of named pitches. Mar 22, 2017 at 14:24

Definitely going to be more pitch based. An apparent exception would be if you're transposing a solo for a man's voice to a solo for a woman's voice, vice-versa or some other radical transposition where you go up or down exactly an octave. However, as Tim pointed out in the comments, this would still be a pitch transposition, simply by the interval of an octave.

Usually when you want to transpose a given song to your range, it's because the song just a bit too low to be sung comfortably or a bit too high to be sung comfortably. (For example, a second or third too high or low.) For cases like that, which I'm guessing encompasses the vast majority of transpositions, you will be transposing to an interval higher or lower.

  • Even changing man's for woman's voice, it's still going to change the pitch. Although, it may not change the key - going up or down an octave changes pitch but not key. 1st par. inaccurate!
    – Tim
    Mar 22, 2017 at 13:43
  • @Tim, fair enough. I'll edit. Edit: And done.
    – anonymous2
    Mar 22, 2017 at 13:45

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