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Questions tagged [transposition]

The shifting of a melody, a harmonic progression or an entire musical piece to another key, while maintaining the same tone structure, i.e. the same succession of whole tones and semitones and remaining melodic intervals.

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100
votes
25answers
25k views

What's the point of keys other than C and Am?

I'm VERY new to music theory, just learning. I'm reading about keys and scales right now. From what I understand major keys are all the same except for being shifted by one or more semitones (e.g. C ...
38
votes
6answers
43k views

What are the practical reasons for still having transposing instruments?

I understand that historically there was a need for transposing instruments. e.g. Brass instruments would use lead pipes to change their key and players in brass bands would like to stick to the same ...
16
votes
2answers
277k views

On a guitar, what keys correspond to different capo positions?

I've long had this question. I know some music theory, but I can only get a vague idea as to the progression of keys when moving the capo down a guitar's neck. I'm fairly certain that the guitar is in ...
13
votes
1answer
26k views

What is a transposing instrument?

I've read this term many times. However, I'm not quite sure of what it exactly is. What is a transposing instrument? What would be an example of one?
21
votes
4answers
1k views

Could B♭ instruments be built in C? Why are they in B♭ in the first place?

Why did the clarinet and trumpet get made to 'be' in B♭? Could they have been made to produce concert pitch C? This would make a composer's life so much easier when physically writing scores. ...
3
votes
4answers
353 views

Which tone names should I learn on a transposing instrument like a saxophone?

I just started learning to play tenor saxophone which is tuned in Bb key. All the tutorials begin wit learning the C major scale, but this is actually the Bb major on a tenor sax. I sort of understand ...
6
votes
3answers
43k views

Is there a simple way to transpose a song from one key to another? What is the methodology?

What is a simple way to accomplish transposing a song from one key to another key? In other words if I am looking at a song written in the key of C and can't sing it in that key and I want to ...
12
votes
4answers
3k views

Why are some instruments listed 'in F' or 'in B'?

I am looking through scores of pieces that I particularly like. I can't understand (as this is the first time I have come across it) why here, in the manuscript, some instruments are named as ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Why are there transposing instruments that transpose by octave?

Some instruments (for example the guitar, the bass guitar, and the xylophone) have written music in a typical clef, however the note written and the note played are an octave lower or higher depending ...
20
votes
11answers
22k views

Software that transposes music?

I would love to be able to learn the flute by playing more popular music. However, all the free sheet music that I can find for a flute in the key of C is lame stuff like "Jingle Bells." In my search ...
44
votes
3answers
6k views

Why do instruments have a key?

There are many instruments that have keys other than C. For example: The Eb Alto Saxophone The Bb Clarinet The Horn in F Why do these instruments have a key in the first place? Here's a more ...
9
votes
6answers
3k views

Algorithm for Transposing Chords Between Keys

I'm writing software that transposes sheet music between keys and I'm still new at music theory so I was hoping someone who knows more could let me know if my approach is correct. Here's my process ...
14
votes
7answers
13k views

Why is it common to write tuba sheet music in concert pitch?

I play E♭ tuba in a wind orchestra, and we always get the notes written in concert pitch, and we have to logically "transpose" to the instrument key on the fly. How common is this approach? Why is ...
11
votes
10answers
12k views

How much can transposing a song by a half step or a whole step help a vocalist?

It is not uncommon for a singer to ask for a piece to be transposed up or down a half step or a whole step. This minute change might be a big change for instrumentalist, like horn players, who have to ...
5
votes
3answers
784 views

Can I play an English horn part with a viola?

I want to perform music in class for a Shakespeare play. Can I play an English horn part with a viola?
5
votes
6answers
2k views

Why transpose at the octave?

If an instrument has a range too high or too low for composers to easily write its music on bass or treble clef, the music may be written either an octave higher or an octave lower than it sounds, in ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Is it possible to transpose samples (in cents) from minor to major?

I'd like to transpose a sample (in cents) from G Minor to C Major. How do I do that, or is it even possible?
2
votes
6answers
932 views

Transposing on a guitar

I play flutes, whistles, and the alike in sessions and have recently got myself a decent guitar to start my journey. Whistles are transposing instruments so if I am playing a whistle in the key of D, ...
0
votes
2answers
225 views

Music theory - transposing

I want to play this piece originally for cello. I need this music for a flute. Cello and flutes are both in the key of C, but cello is a non transposing instrument in the bass clef. How can I do this?