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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102
votes
25answers
26k 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 ...
44
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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 ...
39
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6answers
45k 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 ...
27
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3answers
3k views

Why do films sometimes transpose everything by a quarter step?

Sometimes when playing along to music, you notice that the recording is transposed not by a semitone or a whole tone (whereby you could just play along on any normally tuned instrument), but by an ...
21
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4answers
2k 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. ...
20
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11answers
24k 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 ...
17
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2answers
301k 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 ...
15
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5answers
3k views

Which key are these notes and how to transpose it to the key of D?

I am a beginner in music theory so please bear with me. I was looking up a document which talks about transposing music and I understand a few things I think about transposing music. But if I, for ...
15
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8answers
6k views

In a folk jam session, when asked which key my non-transposing chromatic instrument (like a violin) is in, what do I answer?

I know of transposing instruments. A transposing instrument is one where the player reads a C, plays a C, and what sounds is the name of the key of the instrument. Those instruments are often referred ...
15
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2answers
27k 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?
14
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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 ...
12
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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 ...
11
votes
10answers
13k 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 ...
11
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5answers
2k views

Why is the choice of key considered so fundamental in Classical music that it often effectively becomes part of the name of the composition? [duplicate]

I often hear references to, e.g., "Bach's Fugue in G Minor," sometimes with a number (something like "Bach's Fugue in G Minor #13"). Why is the key of the piece so important that it becomes part of ...
10
votes
1answer
556 views

What is the idea of “transposing by perfect unison”?

As far as I understand, a "perfect unison" refer to two notes sounding the same pitch. Why both MuseScore and Sibelius 7 (I work with these two programs) offer a feature to transpose the up or down by ...
9
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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 ...
9
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4answers
3k views

Playing on white notes only

My keyboard has a transpose function which lets me transpose its keys up and down a given number of semitones. This consists of a button with # and a button with b. So lets say I'm playing a tune ...
8
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2answers
2k views

Can the guitar be a “non-C” transposing instrument?

I do know that the guitar with standard tuning is a transposing instrument sounding an octave below written pitch. But what about a guitar with transposed standard tuning, can it be considered as a ...
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 ...
7
votes
6answers
34k views

Which fret do I place a capo on, to play Eb music using C chords?

If the sound of the music is in the key of Eb and I want to play using chord shapes in the key of C, what fret do I put the capo on?
7
votes
1answer
10k views

Meaning of diamond-shape notes on guitar staff

I am playing a piece for the guitar on the piano and everything sounds fine until I reach the last few notes in the score: all the notes marked with a '19' above the staff and represented with ...
7
votes
2answers
844 views

Wind instruments and sharp keys

As far as I know, most of the wind instruments are transposing, and many of them are either in B, in E-flat or in F - these keys make them more suitable for playing in "flat" keys. My question is why ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

How to improve agility when Transposing?

I'm a Big fan of C Major and enjoy improvising songs on C Major, even when the song is not in C, I Always "Transpose" the chord or arpeggio into C Major. Unfortunately, when accompany someone, or ...
6
votes
3answers
47k 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 ...
6
votes
6answers
2k views

How to transpose slash chords for guitar

How do I transpose D/G, G/B etc. I want to do this in a program I'm knocking up, to display my music the way I want to see it, so an algorithmic description would be handy. If it's of any ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Why transposing range of my digital piano is restricted by 5 semitones up?

My digital piano (Roland FP 80) can transpose the existing MIDI file at most five semitones up or at most six semitones down (does not allow to select more). Has it been done for my convenience ("too ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Transposing the human voice

I've been playing around with the pitch changer in Audacity. I noticed that when I change the key on instrumental music, while it may sound off, the timbre is mostly the same. In fact, it only sounds ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

Is there a way to turn sharps and flats into natural notes?

I realise this might be kind of a silly question, but I recently got a kalimba and I am trying to turn various piano songs into kalimba songs! My kalimba is tuned to C major and has 17 keys; no ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there a proper way to train the ears?

To become a better play, I want to figure out how I can train my ears to be able to pick something up by listening/watching to it and then being able to play it. Or to be able to listen to something ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

“Ut” and “La” notation on horn and cornet instruments in orchestral score?

I'm looking at an orchestral score from the late 1800's (well, OK, it's "The Mikado" by Arthur Sullivan). In the portion of the score that I am looking at, the non-transposing instruments all have no ...
6
votes
1answer
336 views

How can I play two overlapping parts with different sounds on keyboard?

I'd like to be able to play two separate overlapping parts using different sounds, without having to invest in two separate keyboards. In my new project, we're moving from some arrangements laid ...
6
votes
3answers
134 views

Trombone C Vs Bb : Fundamental Vs transposing

I'm an amateur tenor trombone player. I learnt to play by playing with other, never learnt much music theory. I have a question regarding the "name" of the trombone. The traditional tenor trombone ...
6
votes
2answers
229 views

Five Fret Higher Guitar Tuning for Voicing

In order from bottom up, I'm considering moving my A, B, G, and E strings to the left one string, while tuning the B up to C. Then I discard the low E and replace the high e with another G string ...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

What is the formal definition of 'transpose'?

I've heard people use the word "transpose" to describe going from a major key to a minor one. I've heard other people say that's an incorrect usage because you can only transpose in the same tonality....
5
votes
4answers
389 views

Can a violinist, violist, or cellist transpose by perfect fifth by just playing one string higher or lower?

In Can I play an English horn part with a viola?, jjmusicnotes commented that "transposing down a fifth is a pretty straightforward practice" for violists. I'm not a string player, so I've never ...
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
118 views

Lilypond produces unexpected interval changes with \relative and \transpose

Consider the following scores below. I would have thought Lilypond would apply a consistent transposition to the notes without the need to reformat the interval notations. The first stave is the ...
5
votes
10answers
3k views

transposing instruments: How to learn to play standard sheet-music?

I am learning to play trumpet. I would like to be able to play with my friends who play other instruments and be able to share sheet music with them. What is the best way to learn how to transpose ...
5
votes
3answers
823 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
5answers
4k views

What key is correct when guitars are half step down?

I see many charts for praise and worship songs charted in sharp keys (A#, F#) major. One song is charted F# Major. I would think the guitars are tuned a half step down and they are playing like it is ...
5
votes
1answer
491 views

When is diatonic transposition useful?

Chromatic transposition, which moves each note by the same number of semitones (e.g. C E G to D F# A) is clearly useful to change the key of a song. I just heard of diatonic transposition, which moves ...
5
votes
3answers
282 views

use Lilypond to transpose pattern around circle of fifths

I want to provide a pattern (e.g., the C major arpeggio, C E G) and have Lilypond automatically show it transposed (as one score) in all 12 scales. Here's my current attempt: music = { c' e' g' s } ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

transposition while playing

I have sheet music for a song in F major. The original recording of the song is in E so I want to play in that key. All I know is that E is a half step below F. I could just look at all the notes on ...
5
votes
1answer
61 views

Inversionally equivalent pc sets relation with transposition

So, I'm reading Allen Forte's Structure of Atonal Music and in the sub-chapter 1.4 Inversionally equivalent pc sets he affirms: It is important to observe that whereas transposition does not imply ...
5
votes
1answer
138 views

Conditionally transpose up versus down in LilyPond?

In version 2.19.x, how can I make LilyPond decide whether – and by how much – to transpose up or down, depending on a target octave/range for one of the transposed notes (I'll call that note the "...
4
votes
3answers
9k views

Lowering the key of a song by a semitone

What does lowering the key of a song by a semitone exactly mean? If a song is for example in F major, and you lower the key by a semitone, do you lower every note by a semitone? This becomes E G♭ A♭ A ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Acoustic guitar chords' positions vs those of a Bass guitar

I will appreciate who can acknowledge me about the differences of chords on an acoustic guitar's fret board with that of a 4-string Bass guitar. how could we perform one's chord on another's and how ...
4
votes
3answers
602 views

When to use the term transposed instead of modulation?

I was playing 'In the Hall of the Mountain King' and noticed it modulates from B minor to a fifth above, F-sharp major. I looked on wikipedia and found it says: "...
4
votes
2answers
912 views

Should I configure my keyboard transposition to match the key of a score?

If a score is written in say the the key of A, should I transpose my keyboard to the same?
4
votes
4answers
2k views

How to easily transpose sheet music?

I`m trying to get better at reading and writing standard notation. I was wondering how to transpose a piece from one key to another on sheet music , so I wrote a 2 bar phrase and tried to do it myself....