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Topic: Need General Theory Help

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  1. #1

    Need General Theory Help

    Hi, if anyone would like to take a second and help me I would appreciate it.
    The question is about transposing the b-falt clarinet.

    If I have a measure that read: (C, g,a, g,a) in the key of CM it would be transposed for b-flat clarinet like the following: (D, a,b, a,b) in the key of DM.?? (up a Major 2nd)??

    Please let me know if this is correct or not.
    Thank you very much for your help

    Michael
    "...Wiktor's a Jekyll-Hyde personality..." - Lycos Music
    http://www.miserymadebeautiful.com

  2. #2
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
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    Re: Need General Theory Help

    Looks like you got it. All B flat instruments are written a major second above concert pitch. But the trend seems to be for the full score, show all instruments at concert pitch, show at transposed pitch in parts.

    Richard

  3. #3

    Re: Need General Theory Help

    Quote Originally Posted by rwayland
    But the trend seems to be for the full score, show all instruments at concert pitch, show at transposed pitch in parts.
    Many composers and conductors consider this an unfortunate trend, myself included. The reason is that it tends to require extra ugly ledger lines and much use of alternate clefs in the score. This actually makes a score harder to read, not easier. The other thing to consider is communication between conductor and players. When discussing a passage, it is easier to explain something to that clarinetist if you're looking at the same notes she is.

    Lastly, if you learn to read transposing scores, it makes it much easier for you to study orchestration technique from the masters. Unless it's Prokofiev or Schoenberg, almost all concert music in a standard orchestral repertory is going to have a transposing score.
    - Jamie Kowalski

    All Hands Music - Kowalski on the web
    The Ear Is Always Correct - Writings on composition

  4. #4

    Re: Need General Theory Help

    I'm on the fence with respect to transposed to non-transposed scores. I've been reading scores long enough that I can do the "math" in my head, and oddly enough, I find it much easier to read Clarinet or Trumpet in Bb and (when I have to) transpose to concert pitch.

    It is easier, however, not to have to do the math<G>, and if all the instruments are written without transposition it is very easy to see the intended harmonies, etc.

    On the other hand, if I have to ask the sax section what the heck they just played, it is easier to be able to use the same note names that they see on their parts.

    So it comes down, I think, to which activity does one do most. If you spend most of your time trying to understand the harmonies or relationships between parts then having all the instruments in the same key signature is easier, and I think that is why many study scores are prepared that way.

    If, on the other hand you are standing in front of a bunch of musicians then having all the parts written out in their actual keys requires less work.

    The really odd thing, at least for me, is that when I am composing I find it much more natural to work with the transposed parts... but I suspect that is habit, and now that someone has brought up the subject I believe I will have to work with all the parts in the same key for my next project. Fortunately, Finale makes it a snap to switch back and forth<G>!

    Bill

  5. #5
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
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    Re: Need General Theory Help

    Quote Originally Posted by wst3ae
    Fortunately, Finale makes it a snap to switch back and forth<G>!

    Bill
    So does Sibelius. Very handy!

    Richard

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