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Topic: Working with the Viola/Alto Clef

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  1. #1

    Working with the Viola/Alto Clef

    In working from printed scores, I still find it confusing to read the Viola/Alto Clef.

    I'm working with GPO in Sonar. For simplicity, in my orchestral templates, I have inserted transposing shifts in the tracks for the transposing instruments ie: I have the French Horn tracks programmed to play -7 of what I actually play. This way, I can read all the instrumental parts as if they're to be read just as written, letting the program do what musicians do when reading their parts.

    But this programmed transposition doesn't work so well with the Alto Clef. Currently I have the Viola tracks programmed to play 2 steps higher. It's either that or -10, so I can read music as if it's the treble clef.

    As I said--it's not so ideal, because it doesn't take into consideration the proper key. I'm relying on my ear to know which notes to shift sharp or flat as I play.

    Does anybody else work with scores this way when they're recording pieces in software like Sonar? If so---I'd like to know how people are handling the Alto Clef. --It's making me--

    --I suppose I could just learn to read the Alto Clef better--but I donwannoooooo.

    rbowser

  2. #2

    Re: Working with the Viola/Alto Clef

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser-

    Does anybody else work with scores this way when they're recording pieces in software like Sonar? If so---I'd like to know how people are handling the Alto Clef. --It's making me--

    --I suppose I could just learn to read the Alto Clef better--but I donwannoooooo.

    rbowser
    Well I can not really help you. I do not work the way you are. My pieces start on paper, then move into Sibelius then into Sonar.

    Also I really have no issues reading Alto clef (and I am not a viola player). No real issues with Tenor clef either, but my reading of Soprano clef is a little slower than I like.

    All I can say is that I think it would be worth it to polish up your alto clef reading.

    Ed
    //
    // Ars longa, vita brevis
    // http://edosbear.blogspot.com/
    //

  3. #3
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    Re: Working with the Viola/Alto Clef

    I do not transpose alto or tenor clef parts. With practice I'm getting pretty good at reading them.

    Jim

  4. #4

    Re: Working with the Viola/Alto Clef

    You really really should learn to read the clefs. But if you absolutely can't get your brain to do it, I'd suggest a better way of working might be to write the violas in treble clef, and change the clef to alto when you are finished writing.
    - Jamie Kowalski

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

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