Transposer instruments are those in which - like the clarinet, the saxophone, and the trumpet - unlike the piano, the height of the note that sounds does not correspond to the height of the written note. This article shows you how to transpose music written in C to B instruments (flat).
Step 1. Know your transposing instrument
The following are some of the instruments in Si ♭:
- The trumpet and the cornet
- The tenor saxophone
- The clarinet
Step 2. Learn the key signature of the transpose
When a pianist reads a C on the score, the note we will hear is C. But if the trumpet plays a C in the score, we will hear a B ♭. To make the music sound good (and to reduce tension on the band) we must write the parts for the transposer instruments so that the trumpet and piano sound the same.
Step 3. Start with the armor
An instrument If ♭ sounds a full tone lower than what is written, you must raise each written note one full tone for that instrument. The easiest way to do this is by writing the correct key signature for that instrument.
- Let's say the piano part is written in a key signature of Si ♭. One whole tone up from Si ♭ is C, so you have to write the trumpet part in C key signature.
- On the other hand, if the piano part were written in the key of C, then you would start with a different key of D.
Step 4. Here is a useful tool
To find the correct key signature to transpose for an instrument in Si ♭, start from the main key signature, and add a full step to it, then find the correct key signature in the table below:
- For example, if the armor of the concert is the armor of Sol. Look in the table for the armor of G Major. Notice that it is written with a sharp, F #. A complete shade of G is A. Find A Major in the table, and you will see that it has 3 sharps: F #, C #, and G #.
- Sometimes you switch from flats to sharps, or vice versa. For example, if the key signature is F major, with a Si ♭, a full pitch up from F is G, which is written with a sharp, F #.
- Remember that you not only have to change the key signature, you also have to write the notes.
- Practice makes a master.
- Don't be afraid to ask someone for advice.
- You can always determine the key you will play by adding two sharps to the key signature in which the music is written. For example, if the music is written in E ♭ major (3 flats on key signature), you will have to play it in F major (1 flat on key signature). Adding a sharp is the same as removing a flat.
- If you learn with visualization, you can write the names of the 12 notes from C to B ♭, then write the note of the key of the instrument to which you are transposing after a C. Write all the notes again for that instrument, from C to C. When you finish the second column, start with the next note on top. They won't be very similar, but you just created a cheat sheet that might help you.
- If you know the song well and are good at playing by ear, it is possible to play the song by ear, but in a key one full step up. For example, play it in Re if it is written in Do.
- Remember that this applies to all Si ♭ instruments.
- Keep octave transpositions in mind on any instrument. For example, the tenor saxophone, sounds a major ninth (one octave + one full tone) lower than what is written.