#1
Just been reading the Wikipedia page on transposing instruments and I seriously don't get it.

I know that instruments such as bass and guitar lie full octaves below concert C, but what I fail to understand is how this works for instruments such as clarinet which are at increment of the octave to middle C.



Can someone explain the deal with transposing instruments? I don't understand.
Last edited by Fassa Albrecht at Sep 3, 2010,
#2
Notes are unversal for all instruments, so all you have to do is find the sheet for the piece you want to transpose and just match the notes on the guitar. It'll still sound good, it'll just be a guitar version of it.
#3
Actually, according to my saxophonist friend, when I play a note on a guitar, if he was to play the same note on the saxophone it would be a different pitch.

I think it's 3 semi tones higher? So If we both played a G, his G would be my Eb.

That might not be quite right but I think that was the gist of what he said.
#4
Same sort of deal.

The clarinet looks at sheet music and see the C note. They play what they call a C note. To the rest of the world (pianos guitars etc) , we hear what we agree to be a Bb note.

This makes it a transposing instrument of a major second. So if we want to play along with their C major scale, we have to move down a major second to a Bb major scale.

So, if they were playing an E major scale, which one would we play to match?
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#6
Quote by Fassa Albrecht
I think I might get it now...


So, if they were playing an E major scale, which one would we play to match?


ANSWER THE QUESTION MR PEARTS
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#8
Quote by piszczel
Is it D?



Circle gets the square! : )
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#9
Quote by nightwind
Circle gets the square! : )

Ok so moving down a major second means moving down a whole step, I assume a minor third would be half a step, what about minor/major thirds etc?
#10
Quote by piszczel
I assume a minor third would be half a step, what about minor/major thirds etc?



Not really understanding your question...?
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#11
Quote by nightwind
Not really understanding your question...?

If someone said, "move down a minor second" or "move up/down a major third"
What does that mean?
#12
Its increments, if im not mistaken. a minor second would be a halfstep.

My question is, if i may add it on without hijacking this thread, is why don't all instruments call their notes the same name? (As with the C being a Bb)
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#13
Quote by piszczel
If someone said, "move down a minor second" or "move up/down a major third"
What does that mean?


You move by that interval. You need to look up "intervals" . It's how we measure musical distances. It's basically if someone asked you to cut a piece of wood at 2 inches in, or 3 feet in.


Quote by pandasxsharpies

My question is, if i may add it on without hijacking this thread, is why don't all instruments call their notes the same name? (As with the C being a Bb)


It's mostly a fingering thing. It's basically a way to trick the musicians into not having to work too hard sort of thing, so that they can switch between the many reeded / woodwind instruments with relative ease, maintaining the same fingers for the SAME WRITTEN NOTES, however, in reality they are playing different sounds then the music would have them believe. So it's not like "Ahh on clarinet a C is like this but then on the Eb sax it's like this and then on the ___ its ___" .

Like, if you play a G major on a guitar, you can do it on a bass with no extra work, right?

They just want that luxury too.
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#14
maintaining the same fingers for the SAME WRITTEN NOTES, however, in reality they are playing different sounds then the music would have them believe. So it's not like "Ahh on clarinet a C is like this but then on the Eb sax it's like this and then on the ___ its ___" .

My Fiance' played French Horn back in high school and we've talked about this subject as well... But I never really got it until now

And, though I've not tried... (yet) I think that it would make me loonier than I already am... I would SEE a "C" on the paper, "Hear" the "C" in my mind, but the tone played would be "off".

Something more to experiance!

Joel.
#15
I'm sure everyone has already posted that a clarinet player (or trumpet) reads a C on paper and plays their C, which sounds as a Bb to a tuner or concert instrument. But what always bugged me about transposing instruments is why is it necessary.

Let me help you with that.
For guitar, or instruments that transpose an octave it is simply to make reading easier, with less ledger lines. But for clarinet, Alto sax, trumpet the reason for transposition is quite different. Most concert bands utilize a Bb Clarinet, a Bb Trumpet, an Eb Saxophone (alto). The purpose for these instruments being transposing instruments is so that we can have instruments in other keys such as a C Trumpet, Eb Clarinet, Tenor Sax. These instruments have a different timbre or sound and cover a slightly different range. Example: C Trumpets are often used in orchestra because their tone is brighter than the Bb Counterpart and can cut through the sound of the full orchestra during fanfares and what not.