#1
Hi everyone. I was talking to a friend of mine earlier who plays saxophone and we were talking about how she was arranging for her and some friends to play happy birthday for her father. When I asked what the key was she said concert Bb, then she said G for alto/bari. This confused me and my question is with horns do you have to transpose or something when using alto or baritone? Please any help regarding writing music for horns would be much appreciated
#2
Standard Valve Horn in F - Sounds a fifth lower than written

I think your confused, saxophones aren't horns...

Eb Soprano
Bb Soprano
Eb Alto
Bb Tenor
Eb Baritone
Bb Bass

All are transposing instruments
#3
I forgot saxophones are woodwind instruments

Thank you though Griff i thought this was gonna die, and thank you for the info

So if i write a part for alto sax that goes F-Eb-D it would have to be written as C-Bb-A correct?
Last edited by That Old Geezer at Oct 3, 2011,
#4
Eb alto sounds a major 6th lower than written, so if you want F Eb D, you would need to write D C B.
#5
Griff--horns is the casual term for saxes/trumpets/trombones in jazz.

All saxes are in Bb or Eb. The alto in Eb, for example, transposes a 6th below concert C. That means when you write a C on the page, they're actually playing an Eb. Bb tenor is a 9th below.

She said G for alto because concert Bb is a major 6th above/minor 3rd below G in absolute pitch sense, so you have to write the corresponding key signature too. Eb major = no key signatures, like C natural; Bb = 1 sharp, like G major.
Last edited by Xiaoxi at Oct 3, 2011,
#6
Quote by That Old Geezer

So if i write a part for alto sax that goes F-Eb-D it would have to be written as C-Bb-A correct?

D, C, B. The tricky part is the accidentals. Just because the actual note is Eb doesn't mean you write a corresponding Cb. You have to do an absolute interval matching. 6th above Eb is a C natural, not flat. So even though it is Eb, you're using C natural.
#7
Quote by Xiaoxi
D, C, B. The tricky part is the accidentals. Just because the actual note is Eb doesn't mean you write a corresponding Cb. You have to do an absolute interval matching. 6th above Eb is a C natural, not flat. So even though it is Eb, you're using C natural.


Yeah i read what griff said how standard F valve instruments are 5th below and i applied to everything like a dumbass. I realize now that for Eb Alto the transposition is a major 6th below
#8
One tip that can make this easier is to remember that whatever the key signature is for concert instruments, the corresponding key signature for the same piece on the alto sax will have either 3 more sharps or 3 fewer flats.

A simple example of this would a piece that is in the key of Eb major for concert instruments (like the piano or flute), which will have 3 flats in its key signature.

This same piece, when written for the alto sax, will have no flats or sharps in its key signature. (for the sax player looking at his or her part written for the alto sax, they will see their part as being in the key of C for their instrument),