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Music Theory 204
nightmares of TRANSPOSING
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Ripton
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March 21, 2015 - 9:37 pm
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Ok, hope to find a quick answer. I am trying to transpose a piece down a perfect fifth. I start in the Key of C and when I transpose it comes out F flat.  I know, the Circle of Fifths and all, but is there a method I can drop my notes and still stay in C? (Or am I just asking here how to boil an ice-cube and still have it cold?). My music theory is not that strong...lumpy-2134

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KindaScratchy
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March 21, 2015 - 9:45 pm
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Seems to me the only way to do that is drop an octave.
dunno

When the work's all done and the sun's settin' low,

I pull out my fiddle and I rosin up the bow.

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Ripton
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March 21, 2015 - 10:55 pm
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So am I overthinking it? D'oHfainting-1344

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iBud
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Aloha @Ripton,

Do you want it in C or F?  F is a perfect 5th below C.  What are you using to try this transposition?  I use MuseScore to write my music and it has a very easy way to transpose.  I would suggest you use MuseScore or check with the music notation software you have.

If you don't currently use music notation software, i would highly suggest you do so.  There are very good free software apps for both Windows and Mac, and I believe MuseScore is written for both of them as well as Linux.  If you're using music notation software that does not provide a way to transpose, I would suggest you get another, as any good app should have that capability built in.  

Finally, F flat doesn't exist in the circle of fifths - as a scale, it would use the same notes as E Major, as an F flat is actually an E natural.  IIRC, E Major is actually a major sixth down from C (and C is a minor sixth up from E) or a major third up from C.  

Keep-Calm-and-Fiddle-On-small-2.jpg

 

 

 

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Schaick
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March 22, 2015 - 9:09 am
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Ripton said
Ok, hope to find a quick answer. I am trying to transpose a piece down a perfect fifth. I start in the Key of C and when I transpose it comes out F flat.  I know, the Circle of Fifths and all, but is there a method I can drop my notes and still stay in C? (Or am I just asking here how to boil an ice-cube and still have it cold?). My music theory is not that strong...lumpy-2134

Please mention the piece you are working on.  What are you trying to change it too?

I am so glad you posted this question.  I am in the process of learning how to do this. I just did it with the song Southern Soldier Boy.  It started out as - 

https://jscholarship.library.jhu.edu/bitstream/handle/1774.2/18969/094.121.001.webimage.JPEG?sequence=3

I lowered it one note.  It sounds better to me, but I have no idea what the key is.  Anyone know?

Violinist start date -  May 2013  

Fiddler start date - May 2014

FIDDLE- Gift from a dear friend. A 1930-40 german copy, of a french copy of a Stradivarius.  BOW - $50 carbon fiber. Strings - Dominants with E Pirastro Gold string.

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micra
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March 22, 2015 - 11:34 am
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Schaick said
I am so glad you posted this question.  I am in the process of learning how to do this. I just did it with the song Southern Soldier Boy.  It started out as - 

https://jscholarship.library.jhu.edu/bitstream/handle/1774.2/18969/094.121.001.webimage.JPEG?sequence=3

I lowered it one note.  It sounds better to me, but I have no idea what the key is.  Anyone know?

the piece you posted is in F minor.  if you lowered it one whole step, you would be playing it in Eflat minor, which has 6 flats (same 4 as in F minor, plus Gflat and Cflat).

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Uzi
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March 22, 2015 - 12:20 pm
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@Ripton no. You can't transpose a song in the key of C down a perfect fifth and still play the notes from the C scale. Because F is a perfect fifth below C, you will now have a Bb in the scale instead of a B. However, that doesn't necessarily mean that your fingering pattern would change. Assume you are playing a tune in fifth position and then play the exact same pattern in third position. You are playing in a key that is two keys lower than the original. The finger pattern, however,  is identical. Only the names of the notes will change.  As a perfect fifth example,  if you play Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Ti Do starting with an open G string and then play Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Ti Do starting with an open D string,  the finger pattern is identical, but the first is in the key of G, which has an F#,  while the latter (D)  has an F# and a C#.  Make sense?

@Schaick, I agree with @micra.

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright

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Schaick
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March 22, 2015 - 2:14 pm
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micra said

Schaick said
I am so glad you posted this question.  I am in the process of learning how to do this. I just did it with the song Southern Soldier Boy.  It started out as - 

https://jscholarship.library.jhu.edu/bitstream/handle/1774.2/18969/094.121.001.webimage.JPEG?sequence=3

I lowered it one note.  It sounds better to me, but I have no idea what the key is.  Anyone know?

the piece you posted is in F minor.  if you lowered it one whole step, you would be playing it in Eflat minor, which has 6 flats (same 4 as in F minor, plus Gflat and Cflat).

Hmmm... Now I am confused because when I play it I am not playing an Eb where there is an F!!  Ok I am looking at a picture of piano keys I changed it just a half step. The C became B, F became E, Bb became A, Eb became D, etc.  Now what key am I in?

Violinist start date -  May 2013  

Fiddler start date - May 2014

FIDDLE- Gift from a dear friend. A 1930-40 german copy, of a french copy of a Stradivarius.  BOW - $50 carbon fiber. Strings - Dominants with E Pirastro Gold string.

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Uzi
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March 22, 2015 - 2:40 pm
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Schaick said

micra said

Schaick said
I am so glad you posted this question.  I am in the process of learning how to do this. I just did it with the song Southern Soldier Boy.  It started out as - 

https://jscholarship.library.jhu.edu/bitstream/handle/1774.2/18969/094.121.001.webimage.JPEG?sequence=3

I lowered it one note.  It sounds better to me, but I have no idea what the key is.  Anyone know?

the piece you posted is in F minor.  if you lowered it one whole step, you would be playing it in Eflat minor, which has 6 flats (same 4 as in F minor, plus Gflat and Cflat).

Hmmm... Now I am confused because when I play it I am not playing an Eb where there is an F!!  Ok I am looking at a picture of piano keys I changed it just a half step. The C became B, F became E, Bb became A, Eb became D, etc.  Now what key am I in?

E minor.  Which is the relative minor of the G major scale. So it will have a single F# in the key signature, just like the key of G major. 

Each major scale has a relative minor scale which is 3 half steps lower (you can go the other direction (up) too, but this is a shorter trip) than the major scale.  So counting 3 half steps down from G we go 1. F#,  2. F , 3. E. Likewise, we can count up 3 half steps from a minor key to find the relative major scale.  For A minor, for example,  1. A#, 2. B, 3. C.  So the relative major scale for A minor is C major. 

The relative major and minor scales, share the exact same notes, but the "tonic" or root note for C major is C, whereas the root note for A minor is A, but it has the same key signature as C major and they share the same notes.  C Major: C,D,E,F,G,A,B,C  and A Minor: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, A.   This is why they have the same key signature.

The reason that the two scales sound different, despite the fact that they share the same notes, is because of where the whole steps (W) and half steps (H) occur in the sequence. For the major scales they are W-W-H-W-W-W-H.  For the minor scale it is W-H-W-W-W-H-W.  If you are familiar with a piano keyboard, it's much easier to visualize. Otherwise, it is easier to visualize and remember where the steps are if the 8 notes of the scale are visualized as two tetra-chords (4 note sequence) separated by a whole step. Major scale: W-W-H -- (W) -- W-W-H and Minor scale W-H-W -- (W) -- W-H-W.

Of course, this is mostly just music-nerd stuff.  Normally, one just looks at the key signature and plays the notes.  It does come in handy though when transposing keys.

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright

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Schaick
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March 22, 2015 - 5:09 pm
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@Uzi  Thank you!  Well I do enjoy learning this nerdy music stuff.  

I am amazed at the jam I attend - there is at times a short discussion of what key people want to play a song in and then in an instant some can switch to any key! These people have been playing though for 20-40 years!!

Violinist start date -  May 2013  

Fiddler start date - May 2014

FIDDLE- Gift from a dear friend. A 1930-40 german copy, of a french copy of a Stradivarius.  BOW - $50 carbon fiber. Strings - Dominants with E Pirastro Gold string.

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micra
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March 22, 2015 - 8:26 pm
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Schaick said

micra said

Schaick said
I am so glad you posted this question.  I am in the process of learning how to do this. I just did it with the song Southern Soldier Boy.  It started out as - 

https://jscholarship.library.jhu.edu/bitstream/handle/1774.2/18969/094.121.001.webimage.JPEG?sequence=3

I lowered it one note.  It sounds better to me, but I have no idea what the key is.  Anyone know?

the piece you posted is in F minor.  if you lowered it one whole step, you would be playing it in Eflat minor, which has 6 flats (same 4 as in F minor, plus Gflat and Cflat).

Hmmm... Now I am confused because when I play it I am not playing an Eb where there is an F!!  Ok I am looking at a picture of piano keys I changed it just a half step. The C became B, F became E, Bb became A, Eb became D, etc.  Now what key am I in?

Well, if you lowered it a half step, you are in E minor.  E minor has just one sharp: F.

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Schaick
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March 23, 2015 - 8:46 am
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@micra Cool. Thanks!  Now I can announce that when I say what song I am about to lead!! 

I was told at jam that a great and easy hint to the key of a song is the last note.  Is that always or only usually the case?  

@Ripton So sorry, I feel as thought I have stolen your thread!!

Violinist start date -  May 2013  

Fiddler start date - May 2014

FIDDLE- Gift from a dear friend. A 1930-40 german copy, of a french copy of a Stradivarius.  BOW - $50 carbon fiber. Strings - Dominants with E Pirastro Gold string.

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Uzi
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That is usually true. Music is like a sonic journey. It starts from somewhere, then travels about here and there, sometimes taking short steps, sometimes taking long leaps, but in the end it usually returns home. That "home" is the root note of the key or mode the song is in.

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright

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Ripton
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Schaick said
  

@Ripton So sorry, I feel as thought I have stolen your thread!!

Oh not at all, I actually found my answer and mistake fairly early and now have been enjoying the conversation.. 

 

thanks all

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Schaick
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smile

Violinist start date -  May 2013  

Fiddler start date - May 2014

FIDDLE- Gift from a dear friend. A 1930-40 german copy, of a french copy of a Stradivarius.  BOW - $50 carbon fiber. Strings - Dominants with E Pirastro Gold string.

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Schaick
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New question.  Last night someone led Old Joe Clark.  I was trying to join in to take a break after playing chords for a bit but could not seem to make it fit.  When the song ended I mentioned that I could not seem to fit my break in the leader said "Oh, you play it in A we were playing in" ...{don't remember the answer right now D or G}.  

I start the tune on the A string but if I had started on the D string would I have been in the Key of D?  And on G in the key of G?

One good thing I was actually able to hear that I would have been in the wrong key something I would not have been able to do when I first started jamming!!

Violinist start date -  May 2013  

Fiddler start date - May 2014

FIDDLE- Gift from a dear friend. A 1930-40 german copy, of a french copy of a Stradivarius.  BOW - $50 carbon fiber. Strings - Dominants with E Pirastro Gold string.

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coolpinkone
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Well that sounds like progress.. knowing it is off is  half the battle. 

I think my Old Joe Clark is a bit different than what some play.   But I play it in D maj

Whether I start on the A string or E string is a matter of whether I am using my fourth finger or not.

Since I still cheat like a criminal with the open strings... I start the song open E, F# G F# E (on the e string)

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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