Welcome to our forum. A Message To Our New and Prospective Members . Check out our Forum Rules. Lets keep this forum an enjoyable place to visit.

A A A
Avatar
Please consider registering
guest
sp_LogInOut Log Insp_Registration Register
Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search
Forum Scope




Match



Forum Options



Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters
sp_Feed Topic RSSsp_TopicIcon
Beware of the Sheet Music!
It might be a wolf in sheep's clothing!
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (4 votes) 
Avatar
ELCBK
USA
Members

Regulars
September 25, 2022 - 11:19 pm
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 5689
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
Let me say right off, all sheet music in Treble Clef should be fair game for Violin - but it's NOT!

I said (in post #54 of Traditional Fiddle Intonation vs. Classical Violinist Intonation Thread):

I had a rude awakening last night. 😳 

Anyone who's heard me play knows I don't have perfect pitch - far from it, but I think I get close enough to tell what a note is.  That said, I do play a lot by ear - and trust that what I hear is close... but last night, I had my doubts. 

It's not new for me to try playing music written for, or played by other instruments, so I played along with a trumpet from a video score last night - and got thrown for a loop.  I was getting along pretty well, just playing by ear, but there were some complicated riffs that were hard to discern, even at the lowest speed.  I thought I looked closely at the score in the video, but when I played the riff - it didn't sound like the video audio.  ...was my Edgar out of tune?  No.  Was my intonation THAT bad? 🤔 ...debatable. (lol) 

Seriously, it had me worried!

Turns out the play-along score in the video was in a different key - than the audio! 
So, I inquired - here's the answer I received: 

The recording and transcription are both in F concert, however in this transcription the trumpets/horn aren't transposed. 

"Did you know that not all instruments sound like a C on the piano when you play a C on the instrument??" Concert Pitch Transposition

https://www.mysheetmusictranscriptions.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/concert-pitch-2-768x518.pngImage Enlarger

So, back to my OP for this thread, C is a C is not a C!

I suppose this is the same as someone in Baroque tuning, or a down-tuned Cajun fiddle following standard notation for fingering, but my brain keeps shouting at me - this is all LUDICROUS! 

...reading the Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy version I want to play - guess it's not much worse than learning Alto Clef - PITA. (lol)

I also posted that people who play these instruments have to learn to quickly transpose keys early on, and there are 'cheat sheets' to help. 

So, if you find a very cool piece of sheet music & you hear it isn't played sounding like how the sheet music is notated - take a closer look!  It might be for Brass or Woodwinds!

Avatar
AndrewH
Sacramento, California
Members

Regulars
September 26, 2022 - 12:08 am
Member Since: November 5, 2017
Forum Posts: 1494
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Be especially aware of transposition if you're looking at music for clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, or horn.

If it's originally for flute or oboe, it's safe to play in the same key.

Avatar
ELCBK
USA
Members

Regulars
September 26, 2022 - 12:48 am
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 5689
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

@AndrewH -

YES!  That's EXACTLY what happened to me tonight! 🤣 

 

I listened to this intriguing duet for Viola and Bass Clarinet by Ian Deterling!  I was instantly hooked on the sound, then noticed the Treble Clef line UNDER Alto Clef!

...it was like the forbidden candy drawer, beckoning to me. (lol)

Innocently marked with a Bb in the key signature, this music has at least some indication that this part is different - written in teeny tiny letters, at the beginning of the Bass Clarinet part, "Bass Clarinet in Bb" - which means about as much to me as something written in Gaelic! 

In all fairness, the word 'clarinet' was a warning flare.  So, I checked the 1st note - an open D, sounds like my open C (so 'D' = C3)!  It would be FABULOUS on the Cello, just not simple to transpose!

Here's the beautiful duet, "Duet in C Minor" - with a Viola melody worth learning - and take note of how it's marked for the Bass Clarinet (I think it might be worth transposing).  

 

Adam Neely touched on Transposed Instruments, and a few other things like Synchronization & Sleeping with a Metronome - in this Q&A.  

 

 

Yeah, I got other stuff to do - but why should we miss out on learning to play some cool music, just because it's written for another instrument? 

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/78/b7/5a/78b75ae449210accfa21bff89e0a368b.jpg

Avatar
AndrewH
Sacramento, California
Members

Regulars
September 26, 2022 - 1:52 am
Member Since: November 5, 2017
Forum Posts: 1494
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I've been familiar with transposition for a long time, mostly because I played in school bands and studied composition a little before I took up strings.

Violists steal from everyone, because there's so little viola solo repertoire written prior to the 20th century. Normally it's transcribed into concert pitch for easier reading. The Brahms E-flat major sonata I'm working on now was originally for clarinet, though in that case it was Brahms himself who rewrote it for viola in order to sell more copies. I've played one other piece that was originally for a transposing instrument: Schumann's Adagio and Allegro, originally for horn and piano. When transcribed in concert pitch, it's a good upper-intermediate-level piece for viola.

Avatar
ELCBK
USA
Members

Regulars
September 26, 2022 - 2:28 am
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 5689
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

@AndrewH -

I forgot to ask you - would the Bass Clarinet part be hard to transpose in Musescore?  It's not exactly a common instrument, is it?

I need to decide if it's worth me taking time to learn how to use Musescore - knowing I won't learn to use Musescore & Presonus until I absolutely have to... but I'm getting close to that point, cause I'm starting to run across too many pieces I just don't want to have to memorize by ear, like these. 

Since it will be Halloween before I know it, I have to share this "Duet for Viola and Bass Clarinet in F Minor" I found at the same time as the other duet by Ian Deterling.  This is too LONG of a piece for me!

It reminds me of the Alfred Hitchcock Theme - "Playful, yet dark". 🤭

 

Avatar
AndrewH
Sacramento, California
Members

Regulars
September 26, 2022 - 2:47 am
Member Since: November 5, 2017
Forum Posts: 1494
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Bass clarinet is a standard orchestral instrument from the mid 19th century onward. MuseScore definitely has it, and the simple, mindless way to transpose would be to transcribe the part into a B-flat bass clarinet part in Musescore and then just copy/paste into a viola part.

 

I will note, however, that this bass clarinet part definitely goes below the viola's open C string, so you may want to play it an octave up (basically transpose as if for a regular clarinet). As written, it would match the cello's range more closely.

 

If you want to transpose directly: for any instrument, the sheet music will tell you what the transposition is. Transpose everything (including the key of the piece!) the same number of steps. The one thing that isn't stated directly is which octave to transpose to; for most instruments it's the shortest transposition from C, but there are exceptions. (E.g. the horn generally transposes downward.) The bass clarinet is one of those exceptions. It transposes to the octave below the clarinet; in orchestras the bass clarinet part is played by a clarinetist who doubles on the bass clarinet, so the idea is that the player reads the same fingering as the regular clarinet but sounds an octave lower. So for B-flat bass clarinet, the concert pitch is a major 9th (an octave plus a major 2nd) below the written pitch.

Avatar
ELCBK
USA
Members

Regulars
September 26, 2022 - 2:51 am
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 5689
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

@AndrewH -

Thanks for all the info!  I could tell Bass Clarinet went lower than Viola. 

The very 1st piece I ran across was with a trumpet - "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" - and what threw me for a loop was there was NO indication of what it was to be transposed to, so I had to ask the owner of the video. 

 

Just found both of those pieces for Flute and Cello - so no transposition necessary! 

Now I feel really stupid - time for me to go to sleep! 🥱😴

https://www.youtube.com/user/i.....nd%20cello

Avatar
AndrewH
Sacramento, California
Members

Regulars
September 26, 2022 - 3:45 am
Member Since: November 5, 2017
Forum Posts: 1494
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

If it's not listed, sometimes you can figure out the transpositions from the key signature on the page. If the transposing instrument is paired with a non-transposing instrument, you'll see different key signatures.

Also, certain transpositions are so common as to be considered defaults for the instruments in question. For clarinet and trumpet it's B-flat, for horn it's F. Composers and arrangers should list the transposition anyway, but if they forget (which may happen with an inexperienced amateur composer or arranger), nine times out of ten it's the most common transposition for the instrument.

Avatar
ELCBK
USA
Members

Regulars
September 27, 2022 - 12:27 am
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 5689
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

@AndrewH -

Thank you!  

I'll be sure to remember that. 😊

Forum Timezone: America/New_York
Most Users Ever Online: 696
Currently Online: Katie M, TNungesser
Guest(s) 94
Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)
Members Birthdays
sp_BirthdayIcon
Today None
Upcoming HeadCheese, Mad_Wed, Andrew, Prudence, Lenicus, ButteryStuffs, kit, makinnoise, wisco kid, Nathalie, marta, AmandaKulp, klezmerkat, vocaliw95, winxart, nancyjoshua
Top Posters:
ELCBK: 5689
ABitRusty: 2928
Mad_Wed: 2849
Barry: 2680
Fiddlestix: 2647
Oliver: 2439
DanielB: 2379
Gordon Shumway: 2189
damfino: 2078
Kevin M.: 1973
Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 3
Members: 31183
Moderators: 0
Admins: 7
Forum Stats:
Groups: 16
Forums: 79
Topics: 10087
Posts: 127144
Newest Members:
Cyrus
Administrators: Fiddlerman: 16195, KindaScratchy: 1760, coolpinkone: 4180, BillyG: 3741, MrsFiddlerman: 2, Jimmie Bjorling: 0, Mouse: 4324