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Reading and Writing Music for Transposing Instruments

Reading and Writing Music for Transposing Instruments

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Kevin Swinden
Kevin Swinden (Faculty)
12 years ago
While the use of clefs for transposition is theoretically tidy, it is rarely a
practical method for most students. Certainly, clef transpositions involving
bass, alto, and tenor clefs are usable, but those involving archaic G- and
F-clefs prove too cumbersome when there are more practical solutions available
(e.g., movable do solfege.)

Technical Remarks:

Octave differences are left without comment entirely. The clef transpositions
are presented as solutions to transposition problems, but there is no mention of
clefs that change the original octave. This is somewhat troubling, especially
given the typical beginner's confusion regarding the sounding octave of a pitch
notated on a C-clef. A Bb clarinet part read as though in alto clef does *not*
produce the same pitches as the original, only the same pitch-classes.
Used in course? Yes