Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: How do I transpose music in D, E, & G for the F Horn and (B flat) Trumpet?

  1. #1
    Newbies
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    3
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default How do I transpose music in D, E, & G for the F Horn and (B flat) Trumpet?

    I've asked this question before but I just want to make sure: How do I transpose music in D, E, & G for the French Horn and B flat Trumpet?

    I found from the question that I asked that in order to transpose for the french horn, I needed to know this:

    " French Horn

    Music in D = play a minor third lower than written
    Music in E = play a semitone lower than written
    Music in G = play a tone higher than written (most horn players hate this transposition) "

    Is this true? I wasn't told how to transpose for the Trumpet also; So how would I transpose music in D, E, & G for it?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Vancouver, Canada
    Posts
    212
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    This is confused.

    Music for the horn is written up a 5th (so, sounding down a 5th) - for trumpet, up a major second. That is the way to think of it. Key is irrelevant to transposition.

    Let me know if this is still confusing, and I'll try to be clearer.

    Scott

  3. #3
    Newbies
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    3
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Yes, it is sort of confusing. Can you explain more

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Vancouver, Canada
    Posts
    212
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ez64 View Post
    Yes, it is sort of confusing. Can you explain more
    Horn in F means that when the note C is written, it sounds an F (down a 5th). Same for trumpet in Bb - when a C is written, it sounds a Bb (down a major 2nd).

    So, whatever the key you are in, just do the reverse transposition - if in D, then for horn it is in A (up a 5th as it sounds down a 5th), and Bb Trumpet in E (up a second, as it sounds down a 2nd).

    This principal can be applied to any transposing instruments.

    Getting there?

  5. #5
    Newbies
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    3
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Ok, thank you so much!. I'm beginning to understand

  6. #6
    Senior Member Rasa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    1,242
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Transposition is a lot easier to understand then to explain

  7. #7
    Senior Member PostMinimalist's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Athens, Greece
    Posts
    836
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Transposition and key signatures.

    Let's start at the beginning. Most music is written using the diatonic key system. That means that the 'tune' uses seven notes which we commonly think of as Do Re Mi Fa Sol La and Ti (Si, if your continental) - think of the tune from The Sound of Music. Since some tunes might go a bit high or low for some voices to sing thay can be sung lower of higher, starting on different notes to suit the particular voice.

    Of Course on a piano or other musical instrument you must know how to play in a lower or higher key to start on a different note. Let's say that a song starts on the note C but it's abit too high for the singer. The pianist might try to play the song starting on a G (a fourth lower than the C) and find that the singer is now comfortable. The pianist is said to have transopsed the song 'down a fourth'.

    This is an example of transposing the whole piece into another key. The key of a piece is the name of the first note in the scale that makes up the piece itself. The KEY is signified to the musician at the beginning of a piece by the 'key signature'. This is an array or sharps or flats which help the musician know which of the 'white' notes on the piano to make 'black' and in which direction the black notes is from the original white note. if there is a Bflat in the key signature then every time he sees the note B in the music he substitues it for the black note to the left of it. The sharps tell him to substitute with the black notes to the right.

    Trained musicians can tell from how many sharps and flats are in the key signature exactly which key the music is in. For example if there are 5 flats the music is likely to be 'in the key of Dflat Major' (this is not always the case but let's assume it is for now).

    Some times music is written in a key that is not very easy or even impossible to play in for some instruments so the player will carry two or more instruments with him to cover this eventuality.
    A penny whistle player might have as many as six instruments with him since it is quite restrictive.

    A clarinet player might have two instruments with him. One would be an instrument that makes it easy to play in keys with flats in the key signature and the other would be one which makes it easy to play in key signatures full of sharps.

    In order to make things easy for him both instruments work exactly the same way; they just make different notes when you blow through them. How does this work?

    We all know that it is easiest to play in C major because it has no sharps or flats in the key signature. It's just the white notes on the piano!
    What we don't all know is that if a woodwind instrument is bigger and longer it has a better, richer sound. With this in mind instrument makers started making clarinets bigger by about ten percent, thus making them lower in pitch by about a tone, and then convinced composers to write the music 'higher up' so it sounded right when it was played! This sounds ridiculous but it worked and caught on all over central Europe and before you knew what was happening there was a vast array of wind and brass instruments in every conceivable transposition available!

    Let's backstep a little. This meant that a certain (bigger) clarinet would have to play a tone higher in order to play with violins (which had no such problems - if you made a bigger violin it was called a viola and as such was a different instrument, it was not a 'transposing violin').
    The tone higher meant that the music had to be written a tone higher! Suddenly the key signature of Cmajor had 2 sharps in it and looked for all the world like D Major! Only the clarinet would make the difference. Sound complex? It gets worse! French Horns didn't use key signatures written on the score they had all the scores written in C major and were (and sometimes still are in authentic intrument bands) expected to have a horn for each key!!

    So technically what does this all mean?

    A clarinet, trumpet, Soprano saxophone or horn of any nationality 'in B flat' will play what is written in fron of him slightly lower that you would expect to hear from a piano. In fact one tone lower. Hence the name of the transposition 'Down a tone'. All transposing instruments get their name from how a written C would sound if they played it. The clarinet in B flat would play the written C but the note coming out of the instrument would be a B flat, thus it's a 'clarinet in B flat'. A horn playing a written C which sounded like a A flat would be called a 'Horn in A flat'. Horn in F sees a C but when he plays it we hear an F. See the idea?

    So the answer to your question is

    For a Horn in F:

    Music in D would be written out in A major with no key signature one fifth higher with all the accidentals written in the part.

    Music in E would be written out in B major with no key signature one fifth higher with all the accidentals written in the part.

    Music in G would be written out in D major with no key signature one fifth higher with all the accidentals written in the part.


    For a horn in D:

    Music in D would be written out in C major with no key signature one tone lower with all the accidentals written in the part.

    Music in E would be written out in D major with no key signature one tone lower with all the accidentals written in the part.

    Music in G would be written out in A major with no key signature one tone lower with all the accidentals written in the part.

    For a horn in E:

    Music in D would be written out in B flat major with no key signature one minor sixth higher with all the accidentals written in the part.

    Music in E would be written out in C major with no key signature one minor sixth higher with all the accidentals written in the part.

    Music in G would be written out in E flat major with no key signature one minor sixth higher with all the accidentals written in the part.

    For a horn in G:

    Music in D would be written out in G major with no key signature one fourth higher with all the accidentals written in the part.

    Music in E would be written out in A major with no key signature one fourth higher with all the accidentals written in the part.

    Music in G would be written out in C major with no key signature one fourth higher with all the accidentals written in the part.

    The most common horn in todays orchestras is the Horn in F. When faced with a part written for another transposing horn (e.g. Horn in A flat) the player must know how to do the required transposition 'in his head'. The best way to do this is as follows. Imagine that the 'other horn' is the key of the piece and then think of how far that is from F (the 'key' of your horn) - so A flat is up a minor third from F so you transpose what you see up a minor third.

    So -
    For Horn in F:

    Reading a part written for Horn in D - transpose the part down a minor third.
    Reading a part written for Horn in E - transpose the part down a semitone.
    Reading a part written for Horn in G - transpose the part up a tone.

    For completeness, however impractical this is:

    For Horn in D:

    Reading a part written for Horn in F - transpose the part up a minor third.
    Reading a part written for Horn in E - transpose the part up a tone.
    Reading a part written for Horn in G - transpose the part up a fourth.

    For Horn in E:

    Reading a part written for Horn in F - transpose the part up a semitone.
    Reading a part written for Horn in D - transpose the part down a tone.
    Reading a part written for Horn in G - transpose the part up a minor third.

    For Horn in G:

    Reading a part written for Horn in F - transpose the part down a tone.
    Reading a part written for Horn in E - transpose the part down a minor third.
    Reading a part written for Horn in D - transpose the part up a fifth.


    After that the trumpet thing should be a sinch! Go work it out!
    FC

  8. #8
    Senior Member chillowack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Squire Trelawny
    Posts
    293
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    post-minimalist, this is very instructive: thank you for taking the time to share this with us.

  9. #9
    Senior Member PostMinimalist's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Athens, Greece
    Posts
    836
    Post Thanks / Like
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    It's a long, bumpy ride but I think I get there.
    Thanks
    FC

Similar Threads

  1. Help
    By huBelial in forum Identifying Music
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: May-02-2009, 11:14
  2. Replies: 41
    Last Post: Mar-30-2009, 11:36
  3. Other horn music similar to Handel?
    By Svenn in forum Classical Music Discussion
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: Nov-16-2008, 17:32
  4. Replies: 2
    Last Post: Jun-29-2007, 04:53
  5. Strauss' Horn Music
    By Edward Elgar in forum Orchestral Music
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: Feb-18-2007, 23:54

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •