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Thread: Explanation of transposed instruments in orchestral scores.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Toronto, Canada

    Smile Explanation of transposed instruments in orchestral scores.

    Hello to all !

    I am new here!
    I have just bought the score to my two favorite Beethoven works, the second movement of the Emperor Concerto in Eb and the Ouverture "Egmont", and have been reading them along to the music.
    I was wondering if there were any musicians amongst yourselves who would help me with something. The score is in concert pitch Ab, or F minor, but the "Clarinetti in B" are written in Bb or G minor. Also, the Corni in F, Corni in Es, Trombe in F and Timpani in F-C are all written in C or A minor, with no key signature.
    I know about transposed instruments but I don't understand why all these different ones are in the same pitch on the score!

    Thank you so much for your help, I hope this makes some sort of sense!!


  2. #2
    Senior Member emiellucifuge's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Blog Entries


    Clarinets and horns sound differently than they are written. For example a Bb clarinet will play a Bb when a C is written, if you wish it to play a C you must write two semitones higher (Bb - B - C) so you would write a D.

    The same is with the horn in F, it will play a C as an F and so you must adjust the score.

    On second thought I realise this is probably not what you were asking, but ive decided to post anyway just in case.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    Default the answer if you still need it

    i just saw your post when googling the newer name for trombe in es and basically the reason is because there are two ways composers write scores, one way is where all instruments are written on the score as they see the notes and the other way is it is written as the sound that comes out when they platy, you got the second type of score, i cannot recall the name of them.

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