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Thread: Music Keys: playing with other instruments

  1. #1
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    Default Music Keys: playing with other instruments

    I played the clarinet in high school about 20ish yrs ago. I have recently been asked to play with our church band. I know that the piano is in concert pitch C while the clarinet is in Bb.

    We use a website for our sheet music that can transpose to any key. My question is if the piano is using music written in G with one sharp, does the clarinet play in A with three sharps? I found a cross reference chart online and if this is correct, it'll save a lot of time and make it much easier.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mckbrad View Post
    I played the clarinet in high school about 20ish yrs ago. I have recently been asked to play with our church band. I know that the piano is in concert pitch C while the clarinet is in Bb.
    ....My question is if the piano is using music written in G with one sharp, does the clarinet play in A with three sharps? I found a cross reference chart online and if this is correct, it'll save a lot of time and make it much easier.
    Good question - Yes, clarinet in Bb will read music written 1 whole step above the concert pitch....IOW - when Bb clarinet reads/plays an "A", it actually sounds a "G". to play in G major [concert pitch/"C"], Bb clarinet must play in written A major 3#s

    just as a friendly tip re transposition, etc - whatever the designation of the instrument might be -
    Bb clarinet
    F horn
    Eb horn
    D trumpet, whatever - the letter of designation for that instrument indicates what pitch it actually sounds when it reads the note "C"...
    IOW - Bb clarinet, when it reads the note C, actually sounds a Bb, F horn an F, and so forth.

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    Thx. I never did really well in HS in music theory. I think the chart i found will be accurate. Now to test...

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    Senior Member JeffD's Avatar
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    To help, or maybe confuse the issue, one can get a C clarinet. They are not that rare. The C clarinet sounds the note it plays. Making life easier.

    You could, for example, read directly from the piano score, or what the fiddle is reading from.

    But if you are playing music already arranged for clarinet, it will most likely be written for Bb so no real advantage there.

    But for casual music, or learning tunes by ear, a C instrument might make things easier.


    See, you need both. Clarinet Acquisition Syndrome.
    Last edited by JeffD; Dec-31-2019 at 04:50.
    How did I become a senior member? I only recently figured out where the restrooms are.

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