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Topic: A Question to Those Reacording from Score

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  1. #1
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    A Question to Those Reacording from Score

    After seeing the Stravinsky posted here I decided to take a deeper look at the score, which I purchased recently. After playing a few lines I noticed how many different instruments in different keys there were.

    I\'m just an amateur and have a hard enough time reading different clefs (I\'m just getting used to playing from an alto clef and at least understand how to play from a tenor clef) but I can\'t transpose different keys in my head.

    What I want to know is how people play parts written in different keys. Do you look at a B-flat clarinet and automatically play the part a whole step lower? Do you write the part out? Do you transpose your keyboard and play the notes as written?

    Thanks.

  2. #2

    Re: A Question to Those Reacording from Score

    Hey Trent,

    The notes get played as written. Many composers nowadays use a C score anyway, so I wouldn\'t worry about it too much. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] And I see you\'re in NH - whereabouts? I work in Nashua. Send me an email sometime, it would be nice to talk to someone else just starting out. I\'ll be getting my music degree in December! wooooo. [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]

  3. #3

    Re: A Question to Those Reacording from Score

    For me, it depends on the complexity of the part. I can usually transpose at sight if the part is relatively simple. Otherwise, I\'ll set up my keyboard to transpose for me.

  4. #4

    Re: A Question to Those Reacording from Score

    Trent,

    Do whatever is easy for you. You can record playing in the C-clef then transpose later. That is if you can handle the dissonance from hearing the other parts. You can also automatically transpose the track as you play if your sequencer/notation program provides it. That is if you can handle listening to the right key with a different finger position.

    I can do the second option better though!

  5. #5

    Re: A Question to Those Reacording from Score

    You can play it as written, then use a transposition function from within your sequencer, if one is available.

    In my case, I used to play horn in an orchestra, and got used to transposing in my head on demand. We were often handed parts in C, D, Eb, E, as well as F, and expected to sight-read them. On a rare occasion, we might get one in G, Ab, A or Bb, which were especially unfun, because they weren\'t often enough to get used to, and because they transpose up instead of down for a horn player.

    I find that most scores still are written transposed. Prokofiev, Schoenberg, and Webern are three older-generation composers who liked to write in C. This practice still hasn\'t completely caught on, though, partially because some instruments would end up on too many leger lines in their most used registers, and partly because conductors generally aren\'t used to seeing orchestral scores written in C.

  6. #6
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    Re: A Question to Those Reacording from Score

    Thanks for the replies.

    Dan, I think I will most likely try that. I was looking through some scores and some parts look easy, particularly b-flat instruments. Others might not be as easy. I’ll have to try transposing my keyboard for the harder parts.

    DelFuvio – I live in Wilton, which is 20 miles west of Nashua. I also work in Nashua. Unfortunately most of the scores I have have the parts written for the instrument. For instance, Beethoven’s 5th Symphony begins with the strings playing G-G-G-C while the clarinet plays A-A-A-D. Looking at the key signatures, the strings are in C minor while the clarinet is in D minor. This is easy enough to transpose in my head, but moving to Stravinsky is another matter……

  7. #7

    Re: A Question to Those Reacording from Score

    Trent,

    Most long-time composer/conductors do what they call “think transposed,” that is look at a score and hear everything in concert pitch. But with notation software being able to transpose at the click of the mouse, this art is slowly seen as not as important as it once was on the composer side of the equation. Learning this skill might be appropriate down the road if you will be conducting other’s works, but I certainly wouldn’t lose sleep over not being able to do this now. Things like learning all you can about composition, orchestration, harmony, counterpoint, and ear training, would in my opinion be much more important.

    I tend to write the music out on a score pad transposed first (This is just how I was taught), then play it into my sequencer in concert pitch. But I think if I were starting out in music my approach might be different.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Re: A Question to Those Reacording from Score

    Thanks everyone who answered. For now I\'ll write out parts I can\'t site read (I need the practice) unless I\'m in a hurry, in which case I\'ll transpose the keyboard.

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