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Topic: Wondering why? Score issues

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  1. #1

    Wondering why? Score issues

    I have a score of a symphony in D minor. Some strange transposing.

    Flutes: key D minor/one b - as normal
    Oboes: key D minor/one b - as normal
    English Horn: key C/nothing
    Clarinets Bb: key G/one #
    Horns in Fa: key C/nothing
    etc..
    even Timpani is transposed into C/no sharp/flat symbols

    Why is that? Reasons? It contradicts the normal transposing rules.

    Raymond

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Re: Wondering why? Score issues

    It's not that the horns and timpani and transposed incorrectly, but traditionally these particular instruments are written with no key signature and all accidentals are notated as they occur.

    Jeff

  3. #3

    Re: Wondering why? Score issues

    Hi Raymond,

    English Horn: key C/nothing
    This is correct. The E.Hn. is written up a fifth, d-minor >>> a-minor, no accidentals.

    Clarinets Bb: key G/one #
    This is correct. Bb clarinet is written up a second, d-minor >>> e-minor, one sharp.

    Horns in Fa: key C/nothing
    As Jeff said, it had been customary to write the horns and trumpets without key signatures, instead writing in the accidentals as they occur. This is less true in modern scores. However, in this particular case, the transposition is actually correct. Horn in F is written up a fifth, d-minor >>> a-minor, no accidentals.

    even Timpani is transposed into C/no sharp/flat symbols
    The timpani are a special case. They almost never use a key signature. And, in some older scores, they often don't even indicate the accidentals at all, just a note, for example, telling the timpanist to play Eb and Bb (usually in a foreign language) when E and B are what is written. Needless-to-say, this sometimes produces an "interesting" effect if the timpanist is caught unawares. Really old scores from the baroque era don't even write anything like the pitches required, instead always using C and G, with a note to tune to D and A, for example.

    Regards,
    Darwin

  4. #4

    Re: Wondering why? Score issues

    Thanks folks,

    I knew that, but setting up this score in Overture with midi instruments gave me different transpositions. Later I used a list with Midi transposing from the Net and got confused, because those figures where again different.

    I didn't know about the horns and trumpets, nor the timpani. Now it is all solved... must get some skill reading tranposed instruments.

    Raymond

  5. #5

    Re: Wondering why? Score issues

    Of course you could always go atonal... never have to worry about those pesky key signatures again!
    - Jamie Kowalski

    All Hands Music - Kowalski on the web
    The Ear Is Always Correct - Writings on composition

  6. #6

    Re: Wondering why? Score issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Skysaw
    Of course you could always go atonal... never have to worry about those pesky key signatures again!
    My whole life is atonal. Let me for once use some old fashion structure in this part of my chaotic existence....... haha

    Raymond - and don't say that chaos is also a structure.

  7. #7

    Re: Wondering why? Score issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond62
    I have a score of a symphony in D minor. Some strange transposing.

    Flutes: key D minor/one b - as normal
    Oboes: key D minor/one b - as normal
    English Horn: key C/nothing
    Clarinets Bb: key G/one #
    Horns in Fa: key C/nothing
    etc..
    even Timpani is transposed into C/no sharp/flat symbols

    Why is that? Reasons? It contradicts the normal transposing rules.

    Raymond
    Hi, Raymond... http://www.garritan.info/index.php/A..._Transposition and

    http://www.garritan.info/index.php/Transposition_Guide are helpful. Timp often have no keysig, but accidentals are always in front of the notes that need them. Remember that timps are tuned in advance of playing, so a keysig isn't really necessary. It's not a transposition, just a different notation style.
    Jim Williams
    Professor of Capitalism
    N9EJR
    Indianapolis Brass Choir
    All Your Bass Sus&Short Are Belong to Us.

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