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"Learning and Teaching" pieces Arrangements for helping aspiring musicians learn to play from sheet music.

 
 
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Old 02-18-2013, 02:12 AM
rrayner rrayner is offline
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Default Transposing the Duets

Transposing the Duets

The following is a complete revision of the original posting.

First, thanks to one of our new friends in England and her daughter who teaches Recorder in school, I have learned a lot about Recorders in the past few days. All of the duets that I have written for this forum are for Soprano Recorder and Alto Recorder. For those of you who don’t actually play either instrument, that would be kind of the end of that discussion. You make your instrument changes at will and transpose at will using the powers of Notation.

The following scenarios only address one aspect of transposing parts and are focused on Recorders. The principles would still apply to all for transposing in general. For a more in-depth perspective, please view the very fine Tutorial created by Sherry Crann at:

http://www.notation.com/vb-forum/showthread.php?t=3621

Here are a few of the things I’ve learned:

1) The Soprano (also called Descant) Recorder sounds an octave above where it is written. The low C on the Soprano is an octave above middle C on the Piano. All these years I’ve been writing and playing these duets, I didn’t notice that the Notation Soprano parts I had written sounded one octave below what I or my wife Cynthia were actually playing;

2) The Alto (also called Treble) Recorder is not traditionally treated as an F instrument which needs to be transposed, as I have done in these duets, but is also a C instrument. My treatment of the Alto assumes its music has been transposed up a fifth (7 half-steps), and that the player would use the Soprano fingering on the Alto to play the part. Traditionally, the Alto uses a different fingering in which the lowest note is an F, and if you play the regular fingerings, you are playing an F Major scale. The lowest note on the Alto is the F below middle C on the Piano, but it is written one octave higher.

Now, how does this relate to the duets I’ve written for this forum? For all non-Recorder players, there is no difference. For Recorder players, here is how to modify these duets to make them look and sound like the instruments you would be playing:

1) Open the song.

2) Enter the qscp command or click Staff > Show concert pitches to Show concert pitches, and click Yes to apply to all parts.

3) Enter the qtin command or click Staff > [Transpose] instrument key > Next to open the Transpose Instrument screen. Change the Soprano Recorder line to show C Above plus 1 octave; change the Alto Recorder line to show C Below minus 1 octave; click Finish.

4) The Alto part notation is now correct and will sound the same as the real instrument. The Soprano part looks terrible and way below range. To fix this, click the arrow box to the left of the Soprano staff. The entire Soprano part will have a blue highlight. Enter the qcrn command or click Region > Convert region to selection of notes. The blue highlight will disappear and all of the notes in the Soprano part will be blue (selected). Hold down the Shift key and press the + (plus) key on the numeric keypad or click Note > Pitch > Raise pitch one octave. Press the Esc key to change the notes back to black. Both parts are now notated correctly and sound in the same range as the real instruments.

The above procedure may put some of the slurs on top of notes. Simply click on the slur that is misplaced and type either a or b to correct the positioning.

You may want to save this version with a different name to keep the original intact.

Here is a consideration for those of you who are playing the Alto Recorder part in the duets in this forum on an Alto Recorder. In almost all cases, the Alto Recorder part is a harmony or complimentary part. If you are playing by yourself along with Notation and you would like to play the lead part (Soprano Recorder) instead of the harmony part (Alto Recorder), you can use the following procedure to make the lead part (Soprano) transpose to the proper range:

1. Open the song. The following procedure assumes that you have already performed the procedure shown above.

2. Change the type of transposition for the Soprano part (qtin or Staff > [Transpose] instrument key > Next). On the Soprano Recorder line, change the C Above plus 1 octave to C Below minus 1 octave, click Finish.

4. Click the arrow box to the left of the Soprano staff. The entire Soprano part will have a blue highlight. Enter the qcrn command or click Region > Convert region to selection of notes. The blue highlight will disappear and all of the notes in the Soprano part will be blue (selected). Hold down the Shift key and press the - (minus) key on the numeric keypad or click Note > Pitch > Lower pitch one octave. Press the Esc key to change the notes back to black.

The above procedure may put some of the slurs on top of notes. Simply click on the slur that is misplaced and type either a or b to correct the positioning.

You may want to save this version with a different name to keep the original intact.

Note that I will not be changing any of the previously posted duets to incorporate this new knowledge and I will continue to post new duets the same way as I have previously.

Ralph Rayner

Last edited by rrayner; 02-23-2013 at 08:23 PM. Reason: Complete revision of original post
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