Transposing/conversion

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Ed Lee, Feb 14, 2014.

  1. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    I'm researching a lot of older Christian music, circa the era of grandmother, some the era of my great grandmother and some earlier still and as I play them, many just don't sound right on my Bb instruments. Over the weekend it dawned on me that I may have been encountering music scored in high pitch and then wandered if there was a standardized conversion to the chromatic scale in modern pitch vis A=440. Anybody?
     
  2. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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  3. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

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    Hence: It is my extrapolation that the VB reference may have been where the term: "to pitch a fit" originated.
     
  4. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    Better sharp than out of tune.
     
  5. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

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    If you go back into the 19th and 18th centuries, pitch varied depending on which country or even which city you were in. High pitch could be anything within a wide range, so I'd guess there's no "standard" transposition for it. If it's vocal/piano music you have and you want it lower, why not just play it as-is on your Bb with no transposition?
     
  6. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    The new Evangelisches Gesangbuch (Stuttgart. 1996) dropped some hymns previously in E[SUP]b[/SUP] to D in order to make the tunes easier to sing.
     
  7. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    Curious, but isn't it D to Eb?
     
  8. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

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    Nope. They moved some of the tunes down a half-step. I am a lousy singer, combining the high range of a bass with the low range of a tenor, leaving me a usable range of about an octave. I can sing Frank Zappa tunes and that's about it. I'm glad they lowered some of the tunes a half step.
     
  9. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

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    Such normally works with Bb instruments for solos when A=440, but even it is the gremlin and sounds weird when accompanied by piano or mixed with F & and Eb instruments or other pitched instruments. Just for hypothesis, if I had some music pitched at A=435.7 and as you say such old high pitched music varies from country to country and city to city, what I think I need is a slide rule converter to A=440 base and then do my necessary transpositions.

    Point is when I lay a copy of A Mighty Fortress Is Our God by Martin Luther replete with the middle German lyrics alongside a modern U.S. transcription appearing identical in the Presbyterian, Baptist and Methodist hymnals, I can discern no correlation and when I attempt to play the German version on my Bb instruments the result is, to say the least, weird (and perhaps wrong on my part). Isn't that the 15th century?
     
  10. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

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    A=435.7 is low pitch, and pitches that low were more of the norm before the 19th century. I think Martin Luther lived in the 16th century, FWIW. Someone with more musical knowledge than I have will need to chime in concerning the history of written music. I'd guess the original version of A Mighty Fortress Is Our God was written in something other than the treble clef we're used to reading today.
     

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