Transposition for Bb

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by RB-R37297, Dec 22, 2009.

  1. RB-R37297

    RB-R37297 Pianissimo User

    Mar 12, 2009
    Winnipeg, Manitoba
    I'm starting to study orchestral excerpts with my private teacher and a couple of them are in C (Pictures, Pines of Rome). My teacher has me playing them at sight, which I think is good for me.

    As luck would have it, I'm playing at a friend's church for their Christmas Eve service (traditional carols and other fun stuff) and I'm playing the soprano line out of the hymnbook (I think) which is - you guessed it - in C.

    These carols aren't that hard; standard G and A major type things, but there's one in E and one in F# which I'll probably write out as a safety net. However, I want some advice - should I try to read them at sight or should I write them out for the added security?
  2. mush-mouth

    mush-mouth Pianissimo User

    Aug 3, 2009
    Write them out, unless you like that free-fall, free-ball feeling.

    Also, if you do write the notes down, triple-check to make sure you didn't make any simple mistakes, particularly with accidental b7th notes on the turnarounds (or the #4 for that matter)...
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2009
  3. Markie

    Markie Forte User

    Jan 4, 2009
    Clarksburg, WV
    better to have it and not need it then to need it and not have it
  4. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

    May 11, 2009
    Yorba Linda, CA
    Oh - just go for it. This is Christmas after all - nobody can sing on key anyway so they won't notice any boo-boos.;-)
  5. Pedal C

    Pedal C Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 24, 2005
    Don't make mistakes. No shame in writing it out. I've done it.
    HSOtrumpet1 likes this.
  6. Lucienne

    Lucienne New Friend

    Mar 2, 2009
    New York
    If you can get the hymnbook ahead of time, practice them without writing them out, just like you were practicing a new piece, and learn them that way, and pretty soon you'll be able to read them at sight. That's how you learn. And then write them out just in case you get nervous or something. Soon you'll find you don't need to write them out.
  7. dhbailey

    dhbailey Piano User

    Jul 28, 2009
    New Hampshire
    I'm with those who are saying "write it out" -- in the heat of the performance, when nerves run high it's so easy to get momentarily confused and then totally mess up. Also, when first learning transposing, there is a phenomenon which I ran into myself all those years ago and I watch student after student over the years run into -- double transposition. As you keep on practicing transposition (which you should do so that next Christmas it won't be an issue at all), some of the transposition starts becoming natural and you don't think about it. Then your brain kicks in and says "oh, yeah, I'm transposing here" and you transpose the note you just automatically transposed. For example, you see a G, you go to play an A and your brain says "Remember, we're transposing here, so turn that A into a B" and you play a note too high. You don't want that phenomenon to happen in a performance, so wherever there is any doubt, write it out for this year.

    And keep on practicing transposing while sight-reading (borrow a hymnal if you can -- it's perfect for this) until you are confident and can sight-read while transposing with no errors. Then start practicing doing the same on the alto parts, then learn to read bass clef and do the same for the tenor and bass lines. That way, when playing a hymn in church, you aren't stuck playing the melody only, and when you play those other parts it really makes the hymn come alive.
  8. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    The finest music is written in pencil.

    Your reputation is not based on the insiders knowledge of your transposition skills, it is on what comes out of the bell of your horn. Your reputation is your calling card. If I was local competition, I would tell you to read the C part and not bother writing it out..........
  9. trumpetup

    trumpetup Piano User

    Jan 12, 2009
    Godley, Texas
    If you are transposing a piece written in F# that 6 sharps. Better write it down.
  10. brassplayer

    brassplayer Pianissimo User

    May 6, 2009
    San Gabriel, CA
    I was in the same boat with Midnight Mass at my church. When I got the list of tunes from the Cantor, I just went ahead and practiced the melodies by sight transposing out of the Hymn Book. However I did take the time to write out a transposed part for the service "just in case". I figure you only get one shot at it in performance, so it had better be perfect.

    Regarding the Key of Concert F#, don't forget that Concert F# = Concert Gb which transposes to the manageable Key of Ab on a Bb trumpet. For the service, our guitarist was thinking of starting one of our hymns in F and then modulating to F# for the later verses. So, instead of transposing everything to the miserable key of G#, I just re-spelled everything and ended up with a nice part in Ab.

    Never forget that Enharmonic Spelling can be your friend! :thumbsup:

Share This Page