Transposing Instruments Basics

What note do we hear if we ask a transposing instrument to play a C? That depends on the instrument. In most cases the name of the instrument gives us the answer. For example when a B flat clarinet plays a C, we a hear a Bb.

In the next table you can see the most common transposing instruments. In the second column we show the written note while in the third column you can see the note that we hear when that note is played. In the Transposition column you can see the transposing interval. Note that it can be ascending or descending depending on the instrument.

Instrument Written Note Real Note Transposition
Alto Flute
(G)
Perfect 4th
Descending
English Horn Perfect 5th
Descending
Clarinet in Bb Major 2nd
Descending
Clarinet in A Minor 3rd
Descending
Clarinet in Eb Minor 3rd
Ascending
Bass Clarinet
(Bb)
Major 9th
Descending
Soprano
Saxophone (Bb)
Major 2nd
Descending
Alto Saxophone
(Eb)
Major 6th
Descending
Tenor Saxophone
(Bb)
Major 9th
Descending
Baritone
Saxophone (Eb)
Major 6th
+ 1 octave
Descending
Trumpet in Bb Major 2nd
Descending
Horn in F Perfect 5th
Descending

© 2008 José Rodríguez Alvira. Published by teoria.com


    
  teoria.comonGoogle+

Search   •    Write to us