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Tania

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 #1 
I've been jamming a lot with a friend that plays clarinet. He's really good, but there's something I don't quite understand. Every time I say a note he has to "transpose" it - I think it's one full step down. When he's reading off sheet music, he has to transpose it in his head to the key his instrument is in. If we want to play the exact same thing, and I say "play C" he has to think "okay, that's my A" or whatever the note is.

My question is, isn't a C always a C? Why would some instruments have to play a different note for their C? And it's not like he doesn't know what he's doing, because he played in band for about 15 years and is much better than I. I just find it confusing.
tarasco702

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 #2 
Some instruments are just manufactured in a different key. For example his clarinet is in Bb, the same as a trumpet and other instruments. The alto Sax is in Eb. They can be made in the key of C, but that would change the dimensions of the instrument.
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Tania

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 #3 
Well, I understand that the main tuning of the instrument would be in a different key, but if a trumpet, clarinet and piano are all playing the note "Bb" for example, it's a Bb. We all have to match the same note. The final note that comes out always officially sounds the same, has the same vibration. It just seems confusing to me.
tarasco702

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 #4 
Not neceserily, it's the main tuning that sets them apart. That's why a Bb on a trumpet is not a Bb on a piano. Thats where transposing comes in, so that when a Bb is played on a piano the trumpet can adjust and match it.
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elpirishuiris

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 #5 
It is the same on the different tunings on the accordion.  I started playing on FBE accordion.  So anytime I play a GCF accordion, I have to translate the notes in my head. So if I am playing the key of F on the GCF, to me in my head it is an Eb even though I know I am playing F.  This is because I have already assigned names to all the notes of the buttons based on FBE, in my head.  So the same scale on the EAD would be D; regardless of the sound, to me in my head I am playing Eb.
TaoTao

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 #6 
The only difference is that accordion players (diatonic)don't have to change the way the play the song. Just switch accordions, other instruments will be different. The chromatic accordion is superior in that way, you dont have to change the scale pattern, just position. I think this also has to do with the way music is written out. I have a friend that plays tuba, and he has to transpose also, but he learned to read music. I think if your clarinet friend only played by ear, he would not have to transpose. It would just be, primera, segunda, tercera, ect. ect....
Tania

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 #7 
Hm. I was under the impression that a note is always the same note, no matter what instrument. I mean, that's the way people are able to play together in band, right? He even has to transpose sheet music, which doesn't make sense to me. I thought sheet music was just bass and treble clef and once you really learn how to play an instrument, you can play with the sheet music. Fortunately, he plays very well by ear, and only usually has to know the first note, transpose that, then go from there. It hasn't put a hitch in our playing together, but it was just something that confused me.

That's also why I stopped playing the diatonic, for what elpirishuiris said, every piano is the same and I will never be confused about notes. Plus, you can know what a note is by looking at it, and not with the diatonic due to the push-pull.
maylo99

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 #8 

Concert pitch refers to the pitch reference to which a group of musical instruments are tuned for a performance. Concert pitch may vary from ensemble to ensemble, and has varied widely over musical history. In the literature this is also called international standard pitch. The reference note most commonly used is the "A" above middle C.

The term "concert pitch" is also used to distinguish between the "written" and "sounding" notes of a transposing instrument - concert pitch here refers to the pitch on a non-transposing instrument. Music for transposing instruments is transposed into different keys from that of non-transposing instruments—for example, playing a written C on a B clarinet or trumpet produces a non-transposing instrument's B. This pitch is referred to as "concert B".

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


hopes this clears it.


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maylo99

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 #9 
Your Piano accordion is concert pitch, the clarinet would have to transpose because it is in another key.
If it was a C clarinet there would be no need to transpose.


hope this dosen't cause more confusion.

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NO TODO LO QUE BRILLA ES ORO! Y NO TODO LO QUE ES ORO BRILLA!

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TaoTao

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 #10 
A ran into this.

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070925210230AASngDQ
chapulin94

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 #11 
The notes are always the same!
what changes is the instrument and the way they are played. for instance I like to tune my 12 string guitar 1 key lower than traditional tuning("D" instead of "E")
so while el compa "Carlosel24" plays the accordion on the key of "G" I will play the guitar on the key of "F".

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luistorres344

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 #12 
Sounds interesting, but im confused as hell.....?????????????
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tarasco702

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 #13 
It can be if you over think it. Just like maylo was saying, there are concert pitches which help get everyone on the same page. It's not easy to get a group of instruments on the same page. In norteño there are only 3 instrumentalists that need to worry about matching keys, and in banda everyone is in the same key. Now imagine a conductor in front of a full orquestra or a band.
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Luis82

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 #14 
Tarasco, entonces en Norteno banda, el acordeon siempre esta tocando en el tono de si bemol?
Tania

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 #15 
No - el acordeon va a estar tocando en el tono de que toda la banda esta tocando - y los instrumentos de banda pueden tocar en cualquier tono.

I'm trying to understand, but I do find it very confusing. I feel like the most effective method would be to always have everyone learn each note as the note it is, instead of learning on their own scale and having to transpose to play with other instruments.

In the long run, as long as we're playing in the same key, it will sound good, whether you think it's Bb and I think it's C.
TaoTao

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 #16 
Some people don't even play by note. They play by chord changes. I II lll iV V  vi ect.....      I, V,  lV, (primera, Segunda, tercera)
tarasco702

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 #17 
That's why it's important to learn musical theory. I kno i mention this in almost all of my posts but i cant stress enough as to how important it is to know this. I know a lot of people dont bother learning the fundamentals of music and would rather get straight into learning songs. But the truth is that if you want to be taken seriously as a musician, these are the things you MUST know. Take your guitar players for example, most of them cant read music and all they know is tabs. Which is fine if all you want to do is play simple riffs for garage bands. But to really be considered a professional, that wont be enough.
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TaoTao

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 #18 
On the other hand, thats the whole beauty of this culture/tradition. You don't have to go to music school to play our music. A "profesional" musician is relative if you ask me. I give more credit to the musician that knows every song you ask for and plays it with all the heart. Thats a pro,

I don't play bajo sexto, correct me if I'm wrong. It is tuned different than a guitar, right? You can't just pick up guitar sheet music and play, correct? It has to be transposed
Tania

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 #19 
Chord progressions are still somewhat of a mystery to me. I've gotten to the point where I can understand and play simple adornos in the KEY of the song, but not in the chord progressions except if I'm looking at a tabsheet that has all the chords when they come up with the lyrics. It's the next music theory obstacle I have to overcome.
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 #20 

C   D   E    F     G    A    B
1   ll    lll    iV    V    Vi   Vii

To create scales in major mode simply follow this pattern: Root, whole step, whole step, half step, whole step, whole step, whole step, half step.

Choose a root note. For a G major scale you would choose G as the root. A whole step from G is A. A whole step from A is B. A half step from B is C and so on.

After following the whole and half steps you end up with a G major scale: G A B C D E F# G

This graphic illustrates how the whole and half steps create the G major scale.

If we were to start with C as the root we would end up with a C major scale with the notes C D E F G A B C.

Tania

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 #21 
I do understand the concept behind it - I can play all the scales (unfortunately, I just learned them by ear, not by paying attention the whole and half steps, though I understand how it works, especially since it's very obvious on the piano) and I get that i IV and V are going to be the most commonly used, as when I play with the stradella basses I see the patterns in that (a song will usually have G, C, and F, for example) but it's still something I need to very consciously think about and I still can't really improvise.

Thanks for the visual!
TaoTao

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 #22 
I totally understand, I wish I had that kind of creativity also. It's a gift that not many people have, and some work hard for. Me conformo con saber como tocar las polkitas. jeje
Tania

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 #23 
jaja, las polkitas son los mejores y mas divirtidos, pero casi no conozco ninguna. Quiero aprender mas.
tarasco702

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 #24 
Tao, even though a bajo sexto is tuned differently than a guitar, it is still a C instrument. So you would be able to pick up a piece of sheet music and play it. Thats the beauty of knowing how to read music. Any musician can pick up sheet music from any instrument and play it, the only thing is that the key would be different. But the rhythm, the feel and intention of the author would still be there. Transposing is like raising or lowering the pitch of the song with software.

Tania, improvisation is a thing of feeling. Dont think so much about it. After all that what music is, the conveying of a feeling into sound. Just practice your scales and remember the feeling of each one. Like your blues scale is one that alot of people use when improvising. That's how I've learned alot of the adornos i use. Just play with your scales it will come to you.

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