All profit supporting  special needs music education

Key transposition from Eb instrument to Bb instrument

eb424

Senior Member
Messages
1,836
Locality
london
How do you transpose Key sigs from Eb instrument to Bb instrument..for example what key sig would A major be on a tenor in reference to it on an alto..
 

Pete Thomas

Well-Known Member
Commercial Supporter
Messages
15,764
Locality
St. Mary's
A major transposed for tenor is B major. For alto it is F#.

Hence if you play the tenor part on alto you need to transpose it up a fifth or down a fourth. Choose which to suit the best range.

If you play the alto part on tenor you transpose up a fourth, or down a fifth.

Personally I find this quite confusing and difficult to remember hence I would always try to avoid such situations.
 

eb424

Senior Member
Messages
1,836
Locality
london
I see what you mean by confusing...... in the jambalaya thread I was told that I could play the alto sax notes on the jambalaya score on the tenor..this was in concert A and that if played on a tenor it would be a G major I just couldn't and still cant understand how???? If I take it up an interval of 5 including the root It would be a C# it seems to be an interval of 9 between A major and G major...arghh
 

Pete Thomas

Well-Known Member
Commercial Supporter
Messages
15,764
Locality
St. Mary's
I see what you mean by confusing...... in the jambalaya thread I was told that I could play the alto sax notes on the jambalaya score on the tenor..this was in concert A and that if played on a tenor it would be a G major I just couldn't and still cant understand how???? If I take it up an interval of 5 including the root It would be a C# it seems to be an interval of 9 between A major and G major...arghh
Probably best to learn the basics of music theory and transposing first. In the case you cited above, I think it is about Eb and Bb parts in regard to different versions in different keys. That will always be super confusing.

I’d recommend that first of all learn about scales, intervals and key signatures before attempting learning how to transpose.
 
Last edited:

ChrisI

New Member
Messages
26
Locality
uk
I've not thought about this before, but for example as concert A transposes to B on tenor and Fsharp on Alto, are we talking about one step clockwise around the circle of fifths between tenor and alto? And anticlockwise between alto and tenor? That would be a quick way to visualise it (assuming you're familiar with the circle of fifths diagram)...
 

eb424

Senior Member
Messages
1,836
Locality
london
Probably best to learn the basics of music theory and transposing first. In the case you cited above, I think it is about Eb and Bb parts in regard to different versions in different keys.

I’d recommend that first of all learn about scales, intervals and key signatures before attempting learning to transpose.
Thanks @Pete Thomas point taken ...its just a problem that has come up in trying to transpose Jambalaya and I find it easier to understand in the context of reality than theory...
 

nigeld

Too many mouthpieces
Café Supporter
Messages
7,589
Locality
Bristol, UK
in the jambalaya thread I was told that I could play the alto sax notes on the jambalaya score on the tenor..this was in concert A and that if played on a tenor it would be a G major I just couldn't and still cant understand how
No. You weren't told that at all.

You want to play Jambalaya in concert G on a tenor sax.
So you want a lead sheet written in the key of A.
I pointed you to a lead sheet in that key.
The fact that the lead sheet was originally written for a different instrument is irrelevant.

Nobody mentioned concert A.
 

nigeld

Too many mouthpieces
Café Supporter
Messages
7,589
Locality
Bristol, UK
I've not thought about this before, but for example as concert A transposes to B on tenor and Fsharp on Alto, are we talking about one step clockwise around the circle of fifths between tenor and alto? And anticlockwise between alto and tenor? That would be a quick way to visualise it (assuming you're familiar with the circle of fifths diagram)...
Yes - you go two steps round the circle of fifths (i.e. add 2 sharps) from concert pitch to tenor, and another step (i.e. add one more sharp) from tenor to alto.
 

Pete Thomas

Well-Known Member
Commercial Supporter
Messages
15,764
Locality
St. Mary's
are we talking about one step clockwise around the circle of fifths between tenor and alto? And anticlockwise between alto and tenor? That would be a quick way to visualise it (assuming you're familiar with the circle of fifths diagram)...
Yes indeed, but again, and as you say, some familiarity with music theory is required.
Thanks @Pete Thomas point taken ...its just a problem that has come up in trying to transpose Jambalaya and I find it easier to understand in the context of reality than theory...

But your question here seems to be about theory. Or, as spike said above, use a chart:

 

Pete Thomas

Well-Known Member
Commercial Supporter
Messages
15,764
Locality
St. Mary's
Thanks so for converting Eb to Bb key sigs its up a ninth....
No. I just confirmed (above) your statement that G to A is up a ninth (or a tone/second)

See post 2 above, Eb key sig to Bb key sig is up a fourth or down a fifth.

Also as mentioned this is quite advanced IMO, learn the basics first.
 
Last edited:

Pete Thomas

Well-Known Member
Commercial Supporter
Messages
15,764
Locality
St. Mary's
C instruments
Piano, guitar
Bb Instruments
Tenor, soprano
(up a second from concert)
Eb instruments
Alto, baritone
(up a major 6th from concert)
CDA
C#/DbD#/EbA#/Bb
DEB
D#/EbFC
EF#/GbC#/Db
FGD
F#/GbG#/AbD#/Eb
GAE
G#/AbA#/BbF
ABF#/Gb
A#/BbCG
BC#/DbG#/Ab
 

eb424

Senior Member
Messages
1,836
Locality
london
No. You weren't told that at all.

You want to play Jambalaya in concert G on a tenor sax.
So you need a lead sheet written in the key of A.
I pointed you to a lead sheet in that key.
The fact that the lead sheet was originally written for a different instrument is irrelevant.

Nobody mentioned concert A.
Sorry @nigeld thats kinda why i wanted to carry on in the original thread...it's easier to reference..My misunderstanding

you said

"Your opening question was about the original key (concert C), so that is what I have answered.
However, the Carpenters version is in concert G, which means that you want notes in the key of A for tenor sax.
So you can use the alto (Eb) sax notes for concert C - they are in A. When you play from these notes on tenor, you are in concert G."

The highlighted bit made me think that when you play the alto notes they are in a different key hence asking how to transpose the key signature thinking this had gone from A to G...

I think @rhysonsax had answered the original question in the second post and I had asked If I then needed it in A....it then got a bit silly TBF...

No. You weren't told that at all.

You want to play Jambalaya in concert G on a tenor sax.
So you want a lead sheet written in the key of A.
I pointed you to a lead sheet in that key.
The fact that the lead sheet was originally written for a different instrument is irrelevant.

Nobody mentioned concert A.
 

eb424

Senior Member
Messages
1,836
Locality
london
No. I just confirmed (above) your statement that G to A is up a ninth (or a tone/second)

See post 2 above, Eb key sig to Bb key sig is up a fourth or down a fifth.

Also as mentioned this is quite advanced IMO, learn the basics first.
Thanks @Pete Thomas just seems I misconstrued what @nigeld had said. I understand what you are saying but there seems to be no pathway to learning..I can read dots, but will never be able to read fast enough to play to scores. I also play the whole song and most scores are 8-9 pages i'll never have enough stands. I had answered the question myself on post three I don't know why it gets so confusing...but if I hadn't asked the question I wouldn't have learnt something as valuable as @spike s point about thinking in numbers or intervals... We can't all learn the same way and different parts of theory are relevant to different players and their goals....
 

eb424

Senior Member
Messages
1,836
Locality
london
Sorry @nigeld thats kinda why i wanted to carry on in the original thread...it's easier to reference..My misunderstanding

you said

"Your opening question was about the original key (concert C), so that is what I have answered.
However, the Carpenters version is in concert G, which means that you want notes in the key of A for tenor sax.
So you can use the alto (Eb) sax notes for concert C - they are in A. When you play from these notes on tenor, you are in concert G."

The highlighted bit made me think that when you play the alto notes they are in a different key hence asking how to transpose the key signature thinking this had gone from A to G...

I think @rhysonsax had answered the original question in the second post and I had asked If I then needed it in A....it then got a bit silly TBF...
TBF @nigeld I mentioned it in post 3 of Jambalaya in response to @rhysonsax es reply...... but anyhoo I dont want to grate anyone as you are all soooo supportive..(genuinely) sorry if I caused a headache with my misunderstanding of your reply....
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,555
Locality
Sweden
Here is another tunning aid. You can see the key signtures as well.
tunning aid.JPG
 
Top Bottom