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transposing music from C instruments to Eb alto sax, from minor scales

Lumipumi

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Hi there folks :) I got a question about transposing music from Piano, which is a C instruments, normally I know I shoul go 3 half steps down from they¨re scale, but something doesn
t add up, The specific piece of music I want to transpose is in d-minor on piano, name of piece is: (suteki da ne- by Rikki) this is a song from a video game called final fantasy x, very nice song, but when I try and follow the theory of transpoising from c instruments to eb, is it the same rules for going from for example F.major piano to D- major EB alto sax? is the rules the same whether it is a minor or major scale? :) because I tried transposing from minor d piano to minor Bb-minor Eb alto sax, where I go from piano scale note nr. 6 and make that my alto scale, then I drop the note from original music score down a line and down a space and raise the new note by one octave, can this prossess be reversed with same rules where I put the original note up a line or space and then lower it a octave? here is the piece of music Im talking about in a PDF file, I hope any of you folks could help me with this :D
 

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Tenor Viol

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You're being tripped up by some awkward stuff here :) Basically, you need to 'add' three sharps to the key signature when you transposed from concert pitch to Eb.
  • So, F major is the relative major of D minor - they have the same key signature.
  • So, when transposing F major needs 3 sharps adding to become a net two sharps and key is D MAJOR
  • For D minor, add 3 sharps and you get a net two sharps and the key is B minor
  • B minor is the relative minor of D major
 
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Lumipumi

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hi :) so basically what you are saying or trying to explain me here is that this piece of music that is written in concert d-minor piano, that instead of first finding the scale/key the saxophone is to play in, that I read about, you have to go up sixth from the written piano score scale, the first note, and the sixth note in d-minor is Bb, so in this particular case I should go the other way around to b-minor instead, since d-minor and F-major have same flats, and the relative to F-major is D-major, and the minor relative to d-minor is B-minor, all from piano to alto Eb sax!! am I getting something right now? :)Also is there any other ways of transposing music, I want to learn it by doing it from scratch, not using data programs, doing it manually is more my style :p but in general in this song if I follow certain recipes for transposing I get either to high or to low notes on my alto saxophone to be able to play the song, any usefull trick you folks have for changing to a key or transposing in a way this song could get maybe semi ok to play? :) P.S I know this is a hard song for beginners, but I really want to learn it, or at least learn to transpose it right :)
 

Pete Thomas

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that I read about, you have to go up sixth from the written piano score scale, the first note, and the sixth note in d-minor is Bb

This is where you've gone wrong.

The transposition is up a major 6th. (or down a minor 3rd which is the same as up a major 6th and down an octave)

Bb is indeed the 6th note of a D minor (natural) scale, but it is an interval of a minor 6th not a major 6th.

An interval of a 6th can be minor or major (just as 3rd can be minor or major)

Think of it like this (but best with a keyboard)

S = 1 semitone
T = 1 tone ie 2 x semitone

major 6 = 9 semitones (TTSTT or 2+2+1+2+2)
minor 6 = 8 semitones (TSTTS or 2+1+2+2+1)
 
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jbtsax

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Let me ask why you need to transpose this in the first place. The top line which I assume is the melody falls in a comfortable range for the saxophone except measures 45 and 51 where some notes go too low. If you are not playing this with a piano accompaniment, or a recorded backing track changing the key is unnecessary. If you want to transpose it just for practice or to learn how, that is a good reason to do it too.
 
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Lumipumi

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thanks you folks so far for all your helpfull inputs :D thou Im still wrapping my head around something that I still dont quite have figured out yet, and that is
which key signature will this song have if I transpose it from d-minor on piano to a alto Eb saxophone, and Im kinda still a bit confused about the whole up major 6th or minor 6th or down major 3rd or minor 3rd, and figuring out the transposition process, I just learned last week about transposing from Bb tenor sax to Eb alto sax, which had other intervals, but I will work hard and try and learn this :D I may have been a little bit to ambitious with starting to try and transpose this piece of music so early on :p but I love theory, and Im soon about to start reading up on chords and intervals and progression on keyboard :)
 
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Lumipumi

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for maybe a bit futher clarification about what I mean is I want my alto sax to sound like the guy in this video that is covering it :)
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OuhkF5oaqpw
and I wonder what is the key he plays in and what he has done to the music score to get it to sound like that :) for example what is the first note he is playing on alto sax after the violin and piano stops, if I could know the first notes of the measure, maybe I can find the rest out on my own :)
 

nigeld

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If you are not sure about major and minor 6ths then it's best not to use the method of counting up to the 6th as a method to find the transposed key. It doesn't work in minor keys.

The tune in the video is in concert D minor. The key signature is 1 flat. (Relative major is F.)
As others have said, for the Eb alto part you go down a minor third - 3 semitones - and add 3 sharps to the key signature.
So for the alto sax player in the video and for you on alto sax it is in B minor. Key signature is 2 sharps. (Relative major is D.)
The first note he plays is a concert D, i.e. a B on the alto sax.
 
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Lumipumi

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thank you so much, I just started to try out different techniques to transpose and play this piece from where he starts, and I ended up with going in b-minor key with 2 sharps, and the b flat that was there got neutralised so the first notes in bar nr 13 would also then be : B, C#, D*, C#, D*, E* and next bar: nr 14 I would get the followoing notes: F#,F# G*, F#, E, so if I got this correct then I use the b-minor key that has F# and C#, and the b-flat gets cancellled out, and I just take each note down a line or down a space and put the following notes in the key of b-minor am I onto figuring it out?! :D
 

jbtsax

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One path to learning intervals in all keys is to first learn the 12 major scales.

do to re is a major 2nd--------to re down 1/2 step is a minor 2nd
do to mi is a major 3rd--------to mi down 1/2 step is a minor 3rd
do to fa is a perfect 4th-------to fa down 1/2 step is a diminished 4th up 1/2 step an augmented 4th
do to sol is a perfect 5th------to sol down 1/2 step is a diminished 5 up 1/2 step is an augmented 5th
do to la is a major 6th---------to la down 1/2 step is a minor 6th
do to ti is a major 7th---------to ti down 1/2 step is a minor 7th

This may seem like a lot at first so just start with the key of C with no flats or sharps to take the first step. It gets easier as you progress. Another system is to count the 1/2 steps in the interval. That works too but I find it slower and more cumbersome.
 

Colin the Bear

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C to Eb is 3 semitones. Don't confuse yourself with intervals yet. Leave that to later. Just count each note 3 semitones.

Music theory will come but needs studying. Count 3 semitones and leave it at that.
 
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Lumipumi

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One path to learning intervals in all keys is to first learn the 12 major scales.

do to re is a major 2nd--------to re down 1/2 step is a minor 2nd
do to mi is a major 3rd--------to mi down 1/2 step is a minor 3rd
do to fa is a perfect 4th-------to fa down 1/2 step is a diminished 4th up 1/2 step an augmented 4th
do to sol is a perfect 5th------to sol down 1/2 step is a diminished 5 up 1/2 step is an augmented 5th
do to la is a major 6th---------to la down 1/2 step is a minor 6th
do to ti is a major 7th---------to ti down 1/2 step is a minor 7th

This may seem like a lot at first so just start with the key of C with no flats or sharps to take the first step. It gets easier as you progress. Another system is to count the 1/2 steps in the interval. That works too but I find it slower and more cumbersome.
thanks you so much for all this help and info :D now I really got some study time to do :D
 
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Lumipumi

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now I have written down and transposed a few bars of this song, I just hit the point in the song where chords are coming in the treble cleff at end of bar nr 28 I got 2 chords, the first one is a c, e and g, and last one in the bar is e, g and c, there after the last bar in that measure it gets kinda complicated for me, but those 2 chords in bar nr 28, anyone of you folks have an easy transposing method of making those 3 notes into 1 single playable note? :) or could I or should I maybe use the bass cleff and transpose those notes instead sometimes? or both for that matter?! :)
 

Colin the Bear

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I'm assuming this is piano music. Playing piano music on a saxphone requires some flexibility.
You can play the chords by playing all three notes one after the other.
Changing clef won't help. How could it?
The two chords you mention are the same. C. The second being an inversion.
 
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Lumipumi

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this question is kinda very off topic, but I just wonder, a friend of mine he has a Sitar that he says is tuned in C#, this is a indian string instrument, and he sais he had to tune it to C#, because he is playing with a friend who plays the didgeridoo that according to him only plays in C#, what IM wondering about as me with a Eb alto sax, if I am to jam or play with those, which key or scale should I be playing in? :) and do any of you know what their concert C pitch is by any chance? :)
 

Greg Strange

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If you compare the sheet music above to the recording below the treble clef arrangement includes the acoustic guitar intro, the vocal part which starts at bar 13 and (electric?) violin solo including the string arrangement...the first note of the complete arrangement is A above middle C on the piano which equates to second octave F# on the alto saxophone.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cVoauKyHTE


Good luck...

Greg
 

jbtsax

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this question is kinda very off topic, but I just wonder, a friend of mine he has a Sitar that he says is tuned in C#, this is a indian string instrument, and he sais he had to tune it to C#, because he is playing with a friend who plays the didgeridoo that according to him only plays in C#, what IM wondering about as me with a Eb alto sax, if I am to jam or play with those, which key or scale should I be playing in? :) and do any of you know what their concert C pitch is by any chance? :)
If the accompaniment is in the key of C#, the transposition up a 6th puts the alto in the key of A# which has 10 sharps which I won't go into except to say it involves double sharps. The good news is that the "enharmonic" of A# is Bb with 2 flats in the key signature. I'm not sure how to answer the second question. :confused2:
 

Tenor Viol

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this question is kinda very off topic, but I just wonder, a friend of mine he has a Sitar that he says is tuned in C#, this is a indian string instrument, and he sais he had to tune it to C#, because he is playing with a friend who plays the didgeridoo that according to him only plays in C#, what IM wondering about as me with a Eb alto sax, if I am to jam or play with those, which key or scale should I be playing in? :) and do any of you know what their concert C pitch is by any chance? :)
The sitar is a fretted string instrument which is part of the lute family of instruments. Therefore, I don't think it has any constraint about what key to play in. I don't understand the part about the didgeridoo
 

jbtsax

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Here is some information about the "didgeridoo" from the UNSW acoustics website. It is a fascinating instrument in the way it involves the player's vocal tract as well as the body tube of the instrument.
 
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