'Sib. 7.5: Transposing instruments & "No key" scores'

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Sib. 7.5: Transposing instruments & "No key" sc... - Patrick O'Keefe, 07 Jan 05:01AM
     Re: Sib. 7.5: Transposing instruments & - Mark Isaacs, 07 Jan 07:09AM
         Re: Sib. 7.5: Transposing instruments & - Adrian Drover, 07 Jan 09:37AM
             Re: Sib. 7.5: Transposing instruments & - Chris Crawley, 07 Jan 10:37AM
                 Re: Sib. 7.5: Transposing instruments & - Laurence Payne, 07 Jan 01:12PM
         Re: Sib. 7.5: Transposing instruments & - Patrick O'Keefe, 08 Jan 05:43PM
             Re: Sib. 7.5: Transposing instruments & - Mark Isaacs, 08 Jan 09:58PM
                 Re: Sib. 7.5: Transposing instruments & - Richard Mix, 08 Jan 11:12PM
                     Re: Sib. 7.5: Transposing instruments & - Laurence Payne, 08 Jan 11:54PM
                         Re: Sib. 7.5: Transposing instruments & - Patrick O'Keefe, 09 Jan 12:29AM
                             Re: Sib. 7.5: Transposing instruments & - Adrian Drover, 09 Jan 07:19AM

Sib. 7.5: Transposing instruments & "No key" scores
Posted by Patrick O'Keefe - 07 Jan 05:01AM
A few days ago I brought a score to a rehearsal of clarinet quartet. The score contained "Atonal/no key" staves. When asked about a particular note I was horrified to discover I could not tell whether my score was transposing or concert pitch. Luckily, the full score and all parts were transposing but I had no way of immediately knowing.

Luckily, the quartet was a stand-alone chamber group, not part of a larger ensemble, so if all 4 parts had been concert pitch they still could have played the piece as written. One full step difference would not have mattered. Still, I had a brief major panic.

So my question: is there any way to tell whether a printed "No key" score was printed transposed or concert pitch? It's easy to check if I have Sibelius and the .sib file but assume only printed pages are available.

By the way, I know this has been discussed before but I can't find those threads.
--
Patrick O'Keefe

Sib 7.5, GPO4, NotePerformer, lots of EWQL stuff
Win10 x64 Pro Intel i7-4771, 3.50Ghz, 16GB RAM

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Re: Sib. 7.5: Transposing instruments &
Posted by Mark Isaacs - 07 Jan 07:09AM (edited 07 Jan 08:39AM)
If there are no key signatures used, you cannot tell from the printout alone whether the score is transposing or not, and Sibelius doesn't automate any kind of (printed) marker to tell you.

Every score should have a blank page frontispiece that includes notations along the lines of "Transposed Score", or "Score in C". You could argue that if key signatures are used and transposing instruments are present this is redundant, since noting whether the key signatures are different or not between transposing and non-transposing instrument staves would tell you which type of score it is. But still better to do it in all cases, but it is a MUST if no key signatures are present.

This issue is a relatively new development. Traditionally scores were ALWAYS transposed, so there was no ambiguity. As non-transposed "Scores in C" have become common enough, you really need to put a simple note in words on the frontispiece as to what type of score it is. In Sibelius it is up to the user to do it manually, but it is necessary.

P.S. >>"so if all 4 [clarinet] parts had been concert pitch they still could have played the piece as written. One full step difference would not have mattered"

Sibelius *always* produces transposed PARTS (for transposing instruments). There is no option to toggle on or off the transposing parameter in parts (and neither *should* there be). That option (Transposed/Non-transposed) only applies to the score. So the ambiguity can only creep up in the printed score, not printed parts, if the annotation I mentioned is not included. A potential issue for conductors and other score readers, not for players.

--
A composer www.markisaacs.com
www.facebook.com/markisaacsmusic
Sibelius 6.2.0 build 88, Sibelius 5.2.5 build 37, Bob Zawalich plugins, Windows 32-bit Vista SP1, Intel quad CPU Q9450 2.66Ghz, 3GB RAM, 27'' monitor, M-Audio Audiophile 2496 soundcard, Bose Computer Music Monitor speakers, Sibelius Sounds Essentials, Sibelius Sounds, Garritan Personal Orchestra 3, Garritan Authorised Steinway.

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Re: Sib. 7.5: Transposing instruments &
Posted by Adrian Drover - 07 Jan 09:37AM
It would be confusing for the director if a concert pitch score was written atonally. I always score at concert pitch and occasionally write atonally if need be, but always label my scores "Concert Score". If this is not shown, the director would either need to compare the player's part with the score, or decide whether the scored music made sense. I was once confused when directing an ancient concert band score which contained piccolo in Eb, but the part was plainly written for piccolo in Db (or was it the other way round?).

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Re: Sib. 7.5: Transposing instruments &
Posted by Chris Crawley - 07 Jan 10:37AM
"Every score should have a blank page frontispiece that includes notations along the lines of "Transposed Score", or "Score in C". You could argue that if key signatures are used and transposing instruments are present this is redundant, since noting whether the key signatures are different or not between transposing and non-transposing instrument staves would tell you which type of score it is. But still better to do it in all cases, but it is a MUST if no key signatures are present."

In general, I agree, though I tend to assume that the default is a transposed score. You could say that if instruments are described as "Clarinet in Bb, Horn in F" and so on, then the score is transposing, unless indicated otherwise.

--
Chris Crawley (composer and horn-player) using Dorico 1.2, Sibelius 7.1.3, NotePerformer 2.0.2, Windows 10 64-bit, Intel Core i7, 3.30GHz, 64GB RAM, DacMagic 100

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Re: Sib. 7.5: Transposing instruments &
Posted by Laurence Payne - 07 Jan 01:12PM
You can toggle 'Transposing' in a Part. Not sure why you'd want to...

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Re: Sib. 7.5: Transposing instruments &
Posted by Patrick O'Keefe - 08 Jan 05:43PM
> Every score should have a blank page frontispiece that includes notations along the lines of "Transposed Score", or "Score in C".

That would do me little good since I usually compose using concert pitch and (try to) print using a transposed score. If I forget to switch to Transposing (or recover from a file saved while using concert pitch a frontpiece saying "Transposed score" would simply be lying.

> Sibelius *always* produces transposed PARTS (for transposing instruments).

Ah! I didn't know that. I assumed the "Transposing score" toggle applied to both fill score and parts. Had I know my panic would have been lessened.


--
Patrick O'Keefe

Sib 7.5, GPO4, NotePerformer, lots of EWQL stuff
Win10 x64 Pro Intel i7-4771, 3.50Ghz, 16GB RAM

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Re: Sib. 7.5: Transposing instruments &
Posted by Mark Isaacs - 08 Jan 09:58PM (edited 09 Jan 02:29AM)
>>That would do me little good since I usually compose using concert pitch and (try to) print using a transposed score. If I forget to switch to Transposing (or recover from a file saved while using concert pitch a frontispiece saying "Transposed score" would simply be lying.

That's a more subtle core problem than I thought! I was more thinking of the way a composer - who is confident of the way the score is presented - would indicate it on the printout to others.

> Sibelius *always* produces transposed PARTS (for transposing instruments).

That's true when you toggle the function in the score, it only effects the score. Laurence indicated that you *can* toggle it in a part, meaning you have the part open and use the function in situ. But that would need to be a very deliberately situated act, and as Laurence and I said, it wouldn't make any sense to do it. And the way you imagined Sibelius functioned - the toggling of transposing in the score affecting parts as well - would have been a terrible and unforgivable design!

--
A composer www.markisaacs.com
www.facebook.com/markisaacsmusic
Sibelius 6.2.0 build 88, Sibelius 5.2.5 build 37, Bob Zawalich plugins, Windows 32-bit Vista SP1, Intel quad CPU Q9450 2.66Ghz, 3GB RAM, 27'' monitor, M-Audio Audiophile 2496 soundcard, Bose Computer Music Monitor speakers, Sibelius Sounds Essentials, Sibelius Sounds, Garritan Personal Orchestra 3, Garritan Authorised Steinway.

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Re: Sib. 7.5: Transposing instruments &
Posted by Richard Mix - 08 Jan 11:12PM
One can't be too careful! It's assumed that all the performers of Milton Babbit's 1955 Two Sonnets for baritone, cl in Bb, vln & vc read from score, and since the tone rows all stay within one instrument and forbidden octaves are avoided in any clarinet transposition, there's no way to work out which pitches are intended from the published material alone; one either assumes the convenience of the clarinetist or else that of the singer took priority...

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Re: Sib. 7.5: Transposing instruments &
Posted by Laurence Payne - 08 Jan 11:54PM
You'd know immediately from the sound if the clarinettist was playing a tone out though. Wouldn't you? :-)

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Re: Sib. 7.5: Transposing instruments &
Posted by Patrick O'Keefe - 09 Jan 12:29AM
> You'd know immediately from the sound if the clarinettist was playing a tone out though. Wouldn't you? :-)

If some of the parts were transposed and other not I would have noticed. (I hope!) If all parts - all Bb soprano or Bb bass clarinets - were playing concert pitch it would have sounded fine to me. I've never had perfect pitch and I now have imperfect hearing in addition. :-)

One of the players asked me what a specific note was supposed to be and I - with a full score - realized I couldn't tell. (In my panic I failed to ask why the question was asked. I still don't know what was wrong with the part.)

--
Patrick O'Keefe

Sib 7.5, GPO4, NotePerformer, lots of EWQL stuff
Win10 x64 Pro Intel i7-4771, 3.50Ghz, 16GB RAM

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Re: Sib. 7.5: Transposing instruments &
Posted by Adrian Drover - 09 Jan 07:19AM
In answer to the original question, check the part against the score. If the notes are the same, either the part is for clarinet in C or the score is transposed. If the clarinet part is a tone higher than the score, the score is in concert pitch.

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Messages in this thread

Sib. 7.5: Transposing instruments & "No key" sc... - Patrick O'Keefe, 07 Jan 05:01AM
     Re: Sib. 7.5: Transposing instruments & - Mark Isaacs, 07 Jan 07:09AM
         Re: Sib. 7.5: Transposing instruments & - Adrian Drover, 07 Jan 09:37AM
             Re: Sib. 7.5: Transposing instruments & - Chris Crawley, 07 Jan 10:37AM
                 Re: Sib. 7.5: Transposing instruments & - Laurence Payne, 07 Jan 01:12PM
         Re: Sib. 7.5: Transposing instruments & - Patrick O'Keefe, 08 Jan 05:43PM
             Re: Sib. 7.5: Transposing instruments & - Mark Isaacs, 08 Jan 09:58PM
                 Re: Sib. 7.5: Transposing instruments & - Richard Mix, 08 Jan 11:12PM
                     Re: Sib. 7.5: Transposing instruments & - Laurence Payne, 08 Jan 11:54PM
                         Re: Sib. 7.5: Transposing instruments & - Patrick O'Keefe, 09 Jan 12:29AM
                             Re: Sib. 7.5: Transposing instruments & - Adrian Drover, 09 Jan 07:19AM