Transposition: notes, key signatures and chord symbols in disagreement

• Dec 9, 2021 - 12:36

I have a simple score in B major:
Screenshot 2021-12-09 at 12.11.08.png

To create an alto sax part I can manually transpose everything up a major 6th using Tools > Transpose. However this results in the notes and chord symbols being transposed to G#, but the key signature is Ab:

Screenshot 2021-12-09 at 12.13.03.png

Alternatively I can edit the stave/part properties to transpose by a major 6th - this has the same effect.

I can also add an alto saxophone to the score and copy and paste the melody its stave. This has the same problem.
Screenshot 2021-12-09 at 12.18.16.png

I can try to resolve this by highlighting 4 bars of the alto part and using Tools > Transpose to transpose up a diminished second. This correctly puts the notes into Ab, in agreement with the key signature. But the chord symbols are still in G#. (Even with the 'Transpose chord symbols' box ticked.)

Screenshot 2021-12-09 at 12.21.32.png
I'd be grateful if anyone can tell me if I'm doing something wrong, or suggest a workaround to avoid having to re-enter all the chords.

It also looks to me like there are two bugs here
1. Different logic being applied to the transposition of key signatures vs notes. (Presumably just an edge case when starting in concert B major. Usually this works fine for me.)
2. Transposition of chord symbols by a diminished second doesn't work. (Other intervals seem to be ok.)

I'm using Musescore 3 (revision OS: macOS 10.15, Arch.: x86_64, MuseScore version (64-bit):, revision: 3224f34) which is apparently up to date.

Attachment Size
Test_score.mscz 4.83 KB


MuseScore would be happy to give you the key of G# major if such a key existed! But it doesn't, so it has to use Ab. Since you obviously want the notes and chords to match, the best way to do that here would be to simply list augmented second as the transposition interval in Staff/Part Properties.

But indeed, manual transposition by diminished second after the fact should work also, and it's a bug that it doesn't.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks so much for the response. Of course, G# doesn't exist, so asking for a major 6th above B is asking for trouble!

I still find that augmented 2nd in the Staff / part properties gives the wrong chord (G# instead of Ab). But manually transposing (Tools>Transpose) down an augmented 2nd (or up a diminished 7th) works fine for notes, chords and key signature.

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