Bari Sax in bass clef

• Jan 19, 2022 - 21:04

Could you please fix the bari sax clef. It should always be written in treble clef, whether it's in Concert Pitch or not. My students are spending too much time getting hung up on this issue when it should be a simple fix in the program.
Thank you!


Really? Treble clef in concert pitch would mean being constantly below-staff.

Or do you mean in octave transposing treble clef for concert pitch instead?

In reply to by jeetee

Personally, I always write in concert pitch mode and have barisax in bass clef, along with all the other similarly pitched instruments. Of course I would unclick the concert pitch button and have it in treble clef and transposing for publication. Having it in treble clef in concert pitch with an octave transposing clef would seem to remove a lot of the advantage of MuseScore's concert pitch mode.

In reply to by SteveBlower

Good points, and yeah I can see the value of writing in bass clef for bari sax when you're duplicating trombone/baritone/tuba parts.
So why don't they do that for bass clarinet?
When you open a band score template, Musescore gives bass clarinet an 8vb treble clef so that you're writing in a similar range for that instrument in the same clef. My argument is why not do that for bari sax using a 15ma clef? This way saxophonists can write music in their similar range, using their own clef.

In reply to by SteveBlower

FWIW, one reason I like seeing bass clarinet n treble-8 is that even though it's low end put it in similar territory as baritone saxophone, it's upper end - and transposition - is more similar to tenor saxophone. So that relationship can end up being at least as significant. But, it's definitely personal preference.

In reply to by bworkman

Everyone has different notions of what's most comfortable for them to write. Many people are more comfortable with bass clef than treble-8 - pianists, for example. But there is also a special reason why bari sax is so often written in bass clef by composers working in concert pitch - because it happens to work out to be the same staff lines as it will be when transposed and put into treble clef.

For example, consider the low "A" as written for baritone saxophone, two ledger lines below the treble staff:

Screenshot 2022-01-20 9.29.19 PM.png

In concert pitch, this is the C two octaves below middle C, which as it happens is two ledger lines below the bass clef staff:

Screenshot 2022-01-20 9.30.21 PM.png

This happens because the specific transposition used by baritone saxophone - octave plus sixth - happens to be the exact differential between the treble and bass clef. It's a coincidence familiar to many bari sax players, as it allows you to read treble clef concert pitch scores by pretending they are in bass clef. You still need to mentally adjust the accidentals (flats might become naturals, etc), so it isn't that practical, but useful to know in a pinch.

So anyhow, that's a reason why man people prefer using bass clef in concert pitch for baritone sax even when using treble-8 for other instruments with more or similar ranges, like bass clarinet. That said, no particular reason bass clarinet couldn't have been made bass clef also - other than the fact that I think you're right in supposing more people overall writing for these instruments overall would prefer octave clefs. It's the very special nature of the transposition for baritone saxophone that makes it so inviting to use bass clef.

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