Transposing Well-known Songs to a Single Key

• May 15, 2022 - 21:40

I'm taking Marc's course on Harmonization and Chords, and several times he strongly suggested we take some of our favorite songs, by other artists, and transpose them all to a single key to find the similarities in those songs that draw us to them.

Is there a way to do that using MuseScore software? I tried converting "My Heart Will Go On" from a PDF to MuseScore format and it didn't come out very well.

Thank you.


PDF's don't always scan well. You are also losing out on an opportunity to gain experience of entering music into MuseScore. So, print out the music and then enter it into MuseScore, save it and then transpose it. For maximum benefit, print out the original score and create a new score in MS in the target, transposed key and enter the transposed notes directly.

Once you have the music in MuseScore, you can transpose easily enough with Tools / Transpose. But, attempting to use software to convert a PDF or other picture of sheet music into an actual score is seldom going to go well. It's usually much better to simply enter the music directly.

However, and this is a big however - when I recommend transposing as a great learning tool, I don't mean transposing by having the software do it for you! I don't mean writing it out, either. I mean transposing on the fly, by using your ear and your knowledge of the harmonic relationships. So, first you learn to play the song by ear, using your developing knowledge of harmony to help you understand the chord progression. Once you can do that, it's a small step to being able to play it on other keys. That's where the learning I was referring to happens - not in the act of playing it from transposed sheet music.

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