Playback for transposing instruments...

• Jun 6, 2018 - 19:23

Oh boy. Am I confused!

I've gotten this duet scored, tablature looks good, notation looks good. Printout looks lovely.

Playback is wonky. It seems that no matter which button I push or how I transpose the individual instrument or change the plays back two instruments playing in two different keys (a P4 apart). Just a tad discordant...

I'll upload the Musescore score later, it is at home (and I'm at work. Shhh. Don't tell anyone!). See below for the original score. Is there a "special" or "best" method for entering transposing instruments like this? (concert pitch on first? off first?) I simply keyed it in as written and then modified the tuning for the Banjeaurine so that its Tab would come out right. It would be nice to hear the duet though...
The Mountain Stream Polka1.jpg
The Mountain Stream Polka2.jpg

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In reply to by mike320

Yeah...except that's what I did initially. Of course, I had no idea there was even a "concert pitch" button then. I simply set the key signature as required for each staff and keyed it all in. The notes are exactly as shown on the original notation. In order for the Banjeaurine Tab to come out right, I had to adjust its tuning. But that doesn't seem to affect the playback. I'm going to mess around with it some more tonight.
I think it might be different if Musescore recognized it as a standard transposing instrument. The reality is that the banjeaurine is effectively a regular banjo capoed at the 5th fret (but built with a short neck, no capo required).

In reply to by madsmith

Since you normally write for instruments that only transpose by octaves, I'm not surprised. The concert pitch button does nothing significant for you in most cases.

I've never heard of the banjeaurine before. I did just look it up in Wikipedia. Since it's a transposing instrument, then you should add a banjo (since it's plucked with 5 strings and it's definition will be the most similar) and set the transposition for the new instrument, then change the strings accordingly. Transposing string instruments (besides by octaves) are very strange, almost unheard of. I've never heard of one before. I'm not even sure how to set up the string data so you can get a proper TAB displayed. I would guess you set the strings names to concert pitch value.

In reply to by mike320

LOL. Without getting too deep into the history of the Banjo (about which I occasionally lecture), 19C manufacturer's attempted to market an "orchestra" of 5-string banjo types loosely based on orchestral strings. Add to that, a Dickensian bent for nomenclature and you get stuff like the Banjeaurine, Banjorette, etc.
They simply added or subtracted to a standard scale length and then moved the basic tuning up or down to suit them. No different than using a capo today...but they wanted to sell more instruments rather than just capos.

The worst thing was the American publishers got entrenched in a notational standard (which you see in the original). It is called "A notation" and basically uses the treble clef with the "A" below middle C as the open note of the bass string. Until the 1870's, banjos were usually tuned to match this notational standard and read directly (transposing at the octave). In the 1870's string technology changed and tuning was raised by a m3...but without changing the notational standard. You read "A" but played "C". At the same time, the Brits simply changed the notational standard to "C notation" (transposing at the octave in the new tuning) us two concurrent standards for publication. :-/

In reply to by madsmith

When you're able to attach the score we'll be able to assist better. For now, I can just observe that you should never set the key signatures for staves differently. If you've got the transposition set up correctly, this happens automatically. That is, add the correct concert key, and it is automatically transposed staff by staff as needed. So if you were setting the key signatures separately, it's a sign that you had something wrong from the very beginning. Exactly what we can't say. But I'm guessing the transposition for the instrument isn't set up correctly, or you tried entering all this with concert pitch enabled.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I agree with you Marc. I think I had it wrong from the beginning. I need to figure out how to set up the Banjeaurine so that Musescore recognizes it as a transposing instrument. I presume I can do that somehow?

I did the transposing via changing the tuning after I keyed the whole mess in (so when I cut/pasted the notation into the Tab staff, it came out perfectly). The key signatures were set per the original notation...I didn't know any better. Like I said, the printout came out fine, the playback is what I need to figure out.

I'll get my score uploaded in an hour or so. I'm sure it is full of rookie transposition mistakes!

In reply to by madsmith

To set the transposition for a staff, right click it, Staff Properties, and select the interval at the bottom. I'm afraid if it looks right but sounds wrong now, it means the notes were entered wrong, so it's too late to fix it completely by just changing the transposition setting - you'll also have to transpose the notes after setting the staff transposition.

In reply to by madsmith

Things that make me go hmmmmm.
I set up a new score, not copying anything from my old one, just trying to set it up where it works. The staff/properties/transposition setting seems reversed! When I select P4 up, I get P4 down and vice versa. It adds a sharp to the key signature.
Oddly, I was able to copy @Jojo Schmitz 's example into my new score and it started working correctly.

Now I'm working on the B part and it won't let me change key to 5 sharps...when I select 5, it automatically populates 6. When I select 4 it stays 4. If I had hair, I'd be pulling it out.

In reply to by madsmith

It's not reversed, just not what you are thinking. The setting controls how much higher or lower the music sounds compared to how it is written. So specifying up p4 means it sounds a fourth higher than written. That means in order to get the sound you want, it needs to be written a fourth lower. So that's what MuseScore does with any notes you've already entered - it assumed they were entered correctly in the original key, so it transposes them to continue to sound correct. If you in fact entered them wrong in the first place - which it sounds like you did- they'll still be wrong.

As for keys, you need to enter the concert key you want, always. That because different staves might have different transpositions and the key you add needs to apply to all of them.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

OK, you win! :-)

I discovered what was screwing me up. You said earlier today that I should never set the key signatures differently...and that the key change occurs automatically with the transposition. I did not fully understand that. I was fighting to keep score looking like the original at all times when I should have let the program do its thing.

So I finally had a lightbulb moment (a dim one, to be sure) and reasoned that I was wrongly setting the key signatures and changes based on the Banjeaurine's notation (the transposing instrument) when I should be setting it per the Large Banjo's notation. As soon as I reset the score's key signatures to the Large Banjo's notation (and left the Banjeaurine's key alone to work itself out)...everything worked. And, of course, then I remembered your admonition from this morning.

All is well in Mudville. Now I gotta attack the Tab portion and see if I can make the whole thing work.

Thank you!

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