How to transpose only the numbers in Musescore?

• Aug 17, 2019 - 13:06

I have a musical work in which the melody is in one tone (transposing instrument) and the ciphers in the same tone. Well, the numbers need to be a tone below the tune for guitar companion. Is this possible in Musescore (transpose only the numbers)? Work that Sibelius does very easily.
Much obliged...



In reply to by mjbartemusica1

No need to shout.
Not just Bb clarinet is transposing (by a major second), Guitar is too (by an octave).
And "tone" doesn't make sense here, I guess you mean key signature?
Anyway, a score with Bb clarinet and guitar tablature is definitely possible and should be transposing correctly, if it doesn't for you, a sample score is needed.

In reply to by mjbartemusica1

So, if I understand correctly, you intend the melody to be played on clarinet, but the chords on guitar? If so, you actually have the transposition backwards - you would need the chords in Ab to sound right when playing with a clarinet in Bb. But maybe I am still not understanding correctly.

Anyhow, given how you have set up the score, you would indeed want to transpose the chord symbols, whether to C or to Ab. The way to do do this is first transpose the whole score, then transpose only the notes back to the original key. Two steps instead of one, but still pretty simple.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Exactly Marc. You got my idea ingeniously!

This would be for guitar accompaniment for example.

Would Musescore have this tool in the future, ie transpose the chord symbols? It would be of great value to all chord musicians. Sibelius does this very easily and quickly.
Another attachment complementing our dialogue.
Thanks for all friend ...

Attachment Size
MUSIC.mscz 10.28 KB

In reply to by mjbartemusica1

Like I said, it is easy in MuseScore, it just takes two steps. Literally an extra few seconds at most to move the notes back after transposing the whole score. It's a pretty unusual thing to do, having chords for guitar on the same staff as the staff for a transposing instrument. One reason this would not normally be done is that is very misleading to the clarinet player who is now seeing chord symbols that don't relate to the music he is reading (and people playing the melody often do look at the chord symbols while playing, to understand better how they might improvise their own variations on the melody. But also, good guitar players will want to know the melody while playing the chords in order to choose the best voicing, so they will also be misled by this.

Anyhow, if you really want to produce music like this often - and in larger / more complex scores - the better way to do it in the long run would be to either print the entire score both in concert and transposed pitches, so each musician has both melody and chords in his own key (this is how most professionally published music would be done) or else add a staff for the guitar above the clarinet staff, make the staff lines and possible barlines, and add the chords there. Make it a tab staff and the rests can be hidden automatically as well.

So, there are several ways to get the job done already. But sure, someday a command to also transpose chords only could be added. Or a way to force the chords not to be transposed when you change instrument from flute to clarinet. Still, and easier way to do that would be to not actually change the instrument but instead just transpose the notes.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

So, Marc!
In an American jazz score where the accompaniment is done only by chords, where we would have a Bb trumpet and a piano or keyboard accompaniment for example.
This would be the best way to harmonize melody / harmony.
If everyone was in the same tone, it would be virtually impossible to perform, they would sound completely out of tune.

In reply to by mjbartemusica1

To be clear:

In America, the usual way jazz is published is to have separate parts for each instruments. So the clarinet reads a part where both the melody and chords are in his key, the guitar reads a score where both the melody and chords are in his key. The scores are usually clearly labeled as "concert" or "C" version for guitar and piano versus "Bb version" for clarinet, tenor saxophone, trumpet, etc (also "Eb version" for alto and baritone saxophone). Almost all published jazz music is presented this way in America. But the few times where you do see music for multiple instruments on a single score - like clarinet and guitar - they always have two separate staves, to make it clear which part is for which musician. It would never be pub;ished as you have it, with chords on one key but notes in another on the same staff. And I mean literally I have never seen it in 40 years as a professional jazz musician and a professional music editor.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I learned a lot from you Marc, I have so much to thank. My music learning has been a bit direfent here in South America. Anyway, our ideas for future Musescore updates are:
"But surely, someday a command to also transpose strings could be added. Or a way to force chords not to be transposed when you change the flute instrument to clarinet or any other transposing instrument.
Friendly hug!

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Tone does make sense. A Bb clarinet playing a written note sounds a whole tone lower.

I think the OP may have a score in which the Bb clarinet part has been entered as if it was a non-transposing instrument (for example by making a straight copy of a flute/guitar score) and which therefore plays a tone lower than intended, and wishes to correct this by transposing the guitar part down a tone to match it. (A capo does not help with transposing downwards, rather an extra 10 cm and two frets on the fingerboard.) This would require selecting the guitar part and using the [Tools] [Transpose] menu. However, it may be better to correct it by transposing the Bb part up a tone so that the piece sounds at the originally intended pitch.

It would help us understand the problem better if we could see the score in question.

What you want is almost certainly easy in MuseScore, but unfortunately it's not totally clear what you do want. If you attach your score, we can understand and assist better.

Normally, to create a score for clarinet an guitar, you simply tell MuseScore that is what you want when you create the score. Or you can change a flute to clarinet by right-clicking the staff, Staff Properties, Change Instrument. It then handles the transposition completely automatically, and you can press the Concert Pitch button to toggle between written and sounding pitches. It isn't clear if you are just trying to do that - the normal thing MuseScore knows how to do automatically - or if you are trying to do something more unusual. But even if you are trying to do something unusual, that is possible too, once we understand what exactly you want. Which is why attaching your score will be an important first step.

I also suspect English is not your native language (some of the terms you use, like "ciphers", are not the standard English terms used music). So it might help if you explained in your native language, and someone might be able to translate better.

@mjbartemusica... You wrote:

Well, the numbers need to be a tone below the tune for guitar companion.
also you wrote...
...when a transposing instrument such as a Bb clarinet is accompanied by a guitar, the melody will be in one tone and the numbers will be in another tone.

By numbers, do you mean guitar tablature?

Have a look at this score of a Bb clarinet accompanied by a guitar :

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