Change a Clarinet in B Flat to A - Change Horns in F to C or E

• Jan 22, 2019 - 02:02

I'm trying to copy the example in the jpeg file. I need to convert the B flat Clarinet to A, and the Horns to E and E & C, and Trumpet to E so they play at the right pitches. MuseScore doesn't seem to have those instruments available so I started with the standard Horns in F and Clarinet / Trumpet in B flat. I know B flat instruments sound a Major 2nd lower than the written notes, and Horns in F sound a Perfect Fifth lower than the written notes. Where I get lost is how to turn a Clarinet in flat into a Clarinet in A. I hope the MuseScore Brain Trust can help me. Thank you in advance!

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The instruments all exist in MuseScore. Either from scratch add the instruments or use right click, Staff/part properties and click change instruments button. In either case you can use the search box at the bottom left of the window to search for Trumpet, Horn or Clarinet and you will find the instrument you want. All of them are listed under All Instruments and the A Clarinet is also listed under Orchestra.

Horns III & IV start off in C. You can use the "Instruments" text in the text palette to change to the E horn when you need to. Edit "Instruments" appropriately and right click it and choose Change Instrument when it needs to change between C & E.

You may not know, but you also need to press ctrl and drag the key signature with a gray X in it from the advanced key signature palette to the horn and trumpet staves at each key change.

In reply to by yoichi123

Type "Horn in" into the search box in the instruments window and you'll find it. These are not common instruments so they probably don't show in any list except "All Instruments".

BTW< even if they weren't already present, you could simply add a regular G horn then change the transposition in staff/part properties.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

That was great, Marc. I found "Horn in A" and "Horn D" as you indicated!!! I transposed (1) "Horn in A" to A Major and (2) "Horn in D" to D Major, in order to get Key Signatures of those staves as C-Major/A-minor, as the original score dictates. Now it sounds proper, i.e., it does not sound un-tuned anymore. Thanks again!

In reply to by yoichi123

Great! BTW, the usual way to get no key signature on horn parts is to add the "open/atonal" key signature (with the greyed-out "X" that displays on screen only), while holding Ctrl so it only adds to that staff. The method you used might work for now, but you'll get a signature one way or another if you press the "concert pitch" button, which you probably wouldn't want.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Oh, I saw you talking about holding down Ctrl and put grey X (on-screen-only open/atonal key signature) above and knew the significance, but it didn't occur to me to use it. It is good to know! Thank for mentioning it here again.

I see that grey X in the Palettes. When I held down Ctrl, it didn't work, though, on Mac. It seems Apple (⌘) key does it. I see the function of it is to be able to apply the grey X key signature to only one stave, not to the system. Is that correct?

Thanks Louis and Mike320 - I still have a problem. I need the A Clarinet to be written in the key of E flat. When it plays that G note in the first measure it should sound an E Natural (a minor 3rd lower than the written note, right?). The problem is, when I changed the B flat Clarinet to an A Clarinet, the program changes the key from E flat to E Major. If the setting "Transpose written pitches to sound a "Major 2nd" lower is on, the key of E flat appears, but if I change that setting to "Minor 3rd" lower the key of E Major appears. If I Ctrl-Drag the E flat key signature over and drop it onto the E Major key signature, it changes the key signature to G flat Major. How do I keep the key of E flat but make it so that when the A Clarinet plays a G note it sounds an E Natural?

In reply to by 6Stringz

If you added a Bb clarinet and wrote for a Bb clarinet, then when you change the instrument to an A clarinet, everything should transpose automatically.

If you had a Bb clarinet and wrote the notes for an A clarinet it probably sounded aweful with the rest of the orchestra...but I digress. It sounds like you are trying to manually transpose the instruments yourself. Attach your score and I'll look at it in the morning. It's midnight here.

In reply to by 6Stringz

No wonder we're confused. They seem to want an A clarinet but the put the key signature of the Bb clarinet. To get the correct key signature, ctrl+drag the C major key signature to the clarinet and you will get the "correct" key signature. When the key inevitably changes, remember that the A clarinet adds 3 flats or subtracts 3 sharps from the key signature, that's why dragging the C major key produces 3 flats. Also don't forget to drag the gray X key signature to the horns and trumpets to avoid wrong notes and change horns 3&4 to C.

Edit: I just remembered there is a "Horn in C" and a "High C Horn," use the Horn in C, the other one will be an octave high. There will no doubt be other challenges in transcribing the score, so don't be afraid to ask.

It's not quite as long as I expected to answer your question. My wife had car troubles and I'm getting someone to give her a ride, so I'll probably be up a few (but not too many) more minutes.

In reply to by 6Stringz

The wife's car is back to normal.

For the key change. Since A & Bb Clarinets are transposing instruments, you have to enter the concert pitch key signatures to get the correct key signature in the instrument's staves. From analyzing the short amount of score you posted, it was obvious that the key signature in the opening measure is actually the Bb clarinet's key signature but the A clarinet's notes. You had to add the C key signature to cause the A clarinet to display 3 flats, which is what the Bb flat clarinet would have displayed for the concert pitch of Gb. It's confusing. I've seen similar errors that needed fixed and I have a good understanding of the relationships of key signatures between instruments.

This is a mistake by the editor. I suspect that at some point the mistake will mysteriously be fixed (only the Clarinet key will change to E) or made worse (another seemingly random key signature like C major will be inserted in the score for the clarinet). I have this suspicion based upon experience. The editor is not likely to carry this mistake through an entire symphonic score. My expectation is that you will see accidentals for the clarinet that show the actual key for the A clarinet is E (4 sharps). The first 4 measures seem to confirm this.

On several occasions, I have seen editors purposely change key signatures for harps, clarinets and English horns. It's a matter of math to determine how to copy what the editor did.

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