Concert score & transposed parts editing.

• Dec 4, 2019 - 14:00

I'm very new to Musescore.

I'm entering a Bb tenor saxophone jazz solo transcription. I entered it directly into Musescore 3 in Bb (transposed up a M9 for tenor sax).

There are lot's of accidentals, so I didn't use a key signature, by the way.

Now that I have all the notes entered I would like to define what I entered as a Bb tenor sax transposed part, so that I can then be able to view a concert pitch score. That way I would be able to easily transpose, edit and print parts for this transcription for other instruments with other transpositions.

What is the easiest way to do this?

I think I got the first step done, (Staff/Part Properties, change instrument to tenor sax) but I undid the standard transposition for tenor sax. This got the tenor part to look right, but I think that will also put my score in the wrong(transposed) key.

Do I need to transpose the score down a M9th to do this? Then reinstate the standard tenor sax transposition to view the part transposed correctly?

Any advice?!?!


I believe the easiest way is to start over.

Create a score with all of the instruments you want.

Make sure the concert pitch button is not pressed. In your case, if you are in transposed pitch, the tenor sax's clef will have an 8 under it in concert pitch it will have an 8 under the treble clef.

If you entered the sax part correctly, you will be able to copy it from the other score then paste it in the new score. If the notes are now incorrect, then it's probably going to prove quicker to reenter the sax part than to go back and forth in the forum to learn how to fix it.

You can now click the concert pitch button and you will notice the sax notes have adjusted and the Tenor Sax clef has changed to a treble clef with an 8 under it.

sorry about all of the edits, i decided on a better explanation

As I wait for replies, I have been trying to figure this out on my own.

Some success, but some strange stuff happening too.

So I tried generating a tenor saxophone part, then I transposed the original score down to concert pitch.

This seems to work, more or less, but I'm getting some strange results in my score, where certain notes (random notes?) have been transposed down an octave. Is there some "feature" where it would move certain notes an octave because of instrument ranges or something like that? I would like to turn that off.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated. I don't want to mess up the 5 pages I have already entered.


In reply to by michael_wilke

I believe the problem is that you are trying to do what MuseScore does automatically and it is working against you. Follow my previous instructions and ask questions based upon that. As an alternative you can attach your score and I, or someone, will look at it and give specific advice.

In reply to by mike320

Yes. I think you are right.

I'm thinking it may just be easier to save a separate file for each instrument.

It would be cleaner in one score, but it is actually not necessary.

I didn't see your reply when I posted the edit.

Thanks for the tips. But I really don't want to re-enter 5 pages of notes. It will take a minimum of a couple of hours...

I will save as, and attach the first page. Thanks for your help.

Octaves & transposition seems to be all messed up now.
For reference, the first note of the concert score should be second space A.
The first note of the transposed tenor part should be the B above the first leger line above the staff.

Thanks again. Spartacus (test first page only).mscz Spartacus (test first page only).mscz

Attachment Size
Spartacus (test first page only).mscz 42.49 KB

In reply to by michael_wilke

It's a known issue that attempting to change the transposition of the score differently from the part (or vice versa) produces bad results. Probably we need to prevent people from doing that.

Aside from that, though, attaching your score would help us understand better where you are and where you want to be. As it is, I'm assuming anything you want done can be done by using some combination of Tools / Transpose (affects the actual sounding pitch of the notes - what displays when Concert Pitch is enble) and/or the transposition settings in Staff Properties (which affects the display of the pitches when Concert Pitch is disabled).

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I attached the first page or so in the replies above.
Thanks for any help!

I think I may have some confusion around "Concert Pitch" being enabled or disabled. Let me see if I can find that setting...

Yes. I think that was definitely part of the confusion... Anyway, I'm getting closer.

I may have changed the tenor sax transposition setting the wrong way because the concert pitch setting was confusing me.

Getting closer for sure! Thanks.

If you guys are still reading this I've got one more little issue.

In the one-page test version of my file, I was able to fix the random octave displacements, and it worked, without affecting/changing the Bb Tenor Sax part where the notes were displayed correctly.

But in the full file, when I change the random notes back into the correct octave in the score, it moves the same note to the wrong octave in the part.

I think the problem is in the score though since the playback of the score plays the sound of those random notes in the correct octave, even when they appear to be in the wrong octave (and vice versa, I can make the part look correct, but it will sound wrong). Or another way to say it, the audio playback is not matching with the displayed notation in the score.

If I can solve this problem in the score, then I think I could simply delete the Tenor Sax part and regenerate it, and all should be good in my Musescore world.

So how can I realign the notation display with the audio playback in my score? (I must have done it by accident in my one-page test score, but I don't know how to recreate what I did).

The new one-page test score is included to show you the problem. The first time this problem occurs is in measures 8 & 9 on the quarter note tied over to the dotted half note. (The C in the score should be one leger line below the staff rather than in the space below the fourth leger line down).

Thanks again! I'm so close now!

In reply to by michael_wilke

There seems to be a fundamental confusion here.
Both tabs of your score show a Bb tenor sax.
Are they supposed to be the same instrument? I ask because they do not show the same transposition.
In other words, right click on an empty part of a measure, then in 'Staff/Part Properties" you will see that the 'Spartacus' tab shows nothing in 'Transpose written pitches to sound' whereas the Bb tenor saxophone tab shows different.

Also, if you are scoring for a single instrument, why create a 'part' at all? In such a case, the 'part' is the same as the score.
If you are scoring for multiple instruments, please attach a "one-page test score" showing all instruments. Also state in what 'concert pitch' (i.e., key signature) you want all instruments to play. By so doing, someone here may be able to show you how to avoid re-writing the 5 pages you have already entered.

Earlier you wrote:
"I think I got the first step done... but I undid the standard transposition for tenor sax."
That's probably where your problems originated.

In reply to by Jm6stringer

So yes, there was, and still is some fundamental confusion. :)

But your comments are helping me sort it out, so thank you.

So the reason why I wanted to have a tenor part was so that it would say something like "Bb tenor saxophone part" for when I print it out. Then if I wanted to print it out for C instruments I could just print the score.

But here is my latest question. When I print, will it notate on the page whether I am printing a concert pitch score or a transposed score?

You are right, though, maybe I don't need to create a part. The reason I considered doing it this way is that I wanted to be able to print a bass clarinet part as well... While the transposition is the same, some of the harmonics & fingerings would be different. But perhaps it would be easiest to just save a new file of each edit for each specific instrument.

I don't want to use a key signature for the tune or solo, since it is very modal but also constantly changing key area (naturals would get out of control with any key signature I choose). But overall, the key is concert D Mixolydian, putting Bb instruments in E Mixolydian. I haven't put chord symbols yet since I want to sort out the notes before spending more time on this.

So I think I got things sorted out again. One problem that I had to fix was that somehow Muse Score automatically changed the treble clef to treble clef 8vb without notating it (I think). That would explain why some notes were randomly moved up or down an octave, especially if it didn't apply the 8vb treble clef to every beat of every measure. Regardless, when I changed the clef to regular treble clef, it solved most of the problems.


In reply to by michael_wilke

FWIW, I personally tend to save one version of my lead sheet for each transposition. Not saying that's the best approach, but it's what I typically do out of habit, and it does work.

But probably the better way is to create a score with one staff per transposition, then generate a part for each staff. Then if you make a change somewhere you still need to reproduce it on all staves, but at least they are right there in that same file.

BTW, not sure if you saw it, but there is an "open/atonal" key signature at the end of that palette, it won't transpose.

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