Transposing Automation vs Appropriate Keys

• Mar 25, 2020 - 02:33

I am working on the alto part for "Layla" by Eric Clapton.
In concert pitch it has a Binary structure (before the final Coda) that switches Keys:
A (D minor), B (E Major plus chromatic harmonies) Repeat...
For Alto Eb: Bminor, DbMajor.
Musescore keeps putting it through as C#Major in the second section instead of the more appropriate flats key Db...
I have tried some of the suggestions in the forum posts regarding transposition such as:
Using the Key Signature Palette - Transpose the B Section to concert GbMajor which gives you Alto EbMajor and then go to the Tools' TAB and select transpose by interval "Major Second". This then gives me DbMajor but...

The trouble I am having is that this transposes all of the instruments in the score so my BbMajor instruments end up out of space to the right of Mars (with Stockhausen) with accidentals everywhere.

I couldn't see a button saying transpose only this instrument...
I couldn't see a stave properties (right click on stave) or key change options (within the palette) with any useful selection that isolates my Eb instruments either...

This could all be fixed if Musescore would simply allow enharmonic transpositions.

I don't know what to do apart from producing every instrument with separate sections into a different file, printing them out to PDF and then sticking them together and scanning it again as a PDF... but I may as well write it out by hand.


As per the link above, it will be possible to control this in the next version of MuseScore.

However, I always feel compelled to point out that it is a mistake to assume Db would be more appropriate for alto sax than C#. Because the transposition for alto sax adds three sharps - or subtracts three flats - saxophone players are often far more accustomed to sharps than flats. It also depends on their prior experience, but in general, while you might think you're doing them a favor by forcing Db instead of C#, the reality might be the opposite.

Meanwhile, though, there are also workarounds better than the one you suggested if you have polled the players who will read the score and you are absolutely sure they are among the subset who prefer Db to C#. See for example

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks for this info. I didn't know that about alto sax players - I'm a guitarist so I can understand their fear / accesability. However, the line has a lot of chromatics in natural anyway so it would be on balance better to be in flats with naturals in this case (thinking in 5 flats and some naturals rather than some flat, some natural and base 7 sharps).

My apologies, I cannot understand those links and pages you have set for me. It's very 'computer friendly' lets say. Is there something I can download already that magically make it happen or are you saying that there is a process within MS 3.0 I can follow to achieve Db?

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