Transposing staves with chord diagrams

• Dec 11, 2020 - 21:54

I usually have no problem transposing from one key to another. The notes and the chord names always change to the new key. But now I am trying out chord diagrams above the staves and they are not transposing. The notes on the staves do transpose, but the chord diagrams and symbols do not. I wonder if there is a problem with how I've notated the diagrams? But I've tested it by selecting the first measure (which I know is correctly symboled as simply G and C, but that measure too does not transpose in the digrams or the symbols. What else could be the problem?


Comments

Chord diagrams don't transpose. You will need to changes those manually. There are many ways to play most chords on an instrument and an automated method would be hit and miss in giving acceptable results.

This issue is about 90% resolvable. This is evident when we break the problem down into it´s components.

1) Chord symbols do transpose without the diagrams and it was the introduction of the diagram that brought this issue with it. Therefore, that issue need not exist.

2) Break down the chord diagrams into two classes, stock diagrams and customized diagrams. Stock diagrams very rarely reflect the voicing in the staff and are transposable. Any songbook will show us that the vast majority of the diagrams are stock. The only manual work would be on the custom diagrams.

Generally, the voicing is indicated by the symbol, such as C/G. The stock diagram is only a hint at the chord structure.

In reply to by Rockhoven

Break down the chord diagrams into two classes, stock diagrams and customized diagrams.
Any songbook will show us that the vast majority of the diagrams are stock.

Are "stock" diagrams to be restricted to major, minor, and seventh chords? Maybe include aug, dim, maj7, mi7 chords? Where exactly do songbooks draw the line?

Also, who will this benefit?
At the songbook level of using "stock" diagrams, guitarists are more likely to "capo up" to change keys, so they can follow the same diagrams (rather than having to change to different chord fingerings).
I've witnessed this at many coffeehouse and open mic venues... :-)

To maintain a library of "stock" or "basic songbook" diagrams linked to chord symbols which could be invoked upon transposition seems unnecessary, especially since the vast majority of chord diagrams exist outside of popular songbooks and so would not be included. You call them "customized" but 6th chords, 13th, minor 6th, 6/9, etc. also have "chord shapes".
If "stock" chord fretboard diagrams are transposed and "customized" diagrams are not transposed, a score will lack uniformity.

The best idea I've seen has to do with voicing a chord using its fretboard diagram (sort of like reading the TAB fret/string) and then using that information to transpose - and transfer the new fret/string info. onto a 'transposed' fretboard diagram. This would work for any fretboard diagram, with no internal library of "basic chords" needed.

P.S.: The topic occasionally surfaces...
Even if chord symbols coupled to fretboard diagrams were able to be transposed (e.g., for 'stock' chords), it might result in mismatched chord symbols and fretboard diagrams (for 'non-stock' chords).
See:
https://musescore.org/en/node/293782

In reply to by Rockhoven

Chord symbols attached to fret diagrams don't transpose indeed. I'd be inclined to call that a bug, except that since the fret diagrams don't transpose either, if the chord symbols did transpose, that would arguably be worse.

As for automatically transposing chord symbols, to me that's not really feasible. I mean, sure, we could take the position that some appropriately small handful of common chords could get transposed, but then what happens if your song uses some of those combined with some we don't handle? Again, I think the result would be worse than doing nothing.

When you say "any songbook will show us that the vast majority of the diagrams are stock", I guess you mean, basic beginner songbooks for basic beginner songs. But if you look at the wider world, I think you'll find quite the opposite.

OK. Taking the problem in order.

1) The notes in the staves have always transposed along with the chord symbols. What justification is there for disconnecting the chord symbol transposition from the stave transposition? The transpostion of chord symbols serves as a guide for manually inserting the transposed chord diagram. Let´s get that back into working order, so that it transposes the chord symbols along with the notes in the staves. Unless you want to disconnect chord symbol transposition from the transposition of the stave, I see no reason for this issue.

In reply to by Rockhoven

What justification is there for disconnecting the chord symbol transposition from the stave transposition?

Chord symbol transposition works for scores without fretboard diagrams. So not disconnected in this case.

For scores containing fretboard diagrams...
It would mean that the chord symbol itself wouldn't match the fret diagram shown, unless the fret diagram gets changed.

The transpostion of chord symbols serves as a guide for manually inserting the transposed chord diagram.

Yes, so prior to entering fretboard diagrams, transpose the score containing chord symbols, and then use the transposed chord symbols "as a guide for manually inserting the transposed chord diagrams".

Do you still have an unanswered question? Please log in first to post your question.