Change key signature for an isntrument (G -> F Trombone)

• Sep 5, 2015 - 13:31

Hi All,

I have a part that is written for Trombone with a G treble-clef but the girl i'm playing with only knows how to read the Bass-clef.

now i found the following:
where they nice demonstrates what pitch transforms into what pitch between the two. So i though i'd give it a go to enter the top line from low C to High A. into a staf with G-clef. now i had the hopes that whenever i would change the clef that musescore would automatically place the notes ate the correct line :-( but in my case it didn't. is this even possible?? would ease life a lot .

thanx for any hints.

Attachment Size
Trombone_G_to_F.mscz 12.96 KB


If your score is really scored for a trombone in G clef, you should be able to right click it, staff properties > Change instrument and choose "Trombone" > OK > OK. Select the G clef and double click the F clef in the palette and you should be good to go.

In reply to by Nicolas


i do not quite follow. here's how i did it:
Create a new score.
select trombone as instrument
change Clef from G to F
enter notes
change Clef from F to G

the reason for changing it in the first place is that i have a score (pdf) written in F clef. that i would like to type over. and than change the Clef in order to save it in the right Clef for my friend.

so when you say "If your score is really scored for a trombone in G clef" than i would say yes it is but i'm not sure now.

thanks Martijn

In reply to by

No, that is not correct. Simply changing the clef won't change the notes - it will simply redisplay the existing notes for current clef. You need to actually change *instruments*.

You need to change *instrument* - right click the staff, Staff Properties, Change Instrument. There are both "Trombone" and "Trombone (Treble Clef)" available. The latter is not usual, so it is not in the "Common instruments" list, but you'll see it if you type "Trombone" into the search box.

Simply select the instrument that reflects how you wish to enter the notes, then enter the notes, then change to the instrument you waznt to see instead. The notes will automatically be transposed for you. Although you may need to change the clef manually.

So, if the music is currently in bass clef but you want it in treble, you will start with the standard "Trombone" instrument, enter the notes, then change to the "Trombone (Treble Clef)" instrument as I just described, which will transpose everything for you, then you may simply need to change the clef.

And vice versa if it is the other way around. If the music is currently in treble clef, then you need to start out with *that* instrument , enter the notes, then change to the standard Trombone and change the clef.

If your music is already entered incorrectly - you entered the notes for treble clef but had the wrong instrument selected - then it might be possible to correct this by transposing manually, but in order to help further we'd have to see the score (the actual MSCZ file) and a clear description of what you want to change it into.

In reply to by

Something else to be clear about, since you may not be aware of it:

Music for trombone is normally written in bass clef at "concert pitch" - meaning a written C sounds like a C. Music is not normally written for trombone in treble clef at all, but when it is, it is not normally in concert pitch - it is normally written a whole step higher than it sounds. So a written C will actually sound like a Bb (and it will eb the Bb an octave lower). So you will want to be sure you understand if that is the case for the music you have. If it is written in treble clef and was really meant for trombone, it might be written a whole step (plus an octave) higher than it is meant to sound. It would be important to be sure how it was really written and intended to sound before proceeding.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hi Marc,

sorry to come back on this subject. I'm still having trouble to get where i want to.

Just to wrap up: Lets assume i have a scale written for Bb trumpet and would like to have this same scale for a Trombone. like this:
G to F.mscz

Step 1:
You mentioned that i should add an instrument Trombone Treble and copy the notes to that instrument like: G to F - Step 1.mscz

Step 2:
Next i should change the key signature. G to F - Step 2.mscz

Step 3:
Change instrument from Trombone Treb to Trombone
G to F - Step 3.mscz

but that does not lead to the desired result.
am i missing something??

please advice

kind regards Martijn

In reply to by

I'm not sure where you saw advice to change the key signature or to use Trombone Treble, but neither of those steps are correct for what you are describing. Simply add Trombone as an instrument, copy and paste the notes in, and you're done - there' nothing more to it in this particular case. The "C" for trumpet will become "Bb" fro trombone, and likewise all other notes will be transposed a step lower, and this is exactly correct. You'll probably want to mvoe everything down an octave with Ctrl+Down afters as well, because the notes played by a trumpet are msotly too high for trombone.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hi Marc and others,

sorry to brake this subject open again but for some reason I can't seem to get it to work anymore :-(.

I know it worked so either i'm doing something wrong or something brook.

but let me explain:
1) I create a new score and add two instruments. the first will be a Bb trumpet in G-clef and the second instrument will be a trombone in F-key.
2) Now for the first instrument i add a simple scale from low c to high A.
3) Now i copy the scale and paste it to the trombone.
if all went well it should look like:
but.... for some reason my trombone ends up like this. (G- to F-Fails.msz)

So i thought i'd give it another go on an other machine; same result.

An alternate approach, which i thought should work as well, is to just go and change the clef of the instrument. so again i create a score with 2 trombones in. ad the first scale in F-clef. than copy and past the scale to the second trombone. and finally change the clef from F to G. as far as i understood musescore should transpose the note for me now and again i should end up with the two scales. I also tried it by adding an additional instrument (Trombone (Treble Clef)) and past the scal in there but that ends up similar
(Cleff change fails.msz)

The whole excersize is because sometimes you have a piece of music written but the person that needs to play it does not read the cleff it's in. and than you just want to change the cleff with a simple step. and easiest would be to just change the cleff for that particular instrument.

Thanks for the help,

Attachment Size
G to F-fails.mscz 5.95 KB
Cleff change.mscz 7.57 KB

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