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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000058.txt from 1995/03

From: Syd Polk <jazzman@-----.COM>
Subj: Re: Transpositions
Date: Thu, 2 Mar 1995 15:05:31 -0500

Unfortunately, French horn players have the biggest transposition
nightmare. Part of their essential orchestral training is transposition.
You can NOT be an orchestral horn player without learning how
to transpose, and the best time to learn is when you are young.

Before the late ninteenth century, French horns did not have valves;
they could only play certain harmonics well, and all of the music
was transposed to the correct crook. The modern horn player
has to traspose this to F. Add this to the fact that bass clef
horn used to be tranposed down a fourth and not up a fifth,
and now its transposed up a fifth, and horn players have
to traspose down a half step when they are stopped, and
that Wagner and Strauss changed transpositions every three

So the horn teacher had a good point. I think it is important for
a clarinet player to read A on Bb and vice versa and to read
C on Bb. Sometimes going between Bb and Eb is useful also.

Syd Polk

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