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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000078.txt from 1995/03

From: Laurence Liberson <hardreed@-----.COM>
Subj: Re: Transpositions
Date: Fri, 3 Mar 1995 07:20:06 -0500

Chris Werner wrote:
>Have I hampered the musical development of these junior high and high
>school students? Such transpositions are trivially easy given a fast
>computer, and with music reading software being produced even now, it will
>become even easier. Or are we becoming to dependent on high technology for
>our musicmaking.
>Chris Werner, father, music lover, band director, Brown University
>copyist, singer, accompanist, and pediatric Medical School
>cardiologist. Providence, RI
> Voice: (401)444-5984

The idea of having the computer transpose music for a musician is
fascinating, indeed. I will admit to having written out a small number of
compositions over the years, those tunes which were a bit "busy" (such as
Till, Domestica, Firebird ballet...all D clarinet parts, in fact!). But
this is for convenience, not lack of transposing aptitude.

Transpostion is a necessary skill for *every* orchestral and opera
clarinetist. There are occasions when insrument switches are logistically
impossible, there are a whole lot of C clarinet tunes, etc...Let's face it,
we don't always have the luxury of time to rewrite an entire composition out
for our instrument of choice, not to mention the thankfully rare occasion
when a substitute tune is plopped on the stand at the first rehearsal! Try
copying *that* on the spot!

Unless you are able to scan a piece of music into one of these computer
transpostion programs, it seems that one could more wisely spend their time
practicing and developing the skill of transpostion. It's not as difficult
as you might believe! Instead of straining your eyes at the monitor and
spending hours typing every single note, etc. into the program, you could be
learning something valuable--and long-lasting!--and exercise your mind,
which isn't so bad, either!

I don't think it would be possible for me to successfully perform my job
without this very necessary skill: too many tunes, not enough time!

(BTW, I find myself really annoyed, if not totally confused, when I find a
rental part on my stand at work where someone has deemed it necessary to
pencil in the note names above every single note!)

Larry Liberson
Detroit Symphony Orchestra

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