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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000108.txt from 1997/09

From: Neil Leupold <>
Subj: Re: Transpositions
Date: Wed, 3 Sep 1997 01:31:09 -0400

On Tue, 2 Sep 1997, Robert and Deborah Shaw wrote:

> Tell me if I am right--if I want to transpose a Bb clarinet part for an
> A Clarinet I need to up 1/2 step. Is that right?

Contrary to what Carol stated, your own answer is the correct one.
The question is: One is holding an A clarinet, looing at a part
written for a Bb clarinet. (S)he wishes to perform the music
on the A clarinet, and in the proper pitch. The A clarinet sounds
a 1/2 step lower than the Bb clarinet, which means that in order
to make it sound the correct pitches (and match pitches with
somebody playing along on a Bb clarinet), the A clarinet player
must raise each note by a half-step. Consequently, the key
signature also rises by a half-step. If the Bb clarinet part
reads three sharps -- the key of A major -- then the A clarinet
player must transpose the key signature up a half-step as well.
Thus, for the A clarinetist, it jumps a half-step up from A to
A# or, more to the point, Bb. What you've done in essence is
add 5 flats to the key signature.

The opposite process is undergone when transposing an A clarinet
part for a Bb clarinet.

'Hope this helps.

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