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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000144.txt from 1999/01

From: "Edwin V. Lacy" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] klarinet quartet help
Date: Wed, 6 Jan 1999 00:10:23 -0500

On Tue, 5 Jan 1999, Jacqueline McGee wrote:

> I have encountered a problem in transposing the odd arrangement in
> which the third chair is written alto clarinet in Eb. I have two
> excellent pieces by David Bennett, Clarinet Rhapsody and Argentine.
> Both have the third chair in alto Eb. First, does anyone on the list
> have this in Bb. I would relish a copy. Failing this, can the
> professionals please tell me how to properly transpose the third chair
> Eb to Bb in order to make this part fit in with rest of the quartet.

Three possible solutions:

1. Transpose the alto clarinet part down a perfect 5th, remembering also
to subtract one sharp or add one flat to the key signature. Be careful
where there are accidentals in the original, as they do not always
transpose as the same accidental in the Bb part. Usually, some of the
alto part will be too low for the Bb clarinet. In these cases, the alto
part will have to be transposed up a perfect fourth or re-arranged in some
other way. Remember that where it is transposed up a 4th instead of down
a 5th, it will now sound one octave higher than in the original version,
and in some cases this may cause a problem because it may be higher than
one or both of the Bb clarinet parts.

2. Using a computer notation program, simply copy the part exactly as it
is, and then execute the proper command to have the program transpose the
part for you. The program I use is called Encore. It's not the most
powerful such program, but it is one of the easiest to learn and use.
When the computer transposes the part, you again will have some parts
which will be too low. As in the instance above, transpose these sections
up one octave. This is another very easy operation for a notation

3. Look at eBay or similar sites on the web, and buy an alto clarinet for
these instances.

Good luck, and have fun!

Ed Lacy

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