for people who don't understand what a "transposing instrument" is

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Thirteen Ball, Dec 13, 2010.

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  1. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Sorry, I think you've got this backwards. Brass band basses ARE transposing instruments, in the same way as a clarinet or a Bb trumpet, whereas orchestral tubas play in bass clef in concert pitch - so do not transpose.

    A C is a C on an orchestral tuba part, whatever tuba you play it on, or whatever valves you use to get it.
  2. Laserbeam bass

    Laserbeam bass Active Member

    Admittedly a Bb player playing a written C is actually playing a sounding Bb, but the player is not transposing, the composer has already done this for you, assuming that the proofreading is correct :biggrin:
  3. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

  4. Laserbeam bass

    Laserbeam bass Active Member

  5. DublinBass

    DublinBass Supporting Member

    Sound advice Laserbeam Tuba :p
  6. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

  7. Laserbeam bass

    Laserbeam bass Active Member

    As I play a bass and not a tuba this does not apply to me, nor to the other 29 who voted with me
  8. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Hmm... Are you genuinely not getting this, or just trying to reel me in? (Which I know you've done before! ;))

    If it's the former:

    In a brass band, you read a C, you play a C, the note that comes out is a concert-pitch Bb or Eb depending on the instrument. ie: you play a transposing instrument.

    In an orchestra you read a C, you play a C, the note that comes out is a concert-pitch C, whatever instrument it's on. ie: you don't play a transposing instrument.

    If it's the latter: Fair play, you got me.....
  9. davidwalton

    davidwalton Member

    Sorry, but just because one can read concert pitch it does NOT change the pitch of the instrument being played. An Off C pitch instrument ALWAYS transposes!!! Players just adapt to that when reading in concert pitch.
  10. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    Sorry, when did I say that reading concert pitch changes the pitch of the instrument? I've checked back over my posts and that assertion doesn't appear anywhere.

    I think you;re mistaken. Off C pitch instruments do NOT always transpose. Hence why one can sit in an orchestra on an Eb tuba (as I have done) and read the exact same part as a C tuba and an F tuba. If the player is reading the notes at concert pitch and playing them as such then they are not transposing.

    Whatever valves they use or instrument they play, an F is an F an that context. Yes, you will use different valves to get the same note because of the key the instrument is pitched in, but that is not the same as transposing.
  11. defnotsimon

    defnotsimon Member

    What Andi said before but also it depends on the players outlook.

    If you read in bass clef all the time and use different instruments for that and consider each note to have different fingering, for example the F at the bottom of a bass clef is either:
    Bb - open
    C - 1st
    Eb - 4th
    F - open
    then that note is an F no matter what instrument you are using. The player is only pushing down the appropriate valve for the instrument they are on.

    If, however, you believe that your fundamental note is always a "C" then using the same example
    Bb - G
    C - F
    Eb - D
    F - C
    then you will always transpose.

    In my time at university, which I will admit was in Australia so not over here in the UK, all of the tuba players could read both clefs but only thought in concert pitch when reading in bass clef. Just a different set of fingerings for the same set of notes.
  12. davidwalton

    davidwalton Member

    The pitch of the instrument governs if transposing or not. Only C pitch instruments do not transpose. All others do, and players reading at concert pitch then either learn transposition, or learn different finguring depending on the pitch of the instrument played (which is also transposition).

    If it was as others here think, then anyone playing a Bb instrument would use the same finguring as those playing a Eb or C, or any other pitched instrument. Just isn't so, so players are transposing depending on the pitch of instrument!!!
  13. Mattytheshark

    Mattytheshark Member

  14. pbirch

    pbirch Active Member

  15. MartinT

    MartinT Member

    And to think I was worried about thread creep...... :|
  16. davidwalton

    davidwalton Member

    I think the issue being missed here is that those who do read in concert pitch have learned to do so according to the pitch of the instrument they play. If you take any player who is only used to playing C instruments and put them on a Bb pitch, or any other, they can not just read the notes. They have not learned the transposition. They have on the instrument they are used to.

    I repeat, only a C pitched instrument is non-transposing. All other do, and players transpose or learn based on the pitch of the instrument (still transposition). far as I am concerned.
  17. MartinT

    MartinT Member

    David, I recommend you read the Wikipedia link that Thirteen Ball posted on page 3 of this thread.
    There is perhaps room for one person operating a wind-up - not saying that Laserbeam is in fact doing this - but more than one is just taking the mickey.:mad:
  18. Thirteen Ball

    Thirteen Ball Active Member

    If you'll forgive the bluntness of tone implied by this statement - You can repeat it all you want. The fact remains that you're still wrong.

    Unless of course the Oxford dictionary of music theory has been printed incorrectly for the last couple of centuries, which I think you'll agree is unlikely....
  19. davidwalton

    davidwalton Member

    and I recommend you stop being nasty. If you can't give an explanation, go away!!

    good bye!
  20. davidwalton

    davidwalton Member

    Here is your link..

    By that it states that a transposing instrument is...

    an orchestral instrument for which parts are written in a different key from that in which they sound, e.g. the clarinet and many brass instruments.

    That is all I am saying. A transposing instrument is always a transposing instrument, ie one not pitched in Concert pitch. The part does not change pitch, so concert pitch has to be learned.
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