Transposing

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Transposing

Postby Brian007 » 24 Feb 2015 07:46

I was attempting to play a tune and after listening to a recording of the tune I noticed that after the 2nd verse it moved up a semitone
and thought how can I achieve that , and the answer of course was to use the + on the transpose button on my Korg PA900.

What I had not noticed before was that when you do this it actually displays the chord you play in your left hand with the new transposed value i.e playing a C actually showed up on the screen as C# and this got me thinking ?

How many time have I picked up a piece of music and discarded it instantly because the chords looked to difficult to play ( me being a beginner ) so now I will look again and maybe use the transpose button to play some of these hard to play chords in a simpler shape

Just a little thought

Brian007 :D
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Re: Transposing

Postby Rev Tony Newnham » 24 Feb 2015 09:51

Hi

Transpose buttons can be a mixed "blessing" - especially for those of us who have perfect pitch! I find it easier to transpose the notes as I'm reading them (or to be more accurate, the harmonic style/chords rather than individual notes sometimes. That's far safer for me than using the transpose facility on a keyboard. I did use a transposer once in public, for a whole line transposition - and everything fell apart because my ears were hearing different notes to those I was playing and I automatically tried to correct things. Not good in a packed church for a carol service!

These days, I sometimes use a 1 semitone transposition - but that's really all. Strangely, if I sit down to play an instrument that's not tuned to standard pitch, I have no problems. The workings of the human mind are often strange!

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Re: Transposing

Postby andyg » 25 Feb 2015 20:47

Yes, it's quite true that players with perfect pitch do often have problems when using transposers. Especially so when moving more than a semitone or two away from the written key. It can be overcome, with some focused practice, starting with a familiar piece, just one semitone up or down and gradually working further away.

I use them, why not? I can do transpositions on the fly or at sight, but there are times when it's just more convenient to use the transposer. Example? I did an unrehearsed carol concert with our local silver band. They had their own pieces, I had mine, but where we played together, they'd give me a Bb cornet part to work from! And they didn't always play the carols in the 'regular' keys, sometimes going up a semitone for the last verse (showoffs! :D ) . So with a bit of mental calculation I was able to put all of the pieces into workable keys and use the transposer to match the band. At the end of the concert the bandmaster congratulated me on my transposition skills! I didn't let on!

For those who do use transposers, there's a handy transposition table available for download on my website. It will give the the required numbers to input to move from any written key to any sounding key.
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Re: Transposing

Postby Brian007 » 26 Feb 2015 09:51

Hi Tony and Andy,

Firstly thanks for commenting on my post,

Tony, Yes its strange once you press that button your playing a semitone higher and it is a strange experience to the ears for the first few seconds

Andy, Yes I can see the uses of the transpose button for accompanying other instruments or a singer.
Thanks for the heads up about the transpose chart I will take a look

Brian007 :D
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Re: Transposing

Postby Hugh-AR » 18 Sep 2019 21:25

Andy mentions a Transition Table that is on his website (http://www.andrew-gilbert.com/downloads.html). Here's a LINK to this (below).
If the PDF does not show then refresh the page.

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Re: Transposing

Postby Hugh-AR » 18 Sep 2019 21:38

I have an example here of one recording I did where I did use the Transpose button on my AR 80 to move it all up a semitone (towards the end). Unfortunately, on the AR one can't put a Transpose into a Registration Memory, or even do it 'live' while you are playing and recording to a floppy disk. You will hear the change, but it won't go on the disk. If you do try using the Transpose, then when the disk plays back nothing happens at that point and the piece continues playing in the key that it was in. I gather that with the latest Yamaha Keyboards you can do this (no doubt someone will correct me if I'm wrong!). Lucky you!

So the only way to effect a key change is to press the Transpose button 'live' as the recording is taking place to Audacity.

Wind Beneath My Wings

Click the LINK below to listen, and then press the back button after to return to this page you are viewing.
Wind Beneath My Wings with a semitone rise in pitch using the Transpose Button

Hugh
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Re: Transposing

Postby Hugh-AR » 18 Sep 2019 22:23

The example above shows what it sounds like to do a 'straight' jump from one key to another. As Brian007 says:
It is a strange experience to the ears for the first few seconds.

But there are songs where the melody keeps rising a half tone over and over again. Take this one:

Bobby Darin - Mack the Knife (Live 1970)



There are other ways of moving from one key to another without just doing a 'straight jump'. You first have to look at the key you are moving into and analyse what the notes are in the scale of the key you are moving to. Using Tonic sol-fa terminology that is do, re, mi, fa, soh, la, ti, do (an octave higher); or to give it numbers 1 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 (=1, an octave higher). 'Do', or '1' is the 'root' of the key you are moving into. What we are looking for is to play the 5th note of the scale (or soh) as a 7th chord ... which will lead you into your chosen key.

So in the Bobby Darin example above, if the piece starts in the key of C, moving it up a semitone would mean moving the song up to Db. The 5th note of the scale starting on Db is Ab ... so the chord you would play after finishing a verse on a C would be Ab7 .. which leads naturally to playing the next verse in Db.

Moving the song up a semitone again would take it to the key of D. The 5th note of the scale starting on D (the key you want to move the song into) is A. So play an A7 to lead the next verse into the key of D.

This is what Bobby Darin has done in his song above.
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Re: Transposing

Postby Hugh-AR » 18 Sep 2019 22:52

Taking this a step further, you can make the key-change sound even better (and less dramatic) if you can play two chords between the end of one verse and starting the next. Again, analyse the scale of the key you are moving into (can be any key .. we are not just talking about moving up a semi-tone here). The two chords to put in as you move into this new key are the 2nd note (ray) Minor, followed by the 5th note as a Major chord.

So if moving eg from C to Eb, after the C you would play Fm, followed by Bb. The important thing to realise is that you are working out the chords to play by analysing the scale of the key you are moving into, not the key you are currently playing the piece in.

Here is an explanation of doing all this.

Songwriting Secrets: Modulating Between Keys Using the 2 5 1 Progression



Here's another video where he explains about moving from one key to another.

Cool Modulations: How to Make Smooth Transitions to Different Keys, Jazz Tutorial



In this one he seems keen on playing nat7th (natural 7th) chords with everything. But then this is a 'Jazz' Tutorial, and that is what they like to do when playing Jazz!

Hugh
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Re: Transposing

Postby Hugh-AR » 23 Sep 2019 06:56

When Brian007 started this topic, he said:
I was attempting to play a tune and after listening to a recording of the tune I noticed that after the 2nd verse it moved up a semitone and thought how can I achieve that , and the answer of course was to use the + on the transpose button on my Korg PA900.

What I had not noticed before was that when you do this it actually displays the chord you play in your left hand with the new transposed value i.e playing a C actually showed up on the screen as C#.

Now I have checked this on my Yamaha AR80 organ .. and my organ doesn't do that. Wherever you have the Transpose it shows the chord you are physically playing on the keys. So playing a C chord (CEG), my display still shows a C chord is being played.

So I am curious now. What do the Yamaha keyboards show when you do a Transpose? The chord you are physically playing, or the chord you are listening to? And do all Korg keyboards show what Brian's does?

Hugh
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