transposing viola music to violin music

transposing viola music to violin music

is there a chart that will easily transpose viola music to violin. i have some music that i would love to fiddle if i can transpose the notes

Re: transposing viola music to violin music

Just play the fiddle and pretend your playing the viola and that might do it!

Else you could download something like Finale Note 2008 for free, you can input midi files, score in the notes etc and transpose to any key that suits you.

Kev

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Re: transposing viola music to violin music

To transpose from Alto clef to Treble Clef, you copy the notes in by bringing them down seven notes-one short of an octave.

Re: transposing viola music to violin music

Assuming you want to retain the original key played on the viola you’ll have to think about how to handle the notes that are played on the viola C-string (below the fiddle G) when transferring to the fiddle. You may be able to transpose them up an octave, but that may not always be good musically, so you may have to do a bit of judicious re-writing.
Or you could transpose the entire piece up an octave (the low C on the viola then becoming the C on the G-string of the fiddle). However, some players may feel they’re not yet ready to cope with notes on the fiddle E that will be well above the first position.
Each situation is different.

Re: transposing viola music to violin music

Can you post a link to the score?

Re: transposing viola music to violin music

If it doesn’t need to stay in it’s original key, the thing to do would be transpose it up a fifth, as the violin is tuned a fifth higher than the viola.

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What cathycook says is the same thing as Kess’s first line: "Just play the fiddle and pretend your playing the viola and that might do it!".

From the standpoint of a mostly non-reader of music notation: What defines the score you have as Viola music? G is G whatever you play on. If the score has notes below what the fiddle can reach then you can’t play them - and if it doesn’t then you can play them. Or am I missing something?

Not trying to be a smartalec here, just genuinely curious for the answers to the questions I ask.

Re: transposing viola music to violin music

Showaddydadito,
You’re right that a G is a G, but it’s where that G is that’s the problem. Most tunes played on the fiddle use notes that are centered between the open D string and A or B on the E string.

Those same notes on the viola are now five steps lower. That low D is no longer open, but played on the C string. That high A for the fiddle is now the open A string, and those notes are now in the low range for viola. If you stay within that zone, the instrument will be growling away nearly two octaves below the fiddle, playing the same tune.

Or, you could play the tune using the upper positions, but the tunes won’t sit on the instrument as easily as they do on the fiddle.

Merry Christmas to you all.

Re: transposing viola music to violin music

Thanks Greg - I understand that - very helpful.

Now - my other question - what defines the music as being Viola music? - is it just that the range of notes within the tune goes below the bottom G on the violin/fiddle, or is there something more complex going on here that is beyond my ken?

If it has notes on the C string of the Viola then it has to be transposed up some amount to fit on the fiddle - as per your description above it would be uncomfortable/impracticable to go up a whole octave.

So to return to my sheep - isn’t it the simplest answer to play what you see for viola whilst holding a violin - thus transposing it up by a fifth. (That’s like a whistler who is used to playing in one key simply using a different whistle on those occasions when society dictates that a tune needs to be played in a different key.)

I’m interested to know the answers on these because it affects someone else I know who has similar issues, but can’t articulate the problem so clearly.

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Well, if you were to pick up a viola and play some tunes on it, the first thing you’d notice is how much bigger it feels compared to a violin. Then, when you start to play, you’d notice how much farther apart the notes are. Also, the tone is much darker and huskier.

It’s a lot of fun to play the viola, and you can play all your tunes on it exactly as you would on the violin…until you try to do this at a session. Then, you would find that you are in another key. For example, Kesh on the fiddle is in the key of G, but if you play it on the viola exactly the same way, you would be in the key of C. That might just bring your session to a crashing stop!

Re: transposing viola music to violin music

To answer the original poster about a violin-to-viola chart, you can make your own. Draw four vertical lines and label them C,G,D,and A. Then draw dots where the notes are, just as on a guitar chord diagram. The main notes will be;
C string- D E F
G string- A B C
D string- E F#G
A string- B C# D and your ears let you find the others.

Re: transposing viola music to violin music

The C-clef is used for centering middle C. Viola scores use the Alto position of this clef ~ middle C on 3rd line.
Here is the C-major scale on the treble clef & the alto clef;
http://www.musictheory.halifax.ns.ca/24clefs.html

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Greg, just to be sure the question concerns transposing from viola to violin.

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Robert, if you can come up with some abcs it wouldn’t be difficult to transpose, say a fifth, octave, or any number of semitones.
I tried one of the online converters;
http://www.folkinfo.org/songs/abcconvert.php
In this case didn’t use the converter. Using abcs from this site & chose the alto clef ~ V:1 clef=alto. The folkinfo.org site does show the following abcs scored on the alto clef.
X: 1
T: Morrison’s
M: 6/8
K: Edor
V:1 clef=alto
|:E3 B3|EBE AFD|EDE B3|dcB AFD|

You may not want bother with this. Just thought I would mention another possibility.

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Where can one get a copy of Finale Notepad 2008 nowadays?

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This is all well and good, but until (or unless) the OP clarifies his question in with reference to the subsequent posts, it is a bit pointless. I still don’t have a clue what he meant.

Re: transposing viola music to violin music

"clarifies his question with reference to…", I mean. Ignore the spurious "in".

Re: transposing viola music to violin music

@Greg the Piano Tuner :

"Those same notes on the viola are now five steps lower. That low D is no longer open, but played on the C string. That high A for the fiddle is now the open A string, and those notes are now in the low range for viola. If you stay within that zone, the instrument will be growling away nearly two octaves below the fiddle, playing the same tune."

Er, being a humble fluter I may have got confused here, but you mean exactly one octave below don’t you? not "nearly two"? Or have I missed the point?

Always nice to know what our stringy brethren are up to. :-)

Re: transposing viola music to violin music

I understand the physical differences between a viola and a violin - I’m still looking for what distinguishes Viola music from any other kind.

I have a friend who plays violin - she plays very well (with verve and panache if the sheet music says "with verve and panache"), and plays in a local orchestra. Any tune written down in the traditional dots on lines notation and placed before her - she can play it. And unless it is a particularly technically demanding piece in terms of finger stretching, she can play it at a good speed first off.

But without any sheet music she cannot even play "Happy Birthday" (that’s observed fact, not just hyperbole).

She has, in effect, become just like my brother in law’s Pianola - it can play perfeclty first time any tune for which you put in the paper roll with the little holes in - but without a roll it cannot play anything.

I wonder if robert the originator of this thread has this condition? That would explain the perceived need for "Violin Music" as distinct from "Viola Music" - a distinction which still eludes me as a non sheet music player.

If this is the case then I recommend choosing a secluded room and playing without any sheet music for a little while every day for a couple of weeks until you get the concept of playing by ear. Once you’ve got that the problem begins to disappear.

My friend has trained her reflexes to where the sight of a particular dot configuration causes her to move fingers in a particular way. To play by ear you simply need to remap this reflex so that your knowledge of what the tune does next will cause the fingers to move in the same way. This is a very simple way of saying what needs to happen, and the process may not feel simple, but that is what needs to happen. It may take some few months to get to where you feel comfortable trying this in public.

Good luck with it robert dausy - why not start doing this in your christmas break if you have one.

In addition to that

When I was first learning to play the whistle 25 years back, my three year old daughter was just learning to read, and had a book of nursery rhymes, with words and pictures but no music.

She used to turn pages at random, and I would play the tune for the nursery rhyme presented on the page. With no tune written down I was playing from the tune I knew in my head, and it was a very short time until I could work through any tune from my head into playing it - albeit slowly - on the whistle.

That’s how I learned to play. Dots on lines - I can understand them and work out a tune slowly and painfully - but if I want to learn a tune I ask someone to play it for me and then just copy what I hear. I have no reason to believe that what I have achieved is anything beyond the capability of anyone else.

When the esteemed Llig says (as he often does here) "just listen to the tune and play what you hear" he is describing exactly this process. All you need is to dedicate a little time to training those fingers to go where they need to go to produce a known note from in your memory not just from the written page.

I hope I’m coming across as trying to help here. I have no intention of saying ‘look how clever I am’ - I genuinely believe that anyone can do it if they try.

Re: transposing viola music to violin music

"I’m still looking for what distinguishes Viola music from any other kind." If this is true it means I have failed. & I so tried to keep the explanation simple.

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not to say I find any fault in your explanation about playing by ear, showaddydadito.

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Re: transposing viola music to violin music

The problem is, the title doesn’t actually make sense - you can’t "transpose viola music to violin music".

You can play viola music on a violin though.

You have 2 choices here - either keep it at the same pitch, and play alternative notes (probably an octave higher) where the music goes below the range of a violin. Or transpose the music into a higher key - any key where all the notes fit within the range of the violin.

I reread the entire post. showaddydadito, you answered your own question precisely , ""what defines the music as being Viola music? - is it just that the range of notes within the tune goes below the bottom G on the violin/fiddle**" It is no more complex & I don’t see anyone attempting to make it so.
In fairness cathycook, greg & others are describing transposing & doing it very well. The only thing missing is the music mentioned in the OP ~ written or played.

** yes!

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perhaps robert dausy may someday answer our unresolved questions.

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Well if it was me I would tinkle the notes on the old ivories, sing the melody, memorise it and then fiddle it - or am I being a numpty? Well, yes, cos’ I wouldn’t normally play the tune on the old joanna - I’d just sing it and then play it. Am I missing the point?

Re: transposing viola music to violin music

I think "transcribing" is the word we looking for, not "transposing".

For example, the cello is tuned exactly an octave below the viola, but that hasn’t prevented the Bach cello suites from being transcribed for the violin. Elgar transcribed his famous cello concerto for the viola - a useful addition to that instrument’s repertoire.

Transcription works down as well as up. Mozart composed virtually nothing for the cello as a solo instrument, so someone usefully transcribed one of his flute concertos as a cello concerto (it’s published by Schirmer).

Another feature that distinguishes the viola sound and playing from the fiddle is the bow. It’s longer and heavier, so tends to give a deeper-sounding tone. In fact, a viola bow is useful if you have a fiddle that’s too bright.

Re: transposing viola music to violin music

thank ya’ll so much …i found the music to Last of the Mohicans
The Kiss …in viola sooo i can read notes and play ear ….but when i recieved the music i was taken back that it was in viola…and i guess i should have been transcribed but with these responses shouldn"t take long ……..maybe thank ya’ll again

Re: transposing viola music to violin music

You’re referring to Dougie MacLean’s piece of music which was used in "Last Of The Mohicans", I’m 99% certain it wasn’t played on viola, but on the low strings of the fiddle.

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Re: transposing viola music to violin music

Kenny, you are correct. I have listened to a few versions online & each one is played on fiddle. It is worth noting Robert indicates his version is from "The Kiss", which is a track listing & I assume it is played on fiddle. I don’t have the soundtrack.
Dougie MacLean plays various instruments (including viola) & it is likely he (or someone else) has written out a viola part. If so, I would tend to think it a 2nd voice (or harmony) to go with the melody. More assumptions, I know. Robert, where are you? A little help?

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Robert, could you give us a bit of information about the music score? Key signature, time signature, abc of the 1st bar or 2, clef (alto or treble)?

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sorry, been busy …obtained the sheet music from sheet musicplus.com written by dougie maclean and trevor jones for a string trio..the part needed was the viola but in violin or fiddle and so thats how ya’ll got stuck with me…and it worked i transcribed the viola music to the violin