Key transposing (and a question for homework)

Key transposing (and a question for homework)

Key transposing I don’t know whether that’s the right name for it.

What I mean buy it is if you have a tune that you can play for example on fiddle but can’t play on a D whistle or concert D Uilleann Pipes (e.g. have notes lower than a low D) how do you go about making the tune suit those Instruments? - I know one way to do it is variate the tune a bit but if you want the tune but in a key which is suitable for your instrument how do you go about doing that.
I know it’s straightforward getting from Dminor to Aminor or Dmajor to Amajor because (on the fiddle) you just move over a string. e.g. Tamyln https://thesession.org/tunes/248
but how do you do it for the other keys.

Any advice or sites that could help thanks.

Secondly, (for maths homework) we have to do a boring survey and i was going to ask about everyones favourite key: mine is Aminor (nice haunting tunes) what is yours?
Thanks for any replies for this question.

Slainte (sp.?)
Sam

Re: Key transposing (and a question for homework)

I really don’t know an easier way to explain the first question, but the only thing I can say is that make sure your "home note" or the note that it wants to resolve to is the same as the key you want the tune to be in.. From there, just use your ear.

There’s probably a program out there where you can put up the music and transpose it but I think doing it by ear is better.

As for the survey question…

I’d probably have to say that D mixolydian is the key for me followed closely by A dorian.. Pipe tunes for life!!!

Cheers,
Armand

Re: Key transposing (and a question for homework)

Using your ear is a good way to transpose. A good way to get better at this is to pick a really simple tune (even as simple as Twinkle Twinkle if necessary) and try starting it on different notes. Just stick with it until you can play it. Then pick a new note and start again.

Another way to transpose is this. Let’s say you want to transpose a tune in F to the key of D. Assign numbers to the notes of the F scale. F=1, G=2, A=3, Bb=4 etc up to E=7. You don’t need to worry about the next F,G,A etc. You will know whether you need a high or low note. Then do the same with the D scale - D=1, E=2, F#=3 etc.

So the first line of Twinkle goes FFCCDDC (or 1155665) in the key of F. So in D that would be DDAABBA.

You will need a pencil and paper for this for awhile, but in time you will begin to recognise patterns and relationships and it will get quite easy.


I always thought my favourite key was A minor. Now I’m beginning to wonder if it’s actually G major….

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Re: Key transposing (and a question for homework)

Once the tune is in your head it’s not too difficult to pick out the notes in another key. To get the tune in your head, listen to it a billion times and learn how to sing it.

Re: Key transposing (and a question for homework)

I agree with Kerri. Once you’ve got the tune firmly in your head AND you have complete fluency with your instrument of choice then you should be able to transpose without even thinking about it.
Singers do it all the time. Many’s the time I’ve seen a singer start off a song in a session, stop after a few bars, mumble something about "too high" or "too low", and re-start in a different key. It’s great fun watching the guitarists fumbling with their capos trying to work out which key they should now be in 🙂

Re: Key transposing (and a question for homework)

I believe ABCMus 2.0 has a key transposing function hidden away in it. I can’t give any more details because I lost that application in a computer crash some months ago, and haven’t replaced it.

Re: Key transposing (and a question for homework)

http://www.8ung.at/abctransposer/
This should do the job for you but I agree that it is better to learn to do it by ear if you actually know a tune already.

Re: Key transposing (and a question for homework)

Forgot to answer the question - Dmixolydian

Re: Key transposing (and a question for homework)

E Dorian or E Minor

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Re: Key transposing (and a question for homework)

The one to the minibar 🙂

- Chris (probably dmix)

Re: Key transposing (and a question for homework)

If you’re transposing using pen and paper watch out for the key signatures, that’s the only thing…

By ear is definitely best, but we singers do have it easy that way, in fairness.

Re: Key transposing (and a question for homework)

You can also sometimes "cheat" around the notes that are not present on your instrument by retooling phrases, something that I learned to do with the harmonica—for example, when you are playing a D harmonica and you come to an occasional C natural in a tune, you play a G, etc. But you have to know a little about harmony and music theory to do this well (see, I knew there was a use for that book-learnin’!). And you can’t cheat around too much, or it just sounds like a different tune.

Re: Key transposing (and a question for homework)

Been thinking about getting hold of a G whistle to get around that tunes-not-playable-problem actually… How big are the holes on those, anyone? I would never be able to play a low D whistle, hands are way too small.

Re: Key transposing (and a question for homework)

um, don’t change the key to suit whistles, flutes and pipes!! All they have to do is "jump the octave" up and usually that is only for a couple of notes… At least that is what the folks that play those instruments should be accustomed to doing!!!

Re: Key transposing (and a question for homework)

Absolutely! "The Mad Magician" AKA the "Bunbeg Slip Slide" is a case in point. It goes down to middle C and below. That doesn’t suit a D whistle. Just transpose the bar in question up an octave. No problem. It can sound a little weird if you already play the same tune on another instrument. When I pick out tunes on the guitar, for instance, its easier to transpose sections. For example, on "The Witches" on Open D tuned Guitar- the A section I start off on the third string. The next section should be an octave higher, but I start it on the same string, which means the arpeggio tumbles down to the E on the 6th string. Sounds pretty good. Purists might say I should be starting the A section on the sixth string too, and if I were a better guitarist I might do that. But the flesh is weak.

Re: Key transposing (and a question for homework)

What’s my favourite key….? Pisces - no, wait -
On the Guitar, E, if its tuned E, otherwise on an open D tuning I suppose D, but I sometimes tune it open G, so sometimes G. And on whistles I alternate between a D whistle (which of course will play tunes in G perfectly well) and a C. Might make myself a B flat one sometime…
I have to say I still hate the key of A flat (from learning "the A train")… so it seems unreasonable to like a key in four sharps if you hate a key in four flats… but that’s more a reflection of my own limitations.

Re: Key transposing (and a question for homework)

Bm or Adorian

Re: Key transposing (and a question for homework)

For transposing, I usually work by intervals. Figure out all the intervals in short sections. Other than that, use your ear.

My favorite key would probably be E dorian. Either that or G major…..

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