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victoria Williams Music Theory

Victoria Williams

LmusTCL BA Mus (Hons) MISM

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Instruments | Transposition and Clefs by Instrument

Transposition and Clef Information for Orchestral Instruments

Concert pitch = non-transposed pitch


String Instruments

Violin: treble clef, not transposing

Viola: alto clef, not transposing

Cello: bass, tenor and treble clef, not transposing

Double bass: bass clef, sounds 1 octave lower than written

Harp: grand staff, not transposing


Woodwind Instruments

clarinetFlute: treble clef, not transposing. Piccolo sounds 1 octave higher than written. Alto flute sounds a perfect 4th lower than written.

Oboe: treble clef, not transposing

Clarinet: treble clef. Clarinet Bb sounds a major 2nd lower than written, clarinet in A sounds a minor 3rd lower and clarinet in Eb sounds a minor 3rd higher. Bass clarinet sounds a compound major 2nd lower than written.

Bassoon: bass, tenor and treble clef, not transposing. Contrabassoon sounds an octave lower than written.

Cor anglais: treble clef, sounds a perfect 5th lower than written.


Brass Instruments

Trumpet: treble clef. Trumpet in Bb sounds a major 2nd lower than written. Trumpet in D sounds a major second higher than written.

French Horn: treble clef. Horn in F sounds a perfect 5th lower than written.

Trombone: bass and tenor clefs, not transposing.

Tuba: bass clef, not transposing



Percussion Instruments

Xylophone: treble clef, sounds 1 octave higher than written.

Glockenspiel: treble clef, sounds 2 octaves higher than written.

Timpani: bass clef, not transposing

Piano: grand staff, not transposing



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