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Discussion Starter #1
This idea isn't quite transposition, I think.

One of the nice things about the saxophone family is that, regardless of sounding range, when one looks at a written note, the fingering is the same.

So when I see sheet music showing :line3: then I will always press the same key, whether baritone, tenor, alto, soprano, whatever. Yes, that puts the effort of transposition on whoever is writing the sheet music (to get the key and sounding range correct), but the advantage is that saxophone players benefit with effortless muscle-memory when reading that music.

In the recorder world, the soprano and tenor are both in C (they have fingering that is very close to Bb saxes, but that's not important here). The alto recorder, which I also want to play, is in F and I really don't want to learn a separate fingering for it.

What I thought might make sense is to rewrite the alto recorder music and then use soprano/tenor fingerings on the alto. For example, when I see this written for alto:


:space1::space2::space3::space4:

I would rewrite this to:

:line0::line1::line2::line3:

and then use soprano/tenor fingering on the alto. In so doing, the proper notes get played. In fact, the sounding note will match exactly what a tenor recorder produces with the non-rewritten sheet.

Reference:

https://www.wfg.woodwind.org/recorder/rec_bas_1.html

I suppose serious recorder players just learn two fingerings, or stay with one key of recorder, but I'm tempted to try this.

Thoughts?
 

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A possible advantage to learning both sets of fingerings is that it transfers to clarinet, should you ever wish to go there. Lower register on clarinet is like alto recorder, upper register is like descant recorder.

Anyhow, it will be less work to learn the two sets of fingerings than to have to re-write all your charts. You will also be denying yourself the ability to sight-read alto.
 

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Hi Arundo Donax,
if you had to play alto recorder for a single event (a show, concert), I would consider to "transpose" it. But it sound like you want to play alto recorder only for joy, and then I would go the normal path and learn it the way a recorder player would do it. I learned quite a lot of different fingering and reading systems and enjoyed the process when it became second nature and I just fingered the right note. I don't play alto recorder, but I know there are links to other fingering systems (clarinet in the low register, bassoon), so that's quite a benefit and things get easier the more often you do them. Playing tenorsax from alto charts should work, too (or is it the other way round?)
 

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I strongly recommend learning the F fingerings on the alto recorder. If you want to play in groups, no one is going to provide you with special music that has been transposed. And because of the recorder's limited range, if you are given a random piece of sheet music, you'll need to decide which recorder fits the range best.


I don't play clarinet. What I did to learn alto fingerings is to play it exclusively for a few months: no C recorders; no sax. That "reprogrammed" my brain to associate the new fingerings of the F instruments.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks, everyone, for your thoughts - since I like the alto recorder best of all, I will learn its fingering.
 

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Some orchestrators are treating the alto and sopranino as transposing instruments, which makes sense to me. I have always considered them that way myself ( they are after all in F)!
 
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