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I have a lot of sheet music that is written in concert key that I want to play in the correct key on my tenor sax. I know I need to take each note in the sheet music and move it up a step, for example Bb goes to C.

Does the key also need to change? For example, I want to transpose a song in the key of Eb. I am not sure what to do here. Do I need to move each note up a whole step and move the key up a whole step? If so, what happens to the note (that is moved up a whole step) if in the new key it lands on an accidental?

Also, what is the best thing to do for notes, that even after they are moved up a whole step are still lower than Bb?

What do you do when there are two notes instead of one?

This is the song I am currently working on, Jordu

Also, I was wondering if someone could explain this table for me.

Thanks,
-John
 

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Tenor- Selmer Series II Jubilee & Soprano- Selmer Mark VI
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Hi John,

I hope I can help you out. You are starting to work with Music Theory. I use Finale music program on my computer and it does wonders for me with changing keys. All I do is:
1. Open the song you want to transpose. Usually the song is in C but it doesn't matter.
2. Create a new sheet music with Tenor Sax as your instrument.
3. Then I go back to the other song that is in C. Select the entire song. And use the edit function or hot keys to Copy it.
4. Go back to your new Tenor Sax sheet music and paste the song.

The Transpose Table you are talking about does wonders when you are trying to play a song with a band. For example, you have to give the Alto player your notes that you know to the song or tune you are jamming to. Lets say you are playing an A, B, C. Then you look up on the Transpose Table for Bb. Then see what the notes are for an Alto Eb which are E, F#, and G. Please let us know if you need anything else.

Happy playing,
 

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Sorry, Pure Magic, but I have to completely disagree with your approach. Not everyone has Finale, or a similar resource, to use for transposition. In addition, it does nothing to address any of the OP's questions.

1. You will move the notes and the key up a whole step. If you make sure that you always change the notes by a whole step you shouldn't have any problems with accidentals. If you've not sure about something, try to play it and see if it sounds right.

2. Regarding notes below Bb. Although we talk about transposing up a whole step, the tenor actually transposed up a major 9th, which is an octave plus a whole step. The best approach to this is probably to listen to a recording and see in which octave the line is played. It looks like on this tune, you would play everything up to the bridge up an octave. Play the bridge in the written octave and when the first section returns, play it up an octave.

3. Where there are two notes, listen to a recording and see who plays what. For this tune, the melody is always the top note. It was very typical to have a trumpet and tenor playing melodies. They would both play everything where there's only one note written and then split when there are two, trumpet on top, tenor on the bottom.
 

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the problem with transposing in a computer is that it is not always logical what the computer does.... for example if you are in a key with flats,and the computer transposes the notes with a bunch of sharps inermingled in there it becomes difficult to read...so in other words the computer does not have the last word!! you still need to check the work it has done,and humanize it so that is logical. just call me Spock!!
 

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OK, you're Spock.:)

the problem with transposing in a computer is that it is not always logical what the computer does.... for example if you are in a key with flats,and the computer transposes the notes with a bunch of sharps inermingled in there it becomes difficult to read...so in other words the computer does not have the last word!! you still need to check the work it has done,and humanize it so that is logical. just call me Spock!!
 
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