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Topic: My playback has gone all dissonant! (Read 3085 times) previous topic - next topic

My playback has gone all dissonant!
On the orchestral piece I am currently copying out into Noteworthy 2.5 the playback has taken on a harsh dissonant tone. I suspect it might be something to do with the transposing instruments. For example, the general key signature being G major with one sharp and the B flat clarinet stave having the 3 sharps A major key signature, I put the transposition as minus 2. Everything seemed to sound all right on playback at first but, coming back to it after a few days rest, I get the dissonant playback as mentioned above. Have I accidentally pressed a wrong button somewhere, causing the transposing instruments to sound as written instead of at concert pitch?
Cheers,
     John

Re: My playback has gone all dissonant!
Reply #1
One way to track this down is to mute all but one staff.  Start adding staves and listening until something sounds wierd.  That should help you concentrate on the key and transpositions for that particular staff.

HTH
Since 1998

Re: My playback has gone all dissonant!
Reply #2
... playback has taken on a harsh dissonant tone. I suspect it might be something to do with the transposing instruments. For example, the general key signature being G major with one sharp and the B flat clarinet stave having the 3 sharps A major key signature, I put the transposition as minus 2. Everything seemed to sound all right on playback at first but, coming back to it after a few days rest, I get the dissonant playback as mentioned above. Have I accidentally pressed a wrong button somewhere, causing the transposing instruments to sound as written instead of at concert pitch?

It may be something to do with the way you created the transposed staff.

 
  • If you began with a new staff for the clarinet, set to -2 transposition, and notated the transposed notes, you shouldn't have a problem.
  • If you started with the new staff set to Transposition = 0,  entered the notes in concert pitch and transposed them up 2 semitones, AND select Update staff play back transposition, everything should be fine.
  • If you started with a staff set to Transposition = -2, entered the notes in concert pitch and transposed the staff up 2 semitones, you will have a problem because the staff will now be Transposition=-4.  To solve this, go to Staff Properties/Instrument, and change the transposition to -2 again.
  • If you started with a staff set to 0, notated in concert pitch and then transposed that up 2 semitones with Tools, Transpose Staff , but did not select Update staff play back transposition, the program will read the transposed staff as if it's in concert pitch, creating dissonance.
  • Last Edit: 2014-02-21 10:49 pm by David Palmquist

Re: My playback has gone all dissonant!
Reply #3
I reckon I've done the right thing David, in copying out from the original score and transposing the B flat clarinets -2 steps; so I shall now try your solution Warren, and let you know what I find. I still suspect that I might have pressed a wrong butten somewhere.
     Cheers,
          John.
Cheers,
     John

Re: My playback has gone all dissonant!
Reply #4
I still suspect that I might have pressed a wrong butten somewhere.
When what you describe happens to me, it is usually because I have inserted or edited a key signature without first using the Force Accidentals Command.
Registered user since 1996

  • Haymo
  • Virtuoso
Re: My playback has gone all dissonant!
Reply #5
My guesses  are:
Either the Clar staff has been transposed -4 (or anything but not -2)
or
if the staff is transposed by -2, the check for "update staff playback transposition" is should NOT be checked.

The source had already been transposed from G to A, so it has to sound 2 semitones lower than written.
  • Last Edit: 2014-02-21 08:11 pm by Haymo

Re: My playback has gone all dissonant!
Reply #6
Is it possible there is a C major staff without a key signiture? Could that cause this problem if transposed?

Re: My playback has gone all dissonant!
Reply #7
  Many thanks, gentlemen, for all your helpful suggestions. I muted all staves except the clarinets, then I added in the other woodwinds one by one(or should I say, "2 by2"? ) After letter "C" on the score the sound got nastier and nastier. I checked and re- checked changes of clef then, all of a sudden, I noticed at the start of the next page of the score I had been copying from that the general key signature had changed from G major to G minor!  Had this occurred in the middle of a page, I'd have picked it up right away. Everything now sounds quite melodious once again, as it should do, since the symphony I'm copying out for the Scriptorium was written back in 1851!
   By the way, I'm wondering what I should do about the horns and trumpets that are traditionally written with no key signature. Should I really be doing the same for them as I do for the clarinets? That is, if they are in B flat and the key is G major, should I give them a key signature of A major with 3 sharps etc. ?
    Cheers,
        John.
Cheers,
     John

Re: My playback has gone all dissonant!
Reply #8
Horns and trumpets used to use various crooks to lengthen their bore so that they could play in different keys. The composer specified the crook and always wrote, accordingly, in C major.

Now that both instruments have pistons to lengthen the bore they are not limited to a particular crook at a time, so music can be written chromatically in any key.

Modern practice is (usually) to write for Horns in F and Trumpets in Bb with the appropriate key signature, although there are still diehards around!

Re: My playback has gone all dissonant!
Reply #9
Thanks Peter, I was aware of this, in fact I have seen natural horns and their crooks in a museum. However, I wanted to be sure I was doing the right thing in leaving the key signature blank when copying out this mid nineteenth century score. I gather that, if I give the E flat horns a transposition in Noteworthy of plus 3 and the B flat horns and trumpets minus 2, any necessary accidentals in the original score will be enough to keep the playback going correctly and I can change the transpositions if I want to re-write them for modern chromatic instruments.
    Cheers,
        John.
Cheers,
     John

Re: My playback has gone all dissonant!
Reply #10
no no no...Eb horns should be -9, not +3. You'll end up having the horns playing higher than the trumpets if you make that mistake.
An Eb trumpet or cornet would be +3.

Otherwise, you are on track. The accidentals should be enough to get everything right if you transpose it later, but if you do decide to add a key signature later, you should always do a FORCE ACCIDENTALS, then add key signature, then AUDIT ACCIDENTALS (sometimes you also need to follow that with AUDIT ENHARMONIC SPELLING to get the correct accidentals for the key)