Baritone Sax (probably a dumb question)

I found how to have my Bari Sax in bass clef in concert pitch and transposed correctly in transposed pitch.

My question is about the transposition terminology Edit > Clef > Transposed Pitch > “Treble Clef 15 Above”. 15 what? It’s not half or whole steps and I cannot figure out how this translates to an octave and a sixth. Things show up correctly on the score and in the part, but I was wondering about the interval cited because I did not try it except in desperation.

I am probably missing something very simple. Please advise. All help very much appreciated.

8va is one octave, 15ma is two octaves up, 22ma is three octaves up. It’s inconsistent but it’s entrenched convention.

The numbers are consistent with naming intervals like “third”, “fourth”, “fifth”, etc based on a diatonic scale.

They all follow the system (originally used by the ancient Romans, and preserved in Latin) of counting the pitches at both ends of the interval - so C to E is a gap of two whole tones, but is called “a third”.

Thank you. I understand and have used the conventions and that 15va is a two octave upward transposition. My “issue” is that the terminology used in the Dorico menu implies that the concert pitch is transposed up two octaves only without the added sixth. Thank you very much for your replies.

Well, I believe it’s because Baritone Sax is in Eb, and so it really is a 2 octave shift from concert pitch. Everything is relative to the pitch of the instrument’s “home” key.

This makes sense. I can buy that. Thanks.

The numbering of intervals and octaves dates from before people decided it was a good idea to start counting from zero when measuring. (Think of old concepts like “on the third day,” for which you have to count the reference day as 1.) So for octave measuring, your starting point is 1, add 7 to get 8va, add another 7 for 15ma, add 7 more for 22, etc. One was basically the lowest counting number people could imagine.

And as a former saxophonist, I join the OP in not understanding the relevance of “15.” “13” would make sense, an octave plus a sixth. “In the neighborhood of 2 octaves” seems an unnecessarily approximate description.

Thank you! Yes, I have always understood 15, 22 etc. but the Dorico menu item was confusing and frankly inaccurate. In any case I can use it for the transposition and clef change that I need whenever I am scoring for Bari (which is often). Thanks again.

You know there is a Bari already setup for Bass clef in the concert score, and Treble when transposed right? Just select the Baritone Saxophone/Bass Clef Full Score instrument instead of Baritone Saxophone/Default when setting up your score.

In regard to to your original query, unless you have actually input an explicit clef at some point (i.e. not the default), selecting the “Treble Clef 15 above” or “8 above” isn’t actually doing anything. Those are octave transposing clefs with the little 15 or 8 attached to them. If you just see a normal treble clef, then you haven’t actually selected one of those octave transposing clefs. Bari isn’t an octave transposing instrument in the way that Tenor voice is. As you know, Bari is written up an octave and a sixth in treble clef, so if you need to select a Transposed Pitch clef, just select treble, not an octave transposing clef.

Thanks, FredGUnn!