Bass & contrabass tuba transposition

When I flip between concert & transposed views, my contrabass tuba’s notes stay where they are. I was expecting them to be an octave, or even two octaves, up in transposed view. Am I wrong? (I should mention that I changed my mind about which to use, so the instrument I created was Bass tuba, and the selected instrument is the contrabass, which is how the staff displays; but it doesn’t transpose at all, not a smaller difference than might be appropriate for the contra.)

Also, related, my euphonium swaps from bass clef to treble, despite being well below the transposed middle C (actually C# below middle C). This one I dare say is a matter of convention, but would a player be upset if the passage was in bass clef?

Re your contrabass tuba, Dorico follows the convention that octave-transposing instruments should never be written at “concert” pitch. (Same goes for instruments that transpose two octaves, in case that isn’t obvious).

Re your euphonium, IIRC this one depends on where in the world you are (or where your players are). If you search the forum for baritone euphonium you’ll get some useful previous discussions on this.

The normal way to write for tuba, is to write it in concert pitch (bass clef). This is true for bass tuba and for contrabass tuba as well. There are some traditions of transposing tuba parts, but these are the exceptions to the rule. Therefore, the way Dorico treats bass tuba and contrabass tuba by default are correct.
One day Dorico will get an instrument editor and we can create special transpositions for ourselves.

OK thanks, that’s good advice from both of you.

I found Clef and Transposition Overrides in Setup as a right-click option on the Layouts column. Seems to have worked for me, maybe answers to the ‘one day’ option you mean?

You can also change whether or not octave transposing clefs affect notes (like an octave line does).

Thanks Lillie. I was just thinking as I read up on that, it wouldn’t occur to me to use a treble+8 clef for a piccolo; I’m just not so familiar with writing for tubas. For a long time I hated the sound they made, preferred bass & contrabass trombones. But I’m a reformed character now :slight_smile:

No, I want to be able to create instruments I can use in every project without the need to change the transposition, clef and name again.

Your original question mentioned Bass Tuba and Contrabass Tuba, which are both non-transposing instruments, written in concert pitch, bass clef. If you used a Clef and Transposition Override, I’d check to make sure the part is written correctly. No override should be necessary.

Thanks. Currently there is no override on the part. If I chose to use one, I would certainly include a note at the top of the part specifying that I had done so.