Can I transpose my entire piece by one semitone?

Hello, is it possible to transpose a selection that features several keys? I can transpose a section in one key area just fine, but many of the options in the Transpose dialogue become greyed-out when I have my whole piece selected. I am trying to move everything up by one semitone, which would be an augmented unison or minor second, but those options aren’t available for some reason. When putting these intervals into the calculator on the right, the “apply” option becomes unavailable.
I get the impression that, to move my entire piece one semitone, I’ll have to transpose each key area separately. This is something that even Musescore handled better: is there really no way to transpose my entire piece at once? Thank you!

Could you post your project here, so we can see what the issue is? The “Transpose” dialog does some preparatory work to calculate what transpositions are possible based on what is selected, so it is possible that the exact content of your project will make a difference.

Yes, as Richard says, Dorico will disallow transposition by a particular interval if it will produce impossible note spellings. Certain combinations of accidentals in certain keys can’t be transposed by a specific interval, and of course there are different ways of spelling the interval of “one semitone”: you could be trying to go, say, from G to G#, or G to Ab, or even G to Bbbb, or even G to Fx! All of those require different intervals.

Note that you can achieve your goal easily using the system track to select the portions that will need an augmented unison interval, those that require a minor second… Fairly easy

Thanks for the quick replies, everyone! Would I need to select one key section at a time and transpose it by an interval that would produce correct note spellings? Here is my project file:
ende v2.dorico (1.1 MB)

It looks to me like the problem here is the key signatures. There are limits to how many accidentals Dorico will allow in a standard “common-practice” key signature - you can’t have a key signature like Cx major. The attached piece starts in Gb major and then the next signature is B major. Transposing a Gb major key signature by a minor second isn’t allowed, because that would give you a key signature of Abb major, and transposing B major by an augmented unison isn’t allowed as that would give you a key signature of B# major. Thus there isn’t an interval that will work for both. However, transposing the notes is fine.

I suspect the best option here is just to transpose the notes, and fix up the key signatures separately, e.g. you could do Select All, then invoke Transpose, then untick the “Transpose key signatures” button. Or you could delete the key signatures first, then transpose everything, then put them back in. You may possibly want to respell the notes after you have done this with Respell Notes Automatically.

Hi. I’d like to respectfully report that there’s a (big) problem in the way the Transpose tool has been reworked. In this piece, the section in B can no longer be transposed in B flat. I would need to select Unison, Down, Augmented (damn, I don’t like the order of things in that window…) and this is not possible. So I tried using the right hand tool. And if I put from B to B flat… nothing happens, because Dorico 4.0 cannot do it. Please fix it :wink:
Joseph, my advice is the good one here but cannot be applied because of that nasty bug.
[Edit] Worse : if I uncheck Transpose key signatures, the right hand tool sets the transposition to +1/12 semitones Augmented Unison. The problem is you’ve removed (rightly) Diminished Unison, but we need to have the Down direction for Augmented Unison. Funny though, if I apply it, it really transposes -1/12 as wished. Ok, some work is needed. Sorry to bring those bad news :exploding_head:
[Re-Edit] : WORKAROUND. To transpose an augmented unison down, uncheck the Transpose Key signatures option, use the right hand tool (G to G flat, for instance, and apply) then CHECK the Transpose button again, and don’t worry about what’s showing in that Transpose window. Apply and it’s done.
Here’s your Dorico file transposed (three different sections, augmented unison, minor second, augmented unison) :
ende v2.dorico (1.1 MB)
Usually, it’s really fast (because the Transpose tool worked well, although with that strange diminished unison). I’m really confident it will work perfectly when the team corrects the glitches.
[Edit 3] I am sorry: I misread your first post and thought you wanted to transpose a semi-tone down. This is fortunate, since I would not have discovered the transposing problem by a (former) diminished unison. But the file I sent is useless, since it’s all transposed down!


Thanks, I’ll log this for us to look at.

1 Like

Thank you everyone, and thank you Marc for transposing my piece! It makes sense what Richard was saying about key signatures, though I imagined Dorico would have replaced Abb with G and B# with C, etc. Hopefully the fix is relatively easy to find! Thanks again, everyone :blush:

1 Like

I agree it would be really cool not to have to do that kind of transposing work in sequence, but… how would Dorico know you want Gb and not F#? Maybe a prompting window that asks the chosen key could help, when the problem arises… In the meantime, this does really work and it’s reliable.

Another option would be not to do it as a transpose at all, but just to chromatically repitch all the notes (with alt-shift-up), then fix up the key signatures, then do Respell Notes Automatically.


Marc, thank you for the workaround above. It would seem the result of that horrible academic “diminished unison” debate was that a needed functionality was inadvertently removed. (That should teach us a lesson.)

I tried transposing this score myself, and it is a rather complex challenge (a worthy test case). Even beyond choosing key sigs for the sections, several of the original enharmonic choices have to be re-edited to make sense tonally. Doing it in sections by key sig was the clearest method, to me. (This would be true with any notation software.)

1 Like