Concert / Transposing Clefs

It’s only “crucial” if you don’t look at the written range of all the parts, and draw the conclusion that the tessitura of the Altus is lower than the Sextus, otherwise the staff order would be different.

Monteverdi (and his first publisher) didn’t use any octave clefs. Maybe the ambitus should have been marked in the original clefs, to avoid any confusion. (The original was published as separate parts, not in score format)

It’s one example where having the clef makes it immediately obvious, and provides easy, useful information without discussion and time in rehearsals. Here’s another: what about a modern edition of an 18th-century opera aria? It is for a Tenor, or a male castrato? Without the ottava clef, you can’t tell, unless there’s some text somewhere that makes it explicit.

Having sung as both a countertenor and tenor, I regularly come across loads of instances where the ottava mark is useful. Yes, there may well be other ways of gleaning the same information, and let’s hope the conductor has some idea. But it’s still an important distinction, without which terrible mistakes could be made. As a Tenor, I have a lovely Top A. As a falsettist, I have a filthy Top A!

Hopefully these examples are sufficient to scotch the notion that the information is unnecessary and that no one pays attention to the clef and carries on regardless in their own ‘transposition’.

I’m not saying it’s not useful. Only that common sense as to range is what’s really needed. There are probably more examples where there is no 8.
The trouble with claiming that the 8 is meaningful is that then the lack of an 8 should also be meaningful. And the lack of an 8 is either meaningful or not depending on the weather.

But if you are doing historically informed performance of 18th century opera and your star tenor (or countertenor) rocks up and wants to sing a completely different aria from the one in the score, you just do it. Handel was a prolific music recycler! :slight_smile:

My earlier post about C clefs was a bit tongue in cheek, but the fact remains that for vocal music, there was no ambiguity until the “dumbing down” of notation to replace them with G and F clefs everywhere. Bach used to teach absolute beginner keyboard students to read C clefs - it’s not hard!

Early publications of guitar music don’t have octave clefs either.

That’s not right. There are choral scores in which the key makes it clear whether the alto or tenor has to sing.

Hier habe ich eine Chorpartitur in “Alten” Schlüsseln. Die sollte doch richtig dargestellt werden und dann auch klanglich richtig behandelt werden. Zumindest erwarte ich das von einem Programm wie Dorico. Hier taucht aber die gleiche unlogische Behandlung auf wie bei dem Problem mit den oktavierenden Schlüsseln. Die Tenor-Gesangstimme wird bei richtiger Tonlage um eine Oktave zu hoch dargestellt (1). Bei richtiger optischer Lage klingt sie um eine Oktave zu tief (2). Und das ist m. E. ein Fehler. Der Vokal-Tenor darf nicht als transponierendes Instrument behandelt werden. Mein Wunsch wäre es, das wie bei den Instrumenten richtig zu programmieren und den nach unten oktavierten Violinschlüssel wie den normalen Tenorschlüssel zu behandeln. So wie jetzt ist das definitiv falsch, jedenfalls im vokalen Bereich.

Christian50, es sind zwei unterschiedliche Dinge, die man hier unterscheiden muss:

  1. Die 8va-Angaben an den Schlüsseln haben keine Auswirkung auf die Wiedergabe. Das wurde in diesem Forum schon oft diskutiert und das Team hat seine Gründe dafür.
  2. Das “Instrument” Tenor ist so eingestellt, dass es eine Oktave tiefer klingt. Passt also aktuell also nur zum oktavierten Violinschlüssel.

Bis es einen Instrumenten-Editor gibt (wurde schon angekündigt, aber es gibt noch keine Aussage wann), bei dem man alles individuell einstellen kann, ist es am besten, du nimmst für den Tenor ein “Bass-Instrument” und bearbeitest den Namen. Dann klingen die Noten in den C-Schlüsseln und im Bassschlüssel richtig. Ich hoffe sehr auf Dorico 4!

Sorry for answering in German, but there is no new content here.

I think we’re saying the same, except that it’s probably out of the scope of Dorico at the moment to detect whether a vocal party without an ‘8’ clef is at pitch or octave shifted. Usually octave shifted, in which case Dorico should treat an ‘8’ clef and a non ‘8’ clef the same. Which is what it does at the moment.

Eh??? Surely a G clef without an 8 is usually considered NOT shifted, unless there’s some other information on the page that reliably informs you that it’s supposed to be a tenor part and therefore shifted. I agree that such discernment may be out of Dorico’s scope… if only there were some kind of notation for explicitly stating that shift… :confused:

Anyway, I suspect I’m unable to convince you of the merits of having working ottava clefs: all I know is that having the XML .doricolib that provides one saves me immeasurable time on a daily basis.

Ben, I’m again not arguing that the ‘8’ is not a good thing. I always use them in my own writing. But I object to the idea that not using one on a tenor part or a double bass part is a ‘mistake’. It seems arrogant to impose that on musical history. Tenor parts are not any rarer than Soprano parts in vocal music, but I agree that the word ‘tenor’ is a clue as to the shift. But then ‘tenor’ does the trick on both 8 clef and non 8 clef, making the 8 redundant.

And that’s where you are wrong.

Many subscribe to the notion that the ACDA standards rule in the area of choral music engraving — including the ACDA.

Dorico does not support this standard while everyone else does—and it is a standard whether you agree or not. Even oldie mouldy apps like Encore as well as MuseScore and Overture get it right.

Despite all the fanboys who like to scream that Dorico is ready for Prime Time, for some of us, it ain’t. My church gig requires a lot of hours arranging for choirs and other ensembles so I am in the trenches. Not only must they get the choral tenor clef right but MusicXML into it must also work.

This is important!

Every other major and nearly all minor notation apps get this right. Don’t worry, I use them and hope that Dorico will come through someday… In my productive lifetime would be nice.

As for the bass/doublebass issue: The standard is that they both share the same clef, as confusing as that is for notation apps (Finale fixed this when—2012 or 2014?). Players have never had a problem with this and as a cellist/bassist, I have firsthand experience.

Well, it would be pretty amazing if the ACDA didn’t subscribe to its own standards!

But do they even “represent” the whole of American choral music making, let alone the rest of the world? They claim to have a membership of about 22,000 choral directors, representing 1 million singers. On the other hand, Chorus America claims more than 42 million Americans sing regularly in choirs, under more than 270,000 choral directors.

But if you want to find a reason not to use Dorico, I suppose choosing octave-transposing clefs as your hill to die on is as good a hill as any other.

The problem I see with treating Tenor as a VST sound is that if it automatically transposes down an octave when using a G-clef (of either type), it sounds incorrect when reduced to share an F-clef with basses.

Using a G or octave-G clef interchangeably was easy when singers were live, but problems arose when these clefs needed to be used with VST sounds without the AI to sound in the appropriate octave.

This is a challenge, and one I hope Dorico will eventually be able to solve, perhaps with an “expression” option that changes transposition based on the G or F clef encountered. Whether this would be a programming challenge related to the ability to write a horn at pitch in a concert score and transposed with an altered clef in the part, I do not know. I am intrigued by the programming challenge this might present, but I don’t pretend to know how it would actually be implemented (if they decide to do so) by the Dorico Team (somewhere down the roadmap).

I wrote it in another thread recently but will write here too, as i don’t see too big of a problem:
Use the 8 clefs ins sounding scores, use the normal one in transposing scores.
If your tenor wants it with with an ottava clef - just make a sounding layout.
This, in my opinion, should be done for every instrument. But I see the difficulty here with established instruments such as piccolo and double bass, although some contemporary pieces already reflect these in sounding scores with octave keys.
But why not treat tenor and guitar for now as any other transposing instrument, and apply different keys to different layout-types?

I also work on new choral scores every week and I couldn’t care less about the ACDA. Transposing an entire tenor line an octave is the least of my problems with musicXML import. ‘Tenor’ does the trick in the sense that I’ve never had a tenor sing a non 8 clef at soprano pitch.
Again…I like 8 clefs, I always use them in my own choral writing. But 99% of the choral scores I conduct don’t use them.

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to block you from seeing my posts?

You have never made a constructive suggestion that I’ve read. Your sole purpose seems to be to make sure that I know you think my opinion isn’t important—you do it to others when you dismiss their issues without addressing them. Do you have any idea how ridiculous/stupid/silly that makes you look? It sure the hell is annoying.

I want to use Dorico in my work. It looks great and there are things I really like but isn’t “done” enough for my needs. Just to be clear, I’m not on the outside looking in: Having paid my money, I do get to comment about the things that aren’t finished. As far as I’m concerned, this the third round of paid beta. You do not get to have an opinion about whether it’s suitable for my needs. You ain’t me.

Since you have nothing to say, why do you do it? (That’s a rhetorical question. I am not certain that anyone is interested in your answer)

PF Slow, it seems to me that you are quite careful in the language you choose, being sure to include words like “fanboy” and “paid beta”; though I can only speculate on what your motivation for using those words might be, I imagine that there is at least a little bit of a desire to provoke a reaction, and to make sure that everybody understands your present dissatisfaction with the software. That’s fine, of course, but I don’t think you can then be surprised when your comments do provoke a reaction from people who don’t feel the same way as you.

Let’s try to remain civil if we possibly can. Everybody is entitled to their opinions and where possible we should try to share them as respectfully as possible. We listen to everybody’s feedback, and consider it carefully. In the end, that is hopefully more significant than whether one or other particular fellow users agrees or disagrees with you.

A few definitions seem to be in order.

Fanboy: Those on this forum who keep insisting that Dorico is perfect for everyone’s needs. The most obvious symptom is harping on other notation apps that can do what the poster wishes to see in Dorico and doing so in a negative fashion—as if we are somehow idiots for daring to own anything else. They need to put down the pom-poms and read those posts. If they have something constructive to say, we’re all ears. When they have nothing to say, silence is golden.

Paid beta: When other notation apps have essential features that Dorico lacks and the shoe fits…

The fact is that, for some of us, Dorico’s MusicXML handling plus its deficiency in the choral tenor clef means it is slower than, say, every other notation app for which I have a license. I can’t just do my choral and church music in another app and easily port it over to Dorico. Although I want it to look great, the fact is that I have deadlines.

You may think it’s frustrating to read posts like mine. I assure you: the frustration is mine.

I just ran into the problem and can’t quite understand why an 8va or 8vb clef doesn’t transpose the playback like it does in reality.
It is just a different clef lie the F and the G clef are and each clef should have a correct playback.
What is the easiest way to work around this problem. Which clefs are playback right and which one doesn’t? Is there a general rule or reason?

In most real life situations, the relevant instrument always sounds an octave higher or lower than the clef, whether or not there’s a little “8” next to the clef. It’s fairly common for piccolo, glockenspiel, guitar, double bass (etc.) staves to be labelled without an “8” or a “15”, but no piccolo (etc.) player would make a point of playing something down an octave if the “8” was missing. The

Dorico works in the same way: if you want an octave-transposing instrument to sound at a different octave to the expected norm, you have to tell the VST instrument to transpose, not the notation.

Dorico works in the same way: if you want an octave-transposing instrument to sound at a different octave to the expected norm, you have to tell the VST instrument to transpose, not the notation.

This whole discussion only came up because the Dorico team refuses to recognize an “8” as a real transposition. In a discussion with a tenor voice, this may give rise to different points of view. But with other instruments (guitar, recorder, etc.) this “8” always has a transposing function. Jazz guitarists in particular must learn to sightread a Jazz theme an octave higher, which can be quite demanding. This would not really matter here, but the problem arises between the two modes “concert pitch” and “transposing pitch”. Personally, I understand “concert pitch” as “sounding pitch”, which would allow me to copy from one voice to another without worrying about the correct octave position. But at the moment I have to be very careful when I copy a guitar voice or when I change a tenor voice into an alto voice. My wish would be that “concert pitch” would show the actual sounding pitches, as it is the case with all other transposing instruments, but for that the Dorico team would have to free themselves from their strange idea about octave transposition. In any case, I’m not giving up hope that Daniel will be able to free himself from the position of a choir director and provide us with the simplest solution that will free us from the constant transposing and fiddling around with the octave positions of the VST instruments. And above all, “concert pitch” should show the sounding notes in the right octave! Or a least give us users a third mode called “sounding pitch”! Because I would really like to have a mode, that offers a WYSIWYG because in XML import and export in copying situation in VST setup and in … (you name it); it’s really good to be sure what every player is really playing and I don’t have to be a expert in all those transposing situations because Dorico is my expert! So it’s not necessary to know all those

piccolo, glockenspiel, guitar, double bass, tenor; … transpositions

like pianoleo surely does …
I know that we have been discussing this topic for a long time, but constant dripping wears the stone … (German proverb)