Enharmonic Protocols

This is more of a composition question than a software question, so I will delete it if asked. Someone gave me a hard time about the following horn part because I followed a G# with a G natural:


This was a quick sketch of a horn part shown in concert pitch Am. If it were piano or strings, I would probably write the Db as C# and otherwise keep it like this (right or wrong). Advice would be welcome.

Symphony players can be understandably emotional about note spellings because they are trying to read music and determine fingering or positions at the same time.

(Transposed for Horns in F has the same problem.)

To my mind, that ‘someone’ is an idiot. More problematic for me are bars 3-4. I’d probably follow the previous pattern and have F# E# C# E ! (or Gb F Db Fb) depending on prevailing tonal centre.

7 Likes

@Janus
Agreed. Thanks for the suggestion.

The only note that looks wrong in A minor is the D♭. C♯ is much more likely to make sense with whatever harmony. Nice melody – the C♯ implying major but I can imagine going back to minor on that last note. The enharmonic notation should not affect the fingering for Horn much; it’s more a matter of understanding the harmonic context.

BTW, there is a notation option for the dotted half, so you don’t have to force it every time.

1 Like

@Mark_Johnson

Thank you, sir! I’ll share the piece when finished.

I like to write tone poems with visuals (like “Danse Macabre,” “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” etc.). This one, “The Silos,” was inspired by a large group of creepy abandoned grain silos in Fort Worth and has photos to go with it. For my last piece, “The Troublesome Elf,” I commissioned art work in the style of old German fairy tale woodcuttings.

Way too much information. Sorry. :slight_smile: