[Feature request] Trombones in C tenor clef

Tenor trombone parts in classical music are often written in tenor clef. It would be nice to have this as option in the instrument selection dialog. Currently, if you select “Trombone” or “Tenor Trombone” there is only the option of C bass clef and Bb treble clef.

You can change the clef anywhere, even at the start, by using the clef panel on the right. (( One problem when using transposed parts (“g”-clef) is that they retain the clef changes in the score, and using a tenor clef in a tranposed trombone part is probably highly counterproductive :slight_smile: ))

AKAIK the only use (but an important one!) for the “trombone in Bb treble clef” instrument is in UK-style brass band scores, where all instruments are notated in the treble clef and in Bb or Eb (even the “basses” or tubas) - except for the bass trombone which uses the bass clef and is non-transposing!

A non-transposing brass band score would be an anachronistic novelty, at least to any “serious” band!

They often use tenor clef, but are there entire parts written in it? I don’t really see that as a different instrument that would require its own entry in the instrument selection dialog — rather, it just seems like another clef often used by the same instrument, which is easily done by just changing the clef in write mode.

Sure. An early one is Beethoven Symphony 5. The last movement has three trombones, alto, tenor, and bass, each written with the corresponding clef. Of course the alto trombone part is now often played on a tenor instrument.

See https://imslp.org/wiki/Special:ImagefromIndex/52624/torat page 52.

“Church music” of the period (e.g. mass settings) often used the same arrangement of trombone parts - fully chromatic brass instruments (originally sackbuts and cornetts, and later trombones) were used to support voices in religious music from a very early date.

But they’re all trombones in C, i.e. non-transposing, right? And you can write in any clef you want, as Dorico supports C-clef on all five lines and allows you to begin the score with any of them, as fratveno points out. So what’s the problem? Is there a confusion between chefs and transpositions?

I’m not trying to be officious here - I just don’t understand what you’re talking about. Am I missing something?

I don’t think you are missing anything, except for “why make the user create an instrument in two steps when you could do it in one”? If there are already several commonly used clef options for an instrument but one is missing in Dorico, it’s worth pointing that out IMO.

Taking that to the (not very sensible) extreme, none of the instruments in Dorico needs to have a default clef at all - every user could just add whatever they want to the score. (FWIW my “favorite” notation program apart from Dorico does work that way.)

Except for the “UK Brass Band Trombone treble clef in both score and parts” which is written as a Bb transposing instrument.

I think it would be true to say that some (not all) British composers and arrangers write Trombones 1 and 2 (the tenor trombones) in tenor clef consistently, as the default. For them, I suppose it would be convenient to have this option as a preset, though of course a clef change is not hard to make.

I had an interesting, quite civilized, conversation about this with my faculty colleague, a Scottish composer, when I took over the teaching of Orchestration from her. She was intent that, despite American concert-band usage, we were cheating our students of essential information if we didn’t make them write Trombones 1-2 solely in tenor clef, as she’d been taught; while I maintained that bass clef is the more widely standard default (with a change to tenor clef as an option when convenient). In the end, I’ve been able to teach it my way, but with a mention (as I would always do anyway) that other standards exist.