Guitar concert/transposed pitch


I am using Dorico Element and I would like the concert pitch of my guitar to be the “real one”, therefore one octave lower than the transposed pitch.

I haven’t found any way to do this and it is pretty important for that I want to do.


Have you tried Notation Options > Clefs and then Ignore Octave Indicator?
If this fails, you could try your luck in the Instrument Editor, I can’t check now though.

Ignore/Respect Octave Indicator does not seem to have any impact on my guitar score.

Here is the file I created to test it:
test_guitar.dorico (2.3 MB)

Regarding the Instrument Editor, I am using Dorico Element so I don’t have access to this feature.

This can’t be done in Elements. Attached is an edited file with the needed transposition.

test_guitar (edit).dorico (2.8 MB)

This is exactly what I want to do.

Is there no solution or workaround to do this in Element?

It is a basic requirement for the scores I need to write for school so I would be surprised if it would not be possible to do it without the “pro” version.

Could you share what your chosen solution path was?

That is very surprising because that is non-standard. Some instruments have an octave displacement due to limitations of the notation system. They are always there regardless of the concert/transposing setting. Guitar and String Bass always sound an octave lower. Piccolo always sounds an octave higher, etc.

I edited the Instrument Definition. Another path would be to use the Clef and Transposition override feature.

I guess it allows for better visualization of created chords when arranging?
I am studying jazz not classical music so it might be a bit different?

I will defer that to any Jazz folks. But, I have never heard of any exceptions due to genre. It would just create confusion.


I may have misunderstood but are you wanting the guitar to transpose down and up when you toggle between the Concert Pitch and Transpose pitch in the way that trumpet will change as it’s a Bb instrument? If so I assume Dorico doesn’t do that as as has been mentioned it’s accepted that the guitar sounds an octave lower. It would be really confusing for the guitar player if given the octave lower version.

I don’t want to give the lower version to the guitar player (indeed, it would be confusing) but I want to be able to see the lower version in my full score (so that I am seeing the real octave of the instrument like I do for the trumpet or the tenor saxophone).

This is the requirements for the course I am taking: transposed pitch for each instrument scores and concert pitch for the full score (including the guitar at the real octave, not one octave higher like in the instrument score).

Maybe Octave Shift would work? I’ve only just looked it up in the manual. :slightly_smiling_face: Go to Dorico Help and open the manual. Look up “Octave Shift” for more info.
You can only highlight and change a clef that you have put in yourself so change it via the popover or clefs panel. Change it to any other clef and then change it back to treble clef. Then you can highlight the clef and you can see Octave shift in the properties panel at the bottom of the window and experiment with that.

I just tested and that does work in Elements.
First add an Explicit Clef.
Then, in the Properties Panel set Show for Transposition to Concert Pitch
Set Octave Shift to 1.

It is a bit hacky but it does the job, thanks :slight_smile:

If you don’t mind me asking, which course? I’ve been playing guitar for over 45 years, solo, and chamber works, and I have never seen a guitar notated “at pitch” (same with contrabass, contrabasson etc.)

For a jazz arrangement/composition course.

My guess is that this is for educational purposes only. :slight_smile:

This is a quite useful feature for score reductions. For example, seeing a bass part in the proper octave below a brass reduction like below:

I’m actually tempted to switch all my octave transposing instruments to work this way. I find it very annoying that I can input any transposing instrument at written pitch except octave transposing instruments which can only be input at concert pitch. I never use concert scores, so changing this transposition will allow me to input at written or concert pitch, whichever I want, instead of only concert.

@Doomro When I read the “Compare Dorico Editions” I see that Elements also has expresion maps. In the expresion map you can change the octave transpose.

Open the exprssion map, Select the Base Natural and you see right the transpose option.

More easy is to give the guitar the Transpose up 1 octave expression map. It is standard available. (I hope also in Elements).

I suppose you can do that in Elements.

If that does not work you can also edit up 1 octave in the Halion Sonic instance. The edit tab. I assume you use halion sonic sound.

All other VSTs also give possibility to change octave.