Haute-contre: from Alto clef to modern Tenor clef

I am copying a Lully opera - and Dorico is helping me accomplishing this with excellency.
I would like to ask about the way, how one can input the music for the singers in original clefs and then change them to modern clefs (this is what the singers like to have available).
In special, how to treat the parts for the Haute-contre singers (very high tenor voice, found in a lot of french music).
In the original print the music is notated in Alto (C3) clef. I asked the soloist and he would like a modern Tenor clef (the violin G-clef with the little 8 underneath).
In Dorico I create a Tenor singer with G-clef “sounding an octave below” - because this is what I want finally.
For note input via Midi keyboard I add a C3-clef at the very beginning of the stave.
Then I start inputting the music, which is very easy, as I am totally familiar with the C3/Alto clef and know, how every note should sound.
If I now check / proofread my note input, it does show up an octave higher.
So I have to select the whole stave and shift the music down an octave. The purpose is to sight-check the music, make little corrections, add the ornaments etc.
After I have checked everything and added the necessary elements I have to put the system up an octave again, as my next step is the aural proofing, I listen to the whole score to spot mistakes or glitches, which sometimes occur, it might be a missing accidental or even a mistake in the source. If I hear a dirty sounding moment, I recheck with the score visually (if I suspect the Haute-contre part, I would have to temporarily shift the notes down an octave to compare with the source score).
My reward at the end of the process is to remove the original C-clefs and to enjoy the process of fine tuning the layout.
My question: how can I avoid the necessary octave shifting during this process.
Any hints or suggestions very welcome.

For note input, do NOT use the Tenor voice sounding an octave lower. Use the at pitch Tenor voice. Then change the Clef to Alto and input the music. Then when all done, do a Change Instrument to the Tenor sounding an octave lower.

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Thank you Craig, this makes sense and I will try your suggestion when I come to the next “Acte”.
After changing the instrument from (let’s say “ACHILLE” or “Haute-contre”) to Tenor I will have to rename them again, as that information gets lost in the process.

:thinking: As a suggestion for a future version: when changing instruments there could be an option in the dialogue to retain the naming.

[edit] just thinking: there might be an even easier solution: setup the staves as in the original score with C-clef - then, after having done all the proofreading and listening, at the very end just change the initial key to modern “Tenor G-clef with the little 8”. If Dorico had this clef available in two flavours, one could choose between transposing and non transposing version of it.

As of v3.5, you can have Dorico respect that, Notation Options > Clefs > Respect Octave Indicator.

Alternatively, if you put in an explicit Clef, you can set an octave shift via the Properties Panel.

Oh, fantastic, I will explore that area asap.
Thanks Craig.

One caveat about the octave-shifted clef: It needs to be added for each flow.

Yes Marc, of course. In proportion to the amounts if notes which have to be put in, this is quite a small burden :wink:

Not in the slightest way helpful, but speaking as a harpsichordist it’s one of my hobby horses that I think musicians should take the time to learn all the clefs for their area. If people could read seven clefs in the 18 c I don’t see why we shouldn’t.

I have long wanted to engrave an edition of the Well Tempered Clavier in original clefs - mostly the right hand is in the soprano clef as was standard practice. But I don’t think anybody would buy it, more’s the pity. :slight_smile:

Apologies! It’s one of the things I encourage everybody I know in the harpsichord world to learn. I guess I drive people batty.

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…and educated people were expected to sight read part books in Tudor times!

Sight-reading from a partbook is just sight-reading a single line of music; if you’re familiar with the notation.

The only problem is pitching notes after a long rest, while other people are putting you off!

I’m currently inputting music that alternates between C4 and C1 clefs; it’s really confusing because a given pitch-class on C1 is one step lower on C4. So I’m constantly thinking “Is it a C or a B?”

One has to realise that using C-clefs wasn’t invented to make peoples life difficult - rather the opposite: to simplify. They are perfect for the different types of voices, you hardly ever need ledger lines.
For keyboard it is better, as you don’t need to jump between clefs.
If you play the violin from Soprano C1 clef, you can just pick a viola and play from Alto C3 clef without thinking.
Tenor C4 clef on the cello is like the Bass F clef, just a fifth off (that’s how the instrument is tuned), so its easy, too.

@k_b Exactly!

I was thinking about “keep the tenor high”, so I guess the C clef helps that? (I read the C clef as if it were a treble clef, then just go a note higher, so the middle line is a B on the treble clef - one higher is C. Doesn’t take long to become quite fluent)