Issue with transposing instrument


I have a problem I’m not able to solve with a part which won’t show in the correct pitch. Maybe I just approached the thing in a wrong way, but there’s no going back now :smiley:

So I have an Alto Sax in my ensemble. Because it wasn’t automatically transposing (maybe I did something wrong, also that was back in 1.0), I decided to notate everything a major sixth higher, and then transpose the MIDI down again in HALion so that playback works fine. In the score, this works perfect: For the other insturments, i chose the right key via popover, then selected a no-accidental key in the menu on the right and alt-clicked it onto the Sax systems, which works fine.

The problem is, in the part view of the Sax, the wrong notes are written, they are 3 semitones above where they should be, and there are 3 sharps at the beginning. And I can neither transpose them correctly nor change the key via any method.

I hope to release the notes to the musicians today. Thanks in advance for any help, and sorry if this is a stupid question :slight_smile:

I would suggest you try changing the instrument in Setup mode for a real alto saxophone, and then check in both concert and transposed pitch that you’ve got everything set up as you intended it.

I changed the instrument to a clarinet and then back to an Alto Saxophone, result being the written notes haven’t changed at all, but in playback one can hear the written notes of the score without being transposed, therefore wrong.
In the score, the Sax shows no key signature, in the part however there is a key signature with 3 sharps, as before, and I am not able to change it.

Perhaps you should attach your project here (please zip it up first) so we can take a look and see if we can figure out what’s going wrong.


Just downloaded a trial version (coming over from Sibelius after a decade). Did a little big band arrangement, the Tenor Sax and Trumpet transposed just as they were supposed to. The alto sax was transposed in the “full score” version, but in the breakout parts it refuses to transpose and appears in concert key. I was able to work around by printing the “full score” version, but something is clearly amiss with your transposition. Your software is functioning quite well otherwise, and I particularly like how intuitive it is. Thoughts? Oh, unrelated to keystrokes, but having a “Q” quick key combi for chords is a poor choice, as on Macs, “command-Q” quits the program, so you shouldn’t use “<blank - Q>” anything, ever. Also, is there a way of copying chord symbols to the various systems that transpose without re-entering all of them for every instrument?


When you’re looking at the alto or tenor sax part, make sure that Edit > Transposed Score is chosen, and then you should see the saxes written with the appropriate transposition.

Chord symbols are system-attached and can easily be shown in all parts. Go to Setup mode, right-click the player on whose parts you want chord symbols to appear, and choose the appropriate options from the context menu, e.g. Chord Symbols > Show in Parts Only.

Dear Kikkosound,

I am working with Dorico for over a year now, and I can tell you that any q keystroke (q or shift-q) is not causing any problem to me… I find you really peremptory in that judgement, and I believe it’s the first time anyone mentions that on the forum :wink:
Now, to the transposition problem. In the full score, you can have the transposing instrument to show in real sounding pitch (concert pitch) or transposed pitch, according to the instruments. But the parts only show in transposed pitch. I have the feeling that you entered your alto sax with the wrong pitch, which shows in the parts… Just select that whole part, and in write mode, write menu, Transpose…
Well, now that I’ve looked up that alto sax, I do not find any transposition in the instrument menu, in Setup mode. It should be “in E flat”, right ? I guess that’s where the problem is coming from, sorry for having thought you made a mistake :wink:
There is a workaround though. Create a new alto sax player, copy the part you already wrote. Transpose it a third lower. Take this new player out of the full score, but make sure it is the one you will print as a part. Of course, do that only when the work is finished ! Hope it helps

[Edit] : sorry Daniel, I did not see you had already answered this. Nevertheless, I think there really is a problem with alto sax here !

I don’t think there’s any problem with the way the alto saxophone is set up in Dorico, Marc.

Sorry, Daniel, you are absolutely right ! Even if the player’s panel do not show it, the instruments transpositions are perfect ! My bad, I had not tried it. Dear Kikkosound, sorry for I mislead you.

Daniel, playing around with those saxes, I have found a peculiar behaviour that might be really confusing. Here’s the video and the file.
Transposition (257 KB)
Transpositions… (1.55 MB)

We’ll make sure that these commands in the Edit menu are disabled in Print mode in future. Everything is working fine, except that the print preview is not updated when you use that menu item while you’re in Print mode. Those sorts of edits are really designed to be made in Write mode.

Got it, thanks Daniel!

Love the way to chords work, too. Thanks. I’ll be switching over to Dorico now.