old topic: tenor g-clef to alto c-clef

an old question (and not solved yet…)
I have a choir setting.
I would like instruments to double the singers.
This is the beginning of the tenor voice (in tenor g-clef):

To make life easier for the viola player, I like to give her/him a standard alto c-clef…
Oops, if I change the clef, the music ends up in the wrong octave:

Of course the viola should play like this:

How can I change the octave in the viola part without effecting the main score?
Can I change the clef and pitch just for the part (layout?)
Thank you for help.

I must be missing something pretty obvious here, but are you actually making a viola part by changing the clef on the tenor voice part? If so, I would not recommend that. Creating a separate viola instrument and copying and pasting the music from the tenor voice to the viola would surely be the more straightforward way to achieve this.

This isn’t yet possible.

Yes Daniel, this is what I was trying to do.
As I have a nice score layout (which the singers will use) the idea was to use the layouts of Canto, Alto, Tenore and Basso for instruments to double the singers.
The Tenore part probably being doubled by viola or a bassoon.
If I add these instruments to the score, I would have to make a new score layout for the singers (omitting these instruments).
…the inherent problem is how the tenor g-clef8 is being implemented…
I think the tenor g-clef8 (with that little 8 at the bottom) should be exchangeable with any other key - without ending up in the wrong octave.
Quite often I transcribe a choir setting in original c-clefs, then change to modern clefs.
Canto and Alto are no problem
Tenore is always a problem, as I regularly end up in the wrong octave…
I have had this problem in Sibelius too…

This is exactly the same problem as I describe here:


I’m hopeful that Dorico’s “Concert Pitch clefs” and “Transposing Pitch clefs” can provide some way of dealing with this issue, but I don’t know how.

I might be wrong but what I noticed with the tenor singer instrument is that it does perform an octave down shift. which is ok when written in a g clef but problematic with any other clef. And that the 8down g clef has no specific behavior — I can change it with a normal clef and that would make no difference in Dorico, as far as playback is concerned.
Hope it helps.

Yes. See this handy chart.

Marc and Ben,
thank you for your replies!

It has to be agreed that, if the regular ‘violin’ g-clef is been used for a tenor part, an octave transposition is inherent. In other words, the little ‘8’ at the bottom of this g-clef is just hidden.

But if one uses the ‘correct’ g-clef with the 8va 8 at the bottom, no transposition should be involved.

And once this misinterpretation of the tenor g-clef8 is fixed, one could start using it interchangeably with all other clefs… my dream…

Dear k_b,
the mistake here is to think the key is the transposing “engine” in the tenor instrument matter. The transposition is inherent to the instrument in Dorico. It is a choice made by our beloved team that leads to some misunderstandings. It works properly when using g clef, but is wrong in any other clef. I also noticed that the 8va bassa g clef is only a graphic change (or cosmetic change) : it does not change anything in the transposition in the playback engine of Dorico. It might be different in other software, hence the problems reported in the forum since the first version. I am confident that, once we can have an instrument editor — with all those transposing options clearly editable — we will understand the logic behind all this and we will be able to tweak everything so that it fulfills our needs and tastes.

Actually, I recall Sibelius had the same behaviour (tenor transposition was a property of the instrument, not the clef). It caused similar confusion in the Sibelius support forum years ago, and I think the creators defended the decision in a similar way there too…

One thing that may work for you: type in the music from Tenor C clefs onto an Alto staff. Then copy and paste it to the Tenor staff with the G8 clef. That seems to work at the right octaves for all. The you can delete the ‘temporary’ Alto line.

Ben, yes this works.
I change the key of the ALTO Singer to tenor c-clef.
I type in the music there.
I paste to a tenor line with tenor g-clef.

Still I do not understand the logic behind it.
Why can I not change the clef for a tenor line as with any other singer?
If you think of an instrument doubling or mimicking a singer, one should be able to use a key, which the player can read easily.
The TENORE part can be played by a cello or bassoon, best in c2-clef (tenor c-clef).
Or it can be played by an (alto) viola, using the c3-clef (alto c-clef).
Or it can be played by an octave violin (=tenor violin), using a g8-clef (the same as a „modern“ choir tenor singer would read)
So why does one of these keys does an octave transposition?
I do not understand.
I myself can read and sing or play without problems these different clefs:

and only in the third (middle) line I have to manipulate the software to display it in the right octave (that’s the line with the tenor g-clef). I have to move it up an octave (and as a result the playback is off an octave).
Weird, weird…

I understand why they do it, but there needs to be transposing options. Maybe add a Transposing Clefs tab in the Clefs Panel?