Pitfalls of the Write -> Transpose function (solved)

Let’s say I have a full band arrangement finished and the singer says “Oh, that’s too high for me.” That comes up all the time. Yes, it is smarter to negotiate the key before scoring out the full arrangement, but sometimes that is just not possible. For example, maybe it was an arrangement done for a different singer, but it will work if only it could be lowered from Eb to C.

That is exactly what the Write Transpose dialog is for. And it works reliably, provided that you can select 100% of the music before running the dialog. And therein is the rub. There are common cases that make it very difficult to be sure you have selected everything.

Here are two cases that hit me today:

#1: I had used the staff management function to hide the left hand of the piano in some cases. That doesn’t get selected if you are in page mode. If you are in scroll mode, you can see the hidden staves, so that one is manageable.

#2 is more problematic. If you have applied slash notation over notes (I do that all the time so that I can hear the part, but want the player to see just chords and slashes.) I don’t know of any way to select those underlying notes without first deleting the slash regions, and that is a royal PITA.

It seems to me that transposition of the complete work is a very common requirement. There ought to be a way to tell the Transpose dialog to transpose everything in the entire Dorico file that is pitched.

I would really love some transparency options to be able to see what’s underneath slashes (or 1-bar repeats too) in situations like these. You can however transpose if you select via System Track. Select the region with the System Track, apply transposition, and the notes underneath will transpose too. You can delete the slashes to confirm, but it will work if you do it with the System Track instead of normal selection.

Thanks for that tip re: the System Track.

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You should also find that if you have nothing at all selected and you invoke Write > Transpose, Dorico will transpose everything in the current flow.

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I notice when one selects a measure in the System Track, the Select to End of Flow is disabled. I wish that were not the case.

I notice, too, that selecting a measure of the System Track and then using Select All does select everything in the score, but loses its highlight in the System Track. Does the System Track lose its highlight because Select All is the same as selecting all measures of the System Track, or is there a difference in what is selected by the two methods?

System track selection is not the same as selecting the music, so unfortunately it’s not easily possible to make Select to End of Flow work on the system track.

The highlighted range on the system track does not reflect the scope of a selection in the score itself, which is why when you click the select button at the end of the highlighted range to make a selection in the music itself, the range no longer appears. So there really is no connection between the system track selection and what is selected at the moment in the music. You can basically only have one or the other.

As a feature request, it would be great to be able to bypass the Transpose step altogether, by having the transposition handled in the key change popover too. For example, in Finale the user has the following key sig transposition options:

Since often users are going to want to do what the OP is suggesting, I’m not sure the modal option is really necessary, and Dorico already holds notes to original pitches. What if Dorico could handle the key change and the transposition at the same time, by typing “C down”, “Eb up”, etc., in the popover? Dorico could automatically transpose all notes in that region up or down as the user selects, up to the next key change, or the end of the piece if there aren’t any additional changes. That would definitely save the user the hassle of selecting the region and applying the correct transposition, when Dorico could already know what is desired. Just a suggestion that would be a bit of a time saver for situations like this.

Wouldn’t it be convenient to be able to transpose all flows in one step ? I’m just having this case, where everything is going to be played by instruments in A=392Hz, so my client needs me to transpose everything a major second up, so that it sounds in the written tonality. Four files, with a dozen of flows in each file. Ouch, that “simple” operation hurts.

Of course, the client is always right (right?), but I’m curious: if they don’t want the music to sound lower, why use instruments tuned in A=392 in the first place? I can understand the need to transpose certain parts if you mix high and low pitched instruments (Kammerton vs. Chorton), but you say everything needs to be transposed.

Dear @PjotrB,
As you said, the client is always right… They are very experienced musicians of that 17th century music, so they know better than I do. They want the music to be more legible (especially for singers) and transposed (I suppose it’s to better fit the singers’ voices). And here I am, doing just that :wink:

“I’m just having this case, where everything is going to be played by instruments in A=392Hz, so my client needs me to transpose everything a major second up”
Egads. That reminds me of the time when we had a quintet consisting of bagpipe and 4 trombones. The bagpipe is pitched about halfway between Bb and A That’s not a problem for trombones. We just play our positions longer than usual. It actually sounded surprisingly good.

A few years ago, I made transcriptions of the six Trio Sonatas for solo organ by Bach for a friend of mine, who is an excellent traverso player. Because the lowest note of the traverso is D, and keys with sharps fit the instrument slightly better than keys with flats, I decided to transpose some of the sonatas up a major second. I think Bach wouldn’t disagree, he did this all the time. And BTW, the traverso my friend uses for these pieces is tuned A=392. When we play together, I tune my cello to 392 as well (not that big a problem with gut strings), and it starts sounding really dark and sonorous. I love it.