Singing in a transposed score

I have a wind band score that is transposed, but I want singing in sections that aren’t playing in concert pitch. How do I accomplish this? Also, is there a way to have the singing playback with vocal sounds rather than the instrument it’s written in? The singing is only on an “AH” syllable.

Hi. I might be wrong, but apart from tenors (who are used to reading g clef an octave higher than the real sound, which is taking care of at the instrument level), all singers do sing in concert pitch… What kind of transposition do you expect?
[Edit] I think I just understood your case: your transposing instrument players do sing. I’ve had this case once and I admit it’s not an easy task. You could add players (one for each instrument) that are assigned to singers, and use condensing (with custom condensing groups). Not quite straightforward, but at least it will really do what you want…

Add a Singer “Instrument” to your Wind Instrument and use the Instrument switching feature.
Wind-Singer.dorico (468.9 KB)

That works of course. Because wind players cannot sing and play at the same time. I n my case, there were percussion players and string players… But yes, your solution should work and be lighter.

1 Like

Maybe I wasn’t clear. The instruments are written as transposed, and of course the singers are in sounding pitch. I want to know how to make the parts reflect that. I don’t want instrumentalists having to transpose a written part to sing in sounding pitch.

That’s the ticket! Thanks, Craig!

1 Like

Sort of a rare case, but whenever there’s a “band vocal” in a jazz ensemble arrangement, the vocals are often written in the transposed key. I guess the logic here is that the performers are not trained singers, they can easily play the notes on their instruments to learn the pitches, and all the pitch relationships remain the same as what they had been reading. Again, not super common, but I have encountered it dozens of times, especially in older “stock charts.”


Agree. The director will be aware of the transpositions, but each player of a transposing instrument would have to “switch key” unnecessarily in order to read concert pitch.

I would just write the notes on the instrument staff and make the sound changes with playing techniques.


Same holds true for educational concert band, orchestra and big band.

1 Like

Well, thanks for this information. I learn every day thanks to you. :pray:

1 Like