Tenor Saxophone Part Not Appearing Properly Transposed

Tenor saxophones sound a major 9th lower than written. To my knowledge, tenor saxophonists expect to read treble clefs in their parts.

When setting Tenor Saxophone as an instrument, Dorico offers:

  • Default (?)
  • Bass clef full score
  • Sounds 8va bassa

All of the above transpose the Tenor Saxophone’s part correctly, but the clef always appears in the part as bass clef. :thinking:

How can I correct this? Is there a way of making the tenor saxophone part always appear in treble clef, while the conductor’s score remains untransposed with bass clef?

Thank you.

For me in a new project, these show a treble clef in the part layout automatically. If you can select the bass clef in the part in Write mode, it’s a clef override – delete it to revert to the clef Dorico would show by default.

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YES! :smiley: That works. Thanks Saviour Lillie.

…was having the same problem with baritone saxophone (sounds an octave & a major 6th lower than written).

Anyone with the same issue, ensure to select ‘Bass clef full score’ when selecting/changing instrument.

This can happen in projects that originated as imported XML, so it’s worth being aware of: if initial clefs aren’t behaving as you’d expect, try selecting and deleting them.

There is so much potential residue that can come in via XML that I always import the XML to a scratch file, then select all and filter out everything except notes (and maybe dynamics if they look clean). Then copy and paste them into my real Dorico score. I realize this somewhat defeats the original intent behind XML, but as a standard, MusicXML is pretty much a failure, IMHO. I wonder if it would be wise for Dorico to allow the user to select which musical elements will be included in the XML import.

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There are options for how to treat imported MusicXML files in Preferences > MusicXML Import.

Because notation programmes work in different ways, it’s inevitable that an interchange format treats too many things as just ‘text’.

From my PoV it’s a balance. If you’re importing XML to save note etc. entry time, then inevitably each different kind of musical layer can’t be converted into Dorico’s way of ‘understanding’ musical layers. Thus some stuff can be left, but other layers need to be made to be re-interpreted by Dorico. There would seem to be priorities:

  1. Re-name players in Setup
  2. Re-instantiate instruments in Setup (so you can hear playback correctly)
  3. Go through each part and delete clefs where needed, so tenor and baritone saxophones for example, show the correct clef for the player. If you can select and delete the part clef in ‘Write’ mode, then it’s an added XML clef that may not be correct for you.
  4. Optional: re-make harp pedal diagrams as applicable (XML does not link them to played notes in the way Dorico does).
  5. Delete and re-insert any rehearsal letters [select barline then Shift-A on Mac] (otherwise they may not appear in all parts as they should)
  6. Check everywhere for collisions.

The above is not an exhaustive list.

I would suggest looking at 1 and 2 the other way around, as unless the player name has been overridden, it uses the names of instruments held by the player. Once those are correct, you can customize the player name if you want, of course.

Good point. :slightly_smiling_face:

Let me know if you’d like me to edit my original post.

However you please, it’s your opinion and experience that you’re sharing :slight_smile:

Thank you. Maybe I am daft, but I can’t find anything in the help file on this. The closest I came was

We don’t tend to document every option in every dialog, but you should find a nudge in that direction on the page about importing MusicXML, as that’s the situation where the options are most relevant.