Tenors & transposition (real life and VST)

Just reading an old post about tenors reading a treble clef as being transposed an octave. Two things: presumably, from a tenor’s point of view, it makes no difference whether you use a simple treble clef, or one with the 8va hook?

Secondly, how would a real-life (solo) tenor respond to a tenor clef?

As for the VST, what is the best/most efficient way of dealing with the issue of getting the MIDI output to hit the correct register? I can set a clef override to displace by an octave; I can set up the expression map to transpose, or I can set up the VST to do the transposition. Are there other, better ways?

This has been covered ‘a lot’.

There are two Tenor ‘instruments’ you can choose in Setup: one transposes at the octave; the other is ‘at pitch’. Use the second if you want to use clefs that affect the octave pitch, or if you want to use other clefs for that voice.

See my post here for details about using the ‘at pitch’ Tenor.

Using this will also work well for XML export. MIDI export should work out correctly either way.

If you’re asking how do ‘real’ tenors cope wit a C4 clef, then it depends on the tenor.

Thanks Benwiggy, that’s useful. For real tenors, I think it was mentioned back in old posts: they assume transposition to begin with, so it’s effectively cosmetic. I’m just wondering whether they’ll be sniggering behind their vocal scores at the faux pas, if it is one, of using the 8va.

I think “real tenors” would look at the music and then interpret it according to what a tenor range is until told be a conductor they were misinterpreting the apparently bizarre notation in front of them.

as a “real tenor” that’s exactly what I would do. On the other hand, I expect to see the 8va and the vast majority of “proper editions” of “real music” will do that.

I’m not sure I understand the ‘faux pas’. On a printed score from Dorico, Tenors will by default show a G ottava clef. That’s the expected symbol, and that’s what Sibelius and Finale use. But tenors won’t freak out if the 8 is missing.

It’s more useful to display the 8 if the Staff Label is something like “Quintus”, or “Don Ottavio”, though there are likely to be other indicators.

By default, the music will also play at the expected pitch.

Dorico’s behaviour concerns how the symbols are represented within the app itself, not how they are displayed. Tenors reading a Dorico will not be able to distinguish it from a Sibelius or Finale score, except by the fonts and better engraving. :wink:

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