Transpose down

If you want to transpose notes (e.g. a third), the upwards option appears first. However, the downwards option should appear first because this is more common. (see screenshot attached)

Rather than expecting a program to adapt to one’s own logic, sometimes it saves time (and a lot of grief) to adopt the “logic” of the program and get on with one’s work.

It’s just part of the absurdity of life, which tries to remind us not to take ourselves too seriously.

I’m curious about your assertion that downwards transposition is more common than upwards. I wonder if that’s really true?

I’ve certainly never transposed a song higher for a music theater singer. :smiling_face_with_tear:

I have, and a very gifted singer she was.

Here’s my explanation as to why I think downward is more common than upward: When I arrange (diatonic pop music in the broadest sense), I write the melody first. In the vast majority of cases, the second and third voices are then lower. So I copy parts of the melody into other voices, transpose them a third or sixth lower and then correct individual notes.

But don’t most people lower individual lines using Alt-Down, or dragging with the mouse, or the Intervals popover? The Transpose dialog seems (to me) like overkill for these sorts of more localised transpositions. I’ve always been under the impression that it’s more widely used in pop writing when the last chorus needs a “pump up” (which of course means transposing upwards by a semitone or more).


Well - pop songs where the last chorus is higher are rare (rather less than 5%).

I suppose if you’re using the same settings each time, and have a keyboard shortcut set to launch the Transpose dialog, it can be quickish to set it once and then reuse the dialog. Certainly in my own work, and when I’m teaching people to use Dorico, I’ll always use (and point others towards) the keyboard shortcuts for shunting notes up and down, and the Shift-I popover. Obviously the Transpose dialog is helpful for transposing larger sections of music that include multiple staves and chord symbols.

It may be that in your own work downward transposition from the Transpose dialog is more common than upward. I’m not convinced that your use of the Transpose dialog is typical, though.

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Pop music’s transpositions have no bearing on what a program’s default transposition. It’s almost as if pop music isn’t the only genre in the world.
Like pianoleo said, the popover is way faster for quick and simple transpositions, you should adapt to it.

I admit it’s my experience (and I use alt-arrow to perform diatonic moves…)
I’m often asked to produce 415Hz versions of arias, in order for the singers to bring a transposed vocal score for competitions or auditions. Or simply because the original key is too high. It’s probably 90% down, 10% up (the rare occasions where the source is a medium or bass version, and needing a high version). My 2c.