Transposing layout also transposes chord symbols

I have “Show chord symbols above top staff of system” enabled. I have a Bb trumpet at the top of the system. When I enable “Transposing layout,” it correctly shows the transposed parts, but it also transposes the chord symbols. I don’t expect the chord symbols to transpose – the underlying chords haven’t changed.

Can I get a transposing layout without also transposing the chord symbols?

Yes you can.

The chords will always reflect the instrument so you could not have concert chords in a Trumpet part without adopting a different approach.

You will need to use a staff independant key signature (hold ALT when creating the key). Create (for example) a flute and then enter the ‘localised’ key sig (+ALT) and enter the notes a tone up from concert and that’ll do it.

Hey thanks for the reply. I’m not quite sure I understand though.

I added a chord symbol by using shift+q to get the chord symbol popover, then typed in “Ab”. I tried shift+opt+q (Mac equivalent I think?) but that doesn’t seem to do anything.

fwiw I didn’t add the chord symbols to the trumpet part – I added them to a piano part which is not in this layout. Dorico seems to be transposing the chord symbols because I happen to have a trumpet at the top of my score.

Hi pat no problem. I’ll try and be clearer.

When it comes to chords there is only one chord track which is used throughout the program. At the moment v2.2.20 there is no ability to have additional chord tracks but we live in hope! :blush:

Because there is only one chord track, we need to ‘fool’ Dorico in getting the right results. For the sake of argument, I will use a description in which we are in the concert key of F major and this is the first chord you’ve entered.
If you create a trumpet part, put in a single flat and place an F in the stave, when you view the part it will be in the key of G, the note is a G and the chord is also a G.

To get the results I think you need…

create a flute part.

Hold down the ALT key (sorry I don’t know what that is on Mac) and enter the key of G – only on the flute part. The rest of the score should be in F.

You will now need to enter notes a tone up from concert so you end up with a part that looks like a trumpet part. When you display the chords, you will see the first chord is an F. Ie, still in concert.

Does this help?

Not really, but I appreciate the effort. If I understand you correctly, you’re suggesting that I create a flute part that pretends to be a trumpet?

I suspect your suggestion is geared towards engraving, whereas I’m using Dorico to write and preview sound with NotePerformer. So a trick where I use an instrument that isn’t the one I want, and write notes that aren’t the ones I want, is probably going to cause me more grief than it solves. But, I could be misunderstanding.

One workaround is just to type chord symbols as system text instead. Also, I’m trying to see if I can add a concert key instrument as the first instrument in the score, but make it invisible or otherwise hide it from the page but still make it “count” as the first instrument so that Dorico doesn’t transpose the chord track.

I do find it extremely bizarre that I can have an entire score in a flow, and the chord track transposes based on what instrument happens to be at the top of the score at the moment.

If you don’t need the chords anywhere else (such as a separate piano part) you can enter the chords a tone lower. Obviously this knackers chord playback if you need that.

I try my best not to ask why people want to do things, and only answer the “how”. In this case, I don’t think I can restrain myself - sorry!

If you put a chart in front of me I expect the chord symbols to match the transposition of the closest stave (and when I say closest, I mean the one immediately underneath the chord symbols)
I also expect the chord symbols to appear somewhere on the chart in concert pitch.
I’m inclined to believe that the “chord symbols at the top of system” option was implemented without fully considering these sorts of implications, or that the developers decided that it’s mighty weird to show chord symbols in a different transposition to the closest stave.
Either way, rather than looking for a workaround I suggest either of the following two options:

  1. Have your score in concert pitch.
  2. Have a transposed score, but show chord symbols above the staves where they’re needed, not necessarily at the top of the system. Yes, it’s a pain to hide the ones you don’t need, but it’s pretty quick if you wait until the chart is otherwise finished and then do them all in one go.

Just my two shekels.

Thanks pianoleo. As a result of your comments, I learned that after inserting a clef, I can have it appear differently in transposing vs concert layout. So I can use a bass clef for bari sax in concert, but keep the treble clef for transposing. That’s really cool.

Dear pianoleo, just to answer yours: “I try my best not to ask why people want to do things”…I got a request from a client today to write down few songs for a Trumpet in B wich will play with a guitar. Try your best not to ask, if there are not better combination of instruments to play together, but a task is a task. They need a melody for Trumpet in B with chords for guitar (of course in C). Thas why I am here searching for a solution…

If it’s just for trumpet and guitar, write the chords to suit the trumpet, then marquee select (or system track select and then filter) chords only and run through the Write > Transpose dialog.

This isn’t super common, but there are musicians who only want to see concert chords even if reading a transposing part. Dizzy Gillespie and Joe Henderson are two pretty famous examples. Even if Dizzy was reading a Bb Trumpet part he wanted concert chord changes on the part and he did the transposition automatically in his head. I might get to that point eventually too as I’m so used to dealing with concert changes, that I’ve at times caught myself double transposing Eb changes if I have to read them on an alto sax part. In any case, this could be a nice feature request to have a mechanism to allow concert changes on a specific transposing layout.

Thank you for your help. This is a best solution. Native support (one day) would be welcome😊