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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 3:03 am 
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Peter Duggan wrote:
Actually, that's not going to work either unless you change the key signature (to the one a semitone higher) and any accidentals as well...

So a treble clef tune in D (two sharps) treated as alto clef (sounding in Eb) is going to need the new key signature or you're going to be transposing from D major to E Dorian instead! Likewise G major would come out as A Dorian, E Dorian as F# Phrygian and so on.


Even more complicated than I thought! That's why the viola teacher said it's best to play the treble clef on the viola and just play it an octave lower. But at the time I didn't know the impact that would have on bowing, phrasing, and "feel".

I do love the viola sound though.. a bit deeper and richer. but that'll be for later, as a second instrument. ;)


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:03 am 
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MTGuru wrote:
Alto clef puts middle C (C4) on the center line of the staff. In treble clef, that line is supposed to be B (B4) above middle C. If you play it as C4 instead, the difference from B4 to C4 is -M7 (major seventh), as Peter said, which would be the (weird) transposition.

Except that neither of us really stopped to think here with the real point being the sevenths and not the specific seventh from B to C...

Peter Duggan wrote:
So a treble clef tune in D (two sharps) treated as alto clef (sounding in Eb) is going to need the new key signature

Meaning you've then got a choice of two new key signatures (eg D might as well become Eb or E) to avoid a(n even weirder) transposition of mode as well as pitch! So there's a good reason why this isn't already common practice, although there are historical parallels such as treble clef baroque flute music read as French violin clef for alto recorder. But that works beautifully when the instruments are pitched a third apart (flute D becomes recorder F, key signature gets adjusted by a minor third and Bach's A minor flute partita becomes a great C minor recorder partita!), whereas it's nonsensical for violin and viola when they're not pitched a seventh apart.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2012 5:17 pm 
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cunparis wrote:
This makes sense to me if a violin player wants to play ITM on viola, they act like they have a violin and it comes out a 5th lower.


That's exactly what I was trying to say. :thumbsup:


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 1:17 pm 
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Just an update: My daughter started violin and has three lessons. Since she "forgot" the names of the strings over the summer break, she didn't even noticed that they changed. The violin teacher is nice and not very demanding which is a good match for us since my daughter has many other activities.

We bought a violin book that has a play-a-long CD. it's pretty good quality and the CD has a full band arrangement. She really loves playing along. So that got me to thinking: I could have my daughter drone on the D or G open strings while I play tunes on my whistle. So I'm going to see if I can introduce that and let her improvise a little. I think that'd be fun. If anyone has any suggestions there please let me know. She hasn't learned to fret the strings yet so she's limited to open chords. She knows the strings well so we're working on rhythm.


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