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transposing soprano to alto fingerings
http://forums.chiffandfipple.com/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=107908
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Author:  jeffrey armbruster [ Sat Jan 05, 2019 10:19 am ]
Post subject:  transposing soprano to alto fingerings

Hi chiff and fipplers: I acquired Ten Pieces from the Mulliner Book, which features a guitar part with soprano recorder accompaniment. Unfortunately I'm concentrating on my alto recorder. But I have a friend who can play the guitar parts (so could I but I want to play the recorder part!). So several questions:

--any leads on guitar and alto recorder duets?
--how do I go about transposing the soprano part to alto, bearing in mind that I'm nearly music theory illiterate, as the very question reveals
--how would it sound to play the soprano part on my alto using alto fingerings? I mean, would the harmonies still work?

Of course I could[i and likely one day will use this as an excuse to dig out my lovely soprano and relearn those fingerings but I'm time strapped and working with guitar primarily and afraid that I'll get confused with trying to master two fingerings for two recorders.

thanks in advance

--Jeff

Author:  Peter Duggan [ Sat Jan 05, 2019 10:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: transposing soprano to alto fingerings

jeffrey armbruster wrote:
how do I go about transposing the soprano part to alto

[Oops, see subsequent reply!]

Quote:
how would it sound to play the soprano part on my alto using alto fingerings? I mean, would the harmonies still work?

If you mean treating a soprano C as alto C and so on then, yes, they'll work with the alto sounding an octave lower than the intended soprano pitch, but you'll probably run out of notes at the lower end and have to start jumping octaves.

Author:  jeffrey armbruster [ Sat Jan 05, 2019 10:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: transposing soprano to alto fingerings

Thanks Peter! I haven't even tried playing the recorder lines yet--a bit too busy! I'll do that today. Otherwise,now I know how to proceed. Very helpful.

And again, if anyone knows of a compilation or online source for alto/guitar duets, feel free to point them out! Guitar/recorder has to be a fine combination of instruments.

Author:  Peter Duggan [ Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: transposing soprano to alto fingerings

I'm sorry, what I told you before was how to treat alto as soprano (with soprano fingerings) to get the same pitches, which is not what you want. So just ignore that!

Author:  jeffrey armbruster [ Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: transposing soprano to alto fingerings

I hereby rescind my thanks until further notice!...umm, except that what you said about just playing the soprano notation with my alto and using the octave jump work around may just work.

So..to get soprano to alto I'll just transpose the soprano notation down starting from low C to low F and then work up?

Author:  Peter Duggan [ Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: transposing soprano to alto fingerings

jeffrey armbruster wrote:
So..to get soprano to alto I'll just transpose the soprano notation down starting from low C to low F and then work up?

No. If you change Cs to Fs etc., you'll be playing in a different key to the guitar. Just treat Cs as Cs, but expect to run out of low notes.

What you're suggesting here would work fine for solo playing, but not with the accompaniment. Unless your guitarist capos to fifth fret, in which case you'll be back in the same key.

Author:  jeffrey armbruster [ Sat Jan 05, 2019 12:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: transposing soprano to alto fingerings

thanks again! Actually I just played through real quick some of the pieces in the book and they have a narrow range, so this may work with my alto/

Author:  AuLoS303 [ Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: transposing soprano to alto fingerings

You'll be playing in a different key, which might sound ok for some notes but others will clash.

Author:  Peter Duggan [ Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: transposing soprano to alto fingerings

jeffrey armbruster wrote:
thanks again! Actually I just played through real quick some of the pieces in the book and they have a narrow range, so this may work with my alto/

What's the top note, Jeffrey? If the range is narrow, transposing the written part up the octave to sound at soprano pitch might work.

AuLoS303 wrote:
You'll be playing in a different key, which might sound ok for some notes but others will clash.

No, it'll be the same key playing soprano part on alto using alto fingerings, but will sound an octave down unless transposed as I've just suggested above. It would be a different key playing soprano part on alto using soprano fingerings.

Author:  fatmac [ Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: transposing soprano to alto fingerings

Recorders have the same fingering patterns, the difference is the key that they play in, so if you play as if your alto(F) recorder is a soprano(C) you will actually be playing the tune in the key of F, not the key of C.

All you need to do is have the guitar play in the same key, in this case F, so that you will be playing the same notes.

(I play in the key of C mentally, but the tunes come out in the key of the instrument being played.)

Author:  Peter Duggan [ Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: transposing soprano to alto fingerings

fatmac wrote:
so if you play as if your alto(F) recorder is a soprano(C) you will actually be playing the tune in the key of F, not the key of C.

While this is true, it's not Jeffrey's question. See above, where, after telling him how to transpose to get the same pitches from alto using soprano fingerings then deleting that response because I'd misunderstood the question, I said:

Quote:
I'm sorry, what I told you before was how to treat alto as soprano (with soprano fingerings) to get the same pitches, which is not what you want.

This is not about the recorder sounding in a different key to the written one, so continued responses assuming it is are unfortunately not helping!

Author:  fatmac [ Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: transposing soprano to alto fingerings

Must be the way it is worded then. :wink:

If you want to transpose from C to F then get or make a transposition wheel, easy. :)
http://www.ianchadwick.com/essays/ukule ... _wheel.pdf

(I made mine out of a plastic saucer & a plastic tin lid.)

Author:  Peter Duggan [ Tue Jan 15, 2019 10:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: transposing soprano to alto fingerings

fatmac wrote:
Must be the way it is worded then. :wink:

Indeed. Despite using the word, the original question's not actually about transposing at all unless it's octave transposition.

But what would I know having studied recorder as first instrument as a music undergraduate and then post-grad abroad?

Author:  Kade1301 [ Tue Jan 15, 2019 11:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: transposing soprano to alto fingerings

I think the misunderstanding comes from the way the question was worded: "how do I go about transposing the soprano part to alto". The way I understand it there's no transposition involved. The music is supposed to sound more or less as written and Jeff is playing the alto as it's supposed to be played, i. e. alto fingering. Personally, I've stopped worrying about octaves a long time ago (soprano recorder and bass recorder are notated an octave lower than they sound, guitar on the other hand is written an octave higher than it sounds - who cares...)

For me, there is only a problem if the alto's range clashes with the notes required in the music (low c, d and e - and corresponding half tones). In which case you need to find a solution, such as:

- playing one note an octave higher
- playing a few notes or the whole phrase an octave higher, so the one unobtainable note doesn't "jump out" so far
- play another note than the one that's written (ideally one that the guitar is playing, that way you can be sure it fits into the harmony - or ask the guitar player for suggestions, if he knows more about harmonics than you do. Or experiment.)
- if the whole, or most of the piece is in the soprano's lower 1 1/2 octaves, you can play it as if it was written one octave higher - though that might lead to needing to play the highest notes lower than written

As for other sheet music for alto recorder and guitar, you could have a look at these: https://imslp.org/wiki/Category:For_recorder,_guitar - they can be downloaded for free (you'll just have to wait a bit if you are not a paying member. And of course the archive could do with your financial contribution...)

I have Dmitri Schostakowitsch (I know he's spelled differently in English but that's what's written on the sheet music) Walzer Nr. 2 aus Suite für Variété-Orchester, Universal Edition EE 37 146. ISBN 978-3-7024-7480-5. Universaledition claim to have a New York office, so you might find it. www.universaledition.com (That's the waltz that made André Rieu famous when he played it in Munich's football stadium during half-time break. I still haven't played it, but it looks easy enough - maybe too easy, i. e. boring, for guitar).

I also have a book of easy Christmas songs for guitar, and whereas I still can't play them on guitar, I've found that it's actually easy enough to find the melody line and play that on the recorder. Of course, with Christmas songs that's especially easy since we often know them, but you might ask your friend whether he has some nice easy pieces with an easy to find melody and just try them.

Last but not least, if your friend can play from chord symbols (i. e. the letters over the notes - so far I've assumed he is a classically trained guitar player) the whole world of song books, fake books etc. is open to you. The only problem is that you'll never know which ones are easily playable for alto recorder without looking at them (I'm a big fan of the Edward Jones Huws "Fiddler's" books published by Boosey & Hawkes, but I play them on tenor recorder - and some collections are more suitable than others). Do you have any music shops within reach?

Author:  jeffrey armbruster [ Mon Jan 21, 2019 11:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: transposing soprano to alto fingerings

Thanks again for all of your replies. sorry about the wording of my question. Just to be clear: I bought a book of Baroque pieces with written guitar part and a soprano recorder part. Since I play alto, I was wondering what would happen if I played the soprano part as written on my alto recorder. (primarily,would it clash with the guitar and would I run out of range...). As you see my music theory is essentially non existent. My thought was that I would need to 'transpose' notes played on an F alto to match what would be played on a C recorder.

In any case I'm going to copy one small piece for my guitar teacher to learn. The recorder part is in a narrow range that my alto can easily play. I'll re read this thread to grok if playing the notes as written for a soprano on my alto will work with a guitar part written to accompany a soprano recorder. (and now that I think about it my guitar teacher will know this.)

thanks all!

--Jeff

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