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Handy Charts



Common Instrument Transpositions



The way that an instrument sounds in relation to concert pitch is shown in Table 1. To adjust for that, the way an instrument must be transposed is shown in Table 2.

Table 1 - Instrument Soundings



Instruments in C (Non-Transposing Instruments)
Instrument Transposition Interval Clef
Violin Concert Pitch
(Sounds as written)
Treble
Viola
(a perfect 5th below the violin)
Concert Pitch
(Sounds as written)
Alto/Treble
Cello
(1 octave below the viola)
Concert Pitch
(Sounds as written)
Bass
Harp Concert Pitch
(Sounds as written)
Grand Staff
Flute Concert Pitch
(Sounds as written)
Treble
Oboe Concert Pitch
(Sounds as written)
Treble
Bassoon Concert Pitch
(Sounds as written)
Bass
C Trumpet
(Orchestra Trumpet)
Concert Pitch
(Sounds as written)
Treble
Trombone Concert Pitch
(Sounds as written)
Bass
Bass Trombone Concert Pitch
(Sounds as written)
Bass/Tenor
Tuba Concert Pitch
(Sounds as written)
Bass
Marimba Concert Pitch
(Sounds as written)
Treble
Vibraphone Concert Pitch
(Sounds as written)
Treble
Timpani Concert Pitch
(Sounds as written)
Bass
Piano Concert Pitch
(Sounds as written)
Grand Staff
Organ Concert Pitch
(Sounds as written)
Grand Staff
Harpsichord Concert Pitch
(Sounds as written)
Grand Staff
Instruments in C (Transposing Instruments)
Instrument Transposition Interval Clef
Glockenspiel Sounds 2 octaves higher
than written
Treble
Piccolo
(1 octave above the flute)
Sounds 1 octave higher
than written
Treble
Hand bells Sounds 1 octave higher
than written
Grand Staff
Tin whistle
(Penny Whistle)
Sounds 1 octave higher
than written
Treble
Xylophone Sounds 1 octave higher
than written
Treble
Celesta Sounds 1 octave higher
than written
Grand Staff
Guitar Sounds 1 octave lower
than written
Bass
Bass Guitar Sounds 1 octave lower
than written
Bass
Double Bass Sounds 1 octave lower
than written
Bass
Bass flute
(1 octave below the flute)
Sounds 1 octave lower
than written
Bass
Contrabassoon
(1 octave below the bassoon)
Sounds 1 octave lower
than written
Bass
Instruments in B♭
Instrument Transposition Interval Clef
Piccolo trumpet
(1 octave above the B♭ Trumpet)
Sounds a minor 7th higher
than written
Treble
Soprillo saxophone
(1 octave above the soprano sax)
Sounds a minor 7th higher
than written
Treble
B♭ Clarinet Sounds a major 2nd lower
than written
Treble
Soprano saxophone
(1 octave above the tenor sax)
Sounds a major 2nd lower
than written
Treble
B♭ Cornet Sounds a major 2nd lower
than written
Treble
Flugelhorn Sounds a major 2nd lower
than written
Treble
Euphonium
(when written in bass clef)
Sounds a major 2nd lower
than written
Bass
Baritone horn
(when written in bass clef)
Sounds a major 2nd lower
than written
Bass
Bass clarinet
(1 octave below the B♭ clarinet)
Sounds 1 octave + a major 2nd
(major 9th) lower than written
Bass
Tenor saxophone Sounds 1 octave + a major 2nd
(major 9th) lower than written
Treble
Euphonium Sounds 1 octave + a major 2nd
(major 9th) lower than written
Treble
Baritone horn Sounds 1 octave + a major 2nd
(major 9th) lower than written
Treble
Tenor trombone Sounds 1 octave + a major 2nd
(major 9th) lower than written
Treble
Contrabass clarinet
(2 octaves below the B♭ clarinet)
Sounds 2 octaves + a major 2nd
lower than written
Basss
Bass saxophone
(1 octave below alto sax)
Sounds 2 octaves + a major 2nd
lower than written
Bass
Instruments in E♭
Instrument Transposition Interval Clef
E♭ Clarinet Sounds a minor 3rd higher
than written
Treble
E♭ Trumpet Sounds a minor 3rd higher
than written
Treble
Soprano cornet) Sounds a minor 3rd higher
than written
Treble
Sopranino saxophone
(1 octave above the tenor sax)
Sounds a minor 3rd higher
than written
Treble
Contra-alto clarinet Sounds a 1 octave + a major 6th
(major 13th) lower than written
Treble
Baritone saxophone Sounds a 1 octave + a major 6th
(major 13th) lower than written
Treble
Instruments in F
Instrument Transposition Interval Clef
French horn
(when written in bass clef)
Sounds a perfect 4th higher
than written
Bass
(old notation)
English horn Sounds a perfect 5th lower
than written
Treble
French horn Sounds a perfect 5th lower
than written
Treble
Instruments in G
Instrument Transposition Interval Clef
Alto flute Sounds a perfect 4th lower
than written
Treble


Table 2 - Instrument Transpositions



Concert Pitch C C♯
D♭
D D♯
E♭
E F F♯
G♭
G G♯
A♭
A A♯
B♭
B
Concert Pitch Instruments
No transposition
C C♯
D♭
D D♯
E♭
E F F♯
G♭
G G♯
A♭
A A♯
B♭
B
B♭ Instruments
Transposes up a major 2nd
D D♯
E♭
E F F♯
G♭
G G♯
A♭
A A♯
B♭
B C C♯
D♭
E♭ Instruments
Transposes down a minor 3rd
A A♯
B♭
B C C♯
D♭
D D♯
E♭
E F F♯
G♭
G G♯
A♭
F Instruments
Transposes up a perfect 5th
G G♯
A♭
A A♯
B♭
B C C♯
D♭
D D♯
E♭
E F F♯
G♭
G Instruments
Transposes up a perfect 4th
F F♯
G♭
G G♯
A♭
A A♯
B♭
B C C♯
D♭
D D♯
E♭
E



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