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in this video Ill be exploring the basics of transposition and this video is suitable for students who are studying transposition for the first time which is equivalent to grade 3 of The Associated Board music theory exams and anyone who wishes to recap on the basics of transposition essentially this video will concentrate on the grade 3 associated Boards syllabus whereby students are expected to transpose a simple melody either up or down an octave this sounds simple but because the example would specifies the melody to transpose from one clef to another it trips up a surprising number of students this video is designed to clarify the confusion so what is transposition well transposition is a name musicians use when describing the moving of notes up or down for example here is a melody and heres the note names to help us in this first transposition example heres the same melody again but see that Ive moved every note up one octave remember an octave means seven notes so the first note is still a C but just one octave higher all the following notes are also exactly one octave higher we can therefore say that this melody has been transposed up one octave just be aware that if I drew this melody instead all the pitch names remain the same but they have been moved up two octaves I would therefore say that it is being transposed up two octaves so when dealing with transposition there are two things to remember whether to move the notes up or down the direction and how far to move them the distance in a grade 3 associated board music theory exam the distance will always be an octave but it is important that you remember this rule particularly when we are ready to look at more complex transposition okay at grade 3 youll already be familiar with notes on the treble and bass clef through work at grades 1 & 2 the last example I
gave just transposed a simple melody up an octave using the same clef the TREB cleff however its a little more complicated than that in exam specifically the grade through transposition question will ask you to either transpose a given melody from the treble clef down an octave so that it is written in the bass clef or transpose a given melody from the bass clef up and octave so that it is written in the treble clef in order to be successful at the transposition question its absolutely essential that youre happy with the link between the treble and bass clef his middle C in the treble clef his middle C in the bass clef they look very different in the treble clef the note is below the stave and in the bass clef the notice above the stave however they are in fact the very same note I just rearranged these notes as they would appear in some piano music and if I asked a pianist to play it although that there are two notes because they are the same note the pianist would actually end up only playing one note middle C so why do we have two clefts to represent the same thing well Im just going to move both the bass and treble clefs rather close to each other so that the middle C on each clef overlaps both notes share the same ledger line which Ive highlighted red here from your work at grades one and two youll already be able to identify what middle C looks like on both graphs however it is now really important that you understand that they are the same note and be able to clearly recall this overlap of clefts as it is essential for your transposition work its not just middle C which is the same pitch on each clef heres the D on the treble clef heres the D next to the middle C in bass clef youll see that in
both clefts it is just one step up from middle C therefore the D in treble clef is the same pitch as this D in bass clef lets keep going heres an E and its same pitch in bass clef notice how the second ledger line highlighted red replaces the bottom line of the treble clef we can keep this pattern going hes an F and the F in bass clef and so on the higher we go the more ledger lines we have to add to the bass clef notes and I earlier asked why we have different clefts to represent the same notes well hes part the reason treble clef shows higher notes and bass clef so rather than writing a passage like this where all the ledger lines to me anyway make it rather confusing using the treble clef removes the clutter of those ledger lines okay so hopefully youre now feeling much more confident with the fact that even though notes are written on the different cliffs theyre actually the same notes just laid out differently lets try an example you might come across at grade 3 heres a very simple melody youll notice that it is in the treble clef so the question a grade 3 will be to transpose it down the direction by one octave the distance to the bass clef now heres the common mistake lets overlap our answer with the melody given in the question we can see that the middle C on beat four of BA one is the same as the middle C in the bass clef be careful always make sure that you remember that link to middle C this answer is incorrect because the notes have not been transposed they are the same pitches with this question the best way to tackle it is to one work out the equivalent but same pitched notes in the bass clef look for middle C or notes near to want to help you with this
remember although your notes are now in the bass clef they are not yet transposed they are still the same pitches as in the treble clef and two then transpose the equivalent notes down and octave its these two golden rules you need to remember when dealing with transposition if you remember them and also that link to middle C youll have transposition sorted in no time theres just one catch you dont always deal with them in the same order look at this potential grade 3 question if you try to work out the quillon notes first number one of our golden rules you would end up with lots of distracting ledger lines like this I always try to avoid ledge lines it makes life somewhat easier in such a case like this deal with the rule the other way around so transposition first and then find the equivalent notes in the bass clef so weve already decided that working out the equivalent notes is a bit silly given the ledger lines it produce so instead well do the transposition part of the rules first all we do is move down our notes by one octave now that weve tackled the transposition we can concentrate on working at the equivalent pitches in the bass clef our golden rule number two theres no middle C in this example but there is a c-sharp and well use that to work out the equivalent notes and by working through the notes one by one we have our answer just dont be tempted to move your bass clef notes down an octave remember youve already transposed it when it was in the treble clef lets remind ourselves of that original question well look at one final example this time a grade three question which requires us to transpose up the direction one octave the distance from the bass clef to the treble clef before we look at the melody lets just look at the golden rules as they
require just a slight tweak this time rather than transposing down an octave we need to transpose up an octave second rule remains we work out the equivalent pitches so heres our melody now remember we can use the two golden rules in any order however it wouldnt make sense to work out the equivalent notes first in this example as wed end up with those nasty ledger lines again it looked like this instead Ill deal with the transposition first saying in the bass clef so lets move all of our notes up one octave remember to take the accidental in the last bar as well rule one has been completed we can now concentrate on just finding the equivalent notes in the treble clef as per golden rule number two theres no middle C but by now hopefully you can spot that there are two notes either side of middle C theres the B below middle bar 1 lets use this as our starting point and we now just keep finding the equivalent notes in the treble clef rule 2 is now complete and we have our answer lets just remind ourselves of the original melody in the bass clef remember when dealing with transposition always make sure that you know the direction of the transposition and thatll either be up or down and the distance of the transposition if you dont follow these initial rules anything you do from this point on will be wrong once youre clear on the direction and distance follow these two rules one work out the equivalent pitches in the bass or treble cleff remedy use middle C as your guide and secondly transpose the notes up or down depending on the direction given in the question and octave but remember at grade three thats the only exam whereby it will just be an octave my next video will deal with more complex transpositional questions I do hope this video has been useful to you thanks for watching
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