Common Intervals

Intervals The relationship between two notes played together is an interval. From the diatonic scale of the root note We measure the interval from the diatonic scale of the lowest note. The lowest note is the root note. Say D is the root note. Write the diatonic scale of D. The interval from D to … Read more

The Best Accidental

Should I write F# or Gb? It depends on the context. Here are some guidelines. In a melody stick to the key signature where you can. Accidentals should deviate no more than a semitone from the key signature. If F# is in the key signature you can write Fx (double sharp) or F (natural) but … Read more

Key Colour and Orchestration

I asked a pianist to play C. I asked an alto saxophonist to play C. They played different notes. Why? The piano is pitched to C. The alto saxophone is pitched to Eb. Why? An orchestra with instruments pitched in different keys provides more opportunities for colour in the orchestration. So how do we define … Read more

The Score

The score is read by the conductor. All notes played by all instruments are in the score. Let’s illustrate with Joe Paparone’s arrangement of The Barber of Seville Overture. Time reads from left to right. Concert Score “The Barber of Seville Overture” by RossiniArranged by Joe Paparone 1998Concert Score excerpt This is a concert score. The … Read more

Transposition of Music

These instruments play in a different key to the piano. They are transposing instruments. Before you can write for a transposing instrument you need to know You can look this information up in the Musical Instruments Reference. You can read more about transposition underneath. Transposition, a simple example Bb Trumpet part Concert pitchExcerpt from Figlio Del … Read more