Music Transposition

Kerry has agreed to be the saxophone player for the Fridley High School production of “Footloose.”  He will be playing both the tenor and baritone saxophone parts.  The problem?  We have no baritone saxophone.  We don’t have a tenor, either, but the local Schmitt Music store is loaning us one.

I agreed to transpose the baritone sax music into the tenor sax key.

When I was in high school, I took a music theory class from the great Ken Sherwood. The kids who are currently in choir at Red River High School refer to him as “Grandpa Sherwood” as the current director is his son, Brad, whom they call “Mr. Sherwood.”

Anyway – twenty years ago, I would have easily transposed music.  It’s not hard to raise notes a perfect fifth…at least it wasn’t twenty years ago. Tonight as I sat down to my task, I realized how easily we forget skills that we do not use.  I have not written music or really used much of my music knowledge for about … well … twenty years.

Thank goodness for the internet and its ability to share information with me.  Thank goodness as well for free programs that will actually do the transposition for me.  I highly recommend MuseScore, available as a free download, to anyone who needs to write music or transpose music.  It was not hard to figure out thanks to some youtube videos, and I have already completed the task at hand.

The pastor will be playing his heart out at all Friday and Saturday performances of the musical.  Woot!

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