In the last blog post, we covered how to move between the four main clefs (Treble, Bass, Alto and Tenor). We paid particular attention to keeping the notes the same pitch. In this post we will learn how to transpose up an octave This is a very common question in theory papers and an excellent skill to master.
Make sure you read the previous how do you transpose blog posts here!
So how do we transpose up an octave? Let’s first visit what an octave actually is.
What is an octave?
An octave simply means eight notes.
Just think to yourself… How many legs does an OCTopus have?! Eight!
Where should I start?
Before we look at moving between clefs it is important to practice how to transpose up an octave within the same clef.
Let’s first look at moving a middle C in the Treble Clef up an octave (eight notes).
This can now simply be done in our other three clefs…
I feel confident moving my notes up an octave within the same clef – now what?
Ensure that you can confidently move up an octave in the same clef. It is now time to see if you can take this knowledge and apply this to moving up an octave between the clefs.
Remind yourself how you took the same note/pitch into different clefs. Here is an example using middle C. Below is middle C in the treble clef.
Below we have middle C in the bass, alto and tenor clefs.
Here is another example. If we have the E above Middle C, it would look like this. As you can see all the notes below are an E above middle C.
how do you transpose up an octave in the different clefs?
Now, let’s apply this to moving UP an octave between treble and bass clef.
Which note do we have below in the treble clef?
That’s correct, we have an F below middle C.
Pay particular attention to the fact we say below middle C. Recognising that this note is below middle C, means you can confidently say that by taking it up an octave (eight notes) you will be writing the F above middle C
Take a look at what this F would look like in the Bass clef without transposing it.
Now let’s count up eight notes from here to find our F above middle C, an octave above the original note we were given in the treble clef!
Shall we have a go at this question the other way around?
Which note do we have below in the bass clef?
That’s correct, we have an A below Middle C.
Find this A in your Treble clef
Now bring this up eight notes (octave)
What is our final answer?
Easy as that!
How do i do This in the Alto and Tenor clefs?
Answering this question in our alternative clefs is now relatively simple, if you keep middle C in mind, this will be easy!
Which note do we have in treble clef?
That’s correct, we have a G below middle C. See if you can find the same note in the Alto clef…
Now simply count up your octave to the G above middle C!
We can also do the same question in Tenor clef, see below.
Which note do we have in the bass clef?
That’s correct, we have an E below middle C.
Find this note in the Tenor Clef…
Repeat the step you did before, count up an octave. By doing this, you have now transposed up an octave in the tenor clef.
How easy is that?! The more you practice doing this the faster you will get. Eventually, you will be able to miss out the middle step (where we find the same note in the new clef)!
Good luck! Let me know how you get on with this and as always, if you have any comments or suggestions let me know!