2017 was our 20th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
Who's Online Now
44 members (accordeur, David B, 1957, Bruce In Philly, 36251, computron, anotherscott, 11 invisible), 426 guests, and 376 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 1 of 2 1 2
changing a songs key???
#355613 04/15/08 04:40 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 13
B
bighago Offline OP
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
B
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 13
i have the sheet music for a michael buble song that i plan to use for my nephews christening.
however im having a few problems at certain points in the song vocally and would like to change the chords/music to a lower 'key'.
i can read music to get by but im in no position to work out how to change a songs 'key'.
is there anyway i can do this simply or anyone help in anyway???
the song is 'LOST'

Thanks

Re: changing a songs key???
#355614 04/15/08 06:35 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 18,111
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 18,111
If you don't have any theory and haven't learned to transpose by ear or writing, some of the programs such as Finale will do it for you. You copy the music and select a button asking it to change it into another key, and it does. That's all I know about it.

Re: changing a songs key???
#355615 04/15/08 07:57 AM
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 754
J
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
J
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 754
You need some basic knowledge of theory here. let's say you can't hit the highest notes, and would need to bring them down by 2 tones to make it singable for you.

You need to work out what key the song is in - do you know how to do that? If not then I think keystring's suggestion of getting someone else to help is the best idea.

Anyway if you can work out the current key, then you need to work out what's 2 tones down from that key. So if it's now in F, 2 tones down is D flat. So the key signature should change to the key signature for D flat. Now you need to change every note down 2 tones, so A becomes F, B becomes G, C becomes A flat, etc. Because you've changed the key signature the accidentals should work out ok.

I'm afraid there's no other simple way of doing it (unless you know chords really well, in which case you can work something out more simply).

Hope that helps. Good luck.


John
Re: changing a songs key???
#355616 04/15/08 08:02 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 18,111
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 18,111
Actually, my suggestion was not to have someone else to help, but to use a program that does it for you. If you don't have theory, and don't know how to transpose by ear, what other choice is there? I know that there are free versions of the program, and expensive versions. Maybe the free versions have enough to them to allow for this kind of transposition. The first step is to click in the notes, copying them from the music you already have. That's all I know about them. I don't use them but Finale was installed on the computer that had the hard drive failure, because my son used it. I'm very vaguely familiar with it.

Re: changing a songs key???
#355617 04/15/08 08:05 AM
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 3,605
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 3,605
bighago - if you don't have a computerized music notation program to make an automatic key change, then you will have to do it manually.

There are at least 3 ways to do this manually. The easiest way to do it is with what's called "step-wise transposition" (transposition is the technical name for changing keys).

To do this you simply move each note of the melody down (in your case) an equal number of half-steps.

What's a half-step? It's simply the distance (interval) on the staff from one note to the next note (think of the keys on the piano, both black & white - from one key to the next is a half-step).

It's also helpful in this regard to know the chromatic scale(s). What's that? The chromatic scale consists of all notes in an octave. These are: C-C#-D-D#-E-F-F#-G-G#-A-A#-B-C. The distance between each of these notes is a half-step. (The chromatic scale can also be shown in terms of flats: C-Db-D-Eb-E-F-Gb-G-Ab-A-Bb-B-C. This is the same as the "sharped" scale above only notated a different way). Notice that between B & C and between E & F there are no sharps or flats.

Now, lets say the song is in the key of F (Bb in the key signature) and you want to try it in a lower key, say D (F# & C# in the key signature)

Take a look at the 1st chromatic scale above (the one with all the sharps). Find F. Then find D. Then count the half-steps down from F to D (F-E is 1, E-D# is 2 and D3-D is 3). So, to transpose from the key of F down to the key of D you will need to lower every note in the melody down 3 half-steps

For example, if the notes of the melody in the key of F in a given measure are: Bb-A-G-F, then lowering each of these notes 3 half-steps gives you the notes of the melody as G-F#-E-D in the key D (Bb changes to G because: Bb-A-Ab-G).

The chords of the song change by the same number of half-steps: F major becomes D major, C major becomes A major, etc.

Hope this "primer" is more helpful than confusing & good luck.

regards, JF


Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

Current favorite bumper sticker: Wag more, bark less.
Re: changing a songs key???
#355618 04/15/08 08:59 AM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 3
L
Junior Member
Offline
Junior Member
L
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 3
If you want to change it to a different key then you should move you're hands to a lower octave on the piano.


Olivia
Re: changing a songs key???
#355619 04/15/08 09:24 AM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 379
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 379
Quote
Originally posted by Livie:
If you want to change it to a different key then you should move you're hands to a lower octave on the piano.
Playing in a different octave will not change the key that you are playing in. It would also not help the singer, since he could have simply sung an octave lower along with the same music anyway.

One way, though it is a little time-consuming, would be to copy the song to a blank sheet music page. Lower the position of each note by the same amount (say one line) and change the key signature to that of the new key. To do that, look up your current key on a chart like this

http://www.freeguitarschool.com/images/Circle_Of_Fifths.gif

Then pick the key that is one line (two letter names) lower.

Copy all the accidentals in the music too. Then, when you're done, go back and check them all to make sure that they make sense. For example, if a sharp is shown on a note that is flat in the key signature, it should be changed to a natural. If a note has a flat and is already flatted in the key signature, it should be changed to a double-flat, etc.

Don
Kansas City

Re: changing a songs key???
#355620 04/15/08 09:31 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 18,111
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 18,111
I was trying to avoid on-line instructions. Here's another choice:

Supposing that you want to raise your music by four notes, because it is too low. Then you want to raise the key signature up by four notes, and the music follows it. If you work with key signature itself, you don't have to worry about half steps and whole steps. The key signature preserves your interval.

So: step 1:

Decide how far you want to move the music up or down. Let's say down three notes. Look at your key signature.

Supposing that your piece is in the key of G major. There is one sharp in the key signature presently. You want to move it down three notes. What are three notes down from G? Answer: E. So your new key signature is E major.

When you write your transposed music you want to put in the key signature of E major. So you put in four sharps, which is the correct key signature. Those four sharps mean that when you move your notes down three places, all the intervals will still line up the same way.

Step 2:

Now that you have changed your key signature from G major to E major, lowering the key signature by three notes, you want to lower the music by three notes.

Take every note, and lower it three. so if you have C, it becomes A (ABC). If you have a note on the F line, it goes on the D line. Originally the F was sharped by the key signature. Your new D will be a D sharp because there is a D# in the key signature. You don't have to worry about that part. Just count down three for every note. You can slide it down visually, even.

Step 3

Check for accidentals in the original. Do not copy the accidental: copy its function. A sharp raises the note by a semitone, so you want to raise your new note. Supposing that your original note was F raised by a sharp. Supposing that your new note is B in the key of F major. That key has a flat. So to raise it from Bb you would use a natural sign to raise it. Supposing your new note already has a sharp. Then you raise it another semitone by using a double sharp.

Your original note might have a flat as an accidental. That means it has been lowered by a semitone. If with the new key signature your new note starts out as being sharped, such as F# in G major, then you lower it a semitone by putting in a natural sign cancelling the sharp.

That's what I mean by copying the function rather than the sign: Is it raising or lowering by a semitone, and how do I do the same thing with that particular note in that new key signature?

Re: changing a songs key???
#355621 04/15/08 09:32 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 18,111
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 18,111
Don, you and I were writing at the same time.

Re: changing a songs key???
#355622 04/15/08 09:33 AM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,645
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,645
There are some instances where a digital piano's transpose functionality comes in handy. smile

Re: changing a songs key???
#355623 04/15/08 09:39 AM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,555
B
1000 Post Club Member
Offline
1000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,555
its both easy..and hard..If your going a full step
its easy..if half step difficult...if its in C..on the sheet and you drop to Bb then its screws everything up..but if you drop from C down to A it won't because all the weird chords say Em7-5..would just change to Cm7-5..but on a half step drop it really screws things up..I don't even know what that would be changed to..best bet is a full step drop..just my 2 cents laugh

Re: changing a songs key???
#355624 04/15/08 09:47 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 18,111
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 18,111
Quote
Originally posted by Bob Newbie:
its both easy..and hard..If your going a full step
its easy..if half step difficult...if its in C..on the sheet and you drop to Bb then its screws everything up..but if you drop from C down to A it won't because all the weird chords say Em7-5..would just change to Cm7-5..but on a half step drop it really screws things up..I don't even know what that would be changed to..best bet is a full step drop..just my 2 cents laugh
Not if you do the method two of us have just outlined. You also don't have to know a thing about chords.

If you drop from C+ to Bb+, you are changing from the key of C major to the key of Bb major. You look up the key signature if you don't know it: Two flats. So you put in Bb Eb.

Next, examine "C" and "Bb". Just count note names. C goes backward in the alphabet to B, you are going down one note name, so when you transcribe you drop all your note names by one note name.

It should be noted, however, that C to Bb is a drop of a tone and not a semitone. If you want to go down a semitone, you go from C to B. Your key signature would go from C major to B major, and use 5 sharps. The two white notes that are a semitone apart are EF and BC. It's a tricky thing to remember.

Re: changing a songs key???
#355625 04/15/08 09:57 AM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,047
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,047
Bighago,

Sometimes singers default to a change of key too quickly. They may be giving up something in the middle or lower range by doing so.

What's the vocal problem--a closed vowel, lack of suppot? Maybe it's a musical problem--are you attempting a particular vocal effect that you can do without, or that is in imitation of another singer? Or maybe it's just a lack of confidence, and all you have to do is go for it with a little more dare.

Experiment with your voice. No harm. You're all alone in your practice room. Just a few flies on the wall.

Tomasino


"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do so with all thy might." Ecclesiastes 9:10

Re: changing a songs key???
#355626 04/15/08 10:08 AM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 379
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 379
Quote
Originally posted by Bob Newbie:
its both easy..and hard..If your going a full step
its easy..if half step difficult...if its in C..on the sheet and you drop to Bb then its screws everything up..but if you drop from C down to A it won't because all the weird chords say Em7-5..would just change to Cm7-5..but on a half step drop it really screws things up..I don't even know what that would be changed to..best bet is a full step drop..just my 2 cents laugh
If you think in Roman numeral notation instead of the actual letter names, it helps. A chord's function is then universal, regardless of key.

Don
Kansas City

Re: changing a songs key???
#355627 04/15/08 10:14 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 18,111
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 18,111
Quote
If you think in Roman numeral notation instead of the actual letter names, it helps. A chord's function is then universal, regardless of key.
Don, I'm still weak in that part and barely have a handle on the idea of chords. Ok, so I've memorized, for example, that the chords of a major scale go I ii iii IV V vi dim.vii.

So if I were transposing while considering chords, does that mean that if I see the original is in B major and it has an inverted iii chord (third degree, minor) I would look for the iii chord of G major, if that is my new key? Is this something that you use more when transposing aurally and/or working with music that consists of a melody and chord accompaniment?

Re: changing a songs key???
#355628 04/15/08 10:28 AM
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 3,605
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 3,605
Keystring - while your knowledge of music theory is, as usual, very impressive, and while your method of manual key change as you outline in detail above will certainly work, it may be far too complicated for the OP (who seemed to imply not having much expertise in theory).

I think that laying out a simple chromatic scale and manually converting notes by counting up or down an equal number of the half-steps (semitones) displayed on such as scale for each note in the melody, while consisting of somewhat tedious "grunt" work, will be easier for a novice to use for a quick key change (without even having to know anything about keys and how many sharps/flats are in each).

Regards,

JF


Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

Current favorite bumper sticker: Wag more, bark less.
Re: changing a songs key???
#355629 04/15/08 10:48 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 18,111
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 18,111
John, I did not suggest that either method is superior and I stepped carefully away from such a thing. My "impressive" knowledge is the culmination of six months of study and rests on some simple, basic principles.

I read your description and it seemed difficult and easily prone to error. We found one such potential in a poster who forgot for a moment that there is a semitone between B and C, and that simple error would cause error all around.

In the method that I set out, you don't need to know how wide an interval is. It's brainless counting of ABCDEFG of the alphabet. Two steps.

In the first you want to know how far you want to go up and down and then name a different key. Up four and you're in C+ CDEF. Four letters. There you have it. F. Look up the key signature: one flat. Bingo. Stick in a flat.

Then you take each note and slide it up four. You don't even have to know the note names. Take a sharp pencil, bounce it up four spaces and lines, and voila, you know where to stick that note.

You are counting four things, like a little kid counting his building blocks, and slide things up and down. It is brainlessly simplistic and that is why I offered it as suggestion.

The only thing that's a little bit harder is if you have accidentals. But honestly, if the OP can get a hold of simple software then under these circumstances that's probably the best way to go. ... Or learn to sing in the existing key, as has been suggested.

Regards

KS

Re: changing a songs key???
#355630 04/15/08 11:02 AM
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 45
D
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
D
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 45
As mentioned, typesetting is a possibility provided transposition commands are available within the software. If the song gives you the harmony, you could move the letters of the harmony down, provided you do this uniformly throughout the piece.

As a composer, this seems easy to me, but the task might be tough if your theory skills are elementary. Also, transposition of the harmony means that you'll have to improvise the song.

Good luck.


Daniel E. Friedman, co-owner of www.pianolessons101.com
You CAN learn to play the piano in a fun and positive way.
Re: changing a songs key???
#355631 04/15/08 11:16 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 18,111
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 18,111
Can someone give bighago the name of the software that will do this? I'm sure that it exists, and that at the click of a button it will change the key and transpose all the notes correctly. I also think that it is free and is sufficient for simple music.

Re: changing a songs key???
#355632 04/15/08 11:16 AM
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 3,605
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 3,605
KS - I wasn't implying that my method is superior - only a little easier for someone who knows their basic notes (most people attempting this do).

And your knowledge IS impressive - I've seen it on display in any number of other posts.

I understand perfectly what you're saying but I'm not sure a novice could. And, what could be simpler than looking at a note on the sheet music, then finding it on the chromatic scale, then counting down (or up) the necessay steps to find it's replacement?

As far as software goes it's pretty expensive (I know - I have Sibelius 5.0) unless you can find a "light" version for free somewhere.

Anyway, as Akira said above, my digital piano does transpositins with the touch of a buttom - no thinking required!

Regards,

JF


Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

Current favorite bumper sticker: Wag more, bark less.
Page 1 of 2 1 2

Moderated by  Brendan, Kreisler 

Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq Karsten Collection
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
What's Hot!!
News from the Piano World
Our October 2020 Free Piano Newsletter is Here!
---------------------
3,000,000+!
------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Save my sanity: CLP-785 vs CA-99 vs N1X vs ...
by tofupiano - 10/31/20 06:01 PM
Late '90s Yamaha U1 MSRP/SMP?
by re22 - 10/31/20 06:01 PM
Piano tariffs in the US?
by Sweelinck - 10/31/20 05:11 PM
Kawai Novus NV5 'loud note' problem
by John Dean - 10/31/20 03:54 PM
Beethoven and Bechstein
by OE1FEU - 10/31/20 03:37 PM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Forum Statistics
Forums41
Topics202,515
Posts3,019,259
Members99,090
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers


Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2020 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.4