French Horn Transposition Chart
A complete reference.
- Transposition Chart (PDF) (updated 2012)
Over the past few months, I have been posting various transposition tricks, including how to transpose:
There are still a few more tricks to go, but this particular post is dedicated to a complete transposition chart.
The interval method
Transpositions may be done by interval or by using clef substitutions, or by a combination. I do not implement or teach the “clef method” as Farkas describes in The Art of French Horn Playing, and this post will not cover that method.
At first the interval method seems like a very tedious process, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes second-nature. It is a necessary skill – a requirement for any hornist looking to be a professional.
It is also a requirement for any hornist aiming to be a music educator. All music education majors need to read scores and transpose the various instruments. Learning that skill on the major instrument is a great place to start.
An easy trick
An easy way to remember the correct transposition interval is to relate the transposition to Horn in F and discern the interval relationship.
For example, if the transposition key is A-alto, imagine an “A” on the treble clef staff to represent that key.
To represent the standing pitch on the modern Horn in F, add an “F” to this imaginary staff.
The interval relationship from the “F” to the “A” is a major 3rd upwards – this also happens to be the correct transposition interval for Horn in A.
This shortcut method works for any transposition.
- See the 2012 version here of this article and a downloadable PDF chart.