A Complete Reference for French Horn Transposition (2012)


In a few weeks John will be covering the topic of transposition in Week 12 of the University of Horn Matters pedagogy course.

In the meantime, I decided that the transposition chart created about 4-5 years ago needed some refreshing. Along with the Playing Tips page, this chart has been one of the most popular pages in the entire site and so it was worth it to go back and freshen it up.

This new version includes a fourth column, one that illustrates the interval differences from the fixed pitch of F. I hope that it may help students to more easily remember the intervals required for each key.



An easy way to remember the correct transposition interval is to relate Horn in F and the transposition key as a specific notes on the staff and discern interval relationships from there.

transposition reference

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.

The updated chart

Click for a larger view or see the PDF below.

French horn transposition chart

A quick note on the PDF version: while the lines in the tables may look invisible in random areas when viewing the PDF on a computer monitor, when printed out, everything looks as it should be.

Additional resources

Other Horn Matters resources on the topic of transposition worth looking at:


University of Horn Matters