Transpose the audio output (not the written notes)

• Jan 8, 2022 - 00:32

I know we can transpose the notes on the score. However I want to keep the notes where they are, but transpose only the audio output. Is this possible in Musescore 3?


Or just do it in two steps: first using Tools / Transpose to transpose the sounding pitches to what you want, then use staff/part transposition to transpose the display back to where you wanted.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Sorry to dig up an old post, but I'd like to do the same thing (tranpose the audio output, but not the displayed notes), but with a TWIST.

I want the on-screen piano to show the DISPLAYED notes, not the audio output.

For example ,I want to hear the middle C. But I want the notes to display the C 2 octaves higher. I also want the piano to display the C 2 octaves higher during playback.

The 2-step method didn't achieve this.

Is there another way?

In reply to by bensmirhbs

I wouldn't use capo for anything but guitar; it doesn't make sense. The method I suggested works for all instruments. Select the music you want to transpose (Ctrl+A to transpose literally everything), Tools / Transpose to put it in the key you want to hear, then use the Staff/Part Properties to set the transposition you want to see.

In reply to by bensmirhbs

It's hard to say from just a picture - much better to attach your actual score. But my guess is when you transposed "everything", you didn't actually - you only changed the notes. You need to do a full transposition, to a new key, etc. Then when you do the reverse in Staff/Part Properties (no need to make a selection first, BTW - by definition Staff/Part Properties applies to a specific staff), it will restore the original key. None of this should affect the clef at all. So again, if you attach your actual score, we can understand and assist better.

EDIT: it's also worth taking a step back to understand why you are trying to do this at all. It's not something that would ordinarily make sense. Could be there is some more direct way to accomplish whatever bigger picture goal you are after here. Like, if it's to have MuseScore play along with an out-of-tune instrument, you can simply change the master tuning.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks again for taking the time to help me. Well why do I want to do that, it's a bit complicated, I have a twisted mind and I am sure no academic professor would approve any of this. I learn the DAW, the piano and music theory strictly to compose music not to become a player, and I do it by transposing everything to "dminor / Fmajor". I am learning modes mostly in D too. When I analyze a score in this scale, I instantly know all the scale degrees, all the chords, all the harmonic functions, the inversions etc. I always transpose my keyboard to hear a track in it's original key while still playing Dminor. And inside my DAW I can see the midi notes in my key, while still hearing a transposed audio output.
I recently decided it was time for me to learn everything about traditional music notations and staff etc. And sometimes I need musescore to be in Dm/F while the audio output is transposed, if for exemple I am doing a remake in my DAW while having musescore open

Here is the score, it's currently in Dm, I think the clef is correct as it have 1 flat. The original is in C#m, so I want to transpose down a semitone the audio. When I right click on a staff -> Staff/part properties -> transposition minor second + Down" it does not work

Attachment Size
World_of_Warcraft__Jaina_Homeland.mscz 31.84 KB

In reply to by bensmirhbs

As an "academic professor", I'll simply observe that what you're describing is indeed very unorthodox, and if the goal is truly to "learn everything about traditional music notations and staff etc.", what you're describing is definitely not going to get you there. But, it could be a useful first step along the way, so I won't try to talk you out of it for now :-)

Anyhow, as I said, the first thing to do is first actually transpose it to C# minor, using Tools / Transpose. That is, Ctrl+A, then select C# minor from the dropdown list. Then go to staff/part properties for the particular instrument you are interested in seeing displayed in D minor. If you want to see all instruments transposed in this way, hit the "Apply" button, then use the arrow keys to move to the next staff.

Actually, before (or after) doing that, you need to turn off the "concert pitch" button, otherwise you'll continue to see the display in C# minor regardless of how you set the transposition.

End result is the music will display in D minor, but play in C# minor.

Since you mention using DAW software, though, another possibly simpler solution is to leave it in D minor, but don't use MuseScore's playback at all - use the MIDI output or JACK to drive your DAW. And maybe your DAW has controls to transpose the incoming MIDI data.

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