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Transcribing songs Answered

Can I enter something liketaking an existing song and transcribing it for another instrument (eg, piano)?


Yes, "transcribe" is the right term to use in this case. Since the orignal question was how to transcribe music, there is some software called Intelliscore that can help get the job done. You may still have to do some "arranging" to get the notes right, but Intelliscore can get you headed there.

Coolio has it right. I am a musician of 30+ years. Transcribe means to write down a song you heard onto sheet music. Transpose means to change the key of music (either aurally or on sheet music). So if the question was 'can I write down music I heard on one instrument to be played on another?' then the use of the word transcribe is correct. However, I think the idea of this contest is to create something new having to do with sound.

Transcribe (Musically) = to notate a piece that is presented aurally
Transpose = to change the position of a note or key center
Instrumentation = to adapt any notation to be played, realistically, on a certain instrument
Arranging (Musically) = to arrange or rearrange said sections of a song or instrument parts

You are referring to making a different arrangement as they call it ? I am not so sure (like Caitlinsdad mentions) that one could call that something made. But, if you made the instrument or device that plays the music, or records it, or whatever, that would work.

Ummmm.... No. Transcribing is the proper word...

Yes, I suppose it can be translated that way, i.e. transcribe = rewriting or arranging a piece of music. If you are merely copying it, then definitely no to your original question but if you are arranging it which I understand is also transcribing then that may be up to the powers that be :-)

Probably a matter of semantics to the musician and to the lay person (my understanding as a non-music student) but transcribing is translating what you hear into some form of musical notation to represent what was played. The term copying music is used in a different context. Arranging a musical composition is figuring out what plays what part of the music. Conducting and orchestrating are probably finer points of the arrangement.

So, according to paragraph 1, subsection C, clause 4, rule A, subparagraph...visual is subject to interpretation. You are making a written graphic /visual representation of the music specific for an instrument to be played. Transcribing from previously written sheet music for a different instrument is not creating a new visual form but copyright laywers have probably haggled over this before.

Transcribing=Rewriting music in a different key.

Transposing, not transcribing.

Transporting = de de dit dah, de de dit dah...twilight zone riff

What about taking a song and writing it out for the instrument it was intended purely by ear. Transcribing a jazz solo- writing out the music for that solo from the recording.

Yes, that's how I've always heard the term used. Transcribing for "writing down" and transposing for changing keys. Arranging, of course, is something different, too.

The term "transcribing" isn't limited to music either--you can transcribe a speech, for instance, which implies a faithful representation (no changes.)

In the question, he is talking about transposing

Well, I meant my first post to be a question and i suppose it was taken as a statement of fact, rather. :-)

Arranging it, is when you change the order of the notes, in other words, making a new song. Transcribing is (this is extremely dumbed down for the non-musicians) moving all the notes up or down in either/both clefs(Bass & Treble clefs). This is difficult because each instrument has a different name for each note. For example, a Flute (usually key of D) plays C, D, E, F. If a Trumpet (key of Bb) were to play the same, it would be Bb, C, D, Eb. If a French horn (usually key of F) were to play the same, it would play F, G, A, Bb. I've probably lost most of you at the Trumpet part. Haha

I always thought that arranging referred to writing it up so an instrument for which it may not have been written for, could play it. I just wasn't sure how that was done.

Piano plays in both clefs, so you wouldn't need to transcribe anything unless it was cello music. I have a chart that I made and might be able to get it all here.

Damn. Oh well, i have way too many speakers already :P Thanks anyways

i have way too many speakers already
Is there really such a thing?

Also, a general set of instructions on how to transcribe music would be great; however, any example would have to be your own or a song otherwise in the public domain. Music rights are a touchy thing these days. ;)

Hmmm, you need a definitive interpretation of the fine print, but it seems to me they might want a physical object that is related to music. Your idea might be more suited for a burning question. Maybe if you do something like a guitar tab to piano or key converter thingy flash card chart visual device then go for it. Good luck.