A transposing instrument is an instrument that is not constructed in the key of C. Therefore, when a concert (middle) C is played on these instruments, it is actually another note.

Some instruments transpose by octave; some by smaller, diatonic intervals; and some instruments don't transpose at all. Instruments that transpose by less than an octave are considered to be in a different key. As a composer or arranger, a good way to remember common transposition method is "to hear its key you must write a C."

Common transposing instruments and their keys are:

This is by no means a comprehensive list. The transposition of an individual instrument either should be or will eventually be incorporated into that instrument's individual node.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.