Transposing – how to change key in music (2024)

In music, transposing, means moving notes or chords from one key to another. You can, for example, transpose a piece of music from D major to G major or any other key. Notice the difference between a transposition and a key change: in the first case the whole song is transcribed to a fit another key and in the second case the key barely change in the song.

How to transpose

A transposition is done by changing all notes (or chords) a certain interval. If we want to go from the C Major to the D Major we change all related notes one whole step, which is the distance between C and D.

If we have the chord progressions: C - F - Am - G - F - C in the C Major and want to transpose it to the key of D Major we have to change every chord by two semi-steps. The result will be this: D - G - Bm - A - G - D.

Reference – all notes

The following table can be used as a reference every time you want to change to another key. Instructions can be found below the table.

C Db D Eb E F Gb G Ab A Bb B
DbDEbEFGbGAbABbBC
DEbEFF#GAbABbBCC#
EbEFGbGAbABbBCDbD
EFF#GG#ABbBCC#DD#
FGbGAbABbCbCDbDEbE
GbGAbABbCbCDbDEbEF
GAbABbBCDbDEbEFF#
AbABbBCDbDEbEFGbG
ABbBCC#DEbEFF#GG#
BbBCDbDEbEFGbGAbA
BCC#DD#EFF#GG#AA#

Db = C# | Eb = D# | Gb = F# | Ab = G# | Bb = A# (to reduce space in the table only one of these are written out)

The table is without doubt dense in information (see also the the tables with only diatonic notes below). Here are some instructions how to use it.

Change the tone E in the key of C to the key of Eb: In the second row and fifth column you find E in the key of C. Go to the fifth row and the fifth column and you find G.
Change the tone G# in the key of E to the key of D: In the fifth row and fifth column you find G# in the key of E. Go to the third row and the fifth column and you find F#.
Change the tone C# in the key of A to the same tone in the key of F: In the third row from the bottom and sixth column you find C# in the key of A. Go to the seventh row and the sixth column and you find A.

Reference – diatonic notes (specific keys)

The following tables includes diatonic notes in a specific scale and can used as a reference every time you want to change from a key to another key.

Transposing from C Major to other keys

The following table show notes involved when transposing from the key of C to another key.

C D E F G A B
Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C
D E F# G A B C#
Eb F G Ab Bb C D
E F# G# A B C# D#
F G A Bb C D E
Gb Ab Bb Cb Db Eb F
G A B C D E F#
Ab Bb C Db Eb F G
A B C# D E F# G#
Bb C D Eb F G A
B C# D# E F# G# A#

Transposing from D Major to other keys

The following table show notes involved when transposing from the key of D to another key.

D E F# G A B C#
Eb F G Ab Bb C D
E F# G# A B C# D#
F G A Bb C D E
Gb Ab Bb Cb Db Eb F
G A B C D E F#
Ab Bb C Db Eb F G
A B C# D E F# G#
Bb C D Eb F G A
B C# D# E F# G# A#
C D E F G A B
Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C

Transposing from E Major to other keys

The following table show notes involved when transposing from the key of E to another key.

E F# G# A B C# D#
F G A Bb C D E
Gb Ab Bb Cb Db Eb F
G A B C D E F#
Ab Bb C Db Eb F G
A B C# D E F# G#
Bb C D Eb F G A
B C# D# E F# G# A#
C D E F G A B
Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C
D E F# G A B C#
Eb F G Ab Bb C D

Transposing from F Major to other keys

The following table show notes involved when transposing from the key of F to another key.

F G A Bb C D E
Gb Ab Bb Cb Db Eb F
G A B C D E F#
Ab Bb C Db Eb F G
A B C# D E F# G#
Bb C D Eb F G A
B C# D# E F# G# A#
C D E F G A B
Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C
D E F# G A B C#
Eb F G Ab Bb C D
E F# G# A B C# D#

Transposing from G Major to other keys

The following table show notes involved when transposing from the key of G to another key.

G A B C D E F#
Ab Bb C Db Eb F G
A B C# D E F# G#
Bb C D Eb F G A
B C# D# E F# G# A#
C D E F G A B
Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C
D E F# G A B C#
Eb F G Ab Bb C D
E F# G# A B C# D#
F G A Bb C D E
Gb Ab Bb Cb Db Eb F

Transposing from A Major to other keys

The following table show notes involved when transposing from the key of A to another key.

A B C# D E F# G#
Bb C D Eb F G A
B C# D# E F# G# A#
C D E F G A B
Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C
D E F# G A B C#
Eb F G Ab Bb C D
E F# G# A B C# D#
F G A Bb C D E
Gb Ab Bb Cb Db Eb F
G A B C D E F#
Ab Bb C Db Eb F G

Transposing from B Major to other keys

The following table show notes involved when transposing from the key of B to another key.

B C# D# E F# G# A#
C D E F G A B
Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C
D E F# G A B C#
Eb F G Ab Bb C D
E F# G# A B C# D#
F G A Bb C D E
Gb Ab Bb Cb Db Eb F
G A B C D E F#
Ab Bb C Db Eb F G
A B C# D E F# G#
Bb C D Eb F G A

Transposing chords

Concerning chords, the table doesn’t show major and minor. But you can interpret the notes to major chords. Some examples of how major chords changes between keys:

F in the key of C = C in the key of G
G in the key of C = D in the key of G
C in the key of G = G in the key of D
A in the key of D = B in the key of E
Eb in the key of Bb = Bb in the key of F
C in the key of F = Eb in the key of Ab

If you want to transpose minor chords between keys, you simply have to add minor to the note. Some examples of how minor chords changes between keys:

Am in the key of C = Em in the key of G
Dm in the key of C = F#m in the key of G
Bm in the key of G = Em in the key of C
Am in the key of C = Cm in the key of Eb
C#m in the key of E = Gm in the key of Bb
Ebm in the key of Db = Bm in the key of A

Transposing – how to change key in music (2024)

FAQs

Transposing – how to change key in music? ›

To transpose music to another key, find the new target key on the circle of fifths and write the new key signature. Then write the new notes by using the same scale degree numbers used in the original music. The new key signature will apply to most notes in the transposition.

How to transpose music to A different key? ›

There are four steps to transposition:
  1. Choose your transposition.
  2. Use the correct key signature.
  3. Move all the notes the correct interval.
  4. Take care with your accidentals.

Does transposing change the key? ›

The most common use of transposition is to change the key of a song for a singer. Depending on the singer's vocal range, biological gender, or vocal style, some keys may be more comfortable than others for that singer to sing in.

How do you transition to another key in A song? ›

All you do is play a sus4 chord of the root note in the new key. So if you're switching from G major to B major, you'd play a Bsus4 before going into the new chord progression.

How do I change A song to A different key? ›

To transpose a song into a different key, you first have to identify your target key and how that relates to your starting key in context with the circle of fifths. You can then shift the chord progression along with individual notes to the new key change. The key change should be relative across all notes.

How do you transpose C to F? ›

To transpose music from C to F, first write the key signature for F, one flat for B-flat. Then write the new notes by using the same scale degree numbers. For example, if the melody in C uses scale degrees 1 (C), 3 (E), and 4 (F), use the notes in F for scale degrees 1 (F), 3 (A), and 4 (B-flat).

How do you transpose the key of C to G? ›

Change th key signature to one sharp (F#) and move all the notes up a Perfect 5th or five scale steps. Since you are transposing from C to G, a C becomes a G, a D becomes an A, and E becomes a B and so forth.

How to change key from D to C? ›

You could go down chromatically, D to Db to C. Or D to G to G7 (the V chord in C) to C. You could even insert a Dm between the D and the G, as Dm is the ii chord in C.

How to transition from key of b to c? ›

Use the minor iv chord as a pivot, e.g. B / Em / C / G / G7 / C. It's not great but it gets you to C. Use the minor iv chord as a pivot, e.g. B / Em / C / G / G7 / C.

How to modulate to a different key? ›

Chromatic Chord Modulation
  1. Play a progression in your original key.
  2. Play any chord of your target key to introduce the modulation.
  3. Play the dominant chord (V7) of your target key to strengthen the modulation.
  4. Play the I of your target key to complete the modulation.

What is the app that changes the key of a song? ›

ANYTUNE™ is the ultimate music practice app for singers, dancers and musicians of all kinds to slow down music, choose the perfect pitch, and learn to play by ear!

What is an example of changing keys? ›

For example, changing from the key of C to the key of F is quite easy, because C has no sharps or flats, while F only has one flat (Bb). Changing from the key of G to the key of D is also simple because G has only one sharp (F#) while D has two (F# & C#).

Is it OK to change the key of a song? ›

They must fit your vision for the song. Some good times to add key changes include: When you really want a middle or end section to “pop,” say in a high-energy dance tune, a sing-along anthem, or in a moving love story.

Is there a free software to transpose music to a different key? ›

Transposr is a free and simple way to transpose your sheet music or MP3 file to another key of your choice.

Is there an app that transposes music? ›

MusicTanspose APP ,best tool to pitch shift a song and tempo adjusting. 1. Supports common audio formats (mp3, m4a, wav, tiff, flac etc.) and video formats (mp4, mov, avi, mpg etc.).

How to transpose music from b flat to C? ›

Let's say your music is written in Bb major. One whole step up from Bb is C, so you'll write your transposed music in the key of C. If the original music were written in the key of C major, you would write the transposed music a whole step higher in the key of D, etc.

How do you transpose from C to D? ›

If we want to go from the C Major to the D Major we change all related notes one whole step, which is the distance between C and D. If we have the chord progressions: C - F - Am - G - F - C in the C Major and want to transpose it to the key of D Major we have to change every chord by two semi-steps.

References

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