Thursday, February 4, 2010

Clefs and Keys Again - Fantasia #1

I've written a couple of posts, here and here, about the various clef transpositions that Alan Raph used and that I used in our respective transcriptions of the Telemann Fantasias. I promised (or threatened, depending on your point of view) to talk about clefs and Fantasia #1 at some point. Well, that bell is finally a-tollin'.

As you surely recall, in all of the other transcriptions Raph just replaces the existing treble clef with a tenor or bass clef and makes a choice of two possible key signatures. On the ones where he went to tenor, I repeated the process for my own arrangements, i.e., I just replaced the tenor clef with a bass clef and picked the appropriate key signature. In one case, #9, I didn't like where that landed me, so I set it in a different key.

For Fantasia #1 there was an interesting twist. Raph's is in tenor clef, but in this one instance, he actually keeps the original key--A major--he just sets it in tenor clef. So his arrangement is really just taking Telemann down an octave. As I look through his arrangement, I noticed it's very slide-friendly. Raph is a trombonist and I can see the appeal of playing this one in A major. You can play most of the first movement either in second position, or with the slide very close to second position.

My version is in D major, which--you guessed it--is the clef transposition to bass clef from Raph's tenor clef. So in this case instead of doing 2 clef transpositions (Telemann's treble to Raph's tenor to my bass) like I did with three of the other transcriptions, I'm taking Raph's clef change (the transposition is just down an octave, so I won't count that for this discussion--or, I'll treat it as something different from the other clef changes which come with key changes), and doing a single clef transposition off of that (Raph's tenor to my bass).

Geeky? Certainly. Esoteric? For sure. Deathly boring to almost anyone looking at this? Indisputably. I wish I knew why I find that so interesting.

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