Could B♭ instruments be built in C? Why are they in B♭ in the first place?

Asked by: Logan Bone

Why are some instruments in B flat?

Most trumpets are tuned in B flat because exactly this tuning works with the optimal length of pipe in order to produce the unique trumpet timbre. Trumpets tuned in most other keys require less pipe and will produce a slightly brighter tone. Trumpets in the B flat key sound like you expect a trumpet to play.

Why are clarinets in B flat?

Why are clarinets usually in Bb? In short, clarinets are typically made in B-flat because that is the key which tends to give clarinets the most consistent sound and intonation. Though C clarinets have been made in the past, they never caught on because they didn’t sound as good as those made in B-flat.

Why are trumpets not in C?

In the case of the brass instruments at least, the original instruments had no valves or slides, so the difference between an instrument in C or Bb was big. Trumpet players had to switch horns when the piece modulated, and had quite boring parts, limited to the tones they could play without valves.

Why are wind instruments tuned to B flat?

The reason is that most wind instruments are transposing. The “open” note (no valves down, trombone in home position) is B flat. It is best to tune to this to set the main instrument tuning. If other notes are out of tune, then the valve slides (or on smaller instruments “lipping” the note) will bring them into tune.

How do you transpose from C instruments to B flat instruments?

Transposition Chart

Example: Transposing from a C instrument to a B-flat instrument. Move the key up one whole step (or whole tone). Our key of C Major transposes to a key of D Major. Likewise, G Major would transpose to A Major, B-flat Major to C Major, and so on.

What does it mean to play in B flat?

You have to convert their notes (transpose) to play the same sound/pitch. The phrase Concert B flat means the pitch or sound produced if you play a B flat on an instrument that is in the key of C, such as a piano or a guitar. A Concert C is the C on a piano or guitar. A Concert F is the F on a piano or guitar.

Is there A clarinet in C?

The clarinet in C is sometimes called for in clarinet choirs, often as a substitute for the oboe. This clarinet has been made more common and inexpensive due to the manufacturing of clarinets of all sizes in China.

What is the difference between the B flat and a clarinets?

What is the difference between the B flat and A clarinets? The Bb clarinet is the main clarinet, used in both bands and orchestras. The A clarinet is a slightly longer clarinet with a darker tone and half-step deeper pitch, used almost exclusively as an orchestral and solo instrument.

What instruments are in key of C?


  • C melody saxophone.
  • C soprano saxophone.
  • Celesta.
  • Cello.
  • Contrabass bugle.
  • Cornettino.

Why are instruments tuned differently?

Some instruments become ‘out of tune’ with temperature, humidity, damage, or simply time, and must be readjusted or repaired. Different methods of sound production require different methods of adjustment: Tuning to a pitch with one’s voice is called matching pitch and is the most basic skill learned in ear training.

What’s the difference between a sharp and B flat?

A# is slightly higher in pitch than a Bb. It has to do woth the naturally resonant harmonic differences in major and minor keys. Musicians playing non-fretted string instruments naturally correct pitch.

What is the difference between AB flat and C trumpet?

Now the interesting thing is you can see that there's a difference the b-flat is a bigger instrument than the C is it's it's very plain to see the slides on the C trumpet are smaller.

How do you transpose trumpet to B-flat in C?

If you play a written C on the trumpet. It will sound a concert b-flat so this means the trumpet sounds a whole step or a major second lower than the written pitch.

How do instruments transpose?

This shows us what the actual sounded pitches of the trumpet are so when you see a b-flat instrument that's listed as sounds a major second lower than written.

Why do we transpose instruments?

Music is often written in transposed form for these groups of instruments so that the fingerings correspond to the same written notes for any instrument in the family, even though the sounding pitches will differ.

What is the point of transposition?

To make it easy to switch between instruments in the same family, the parts for these instruments are transposed so the same written note has the same fingering, but produces a different actual pitch.

What is the meaning of transposing instruments?

Definition of transposing instrument

1 : a musical instrument that sounds pitches different from those indicated by the notation.

Why are instruments in keys?

So if a conductor is looking at horn and f and there's a b-flat written he has to be able to translate that to e-flat instantly in his head.

Why are some instruments not in concert C?

Many instruments are transposing instruments which do not play in concert pitch. This is where it can become confusing because a conductor will have to transpose many parts of the score because an orchestral score is not written in concert pitch.

Can instruments play in different keys?

You know sometimes in classical music you will see certain instruments played in a different key. For example horns certain flutes trumpets. Most of the brass. Actually are playing in different keys.