Posts Tagged ‘transposing’

Transposing Up a Whole Step: Lesson Two

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

Transposing-Up-Whole-Step-Lesson-TwoThe skill of transposing is an extra plus for the church pianist if she or he is going to accompany someone to sing in their comfortable range…(another article) 😉

There is an art to finding just the right key for whomever you’re accompanying.

The following free pdf on Transposing Up a Whole Step will familiarize the church pianist on how to transpose up a whole step in a song of  3/4 time going into another song in 3/4 or the first song…different verse.

There are many factors to consider when creating a key change between two songs. For example, the first melody note of the second song determines the melodic direction of the key change.

Editor notes for Transposing Up a Whole Step: Lesson Two

  1. Play measures #1,2,3 and then start another verse of Amazing Grace on 3rd beat of measure #3
  2. Play measures #1, 2, and 4 and go right into Grace Greater Than Our Sin

Each line of this free pdf is identical to the first line except in different keys. Try finding hymns to use for the remaining lines of examples.

Special Note!

Variety tip: You can use this same transposition idea for a 3/4 hymn to a 4/4 hymn by holding the 3rd beat of the 3rd measure for 2 beats and then go into the 4/4 hymn IF the 4/4 hymn begins with a complete measure or at least the 4/4 hymn contains at least two beats at the order for it to create a smooth sounding transition.

Clarification:  The above transposition isn’t appropriate for congregational playing because of the additional measures used to create the key change. A shorter version would be necessary for congregational singing.

However…this transposition idea works great for offertories, preludes and accompanying instrumental or vocal special.

Click on following title for free pdf download: (Let me know if you’re having printing issues with this PDF. I think it’s just my printer but note seems my margins are wacky when it prints)

Transposing Up a Whole Step Lesson Two

Transposing Up a Whole Step: Lesson One (see chord structure for the above free pdf.

No Transposing Needed! Free Prelude!

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

Closeup  Piano Keys

Are you a church pianist that doesn’t know how to transpose?  Do you choose hymns for prelude that are in the same key for this very reason?  I have good news for you!

It is not always necessary to transpose from one song to the next if you go up a perfect fourth between each hymn.  I’m providing a free prelude below but read the important info below before you hurry to print the free prelude.

~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~   ~

Going Up a Perfect 4th Interval From One Hymn to the Next Hymn:

What You Need to Know:

1. An interval is the distance between two notes


C to D is a 2nd interval because you count from 1 t0 2 to go from    C to D.

C to E would be a 3rd interval and C to F a fourth.

2. Within every key/scale… the fourth interval is called a perfect fourth which consists of five half steps.  So… from C to F is a perfect fourth.  Why is it called a perfect fourth?  Just accept it and go on or if you’re curious…check out the following links 🙂

Music Practice & Theory

Music Reading Savant

Quick quiz in Creating Perfect Fourths:

What is 5 half steps (a perfect 4th) above F? Answer is:  B flat (see picture below)


(Are you noticing that we’re going in order of the flat keys as we go up a 4th?)

The key of F Major has one flat, the key of B Flat Major has two flats.  Cool!

Ok….so what is 5 half steps (a perfect fourth)… above B flat?  You got it!  E flat and the key of E flat has three flats.

Now…let’s apply this “no transposing” concept using the following  hymns which are a perfect fourth apart for a nice topical prelude!

Click on each song title to download for FREE!

Free Prelude for Church Pianists:

At Calvary –  C Major

Since I Have Been Redeemed – F Major

Power in the Blood – B Flat Major

Saved by the Blood – E Flat Major

*All of these arrangements are from our free arrangement page(s)

The Church Pianist: Transposing Hymns: The Easy Method

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

Transposing can be easy when moving a half step
higher or lower from the original key.

(This may be common knowledge to most of
you all but here’s to those who’ve never heard.)

First…you’ll need the music in front of you: preferrably the hymnal.

All you have to do is play the same notes, but in a different key.

For example:

A hymn in D major (two sharps) can be changed
to D flat major (five flats).

You’re reading the same notes but having to flat
certain ones instead of sharping them.

A hymn in A major (three sharps) can be changed
to A flat major (four flats).

Notice a numeric pattern? The sum of each key
change equals seven.

Also take note that each key maintains the same
letter name but moves from sharps to flats or vice
versa…depending on which direction you want to

This is one of the easiest ways to transpose!

The Church Pianist: How I Learned to Transpose

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

Transposing can be learned by the
church pianist but requires frequent
application to acquire confidence.

I do play by ear but my parents had me start
lessons at a young age so I would know how to
read music. Thank the Lord for that!

As a teenager I began to play for my dad to sing.
Prior to this, I had learned all the major scales
and played comfortably from the hymnal.

My dad is a bass so therefore I had to transpose
everything he sang!

Transposing a melody was easier if I already knew
how to play the song. The notes of the melody would
be the same distance apart but I would have to re-
member what was black.

Here was my thinking process:

Say, for example, the song was in G Major and
my dad wanted it in E flat Major.

E (flat) is three notes lower than G. I would just
think three notes lower for each melody note and
remember to flat the notes: E, A and B.

I always thought by chord numbers to transpose
for the left hand.

For example, the D chord in the key of G is the V (five)
chord because D is the fifth note in the key of G.
So, in the key of E flat….B flat is the fifth note….so
I would use the B flat chord in the new key.

Learning to transpose was a slow process at first but
I steadily grew more comfortable with constant practice.

See, I had no choice…I was my dad’s only pianist at
the time and had to learn.

Being forced into a situation does wonders for the learn-
ing process!

Challenge to the church pianist: Try transposing
a simple melody to several different keys.
Gradually add the left hand once you have a feel
for the melody in the new keys.

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