This post is going to be boring, informational, boring, instructive, boring, hopefully helpful… and did I mention boring? Unless, of course, you want more detailed information on transposing scores using the personal composer demo. Which a lot of you do seem to want. Soooo… hold on to your seats, and away we go…
First, a couple of general notes:
- To transpose a score, you will need to download the score in Personal Composer format. It has a .pc extension. (The following sentence is in all caps, bolded, italicized, hmmm… should I make it red? or lime green?… because it’s the number one problem people have in trying to transpose files.) YOU CANNOT TRANSPOSE PDF FILES. Except manually. Which is a pain.
- Not all songs have Personal Composer files available yet. I am adding them… slowly. The problem is, of course, life. And the universe, and everything. There is so much content on this site that keeping it in shape is simply an ongoing task that will last as long as I do. I know of no one willing to undertake the task when I die (or am translated, if I give up Diet Coke), so I really do hope to finish in my lifetime. However, I beg for your patience since it really is a time-consuming task.
- The Personal Composer demo works only on PCs, not on Macs. I am truly sorry this is so, but there it is. If you have only a Mac, it is possible (one might say “very likely”) that you have a friend with a PC who can help you out.
Okay… now that the basics are out of the way here are the details, step by step.
- Download the Personal Composer demo here. It’s the first file listed on the page. The download is about 5.5 Mb
- Install the demo program on your PC. (Not on your Mac. It won’t work.)
- Download your chosen .pc file. (Not .pdf file. It won’t work.)
- Open the .pc file (if it doesn’t open automatically) by either double-clicking the file in your Windows Explorer, or by opening the Personal Composer program and using the file/open command.
- Click the “Staff” command — bottom row, left-most button.
- From the tool menu that appears, select “Key Signature” — middle button.
- Click on the staff at the beginning of the section you wish to transpose. If you are transposing the whole song, that would be measure 1. A menu full of options will appear.
- Choose the appropriate menu options. These will be unique to you, so I can’t specify what they’ll be.
- When you are sure you have the correct options selected, hit “Ok.”
- If the music contains key changes, they will be adjusted automatically.
- Print your transposition AND PROOF IT CAREFULLY BEFORE YOU CLOSE THE DEMO. You can’t save your work in the Personal Composer Demo (hey, it’s a demo!) so be sure your transposition works for you before you close the program.
- There may be some cosmetic issues with the score–accidentals don’t always have enough space, stems don’t always end up the right direction, cross-staff notes don’t always beam correctly, that sort of thing. If it bothers you, you can clean these up.
- That’s all folks!
I really sincerely hope this will be helpful to anyone trying to transpose this music, because there’s nothing more in the storage rooms of my disorganized brain that I can dig out to shed any further light on the process. It looks complicated, but it’s really not that bad, so give it a try. As much as I’d love to, I can’t do transpositions on demand. Sleep is too important to me.