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Re: wrong transposition of horn

From: D Josiah Boothby
Subject: Re: wrong transposition of horn
Date: Sat, 25 Sep 2004 08:15:47 -0700 (PDT)

Lilypond shall handle this automatically.  Additionally, the clef
changes in a horn part are normally different from the clef changes in
the full score.  See the attached image.


But in guitar scores you always use treble clef, right?  Here another
example: Take the pocket score of `Ein deutsches Requiem' (Brahms,
Edition Eulenburg) and look at page 2, bar 12/13: The horn part in F
is notated as

You are correct in noting that this usage of bass clef for the horn had its place when Brahms was composing for the horn. This was useful for a three octave range (sometimes three and a half, if your fourth hornist had good note-bending skills).

Technological advances to the instrument (namely valves) have rendered this habit of transposing the bass clef differently than the treble clef useless. Most 20th century composers dropped this habit though unfortunately also dropping the habit of removing key signatures from the horn parts... this has accounted for no end of pain in the horn section!

I can still see no reason why this should be automatic, unless there was a pre-set transposition style such as oldHorn or some such.


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