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Modes and Transposing for Bb Conundrum

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Modes and Transposing for Bb Conundrum

Postby siderealxxx » Fri Sep 16, 2016 4:19 pm


I'm currently producing some charts for jazz players and one piece is 5 sharps but the tonic is D# so obviously I can say it's in D# Phrygian mode. However, when I transpose for Bb Clarinet, changing it to 7 sharps this would seemingly become E# Phrygian... Is that correct? Is it right to say that or is there a way of dressing it enharmonically that is more appropriate?

Appreciate thoughts on this as I'm a tad confused.

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Re: Modes and Transposing for Bb Conundrum

Postby Exalted Wombat » Sun Sep 25, 2016 4:35 pm

Don't worry too much about the mode. Just write the chords and notes you want. If the piece is more C# Phrygian than B major it will become apparent. It doesn't need labeling, any more than we specifically label a piece in one sharp as "G major" or "E minor".

It's probably kinder to write for Bb instruments in 5 flats rather than 7 sharps so, yes, make the enharmonic change.
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Re: Modes and Transposing for Bb Conundrum

Postby xpectsuccess » Wed Sep 28, 2016 1:52 am

F#major (5 #s) starting on the 6 (D#) is aeolian mode not Phrygian

Phrygian would be starting on A#
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Re: Modes and Transposing for Bb Conundrum

Postby SecretSam » Fri Sep 30, 2016 6:26 pm

Looks like Eb minor to me ... with a flat 9 if you insist: Eb min b9

Or to a Bb instrument, F min b9

Horn players prefer flat keys to sharp keys. Can't remember why.

Are you sure the key centre is a phrygian mode ? That would be unusual. If you post the whole chart, I could take a run at an analysis.
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