How to Go From the Trombone to the French Horn

The French horn and trombone have different transposition levels. Trombones play in C, which means that they do not transpose notes. French horns play in F. This means that for every note a French horn plays, it will actually sound a fifth lower than written. Fortunately, the trombone and the French horn have the same basic range, so all you need to do is transpose the trombone part so that the French horn is playing the correct pitch.

Step 1

Study how to transpose notes up a perfect fifth; the chromatic scale aides in transposing notes. To transpose a perfect fifth, you will need to count seven half steps. With this system, a perfect fifth above Bb is F. Notice that F is both seven half steps and 5 note names away. E# is enharmonically correct and produces the same sound, but it is a different note name.

Step 2

Transpose each note from the trombone up a perfect fifth. Because the French horn reads treble and bass clef, you can use either clef. Choose the one that will have the least amount of ledger lines.

Step 3

Decide whether the transposed notes are too low for French horn. This will only be a problem if you are using pedal tones on the trombone. The French horn can play down to a Bb two octaves below middle C.


Connexions: Transposing Instruments []


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