How to Transpose Clarinet Notes to Recorder Notes

Transposing from clarinet to recorder is a simple process.

In order to play music written for the clarinet on a recorder, one must transpose the music first. This is because the recorder is generally a concert C instrument, and the clarinet, a B flat instrument. If a recorder plays the note C, it will sound like concert C. However, if the clarinet plays a concert C, it will sound at B flat. For this reason, music must be transposed before being played by the recorder, especially if the clarinet and recorder wish to play together.

Transpose Clarinet Pitches

Transpose the notes of the clarinet up two half steps so that the pitches are written in concert pitch.

Identify Your Recorder

There are several types of recorders. Pick the one you will be transposing to, and determine which type of recorder will be used.

The Soprano Recorder

Soprano recorders are the ones most often used in schools.

Transpose a bass, soprano or sopranino recorder by using the concert pitch notation and then taking the pitches down an octave. Soprano and sopranino recorders will sound an octave higher than written.

The Tenor Recorder

The tenor recorder is non-transposing. Transpose a tenor or alto recorder by using the concert pitch.

Bass or Great Bass Recorder

Transpose a bass or great bass recorder by using the concert pitch notation and then taking the pitches up an octave. For bass and great bass recorders, you will also need to change the clef to bass clef. Bass and great bass recorders sound an octave lower than written.

Playable Range

Determine the playable range for the instrument you transposed. If the instrument is playing out of the range for the recorder you have chosen, transpose all of the pitches up or down an octave to fit in a playable range.


Double check your transpositions so that no mistakes are made.


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