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Notation and lyricsThe Meter/Key view ► Music notation for non-concert-key instruments

For historical reasons, certain musical instruments are traditionally notated in a transposed key rather than the actual key. For example, a normal (Bb) trumpet part is written in the key one whole step higher than the actual concert key, and an Eb alto sax part is written a major sixth higher. Musicians have traditionally learned to read and refer to the notes they play using the proper transposition interval for their instrument.
SONAR supports these non-concert instrumental keys through use of the Key+ control in the Track Inspector. Simply enter or record the notes into the instrument's track transposed as the musician would expect them, and then set the proper transposition interval in the Key+ control to make it play in the correct key. For example, a Bb trumpet track should have all its notes a whole note higher than concert pitch, and should have Key+ set to -2 to transpose it two chromatic steps back down. Remember, not all trumpets are Bb instruments!
Record or enter the notes using the pitches that the musician who will be reading the part needs to see. For example, if the non-transposing instruments are playing in the key of C, a Bb trumpet player needs to see the notes a whole step higher—the key of D. The instrument itself sounds a whole step lower than concert pitch, so when a Bb trumpet plays in the key of D, it sounds in the key of C.
Now that the pitches appear the way that the trumpet player needs to see them, the problem is that when you play your project, the MIDI notes in the trumpet track sound a whole step too high.
Now the trumpet part in the Staff view appears in the key of D—SONAR automatically adds two sharps to the trumpet track’s key signature—but the track sounds in the key of C because you entered -2 in the Key+ field (you may need to close the Staff view and reopen it to see the new key signature). The Staff view automatically transposes the key signature for each track according to the track's Key+ value. Multiple tracks appear and can be printed as an orchestral score, with the proper different key signatures for each track.
Note that this Key+ information is saved in SONAR .cwp files, but not in standard MIDI files. If you save a file as a MIDI file, the Key+ transposition will be applied to each note event, so that the file will sound the same, but the Key+ information will be lost. If you're reading in a MIDI file, you can easily set up the non-concert instrument tracks and then save the file as a normal project file. First set the Key+ offset to reflect the non-concert instrument's key signature. Then, use Transpose to compensate for the Key+ offset.

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