The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #77548   Message #1383843
Posted By: Bob Bolton
20-Jan-05 - 09:50 PM
Thread Name: Basic Music Theory Question
Subject: RE: Basic Music Theory Question
G'day Joy W,

Just for the job of transposing chords, there are (welll ... were ... ) things called transposing slide-rules. When I first started playing about with guitar ... and very scanty musical knowledge, a bit over 40 years ago, I made my own (cheating, by setting out the relationships of the main chords for any key from a diagram in the Lomax-edited Penguin American Songbook. This let me select any key and see the relationship of the very chords.

The other side of the slide-rule just had all the chords written out in order (24 chord names, by semitone steps) with the same on the sliding portion (and the relevant chord relationships indicated above the static row. Moving the slider let me put one key against another (say C against G ... ) and I could then read off the transposed chords for anything in the piece I was transposing.

I was rather surprised, some years later, when I saw an almost identical device, but in sturdier plastic ... rather than my cardboard and sticky-tape effort ... being sold by the local (Sydney, Australia) distributor for Music Sales Ltd. He had them made in Sydney - to a design by his son (actually supplying a bit less info than my design ...). I would expect that such a device can still be bought. Making my own taught me a lot more than just buying one ... but something that immediately gives you the chords for another, more comfortable key, will answer you basic request. Would it be better to know all that theory ... well, I think so ... for me ... but ... ?