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Chord Song Transposer: For Piano Chords or Guitar and Tablature

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Published on December 5th, 2005
Category: Audio and Video

With the holiday season and all the Christmas music, I’ve decided to write this article. When I was young, I used to sing solos in church. But for some reason, probably the awkwardness of adolescence, I stopped singing. This past year, I’ve gotten back into solos. But, I provide my own accompaniment by playing the piano at the same time. However, I do not read actual printed music to learn how to play songs. Usually, I download the chords, which are usually intended for guitar, and try to make some sense out of them. I always have a problem when I get these chords from the Internet. This is because tenors and sopranos with wide voice ranges normally sing popular music. I am the total opposite of the norm. I am a baritone (bass) and my voice range is very narrow. Because of this, every chord sheet that I download has to be transposed.


Manual transposition can be a pain. Sometimes I make unconscious errors like forgetting to add a sharp or flat. But most of the inconvenience comes from the amount of time the tedium of transposition requires. To relieve this inconvenience, I set out to look for free chord transposers. Let me tell you, they are hard to find! I finally came across one that seemed to do the job, Chord Song Transposer.

It is very easy to transpose a chord sheet. Just open the chord sheet file (it has to be in TXT format) and click “Action” on the menu. Chord Song Transposer provides a number of ways to transpose music. “Transpose Up/Down” moves a half step. “Move n semitones Up/Down” lets you enter the number of half steps to move. “Transpose Interval” lets you move in greater intervals than half steps.

“Enharmonic shift” is a useful tool if you have a hard time reading sharps or flats. When I play piano, I prefer seeing flats. This function changes the key of the song. For example if the key is originally Db major, enharmonic shift changes it to C# major, which is essentially the same thing musically. Take this example:

I’ll be home for Christmas [Db Edim Ebm7 Ab7]
You can count on me [Db Abm6 Bb7 Ebm7, Fdim]
Please have snow and mistletoe [Gb6 Ab7 Db Bbm]
and presents on the tree [Eb7 Ebm7 Ab9]

I’ll be home for Christmas [C# Edim D#m7 G#7]
You can count on me [C# G#m6 A#7 D#m7, Fdim]
Please have snow and mistletoe [F#6 G#7 C# A#m]
and presents on the tree [D#7 D#m7 G#9]

There are a couple of flaws in Chord Song Transposer.

  • It acts like a beta program, which is reasonable since this is version one. But, it has stayed on version one for a long time and I don’t think the owner will ever update it.
  • It cannot print. You have to save the file and then print it in Notepad, Wordpad, Word, etc.
  • Sometimes, it transposes the lyrics. If “Christmas” is in the chord file, it will transpose the “C.” For example, “Christmas” may become “C#hristmas.”

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One Response to “Chord Song Transposer: For Piano Chords or Guitar and Tablature”

  1. KT Says:

    yea

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