Transposition (music)

In music, transposition refers to the process or operation of moving a collection of notes (pitches or pitch classes) up or down in pitch by a constant interval.

The shifting of a melody, a harmonic progression or an entire musical piece to another key, while maintaining the same tone structure, i.e. the same succession of whole tones and semitones and remaining melodic intervals.

Musikalisches Lexicon, 879 (1865), Heinrich Christoph Koch (trans. Schuijer)[1]
Transposition example from Koch[1] Play top  Play bottom . In this chromatic transposition, the melody on the first line is in the key of D, while the melody on the second line is identical except that it is a major third lower, in the key of B.

For example, one might transpose an entire piece of music into another key. Similarly, one might transpose a tone row or an unordered collection of pitches such as a chord so that it begins on another pitch.

The transposition of a set A by n semitones is designated by Tn(A), representing the addition (mod 12) of an integer n to each of the pitch class integers of the set A.[1] Thus the set (A) consisting of 0–1–2 transposed by 5 semitones is 5–6–7 (T5(A)) since 0 + 5 = 5, 1 + 5 = 6, and 2 + 5 = 7.