In the "BIG 7" ABRSM Theory Workbook (the one by Crossland and Greaves), question 5 section, the question on page 89 shows a score by Richard Strauss. The following instrument is indicated on the score:
"Klarinetten in B".
On page 90, this is abbreviated to:
It is obvious from the score that this would be referred to in English (e.g. in the AB Guide) as a "Clarinet in Bb", as the key signature of the non transposing instruments (one flat) is a whole tone lower than that of the "Klarinetten in B" (one sharp).
My questions for the forum are:
Is this a misprint or a mistake ?
Or is it a peculiarity of German scores (to call what we would call Bb a B) ?
Are there any other cases where the flat or sharp is dropped "by convention" ?
I did a bit of Googling around and I didn't find an answer to this.
Another related question: I'm doing the G7 ABRSM Theory Exam in June, and I have formulated a rule on transposing instruments, to aid memory, that they all transpose DOWN (e.g. Cor Anglais sounds a perfect 5th LOWER than written - so it would be described as "in F", but this is one of those instruments that is not usually described as "in something" in the score, so you need to learn that); unless the interval is an octave or multiple thereof (e.g. piccolo, Glockenspiel, Xylophone which all transpose up but by octaves). So, if anyone is aware of an exception to this rule, please mention it.
I do want to know the answer to these questions as once in a while, you get an question where it is not so obvious what the actual interval of transposition is from the key signature (e.g. with Horns there is "an area of some confusion" as Eric Taylor so marvellously puts it on p 216 of the Blue AB Guide...... as key signatures are sometimes written, and sometimes not !)
Any other tips on transposing instruments gratefully taken - I'm a pianist, not an orchestral player, and the whole transposing instrument scene is one that I view from afar with a bit of amazement and amusement.....along with tenor and alto clefs, something to be understood but rarely encountered in practice (although the tenor clef came in useful recently as the choir I sing with is doing a piece accompanied by cello, so the tenor clef has helped me to figure out entry notes there).