User Manual


Let's face facts. Sometimes a song is not performed in a key that is suitable for your vocal range. Or perhaps playing a song in the key that it is written in is too difficult for your guitarist and they don't want to capo. Music is best when it matches with your talent. OnSong provides a powerful transposition engine to make the music match your unique abilities and style.

How It Works

Chord charts can be expressed as text-based documents using the OnSong or ChordPro file formats. These files are designed to give musical meaning to characters in the document. This allows chords to be detected.

Transposition also requires the key of the original song to be known. You can declare a key using Metadata. If the key of the song is unknown, OnSong typically uses the first chord of the song as the key. You can change this behavior in Settings » Menu Settings » Style Preferences » Transpose and Capo » Detect Key By.

When transposition occurs, OnSong determines the new key and the enharmonic preference of transposed chords using the enharmonic preference of the new key. You can change this behavior in Settings » Display Settings » Song Formatting » Enharmonic.

Note: Transposition does not work with externally imported documents like Word or PDF because these files are designed to be printed and do not carry information about chords or metadata needed for musicians. The design goals of these types documents are different from OnSong's text-based chord charts. The content written in word processing documents are not in a standardized format and is often proprietary in nature.

How To Transpose

Once you have your song in a text-based document and chords are detected, you can transpose using the Transpose Slider found in the Style Preferences Menu in the Menubar. Just slide the slider to the left or right to adjust the key. You can even tap on the icons to the left and right to fine-tune adjust the key.

If you want the chords to be displayed as they are written in the Song Editor, turn off transposition using the power icon to the right of the Transpose Slider found in the Style Preferences Menu in the Menubar.

Using Different Keys

The notion of dynamic transposition means that you can have one copy of your song and make changes in one place. However, you may need to have the song available in different keys when playing with different bands or at different venues. OnSong can use a different key for the song in a particular set while keeping the original key in the master song list.

To do this, turn on Separate Set/Song Styles when Adding or Renaming sets. This will now store changes made to the song when viewed in the set to the set. For instance you can change the tempo, autoscroll duration, flow, and style preferences and all will be applied to that song in the set.

OnSong 2023 — Last Updated on October 17, 2017