Key signatures

Courtesy key signatures

When a key change occurs at the end of a line of music, it’s customary to display the new key signature at the very end of the system, as well as at the beginning of the following system. You can hide any of these courtesy key signatures throughout the document.

Nonstandard key signatures

Most music is written with a standard key signature. This traditional system is based on a scale of twelve half-steps and a harmonic scheme where a new accidental is added to the key signature with every advance around the circle of fifths. In certain types of music, however, these traditional key signature practices don’t apply. A piece may be based on the quarter-tone scale, in which there are four chromatic steps from C to D, or a piece may require a key signature with a combination of flats and sharps.

In Finale, you can create your own key signatures in any format, based on scales with any number of steps from one note to the next. Using the options in the Nonstandard Key Signature dialog box, you can create up to 128 linear or nonlinear key signatures within a document.

See also:

Keyless scores

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