Key signatures, time signatures, and clefs

Changing the key, meter, and clef

With many kinds of music, you may find that you need to change from the key signature, time signature or clef that you selected in the Setup Wizard.

In this lesson, you will learn how to:

  1. Change the key signature
  2. Change the time signature
  3. Add a clef change

Adding a key signature change

You can use the Key Signature tool to add changes to the key signature.

To add a key signature change

  1. Choose the Key Signature tool icon
  2. Double-click measure 17. The Key Signature dialog box appears.
  3. Use the slider to change the key to F major.
  4. For Transpose Notes, choose Down.
  5. Click OK.

Changing the time signature

You can use the Time Signature tool to add changes to the time signature.

To add a time signature change

  1. Click the Time Signature tool icon.
  2. Double-click measure 17.
  3. Use the Number of Beats slider to the left to 2.
  4. Use the Beat Duration slider to the right to 2.
  5. Click OK.

Noteman says: Notice the F natural, indicating the previous key signature is "canceled." This setting can be controlled in Document Options - Key Signatures.

Adding clef changes

You can use the Clef tool icon to change the clef.

To add clef changes

  1. Click the Clef tool icon.
  2. Double click measure 16 in the Clarinet part.
  3. Choose the Alto clef (number 2) and click OK. (Or, simply double-click the Alto clef).

Noteman says: To create a mid-measure clef change, select a partial measure before you double-click.

Changing the key, time or clef with the Selection tool

The Selection tool does more than just highlight music. With one tool, you can quickly change key signatures, time signatures, clefs, apply staff styles and much more. Because we don't actually need these elements in the last measure, let's change them back using Selection tool context menus.

To change the key, time or clef with the Selection tool

Noteman says: If your Mac has a two button mouse, you can right-click instead of using the CONTROL modifier key. This is the case for all context clicking.

  1. Choose the Selection tool icon.
  2. CONTROL-click on measure 16 (of the clarinet staff).
  3. Select Clef.
  4. Double-click the Treble Clef.
  5. CONTROL-click on measure 17 (any staff).
  6. Select Time Signature > 4/4.
  7. CONTROL-click on measure 17 (any staff).
  8. Select Key Signature > G major.
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