Fix clarinet tranposition key signature

• Aug 20, 2020 - 19:22
Reported version
S3 - Major

I created a brand new score, choosing 6 sharps in the key signature, and the Classical Orchestral template of instruments. When I clicked 'concert pitch' the clarinets didn't show a six sharp key signature. So I dragged it on. Then turned concert pitch on and off and the key signature changed back to the wrong one.

Example shown in the attached gif

Attachment Size
1.gif 615.21 KB


Status active by design

There is no D# key signature (the enharmonic of Eb) for the clarinet to have as a transposed key signature. Since you must have a key signature with flats for the transposed key signature, the enharmonic Gb concert pitch key signature is used when you switch from transposed to concert pitch. If it did not do this, then nearly every note on the clarinet part would have an accidental on it when you entered notes then switched from concert to transposed pitch.

I hope this makes sense.

My guess is that since you are transcribing a Debussy song (I didn't look for the score), there is an A clarinet rather than a Bb clarinet in the score. Change to the A clarinet and this won't happen.

In reply to by mike320

Sigh, no, this doesn't work. My lecturer (who is extremely good) says the full score must have all instruments in the same signature or it's too confusing. (Only the parts can be in a different key). And the instrument is a Bb clarinet, not A.

Is there any way to make Musescore use the key signature I chose for all instruments? Sibelius just does it without a problem.

That is really annoying isn't it. It makes switching to and from concert pitch difficult as MuseScore doesn't automatically reinstate the 6 sharps after it correctly changes to the enharmonic key signature with concert pitch unselected.

To deal with your current problem: It is possible to have the score shown in concert pitch but the parts transposed. The concert pitch button works independently in the score and the parts. So you can enter everything in the score at concert pitch and as long a you never switch away from concert pitch you will keep its 6 sharps and you can unselect concert pitch in the transposing instrument parts and have the appropriate key signature there, enharmonically changed if necessary. If you do switch the score away from concert pitch after switching back you can re-apply the 6 sharps key signature to get back to where you were. But it would be nicer if MuseScore remembered the key signature you originally entered.

The workaround is to NEVER change from concert pitch. If the key signature changes from sharps to flats and transposes the notes appropriately, then applying the other key sigature again will only make accidentals rather than showing the proper enharmonic notes.

This means you must create parts if you want to see the score in both transposed and concert pitch. You can create a part with all instruments (you must manually add each instrument) then switch between the concert pitch score and the parts rather than using the concert pitch button. I have no sense of how this arrangement will end up being done, but you need to be very careful if you find a need to use multiple voices in either the score or parts. Using voices can lead to corruptions. If this happens, delete the parts and regenerate them to fix the corruption.