X key signature help please--experienced composers only, thanks

• Sep 30, 2020 - 22:36

Hello, if someone experienced with using the X key signature could respond I would greatly appreciate it! It's my understanding that the X key sig shows an "X" on the score staves. I tried to input the X key sig when I began the new score, however I don't see any "X" there.

I first wrote the transposed score by hand. Now I am inputting it into Musescore. However the playback is transposing all the transposing instruments. But I already inputted the notes transposed! Apparently I did not input the X key signature correctly? Can I do it retroactively? When I try to drag the X key sig onto the score, it does not show as an "X".

Many thanks in advance for your replies.


The X key signature puts no key signature in the instrument no matter if you are looking at transposed or concert pitch. If you're new to MuseScore I suggest that you create a score and use a different key signature so you can tell if you are in transposed pitch or concert pitch view. Transposed pitch will of course have different key signatures for the transposing instruments. To be complete in my explanation, clicking the "Concert pitch" button toggles between concert and transposed pitch. Once you are comfortable with this, you can select the appropriate view (transposed in your case), enter the atonal key signature and start entering transposed notes. From what you say, you know the problem with entering transposed pitch notes in concert pitch view. You will probably want to restart entering notes in transposed note in transposed view if you starting entering them in concert pitch mode in error.

In the palette the gray x is a visual to distinguish it from C major.

In reply to by SuTerry

There is no X, invisible or otherwise, in the key signature when it's applied to the score, it's only in the palette so you know the difference between atonal and C. In the score you should be able to tell if you applied that key signature if you know what you're doing with key signatures. This is a generic answer since I know nothing about you.

In reply to by SuTerry

And to be clear, this is as it should be. It was never intended for the "X" to display in the score - not on the screen or in print. Only in the palette, so you know which key signature you are adding. Displaying the "X" in the score would be problematic because there isn't room for it, and if we added space for it just for display, that would throw off the spacing for the rest of the system.

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