Different Keys in the Same Piece

• Dec 23, 2015 - 21:43

Im trying to make a song on Musescore2 and there are instruments in different keys, when I try to change one instrument, it changes the all of them. Is there a way I can single out an instrument and just change its key? I am using Windows 10 too.


OK but why are they in different keys? If you have a mixture of concert-pitch and transposing instruments then you should start creating the score with Concert Pitch turned on, set the main key signature in the first concert-pitch instrument and then when you turn Concert Pitch off to see the actual notes played by your transposing instruments you will see that their key signatures have automatically been changed, too.

Of course, if you are genuinely wanting different key signatures for a different reason then ignore this.

In reply to by TheLordNSavior

You can change an instrument to A clarinet by right clicking on a measure, then -> Staff Properties -> Change Instrument - where you can select the 'A clarinet', which will then display the proper key signature of F major. (For your pictured score in D major.)

See attachment which shows (transposing) clarinets with non-transposing instruments. If you toggle the 'Concert Pitch' toolbar button you'll see how the key signatures interact.


Attachment Size
A clarinet.mscz 10.38 KB

In reply to by TheLordNSavior

To be clear: this all happens completely automatically if you add the correct transposing instrument in the first place. That is, if when creating your score you select the "A" clarinet, then all key signatures for that staff are automatically transposed, just as all notes are. Or, if you already added a "Bb" clarinet as I am guessing you have, just change it to an "A" clarinet using the Change Instrument button in Staff Properties.

You never need to do anything special to force different keys on different staves, and in fact, it is incorrect to do so - it will cause the playback to be incorrect and will probably cause the individual parts to be generated incorrectly as well. The tehcnique mentioned of using Ctrl+drag when adding a key signature is meant only for experimental / polytonal music, not for ordinary transposing instruments. Ordinary transposing instruments liek the clarinets are handled completely automatically. When Concert Pitch mode is enabled, the key signatures and notes will show transposed, although they will play back at concert pitch. With Concert Pitch disabled, everything plays (and sounds) at concert pitch. Just press the Concert Pitch button to toggle between then modes.

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