Notating an unusual scale

• Apr 24, 2017 - 11:27

Not so much a musescore question as a notation question - if that is inappropriate for here please forgive. I am working on a quasi Islamic piece that uses the scale:

A, Bb, C#, D, E, F, G, A

It is for singing and guitar and the chords it uses are A maj, Bb maj, Gmin all of which fit perfectly in the scale above as I, II, VII.

I am now trying to notate a piano part and am wondering how I should deal with a key signature. Obviously I can do it with no key signature at all but are there other common ways of working with unusual scales like this? I bears a close resemblance to a Dmin scale but that seems to me to be somewhat misleading since the tonic as actually A.

Thanks for any replies. I just love Musescore, what an amazing program.


If you are interested you can (just about) hear it here:


You really have 2 choice of key signatures, 1 flat or nothing. 1 flat is the only common key signature you could use to avoid excessive accidentals, but no key signature seems to make more sense in the context. I would seriously consider using the 1 flat key for writing the music and removing it when I'm finished.

If the music is for Western musicians not accustomed to such scales, then I would agree, one flat or nothing. If it's for people who are accustomed to using that scale *and* to reading music that uses the key signature that would actually seem most natural for it - one flat and one sharp - then by all means, use the custom key signature feature to set that up. But most Western musicians will not be able to deal with that well. And custom key signatures do require extra effort to use.

Thank you to all the people who replied, what a wonderful forum this is as I have found many times before. Yes I think the Bb key signature is the way I will go.


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