Key signature of horns

• Jun 30, 2021 - 10:06

How can I get the key signature of the horns blank like a normal orchestra score?


Why would a key signature of horns (and horns only?) be blank in a normal orchestra score?
Maybe you're talking about concert pitch vs. sounding pitch? If so use the corresponding button in the toolbar.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Yes, horns are often special cases in (older) orchestral scores and are notated without key signatures. They are still written as transposing instruments (with several different transp hiositions, sometimes different ones for individual horn part). So in a piece with three flats in the key signature for non-transposing instruments,for a horn in F there would be no key signature and a concert Eb would be written as Bb using an accidental.

Most but not all modern writing tends to include key signatures for horns and to stick to horns in F.

[Edit] To answer the original question: there is a blank key signature in the pallet, the one with a grey X. It would need to be added by selecting the first measure and using CTRL + click to add it to each horn stave. See…

In reply to by dhfx

I assume you mean that you write in alto clef for your own convenience while working in concert pitch mode - I actually use the octave-transposed treble clef for instruments like horns, tenor saxophone, and others whose range doesn't neatly fit either treble or bass. Including viola, which normally uses alto clef :-). But for the record, it's normal and correct that these clef adjustments made while in concert pitch mode only affect that mode - the transposed clef is managed separately. So you can write in also ore treble-8 for your own convenience but the transposed parts will still use the standard clefs so the players can read them!

In reply to by SteveBlower

I assure you I know the difference between English and French horns (also IIRC the English horn is not English and not a horn). I do recall reading that Prokofiev at an early point in his composing career decided that it made more sense while composing to work with everything at concert pitch, and with horns in alto clef. However, a quick Google search turned up some posts to the effect that conductors prefer transposed scores so they can see what the players are seeing, so even if I had a Prokofiev score handy (which I don't) it could have been transposed by the publisher - the only sure way to see how he actually worked is to look at one of his scores in manuscript.

Anyway, with MuseScore it makes no difference which clefs I use for composing; transposed parts come out properly transposed, and I can even print a whole transposed score if I need to. Thank you, MS developers!

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