Possible to change key signature for only 1 staff?

• Feb 4, 2016 - 08:03

So I have this concert band piece which is playing at concert B major, however, the poor Bb instruments(treble clef Euphonium, clarinets, Bass/Tenor/Soprano Saxes) play at C# major, which is 7 sharps, and I want to change it to the enharmonic equivalent, which is Db major, but when I change it, it changes the whole score's key signature! Is there a way around this?


This comes up occasionally, and I always point this out when it does:

Don't assume that just because you might prefer to see 5 flats rather than 7 shaprs, that players of transposing instruments will have the sasme preference. Because all the music they see has two or three more sharps (or fewer flats) than what the rest of su see, they are odften far more comfortable with sharps than with flats. I know at least some players have specifically said they prefer 7 sharps to 5 flats. But I imagine it is kind of a personal thing.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

There are standards and the players appreciate it when you follow them.

The President's Own US Marine Corps Band is making the entire march canon of John Philip Sousa available for free. Download the scores and do what he did. If Sousa used 7 sharps or 5 flats, do the same.


I never sat in a woodwind chair in Concert Band but I played string bass in quite a few. One third of the time, I was transposing Eb or Bb contrabass clarinet parts. I have a feeling that I would remember 7 sharps.

Key signatures are available in the Key Signatures palette in the Basic or Advanced workspaces.You can create custom key signatures using the Master key signature palette (press Shift+K to view), which also allows you to use a wide range of non-standard symbols.

I think that the answer you´re trying to get to (not sure though) is that you can write the sheet music in the correct key for an instrument that is written in another pitch then what is written of the page.... don't know but if that is the answer you are looking for, if you have Bb clarinet written and you have a A clarinet to transpose to, go to the name of the instrument in the sheet music itself you're looking to changing, and right click and go to Stave/Part Properties and when the menu shows up go to Change Instruments under Part Properties and hit Common and there you can choose like orchestra and actually change the instrument itself to a different key, for instance from default Bb clarinet to a A clarinet or a Eb clarinet.

Changing the Staff key in itself will only change the key you're in within the key the instrument is, such as Bb... it won´t change the key of the instrument, only the key of the Bb instrument itself.

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