Cautionary clef, key and time signature before repeat barline

If the clef, key and/or time signature changes inside a repeat section, it’s usually recommended to add a cautionary clef key, and/or time signature directly before the repeat barline, e.g. as shown in this example:
Elaine Gould also mentions it on page 234 of “Behind Bars”. I guess, this feature isn’t yet supported in Dorico – at least I couldn’t find a corresponding option – but is there a workaround to simulate this somehow?


Dorico does indeed not yet support the restatement of the clef/time/key at the destination of the repeat jump, but this is something we plan to support in future. Note that this will not be part of the expanded support for repeats coming in the next update later this year.

In the meantime, I don’t think there’s any good workaround aside from inserting characters that look like the appropriate clef, key signature, etc., using Shift+X text: set the ‘Avoids collisions’ property to be enabled but switched off to make it easier to place those items in Engrave mode.

It’s not often that I disagree with Daniel, but I think you can work around the first and second time bars easily:

Simply set the caret near the end of the first time bar, set the Note value to something very small, then advance the caret to just before the barline. Then invoke the key signature popover and add the D major key signature.

That means that the second time bar will technically be in D major, so you’ll have to manually show the accidentals from the properties panel.

The third time bar will be substantially trickier, because of course you don’t want to show a cautionary D minor key signature at the end of the second time bar.

Following on from my suggestion, here’s a demo that involves extra Dm key signatures that have been scaled to 0% so that (to all intents and purposes) they’re invisible. I’ve spent a couple of minutes fiddling with note spacing.

Here’s the Piano part layout, which involves none of the magic. Hopefully you can see exactly what I’ve done here (I’ve entered multiple key signatures at specific rhythmic locations near the end of each bar).

and here’s the score layout with the various bits of scaling, note spacing and some extra frames to separate the coda.

I’ve attached the Dorico file too. (423 KB)

Thank you, pianoleo, that’s awesome. Great that you event took the time to create an example file. This solution is pretty straight forward and requires even less fiddling than I’m used to from Finale.
It’s also nice to hear that the additional clefs, key and time signatures will be officially supported in a future version of Dorico. In the meantime, pianoleo’s solution works nicely.


Omitting the cautionary naturals would give a cleaner result. In modern practice naturals are only used to return to the key of C or A minor. See Gould page 93.

Sure. I was merely trying to demonstrate that it’s perfectly possible to replicate the example the OP gave, in Dorico.

I understood that, pianoleo. The observation was aimed at the OP and in general, since there are many who persist in using the older style. This particular case illustrates well why the older style has been abandoned.

Of course. I just linked that example because it was the first one I found with a quick Google search. Although most of our clients prefer the new notation without preceding naturals, some still require the old one, mainly in case of critical editions. So I wouldn’t consider them completely abandoned, especially if you work as an engraver.