custom key signature (Maqam Rast) / Transposing keys


I don’t know if anyone could help me with my question.

I’m very new to Dorico and I’m trying to understand how to create a custom key signature that includes microtones. In Arabic music, the key signature for a common Maqam known as Maqam Rast is what I’d like to try first. The key signature is often written with two half flats (B and E). How can I emulate that within Dorico?

Also, I have some Turkish music notation for Oud, which I’ve found to be 5 steps above the Arabic oud. Is there any way I could create a custom key signature in Maqam Rast and then transpose it up to the Turkish tuning while maintaining the current divisions between each note?

I hope this makes sense. Many thanks in advance.
Turkish version.png
Arabic version.png

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I am very new to Dorico and I am trying to create a custom key signature based on the notation conventions of Maqam music. The first Maqam I’m trying to create a key signature for is called Maqam Rast, which in the key signature has two half flats (the B and the E). I’ve been playing in the custom key signature section of Dorico but haven’t been able to successful achieve what I’m trying to do. Can anyone show me how this could be done?

Also, I am curious to know if customized key signatures can be automatically transposed? The reason I ask this is because the Turkish makam notation system is slightly different from the Arabic notation, and I’d like to standardize my collection of digitized scores.

Many thanks in advance!

Please start with the documentation here, which will explain the concepts and where to look in the application. The important steps are to define your own tonality system in the Edit Tonality System dialog, and then to ensure you create a key signature with your new tonality system chosen in order to use it in your project.

Custom key signatures can be transposed, provided the interval you want to transpose by allows a valid set of note spellings and accidentals. Dorico won’t allow you to specify a translation that will result in invalid spellings or accidentals, so if you find that you cannot choose an interval that you expect in Write > Transpose, that will be the reason: the interval you want to transpose by is invalid for the tonality system you have created.

Thanks very much!

Sorry to jump on an old topic, but I’m running into trouble trying to transpose a custom key signature in exactly this situation. Does it not work for 24 EDO? I had made some quarter-tone key signatures but there should be no invalid intervals (I don’t think —not clear what you meant by this) in transposition. Just wondering if there’s a way not to make a complete set of key signatures for every single new key.

When I go to write>transpose, all the fields are blank, with no options to transpose.
This happens to any custom key signature, even the ones that are ostensibly identical to 12-EDO signatures.

Would you be able to attach your project here so we can take a look and let you know what’s going on?

Hi Daniel! Thanks for responding. So what I discovered is that there seems to be no way to transpose the key signature until there is actual music notated. Once there is some notation, then the transpose dialog works mostly as expected. A little counterintuitive (I wanted the key signature to be correct before I started entering music), but not a big deal.

However, I’m still attaching the file because some of my key signatures transpose normally and others don’t seem to work as expected. I’m sure I’m missing something but in the attached file the “bayati re” signature won’t transpose but the “bayati sol” one will. They should be identical other than the center pitch so I’m not sure what’s happening (I made “bayati sol” later since I couldn’t get “bayati re” to transpose up a 4th). Maybe since I made “Bayati Re” in Dorico v.2?

I do want to say I’m really happy overall with how Dorico handles microtonality — one of the main reasons I switched from Finale. Key-issue.dorico (346.4 KB)

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I’ve been looking into your project, and the problem is that the natural accidental that Dorico is expecting to find (which it needs when it’s transposing the key signature root) is not found, because you’ve replaced the default natural accidental with your own one. If you would like to send me your project, I can try to fix it for you. Unfortunately it’s not possible for you to fix because you can’t add an accidental type from another tonality system into an existing one in the user interface, but I should be able to do it by hand if you send me your complete project.