Key Signature - 1st system only


Key signatures are typically placed across all systems within Dorico by default.
Is there a way to maintain a key signature ONLY within the first system while eliminating (or hiding) subsequent key signatures throughout?

I don’t think so, No.

Is this for some exercise sheet?

Hi Ben,

No, for exercise sheets, I have a nice segment from John Barron’s Hangout that explains a lot about them.

I would like to, however, create a ‘clean’ jazz chord-chart. Its the same method used in some fakebooks.

Also, while we’re at it, I managed to create barlines on the outer-most left bar for every system. BUT, further than that, I cannot change any of them into double barlines , for instance.

These two items are common practice among various RealBooks.


I don’t know if there’s a notation option for this, but you can always create a new tonality system with the normal alterations and blank flats and sharps, then create the appropriate (blank) key signatures.

You are correct that this is common, … but as it is a holdover from hand copying, it’s a convention I’m happy to see die out. Just to show how far behind the union is to adapting to the times, the Local 802 music prep scales (revised 3/4/2019) literally still charge to add clefs and/or key signatures to every staff in the General Price List scale. Back in the hand copying days, adding these clefs and key sigs would add to the price, so they were often left out in jazz and commercial copying. This is a convention completely for speed and cost, and not for the benefit of the player.

That said, if you really want to do it, create your key sig at the beginning, create a key change to C or Open on the 2nd system, create a Coda on the second system (which will hide the cautionary key sig), hide the Coda, and set the indentation to 0. You now have to manually hide all the accidentals that will be covered by your initial key sig, but it should work.

Unless you are really trying to replicate hand copied work for some reason, I would not recommend this though, even though it has traditionally been quite common. It’s almost 2020, this convention can die out in computer engraved music as far as I’m concerned, as it is not beneficial to the player and is just a holdover for speed and cost.

Thanks for the ideas @ Lucas and Fred.
I managed to follow the methods above. It’s a workaround and I managed hiding the subsequent key signatures (I only want the very first one).

However, my argument about producing this type of notation is for mere simplicity. It’s to keep the reading clean as possible as well as providing more real-estate spacing among the chords, etc.

In fact, this is nothing new. Please have a look at one ‘notation-program’ user who brilliantly explained his reasons why in just 2 sentences.

Moreover, well-known blogger Philip Rothman (Scoring Notes) published an article for the same reasons in which I wish Dorico would be able to do without workarounds. (John Barron? Daniel? Anthony?) :wink:;):wink:

We certainly don’t rule out supporting this in a future version, but it’s not something we are actively working on right now.

Thank You Daniel for acknowledging this notational practise.
Hope to see it materialize in Dorico one day.