Major? minor? that is the question...

i’m having some fun doing common practice harmony exercises with Dorico but there is one glaring problem. key signatures, as shown in the ‘used in this flow’ panel don’t distinguish which of them are ‘Major’ and which are ‘minor’. is there a why to tell? does it matter? if it doesn’t matter… why the distinction in the ‘key signatures’ panel? anyway, check-out the screen shot to get an idea of the dilemma.

It may (or should!) make a difference to the choice of accidentals and recognizing chords, if you input notes using MIDI. I don’t think it has any effect on the score layout.

FWIW both MusicXML and MIDI distinguish between major and minor in the key signature definitions. In Dorico you can just say “3 sharps” or whatever to input a key signature with the popover, without specifying major/minor mode. But MusicXML explicitly defines the full note names anyway (e.g. G sharp or A flat), though MIDI does not.

IMO it’s just as easy to type KD or Kd for D major or minor, as it is to pick something from the right hand menu. The menu might be more useful if you define custom key signatures, or use a different tonality system from the default 12-tone scale.

If memory serves me correctly, you should get a textual description of the key signature when you hold your mouse over it. I’m not in front of Dorico right now so I may be wrong…

i thought of that… but i don’t. it would be nice to get some feedback (say colored vs uncolored key sigs in the used by panel :exclamation: ). as it stands, i have to choose key sigs from the key signature panel. i guess it’s somewhat pedantic, but i am doing exercises… :wink:

Sorry for misinforming you. In that case go with Rob’s suggestion; it’s way quicker:
Shift+K F Enter (for F major)
Shift+K f Enter (for F minor)

yes, that’s easy. i’ll have to use it. still… a visual of the type of key signature used in a flow would be nice - give Dorico that ‘finished’ look… and while we’re at it… why not have the key signatures line up in the ‘used by’ panel? currently they’re all katywumpus…

The key signatures take up as much width as they need, which is logical given Custom key signatures could have 9 accidentals (or more?).

a clarification of my ideas:

Or a kind of switching button at the top with ‘major’ and ‘minor’ like ‘poco’ or ‘meno’ in the other menus (‘major’ selected by default most likely).

The symbols should indeed be bottom-aligned instead of centred (which they probably are right now).

Bottom-aligning the key signatures might not help much, with things like the attachment …

(And I’m not sure how you would classify that as major or minor, either!)
key signature.png

I was only referring to the symbols in tbabcock123’s screencap, accidentals stick out the top rather than the bottom, so bottom-aligning should work. I’m not sure if cautionary naturals show up in that.

(I wouldn’t know what to play I if saw your linked key signature, to be honest! Is it 3 sharps in the upper octaves and only 1 in the lower?)
My point was rather that, like if you enter ‘1 sharp’ in the Key Signatures popover, Dorico will default to G major rather than e minor.

It’s actually notation for a violin part using a non-standard tuning. The notes on the staff correspond to where the player would normally finger them, not to the sounding pitch. So effectively, the bottom of the staff is a “transposing instrument” relative to the rest of it - hence the strange looking key signature, which is effectively G major at the bottom of the staff and A major at the top.

Dorico won’t play it correctly, but that’s beside the point!