Write Cb key signature for Bb trumpet

Hello everyone, sorry if this topic has been discussed lately but I couldn’t find it if so.

Is there a way to write the concert A key signature as Cb for Bb instruments?

Thank you for any tips.

I think if you use the Clef and Transposition Override dialog to set the trumpet to be in A# instead of B flat, and then switch off Prefer enharmonic equivalent key signatures with fewer accidentals on the Accidentals page of Notation Options, you’ll get what you’re looking for.


I don’t understand the OP’s question nor do I really understand Daniel’s answer, other than that A# is enharmonic to Bb. Can someone clarify what’s going on? I do understand transposing instruments so I’m wondering how all of this fits. Thanks!

The piece is in A so a Bb part will be in B. OP wants it to be in Cb instead of B. Harpists always read in Cb instead of B as well.

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Ah. Thanks!

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Hi Daniel, thank you so much for guiding me to the right tools to try to sort out this situation.

This came about while doing an exercise for my students, just developing a famous Herbert L. Clarke trumpet exercise over the harmonic minor scale. These exercises are always in all keys. So, when I arrived to the G# harmonic minor scale with 5 sharps in the key signature and an F double sharp, I wanted to write it in Ab harmonic minor scale with 7 flats but no double flats. I have a few instruments in my class… alto sax, guitar, tenor sax,… that is why the transposition need. But maybe it would be necessary to duplicate the file and transpose the Bb and Eb parts to treat them as if they were concert instruments.

I am attaching what I achieved so far trying to follow your directions. It maybe not possible to do what I am trying.

01 - trumpet A- - Clark Etude 2 A#-.pdf (97.6 KB)
06 - Trumpet - Clark Etude 2 Bb.pdf (100.1 KB)

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Carlos, if you sometimes need the instrument to be treated as if it’s in B flat and other times as if it’s in A sharp, then you’re going to have to do something creative like have two trumpets in your project assigned to separate players, one of them overridden to be in A sharp, and include both trumpets in your part layout, using the appropriate instrument for each exercise, and hiding the empty staff of the other instrument as necessary.

Hi Daniel,

Thank you so much for getting back to me.
I followed your directions, the best I could, and didn’t solved it yet.
When I include both trumpets in the part layout:
(1) the one with the 7 flats shows the 5 sharps
(2) I don’t know how to hide staves with chord symbols

I am attaching the file. Please, let me know what steps I am missing.

Thank you for so much quality support!

All the best,

Clark Etude 2 - Daniel’s tips.dorico (3.9 MB)

The Transposition feature Daniel outlines is per Layout. So, you have to do the same for the Layout with the 2 trumpets.

Thank you Craig, I have been trying also what you suggested but somehow I don’t get the desired result.

Could you please do it in the file I attached and send it back so that I can see exactly how it is done?

Thanks a million

Ok here it is. I don’t have your Bop font, so I changed it to Petaluma.

Clark Etude 2 - Daniel’s tips B.dorico (3.9 MB)

Hi Craig, thank you so much for doing it in the Dorico file and for posting it back. I really appreciate it.

If you have a little bit of time to help me out please, I have a couple of questions.

Why both instruments are overridden to be in A sharp, it doesn’t make sense but I try to do only one and it doesn’t work. (Daniel’s tip: “one of them overridden to be in A sharp”)

The other question is how to hide the staffs with chords

Again, thank you so much for your time.

Sorry, I was a bit tired when I did that and wasn’t fully understanding what you wanted. What you will need to do is put a Manual Staff Visibility setting at the start of each exercise to hide the other staff since as you say the chord symbols make the first system visible for both Trumpets.
Clark Etude 2 - Daniel’s tips C.dorico (3.9 MB)

Update: Perhaps a better way is you can hide the chord symbol on the other staff from the Properties Panel.
Clark Etude 2 - Daniel’s tips D.dorico (3.9 MB)

Hi Craig, thank you so much for your time, I really appreciate it.

Thank you for the last two tips, I am getting really behind. I try them and it is great.

If you have a couple of words to explain what is the rational behind this, it really would help me out to use this technique when needed:

Why both instruments are overridden to be in A sharp?

That was a mistake on my part. The last 2 versions I posted corrected that. Only one is overridden.

… I did test that but look at the results from your tips B and C

Daniel’s tips B (both overridden)
5 tip B
Daniel’s tips D (only trumpet 2 overridden)5 tip D

In Galley mode, you have to put the sections you want to respell the Key Signature for into the A# trumpet staff.

Craig!!! Thank you for all your time helping me out with this piece of music. I learned a lot!

All the best,

You’re welcome, glad it’s all working now.