I have a key-signature half-way a measure. I discovered clef change mid-measure, but not key-signatures. Is that possible?

  • 3
    Why would you need a key change half-way through a bar? It's pretty well unheard of. You could use accidentals instead. – Tim Sep 29 '18 at 14:39
  • I think I've seen some classical music with mid-measure key signature changes. Faithfully copying them with music notation software pretty much requires this. – Dekkadeci Sep 30 '18 at 6:12

There’s no straightforward way to do this, but there is a way that isn’t too hard. Use two measures, each with a time signature that is half of a measure. Check the box for a different display signature that matches the time signature you actually want. For example, if the piece is in 4/4, make two measures that are 2/4 but are set to display as if they were 4/4.

Now, put the key change in the second measure. You can then choose either to make the right bar line of the first half-measure into a dashed bar line (my recommendation) or make it completely invisible. A similar trick can be used for lots of unconventional mid measure stuff.

There may be a few adjustments you’ll have to make. Bear in mind that Finale will always consider this measure to be two measures, so you’ll need to adjust measure numbers after it (this is easy, just uncheck the box in the measure properties for the second measure that includes it in the numbering), and you might need to force or unforce some accidentals in the second half measure. You’ll also probably have to be careful about any line breaks in the score and parts, since you probably don’t want the two half-measures to be separated from each other.

| improve this answer | |
  • Please explain why any of this might be necessary. – Tim Sep 29 '18 at 16:31
  • @Tim Because I’m fairly certain that Finale doesn’t have a simple, built-in way to do what the OP wants. I could be wrong, do you know another way? – Pat Muchmore Sep 29 '18 at 16:41
  • Not at all. I just don't understand why a piece needs to change key in the middle of a bar. – Tim Sep 29 '18 at 17:32
  • To avoid the unsightly clutter of accidentals that would ensue if the change were deferred to the next barline. – Rosie F Sep 29 '18 at 20:50
  • 1
    And more of an explanation, the piece uses many modulations. I will be more clear to the performer that the modulation is where it belongs in the piece instead of artificial meter changes (I do know) or confusing accidentals (I abolished). – Arnold Sep 30 '18 at 6:23

You want A rather than B? Yes, think in terms of splitting the bar into two rather than inserting a key signature mid-bar.

My example was done in Sibelius, but the same can be achieved easily in Finale.

enter image description here

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.