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14

Upon listening to it, F minor is the tonic chord. It does have Dorian characteristics like you say, namely a major IV chord and melodic D naturals. Is that good enough reason to write it in a key signature of 3 flats? Ultimately it’s your call. Here are somethings to think about: The case for 4 flats: Players that read are used to having the key signature ...


10

I agree with the other answers that both are possible, but would err towards four ♭s. Why? Well, the piece isn't really modal Dorian. The vocal melody doesn't use D♮ for the whole verse, and when it does go to that note in the bridge/chorus it's a big reveal. (In spite of The B♭ major chord having turned up earlier in the accompaniment already... but it's ...


6

The key of a song is not determined by the first chord(s). The Fm and Bb chords "exist" in Eb major (and, therefore, F dorian) and F minor (as a borrowed chord from major). Ultimately, the key signature is a guide for the person reading the score. It's your call as the arranger whether you want that person to think of the arrangement in F dorian, ...


6

In the Baroque period the standard minor key signature was a so-called "dorian" signature, meaning it didn't put a flat on the sixth scale degree, and flats were added as accidentals in the score. So, F minor in the Baroque was three flats, C minor was two flats, etc. Putting the extra flat on the sixth degree in key signatures is a more modern ...


4

Some people perform music by thinking in terms of mechanical actions related to sharps and flats. Some people perform music by playing the sounds mentally and then operating their instrument or voice to match. For people using the former approach, having a key signature minimize the use of accidentals may helpful, but for people using the latter approach ...


2

I'd say write in three flats. Dorian is a legitimate mode and shouldn't be looked at as a kind of modification of minor. If musicians don't understand Dorian, they can and should learn- it's not rocket science.


2

The point of having a key signature is to give the reader an idea of what's happening as he reads through the piece. 3 flats means he'll expect those 3 notes to be flattened each time they occur, and play appropriately. Unless they get cancelled with an accidental. Unfortunately that doesn't happen in minor keys, where often the leading note - not marked in ...


1

Sheet music is for the performer. "There are three flats consistently used throughout" is the information the performer needs. You are essentially lying to the performer in including D-flat in the key signature, telling them to expect that some of the Ds may be flattened. I see no benefit in this.


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