Positions of key signatures

Key signatures are positioned between clefs and time signatures by default, and are shown on every staff that requires a key signature. They are not shown on staves for unpitched instruments.

Key signatures are shown at the start of a piece and at the start of subsequent movements, even if the music carries straight on and in the same key. Unlike time signatures, key signatures appear at the start of every system in full score and part layouts, even if the key signature has not changed. They apply until the end of the flow or until the next key signature change, whichever comes first.

Figure: The correct position for key signatures is between clefs and time signatures.

If a key signature change occurs during a piece or movement, it should be placed immediately after a barline. It is customary to have a double barline where a key signature change takes place, which is the default setting in Dorico Pro. However, you can change the default barline shown at key signature changes.

Figure: Examples of key signatures positioned after double barlines

You can move key signatures to new rhythmic positions in Write mode. They are positioned according to your settings on the Key Signatures and Spacing Gaps pages in Engrave > Engraving Options.

If you find you need to move individual key signatures graphically,you can do this in Engrave mode, but this does not change their rhythmic positions.

If you want to adjust the default position of key signatures relative to notes or barlines, you must change the project-wide values for spacing gaps on the Spacing Gaps page in Engraving Options.