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I am writing a section of a book covering the 7 church modes through 12 keys, and I wish to use modal key signatures. For example C Dorian would have two flats. Of course it is easy to write the examples in the key of Bb major from C to C, but I will be using a substantial amount of chord analysis, which will display incorrectly unless the tonal center is moved to the proper step. I understand minor key signatures set the tonal center to 6, so why can't I set the tonal center to 2 in this case? The manual indicates that non-tonal key signatures do not have a circle of fifths, but the church modes do. All I need is to offset the tonal center on the circle of fifths key signatures.

It seems simple, but I cannot find a way to do it, nor find any solution on the internet. Can anyone enlighten me?

Thanks kindly,

Dan Williams
Finale 26, latest update
Windows 10

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You can certainly design your own key signatures in Finale. Not sure what else you are asking — or is that it?

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Just to use standard key signatures with offset tonal center, as done with minor key signatures. 

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Since the mode is neither Major nor minor, in the dialog box Key Signature, choose Nonstandard…

 

In the dialog box Nonstandard Key Signature, click the button {Next} twice, to navigate past Linear Key Format 0 (= Major) and Linear Key Format 1 (= minor), and get to Linear Key Format 2.

The first two Linear Key Formats (= 0 and 1) are “hardwired”, but in Linear Key Format 2 (and onwards) you can customize the key signature without the limitations found in the Linear Key Formats 0 and 1.

All the lower buttons are active.

 

… I understand minor key signatures set the tonal center to 5, so why can't I set the tonal center to 2 in this case? …

 

This is a misunderstanding of the Key Format for minor keys.

Indeed, for the (minor) key of {a minor} (= no flats / no sharps) the Tone Center is 5 (= A).

But if you go to 1 flat = {d minor}, you will see that the Tone Center is 1 (= D).

And for 1 sharp = {e minor} the Tone Center is 2 (= E).

 

For the key of {d dorian}, go to Linear Key Format 2, stay at (no flats / no sharps), and set the Tone Center for Unit 0 to Step Level 1 (not 2, as you wrote).

To create a complete Linear Key Format of all the dorian mode transpositions you must set the Tone Center for each of the Units -7, -6, -5, -4, -3, -2, -1, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.

(Unit -7 means 7 flats; Unit 7 means 7 sharps)

 

Geddit?

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Thanks so much for your detailed answer. It will take some time for me to unpack the procedure and apply 5 modes (skipping Major for Ionian, and Minor for Aeolian) to 12 key centers. So, I will have to do it 60 times. But if it let's me transpose the music and the non-standard key signatures, I would only have to do it 5 times, and transpose to 11 other keys.

Looks like the interface hasn't been modified since Phil Farrand created Finale. My first version of Finale was 2.01 (which predated MIDI input in v2.2!). I will work with your procedure, and then follow up with a detailed request to the development team for an interface update.

Thank you again!

 

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>…and then follow up with a detailed request to the development team for an interface update.<

 

Let us know how that works out.

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