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Custom Key Signatures

A Forum to Discuss NOTION

Custom Key Signatures

Postby fra967 » Thu Nov 05, 2009 8:09 am

Hi all
I've read on various reviews that Notion can create and play custom key signatures, I'm trying out Notion 3 demo as I'd be extremely interested in this feature (which no other notation software support). However I cannot find out how to do that, I can only assign standard key signatures.
Anybody has a clue on how to create your own key signature? Could not find any info in the user guide either.
My aim is to assign custom key signatures with quarter-tones for arabic/persian music.
Thanks in advance
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Re: Custom Key Signatures

Postby Admin » Thu Nov 05, 2009 11:05 am

NOTION3 does not offer custom key signatures with quarter tones. You can have multiple key signatures within a score.

NOTION3 does have quarter tones and you can access them on the palette,

or by using

shift + 2 for flats
shift + 3 for sharps
shift + 4 for natural
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Re: Custom Key Signatures

Postby fra967 » Thu Nov 05, 2009 11:18 am

Many thanks for your prompt answer

Leaving aside the quarter-tone accidentals, does Notion support custom key signatures with standard accidentals but with different intervals from the available keys (major, minor, lydian...)?
Let's say that I want a key signature in D with B flat, G sharp and C sharp: can I create it?

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Re: Custom Key Signatures

Postby Unfinished » Thu Nov 05, 2009 3:32 pm

I think you can't do that at the moment...
Feature request?
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Re: Custom Key Signatures

Postby fra967 » Thu Nov 05, 2009 9:22 pm

Just out of curiosity, was this feature present in previous versions?
Because I saw it mentioned in the feature list of version 2.0 (which at the moment is not available on the site, but still visible on Google's cache), in some reviews, and it's still there on Notion's wikipedia page.
Or maybe you meant something different with "custom key signatures"?

Anyway, I'll add it to the feature requests, hopefully it's doable as Notion's support of quarter tones makes it stand out in front of the competition (at least for me... :)
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Re: Custom Key Signatures

Postby DrH » Fri Nov 06, 2009 5:28 pm


Just double-checked on N2, and yes indeed, it was possible to create a custom key signature in Notion 2.

Yet another feature that has been taken away or broken. :-(

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Re: Custom Key Signatures

Postby dgriffee » Fri Nov 06, 2009 6:54 pm

on the technical side, I would venture to guess that the guys at NM could likely tweek some configuration data to (re?)enable such a thing.

On the musical side, I am intrigued by what sorts of alternative scales/keys you might be wanting to apply in this way. (I love to work in octatonic myself, but of course that one requires accidentals to resolve its little notation dilemmas on the traditional staff.) If I may be so curious, please describe maybe just a few more examples and name what they would represent musically. This seems like it could be a very cool feature in the hands of someone who knows what they want to do with it.
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Re: Custom Key Signatures

Postby sepheritoh » Sat Nov 07, 2009 8:02 am

I'm not a proud owner of a doctorate in music, but I can see that such a function would be wonderfull in the hand of even a person like me. This just might enable me to score something like Goldenthal's Alien3, Hermann's Psyco, Davids's Matrix, etc, etc.

(PS Maybe that could make it possible to notate the average Lady Gaga melodies as well ;) )
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Re: Custom Key Signatures

Postby fra967 » Sun Nov 08, 2009 3:36 pm

Many thanks DrH for the info.
It's disappointing that they've taken out this feature, hopefully it can be restored in a feature release.
The software has a good support of quarter-tones, it's probably just matter of adapting the GUI to the functionality.
I've posted a feature request
If you agree on its importance, please support it

to dgriffee:
I've seen some examples of non-standard key signatures in Bela Bartok's music, however the main reason I'm interested in this functionality is because I study arabic music and play the oud. In arabic music system (and in similar ones like persian and turkish) the system of modes - or maqam, as they call them - is quite different from the western ones and it uses special key signatures, which could even include quarter tones.
You can find lots of examples on the net, for example here

So far, quarter tones' notation and playback has had very limited support by the major software producers (you know, Finale, Sibelius to name a few), I believe the reason being their focus on MIDI and western music.
Notion looks quite different to me and it has a much better support of quarter-tones (ok, they're slightly out of tune but this is a different, and very long, story). It just needs a few tweaks (such as custom key signatures, and custom quarter-tone tuning) to become a very interesting product for non-western musicians (or western musicians, like me, who study non-western music)

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