Piano staff key signature for Ab Hungarian minor?

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Hi,
I am trying to learn the process of exporting MIDI from my sequencer in order to produce an example of sheet music.

I started with a song for solo piano written in Ab Hungarian minor. The score editors I have don't have that scale as a pre-made choice, so I have to make my own key signature.

I am writing to ask if the example of the key signature posted here represents the correct, accepted, traditional, format for indicating this key scale on a piano Treble/Bass claf staff.
Ab-Hungarian-minor-Key-Signature.jpg
Thank you!
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Last edited by D2sX9ek8w3 on Fri Feb 23, 2024 8:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Since that thing isn't a key, its "key signature" may be whatever you find works for you. There is no traditional correct etc etc key_signature for that object which does not signify any major or minor key (the limit of what's called "key"). Nothing wrong with doing it at all, though.

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Would pianists prefer to encounter one of the memorized key signatures and a whole bunch of accidentals?

How did the last few people who wrote piano music with the scale of Ab Hungarian minor notate the staff?

I would like to make the depiction seem accessible.

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Perhaps this would be preferred?
Ab-Hungarian-minor-Scale.jpg
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I would notate in G# aeolian minor. But with c and f as double sharps.

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Etienne1973 wrote: Fri Feb 23, 2024 12:24 pm Image

I would notate in G# aeolian minor. But with c and f as double sharps.
This is going to be considerably harder to read than in Ab, or even blank with accidentals.

I myself prefer key signature if mostly static, or blank with accidentals if mostly shifting.

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Better?

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From the little reading I have done on the subject, it seems that player preferences differ widely and will reflect personal experience and familiarity with specific scales. It is my impression an individual player may have one sort of preference for an uncommon scale they are familiar with and may have a different preference for an uncommon scale they are less familiar with.

I can read a staff like a schoolboy but have no hope of sight reading while playing, so it all seems like a herculean task to me. I play several acoustic instruments, all by ear. Piano or keyboard is not my primary instrument, so this "composing" project is an exercise I have undertaken to experience the joy of learning new things.

I want to attempt to make the music available and accessible to an entity other than an electronic sequencer, so I am trying to do my part by preparing the notation so as not to seem adversarial.

I appreciate learning the varied opinions and will find any explanation you can provide helpful as it helps with understanding how a player thinks when they are sight reading.

Thank you!

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Of course it would be easier if you just transposed up or down a semi-tone, but if you insist on these notes, and speaking as a pianist, I would prefer the G# version above.

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Thank you for the suggestion. My project is a collection of twelve songs based on 12 reference notes Ab thru G. I already wrote, played, and recorded the songs. When I started to think about sheet music, Ab was first on the list, and it so happened the song was based on the Hungarian minor scale.

I don't mind the songs being transposed, but if I do it at this phase of the project life cycle it will not be representative of the body of work.

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A♭ Hungarian minor is A♭ minor with a raised 7th and 4th. So notation is A♭ minor (key of 7 flats) with accidentals notated where applicable (D♮ and G♮).

As these are accidentals, it’s not uncommon that the unraised scale tones of D♭ and G♭ may be used as well.

Perhaps the key is a little confusing because of the C♭ and F♭, but that is the correct way to spell those notes in this context. Outside of equal temperament, B and C♭ are not the same notes. Neither are E and F♭.

You would use A♭minor rather than G♯ minor because the use of double sharps should be avoided when possible.
THIS MUSIC HAS BEEN MIXED TO BE PLAYED LOUD SO TURN IT UP

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I guess the preference for a novel key signature-looking thing vs a regular key signature with accidentals is entirely personal and may have to do with one's background. I was seeing "key signatures" as up for grabs a long time ago as I was fascinated by exotic scales and able to sight-read ok.

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I think it would be very confusing for someone to sight read that novel key signature. They would constantly have to think about it, and seeing 5 flats is going to throw them off and lead to errors. Using the correct key of 7 flats with accidentals is going to keep the players much better rooted.
THIS MUSIC HAS BEEN MIXED TO BE PLAYED LOUD SO TURN IT UP

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