I'm finding it difficult to get my accidentals as easy to read as possible in my Concert Band scores.
One of the first things Rodney "composingatnight" pointed out to me when I started delving more into notation, was to not trust the automatic spellings Sibelius comes up with. The program will come up with goofy things like E# for an F, when musicians want to get the straight goods - it's an F, for cryin' out loud, so spell it that way. That's an overly complicated spelling that's easy enough to spot in a score. Double sharps and flats are theoretically correct, but musicians, especially the students in school bands, don't want to deal with them, so write those as the natural pitches, regardless that it's not strictly correct. Fine.
But as I try to proof read the spellings, there are many cases where I'm just not sure what to do.
Here's a screenshot of a Tuba line, bass clef, key of F. Is that the way it should be? In the third measure, the Db doesn't really belong in the key of F. C# is the theoretically correct spelling, just as the Gb would be an F#. Considering that last passage, those last two notes are going up, so should I rely on the basic theory that sharps are used to indicate a rising passage and flats are used for descending passages? Or do I say to heck with any consideration except the advice I've had to just always use flats for the tuba, because that's all the player wants to see?
But then from the guidelines posted by band music publishers, I see that all sharps are to be avoided, and at least in a Grade 3 piece, to never write in sharp key signatures. What then of the transposing instruments which are always in keys with sharps when the concert key is something like F with one flat?
So, as I pulled up my chair to dig into fixing up the accidentals in my current band piece, I was immediately stymied by these kinds of questions.