I am doing an orchestration of a piece with Sibelius 4 and having a hard time determining the accidentals that should be used (should it be F# or G flat?).
Could someone clarify and simplify how to best derive what accidentals should be used when the piece doesn't use key signatures?
My understanding is you derive the accidental in this order:
1.) Determines the key scale the note belongs to by its context. Prioritize the accidental based on the current key that is implied. (This is difficult if the piece jumps keys often)
2.) My teacher also suggested respelling into 3rds. So for example, you wouldn't spell out C,E,F# because it doesn't look like it is in 3rds and harder to read than C,E,Gflat since the G flat is just a flatted 5th note of the C triad.
3.) When the notation follows an ascending chromatic scale, make the accidentals sharp. When the notes follow a descending scale, use flats.
How bad would it be if I just used step 3 from above for an orchestral performance? Are there special considerations for differnet instruments? I think I remember reading that harps prefer sharps for their notes - because of better sound. I am not looking for a definitive guide but some best practices and rules of thumb.