...to input, handle, or otherwise use instruments that are either sharp or flat vs their written counterpart?
I am using NOTION as a serious education tool but my background is in guitar, where a Bb written sounds and is played as, well, a Bb, too.
However, not having an orchestral background, knowing that some instruments (Bb clarinet?) don't play the same note as written, and wanting to analyze a score without having to transpose notes of each vertical chord in my head...
How can you set up a score so that if you enter say, a C-natural, all the instruments will show it on screen (paper) as a C, and not a Bb or whatever.
Does this make sense, both the question and the reasoning? And for score analyzation is this something that would even be of benefit? (For a beginner to orchestral scoring, I mean?)
You need to transpose all transposing instruments first to C, to get a C (non-transposing score). Go to: 'score setup', click on each non-transposing instrument (list below), then click 'properties'. Under 'instrument key', choose C from the drop down menu. Follow the prompts (by clicking ok) to assign each instrument to play in C. You will need to do this for each transposing instrument you use.
These instruments are not C instruments: English Horn is pitched in F, Clarinet (both soprano and bass) are usually pitched in B flat, Piccolo Clarinet is pitched in E flat, Saxophones are pitched in B flat or E flat, French Horn is in F, Trumpet is in B flat. All the rest of the instruments are pitched in C, and don't require any changes to make a C score.
Remember to change the transposing instruments back to their native pitch if you wish to have the transposing instruments easily play your work.
I always compose with all instruments playing in C, and make violas play in the treble clef, versus the alto clef. It's just easier to think in one key, as opposed to say 6. I'd rather not read in the alto clef, if I don't have to!