For questions about key signatures, scales, modes and similar topics. Most questions should also be tagged with "music-theory".

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0answers
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Beginnging Music Theory - What are scales and why should I learn them? [duplicate]

Background I'm looking for help with respect to where I could start learning music in general as a guitarist. I can play some simple songs and melodies I taught myself, understand what notes map to ...
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3answers
54 views

Diminished and augmented key signature

Now I know that augmented chords and diminished chords are dissonant normally. Arpeggiate it and it is much more consonant. 3rd octave and it is much more consonant. But can you actually have ...
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7answers
821 views

Can a symphony be in many keys?

First of all, please excuse me for my bad musical vocabulary usages. I'm working on an information-system for music, and I'm trying to understand some basic concepts in order to move on in my ...
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1answer
82 views

Piano Sheet Music in Each Key

The book of simple music I've been using for piano sight reading practice has really helped me deeply memorize key signatures. However it seems most of the keys with flats in them were neglected. I'd ...
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6answers
1k views

Is F Lydian mode in the “key” of C Major?

I would assume that many would agree that if we have a piece of music and there are no sharps or flats in the key signature that in most cases (if not all) the piece would be considered in the key of ...
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1answer
137 views

How to translate from Scientific Pitch Notation to Lilypond absolute octaves in a concrete key?

That's the general question. More concretely, here c' is linked to C4 (middle C). Now, what is the Lilypond absolute representation for G5 in G major key?
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1answer
69 views

Need help figuring out the key of this melody [closed]

I figured this out on the piano but I'm not sure what key this would be in. Once I figure out the key I feel I can start to write more of it. I notated it in C Major with accidentals because I don't ...
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6answers
467 views

What key could the progression Dmaj7-Amaj7-A6-Esus4-E be in?

A friend is writing a song that begins with the following chord progression: Dmaj7-A-Esus4-E, and then repeats. I changed it to this (just trying things out): Dmaj7-Amaj7-A6-Esus4-E. The two A ...
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1answer
52 views

Song is described as C# is this C# major, minor or?

I am learning to play "Every praise by Hezekiah Walker" and the gentleman in the video describes the song in C# with the chords F, Eb, F#, is he referring to C# Major or Minor? I understand C# is ...
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4answers
76 views

Em9-A-B progression - would you consider that a key change?

From a theory perspective, does a repeated R&B progression like Em9-A-B count as a key change occurring over and over, or a I-IV-V progression with a seriously modified I chord (from major to ...
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1answer
54 views

Why do certain keys good together? [duplicate]

I am a DJ and the software I dj with just introduced key analyzation (Serato DJ). So now I have the key to every song in my library. Someone invented a way for DJ's to mix music in key without having ...
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2answers
104 views

How to name the key of a song that modulates?

I'm in the process of learning about keys. I'm looking at the song Cherub Rock by the Smashing Pumpkins. The tabs I see online say that the song is in the key of E major. The main riff of the verse ...
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3answers
2k views

The Chords in this progression sound great but don't belong together - so why do they work?

I am a songwriter and compose my own music to go with my lyrics. Most of my chord progressions follow common patterns like using a I V IV or I IV V with an occasional ii or iii or vi chord thrown in ...
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4answers
319 views

Which key to move higher to?

When you are singing in the key of C and you want to go a bit higher, then do you go to G (next on the circle of fifths) or C# / D (closest tone above c)? Edit: just to clarify: when I said go ...
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1answer
40 views

Determining closest key when primary contributing factors are shared among keys

Given a construct of intervals as follows: 1,#2,3,4,5,6,b7 (Dominant #2 first position) For the purpose of general notation, as the #2 is equivalent to a b3 and the 3rd is still present, would this ...
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1answer
344 views

What do these unusual signs on key signature mean?

I know that the more typical notation for the little X in the time signature is used for double sharps, but in the intro of the volume the author of this work seems to say that he is using that ...
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3answers
281 views

Determine whether to keep the original key when arranging a solo piece

Is there any best practice? Or perhaps how should you do it. To keep the original key or not, while playing a solo piece. I have several pieces by Bach which I would like to perform and possibly also ...
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0answers
45 views

How to understand and comprehend the basic major key signatures on the Baritone? [duplicate]

I am a sophomore and play the Baritone in the SCHS (go wild cats!) marching band. I have been in band for four years. I honestly didn't do band originally for anything other than it would look good on ...
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1answer
90 views

Which were the most popular key signatures in the Medieval era? [closed]

I am writing a piece of composition software and need information regarding different musical eras in order to make the algorithms work for different time periods. Therefore it would help to know if ...
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1answer
46 views

What allows us to distinguish a sequence in C major vs A minor? [duplicate]

I understand the difference between the A minor and C major scale. They both incorporate the same notes but begin on different frequencies. Yet, given a sequence of notes from the set {C,D,E,F,G,A,B} ...
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3answers
181 views

How does one establish a key? What are the criteria?

I am reading 'Guide to the Practical Study of Harmony' by Tchaikovsky. On page 63, he says to pass from one key into another it is not sufficient merely to employ a number of chords not belonging ...
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1answer
119 views

Are all keys created equal?

Often when I have been composing, I have noticed a peculiar phenomenon. Sometimes I can't think of a new way to tweak my song and it helps to change the key. I get new ideas and can then switch back ...
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3answers
74 views

How do I figure out the tonality of a piece with a chord that doesn't fit?

The piece in question is "The Flyest" - O.T. Genasis Initially I thought it was the 4th mode of Fm, but I'm not sure. The chords are Bbm, C and Gb. The presence of the Gb major chord puzzles me and ...
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3answers
103 views

Effect of keys on modern performances

I understand that traditionally, certain "moods" are associated with certain keys. I further understand that this is mainly due to the way keyboards were tuned during the classical era, but that now, ...
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4answers
148 views

Is there a pattern behind the numbers of sharp keys in chromatic scale

Here are the keys of the chromatic scale containing 12 pitches: | C | C# | D | D# | E | F | F# | G | G# | A | A# | B | |---+----+---+----+---+---+----+---+----+---+----+----+ | 0 | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 ...
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3answers
168 views

Guitar chord progression and key conundrum

I have a guitar chord progression: F# sus2, C# minor, B minor, E sus2. Over this I have a nice melody played within the c# pentatonic (starting at fret9). I really like what I have so far and wish to ...
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5answers
131 views

Why does a major minor modulation with the same root work (e.g. C to Cm) [duplicate]

There are very few chord changes I cannot rationalize and fit into some mode of a major scale. One of these is a major minor change with the same root (e.g. C to Cm). The C chord has c, e, and g ...
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1answer
61 views

Key signature in tab books

I have a few tab books that also have regular music notation. I go through them and write the note names above the notes and try and make some sense of it. Then I take the notes that are emphesised ...
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4answers
756 views

What Happens To The Melody When Played In A Different Key

What happens to notation (e.g. a melody line) when a tune is played in a different key than the one it was written in? Do the notes alter in any way or do they always stay the same as originally ...
2
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1answer
260 views

What key fits with the chords Em7, F#m7, and B7#5?

I'm trying to find some good places to start an electric guitar solo for the song Cosmic Girl by Jamiroquai . The solo will go over the verse progression. The verse progression seems to be some sort ...
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2answers
56 views

Extended chords in keys

I understand the most popular & first-learnt chords & how to associate them with the keys they belong to. I'm looking at other chord types now such as Am6. I believe that Am6 can only go ...
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4answers
177 views

How exactly tell the root of a song over a defined scale on ambiguous harmonic context?

I play a song in either C major key or A minor key. Usually I determine the root (C or A) taking into account clues like: The happy or sad feel of it all The first chord (C or Am) Stereotypical ...
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1answer
211 views

How are keys in the circle of fifths related?

I know this seems like a basic question, and in the traditional sense, I actually know how their related. Though, whilst reading a book titled 'harmony for computer musicians', I've come across a ...
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3answers
144 views

Colour of keys in the era of equal-temperament

As I understand it, the great bulk of music from the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic eras are at least these days performed on equal temperament instruments. And yet there is still a great deal of ...
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6answers
988 views

Is it harder to play in a key with more flats or sharps?

This is a very naive question, but I tend to perceive a song with a key signature that has more flats or sharps to be more difficult than the same song written in a key with fewer flats or sharps. ...
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4answers
151 views

How to find the key of a song without a pitch reference?

For instance, if I play the middle C or any note before a song starts, I can instantly guess the key of the song(I think this is known as RP - relative pitch). Another trick I've used is finding out ...
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3answers
419 views

Definition of minor key

Minor key music uses the harmonic minor scale as the basis for its harmony and the melodic minor scale for the melody. If the music uses nothing but the natural minor scale it IS NOT in a minor ...
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6answers
269 views

The teaching of scales, chords and keys

A question for the music educators out there. What are we doing wrong that is causing so many young musicians to ask so many questions based on the misapprehension that only certain notes and certain ...
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2answers
391 views

How can you find the key of a song by ear?

If you don't have the music notation available, how can you determine what key a song is in by just listening? Must one have perfect pitch to do this or is there an easy way or a trick that can help ...
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10answers
2k views

What key could the progression Cm - G - Dm - Am be in?

I'm working on a song (my first ever actually) and I love the chord sequence: Cm - G - Dm - Am I started off working in C-Major, but borrowed Cm from the parallel minor key C-Minor. But really, in ...
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0answers
175 views

How did the notes of the Western musical scale get their letter names? [duplicate]

The first thing a brand-new piano student learns is the name, and location on the keyboard, of "middle C". I've always wondered, why is that note called "middle C" rather than, say, "middle A"? To ...
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4answers
265 views

What are some effective ways to use a key change during a song?

In my own songwriting, I might change keys to reinforce a change in the direction of the lyrics. For example if the first two verses are first person but the last verse is 3rd person, I might ...
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3answers
238 views

How can different compositions use C Major?

Pardon what I know is an embarrassing question - I am at the very basics of learning music theory. If a scale such as C Major is an exact pattern of intervals, how can multiple songs be composed with ...
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2answers
137 views

C major being dramatic like C minor

Here C major is being very dramatic. Usually C major is peaceful or joyful no matter what else is going on. In fact it can make an otherwise dramatic key sound happy. ...
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2answers
4k views

How to transition between chord progressions of two songs in different keys?

I play mostly in a church band setup, focused around chords. Often they'll be an interlude between songs where someone might come and share a prayer or bible reading and I've noticed some people are ...
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2answers
837 views

key changing in a song?

how do i change in keys? All by my self - was in the key in F major and transition to C# minor in the middle of the solo? i notice that "all by my self" and "never going to fall in love again" by ...
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2answers
116 views

Are there rules that determine whether a chord belongs to a particular key?

Suppose I have a chord such as FAC. How do I know whether the notes belong to C (Fa La Do') or F (Do Mi Sol) or perhaps another key? Do music theorists have theories for how a key gets established? ...
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4answers
357 views

What keys contain both E and Am and is there an easy trick to determine this?

By 'keys contain' I mean in the normal rules of choosing what chords 'fit' within a given key, since of course you can put just about any chord anywhere if you try hard enough! Is there a shortcut ...
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5answers
268 views

V chord becoming 7th? minor key

Im listening / looking at a song that is in the key of e minor And the chords for the song are just Em B7 Am Now..im no expert but from my theory i learnt a while back for a minor key thr chords ...
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10answers
3k views

When is a piece in A minor versus C major?

When would you say a piece, or a movement in a symphony, is in A minor versus C major? They both use the same notes on the scale... what would indicate that the piece is in A minor? Let's take an ...