In musical notation, a set of sharp or flat symbols placed together at left side of each staff, effectively indicating the default pitch class set of the notes to follow.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

4
votes
1answer
84 views

Key signing using fingers

I posted a similar question a long time ago, and think it was thrown out. However, still looking for an answer. When busking at a gig, it's often impossible to communicate the key of a piece, due to ...
1
vote
3answers
85 views

Why do we list the key signature when listing a music piece? [duplicate]

I'm brand new to classical music and music theory. I often see something for a concert like "brandenburg concerto no. 2 in f major". Why do we specify f major? Once we've specified brandenburg ...
9
votes
4answers
4k views

Why have I never found any music written in the key of C Sharp Major?

Music is written in almost every key that corresponds to every note that is on my piano keyboard. There is clearly a C Sharp (black key right of C) on my piano keyboard but I don't recall ever seeing ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

Are sharp keys “bright” and flat keys “dark”?

I was reading this book and on the "Circle of Fifths" chapter it claims that keys with sharp key signatures (C, G, D, ...) are "often though by musicians" to be "bright" sounding and those with flat ...
0
votes
3answers
72 views

C# in the key signature

I am looking at a piece of music and there is a C# in the key signature. On the cello there is a C note on the G string and on the A string. I know that in a C# key signature the C on the A string is ...
0
votes
0answers
45 views

In what key is the song with the following chords [C#] [F#] [A#m] [E]? [duplicate]

I already know of the question How to know which scale a song uses?. I made a guitar song with the following chords [C#] [F#] [A#m] [E]. However, if I sing it instead of my friend, then the chords ...
3
votes
3answers
269 views

Does a key signature remain the same after a clef change?

Does a key signature stay the same after a clef change? I have provided an example; it is in the second staff of the lower system as indicated by the blue arrow.
2
votes
2answers
105 views

Automated way to recognize musical key given chords?

Assuming I have access to the chords of a song, I 'know' (based on my own experience and training) what key the song is likely to be in. And for pop music, the recognition rate is easily above 95%. To ...
11
votes
6answers
2k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
502 views

c#-minor Vs E-major for Moonlight Sonata

I see Moonlight sonata often referred to as being in the key signature of c#-minor. I am beginning to learn music and just learning about key signatures and I would have referred to the key signature ...
0
votes
1answer
78 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
77 views

Why are major and minor harmonies multiple orders of magnitude more common than modal harmony? [duplicate]

At least for Western music of the past 300 years, it has been far more common for music to have major or minor scales as their basis of harmony, as opposed to a modal harmony. Is there a reason modal ...
3
votes
2answers
271 views

Is there a key signature for harmonic minor scale?

I know that sharp key signatures are applied in the order: F C G D A E B and that flat key signatures are applied as: B E A D G C F. But these are for major and minor scales, right? Is there a way to ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

How do you read piano key signatures [duplicate]

Im new to the piano and Im confused with reading key signatures, so please explain simply. If you look at the first measure of this song: http://www.musicnotes.com/sheetmusic/mtd.asp?ppn=MN0130187, as ...
3
votes
3answers
155 views

How to read piano key signatures

I just started playing piano, but Im confused about reading key signatures. For example take a look at the first measure of this song: http://www.musicnotes.com/sheetmusic/mtd.asp?ppn=MN0130187, does ...
2
votes
2answers
272 views

Two MIDI files generated by Lilypond output the same audio

When generating the MIDI files for the two Lilypond files below, and then generating the WAV audio files with Timidity (timidity --output-24bit -A120 f.midi -Ow -o f.wav), I can hear no differences ...
5
votes
4answers
240 views

Difference between keys and scales?

I am a Tabla (a North Indian percussion instrument) player and I am trying to learn the western music theory. My study was going well until I stumbled upon keys and scales. Now though I know what ...
0
votes
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
103 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
183 views

What's the purpose of the key signature information in a MIDI file?

My understanding is that MIDI files use fixed numbers/names for all notes, as shown e.g. in this chart. At the same time, MIDI has a "key signature" meta-event. What's the purpose of the key signature ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Why isn't there a key signature with F flat?

I think the title asks the question. There are key signatures with Ab, Bb, Cb, Db, Eb and Gb. But no Fb. There's probably no practical reason for my question. I'm just curious.
8
votes
6answers
1k 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. ...
5
votes
3answers
287 views

If the time signature changes, does the key signature change as well?

Consider the following snippet from Where Is My Mind (arranged by Maxence Cyrin). Notice how after the first few bars there's a time signature change. Does the key signature also automatically change ...
2
votes
3answers
207 views

Changing the key signature of a song for practicing new key

I play the saxophone (E flat instrument) and we got sheet music to play in the key of B natural minor or concert D natural minor. I want to practice that key signature so I want to change another song ...
2
votes
3answers
315 views

Are tonal (sharp, flat and natural) key signatures octave specific? [duplicate]

I recently bought a piano for learning (by myself at the moment) and apart from doing basic exercises, I decided to start learning a piece to get a grip on music sheet reading as I go. On the sheet I'...
5
votes
5answers
428 views

Why are key signatures like E# and B# necessary?

Why do we need key signatures such as E#, B#, Cb, and Fb? Take a look at the scales for E# and B#: E# has 4 sharps and 4 double sharps. The key of F is exactly the same, and it only has one note ...
6
votes
1answer
346 views

“Ut” and “La” notation on horn and cornet instruments in orchestral score?

I'm looking at an orchestral score from the late 1800's (well, OK, it's "The Mikado" by Arthur Sullivan). In the portion of the score that I am looking at, the non-transposing instruments all have no ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

If A minor doesn't have any accidentals, is it still minor?

As part of a music course, we have to compose a 3 minute long piece based on a river's journey. Having finished the composition, we now have to write a set of sleeve notes - basically an analysis and ...
2
votes
1answer
225 views

I'm trying to understand the key of a song that uses chords out of the scale

I'm trying to understand what key is the song 'Crush' by Dave Matthews in. It uses all the chords in Bm but it also uses F major and C major as well as D/F#; Why does the F and C sound right with this ...
3
votes
1answer
159 views

Piano Accidentals and Key Signatures

I have been trying to pick up the piano and have a few questions concerning accidentals and key signature placement and interaction. I apologize I don't have a digital copy of the music in question ...
3
votes
3answers
349 views

7 sharps on a piano music sheet

I am self taught on piano. There are some notes and symbols that I am trying to learn. I have come across a music sheet that starts with Cmajor and then along the piece it changes to 7 sharps. How do ...
3
votes
1answer
385 views

Do chord changes affect the key of a song or do all chords in a song belong in the same key?

So I'm not really sure I'm phrasing the question properly but I'll try to explain. My theory level is pretty basic. I'm trying to deconstruct a song and (according to a website) it's in the key CMin. ...
11
votes
5answers
999 views

Flat symbol in key signature and bar

If i have a flat for a note in the key signature, and then in a bar the same note with an flat symbol, does that mean the note is "double flatted"? For example in the key of D Minor with hash one ...
6
votes
4answers
519 views

Is a switch to the relative minor still called a modulation?

I am recording a song which is largely written in C major. About halfway through the song, the emphasis changes to A minor, with chord progressions resolving to the Am chord specifically. Is this ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

What key is correct when guitars are half step down?

I see many charts for praise and worship songs charted in sharp keys (A#, F#) major. One song is charted F# Major. I would think the guitars are tuned a half step down and they are playing like it is ...
14
votes
4answers
727 views

How to choose a key signature for a song that modulates often?

In jazz, let's say, how would one choose a key signature for writing a lead sheet for a song where keys change every few measures or faster? Is writing the key changes explicitly going to be helpful ...
11
votes
4answers
19k views

What use is knowing how many sharps or flats a key signature has?

Books and articles I've read on learning key signatures seem to focus on mnemonics that tell you how many sharps or flats the key has, but I don't understand how knowing B Major has 5 sharps helps you ...
11
votes
5answers
659 views

Is a high A in the key of D flat still flat?

I'm learning a song in the key of D flat. I know that any middle A within the song is flat. However, is a high A (above the staff) still flat?
11
votes
2answers
744 views

How to insert cautionary key signature before repeat mark using Sibelius 7

I'm arranging wind parts for the following song (excerpt below). This is the end of a repeated section that starts in D major and changes to F major halfway through. So, the repeat mark at the end of ...
2
votes
3answers
325 views

Why isn't this a c flat?

I am always wondering why the second c isn't flat? There is no signs before it? I know it is supposed to be played as natural, without natural signature? This question was roughly answered by my ...
13
votes
7answers
2k views

Do accidentals override key signature?

I am wondering how the accidental in the first chord (see what is circled) is played? Does any accidental simply move the note up or down a half-step from what the note is supposed to be based on the ...
3
votes
5answers
17k views

Hard to tell major from minor

I have a hard time figuring out if a song with a certain key signature is major or minor. I know some sound minor and are and some sound major and are but some sound opposite of what they actually are(...
8
votes
3answers
318 views

How to establish a mode?

I would like to learn about the art of establishing a mode. For example, how to make A minor sound like A minor instead of C major.
6
votes
2answers
323 views

Placement of F# on Alto Clef

For the past four or so years now, I have been playing the Viola. Y'all know what that means: Alto clef. Up until just a few weeks ago, I have always seen an F# displayed in a key signature like this: ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

General questions about piano sheet music notation

This is the song I wanted to do, not on a piano but in FL Studio. But I don't play the piano so I need some help in dissecting this piece. Those ##C, what do those mean (and what are they called?) ...
17
votes
10answers
2k views

Why is there a key signature if I never play those notes?

I'm just getting back to playing on keyboard. I'm trying to play "Ode to Joy" from the piano sheet but I have a basic question. At the beginning of some staffs, on the right of the treble clef I can ...
3
votes
1answer
675 views

Strange key signature?

I have some experience reading music, but today I came across a Bartok piece, "Melody with Accompaniment", part of Mikrokosmos Vol. 2. The key signature has one sharp, C#. I was under the impression ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

What is a key signature?

I'm trying to learn the flute and I bought a book that is supposed to help me learn. In one of the first chapters it describes something about key signatures and the circle of fifths and I'm ...
19
votes
6answers
15k views

How many (major and minor) keys are there? Why?

I am wondering about how many major and minor keys there are and why. Here are some suggestions: 24 keys One could argue that there should be one major and one relative minor key for each of the 12 ...
4
votes
1answer
296 views

Why is B flat in this key sigiture when B is never played?

In the below sheet music B is marked as flat however the only notes played are g g g d e c C. Is that just a typo on the part of the person who made this image and it should be on the upper C or am I ...