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

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1answer
77 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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2answers
103 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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4answers
1k views

How come songs in a certain key play notes not in that key

I just started trying to learn about music theory as I'm learning to play the guitar. So as beginner's do I looked up a list of easy songs to play and I start learning away. Since I'm also trying to ...
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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
337 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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6answers
3k views

Is G sharp major a real key?

I'm mostly self-taught, so I don't know much in the way of theory beyond the basics. I have heard of G sharp Major a few times. I believe a scale in the key goes as such: G♯, A♯, B♯, C♯, D♯, E♯, Fx, ...
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1answer
135 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
463 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
74 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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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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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 ...
4
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1answer
206 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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4answers
2k views

What does it mean for a song to be played in C minor, D, etc?

I like listening to classical music, I noticed that a song may come in many versions (example : Hungarian Dances). I know what majors and minors scales are, but my music theory knowledge ends there. I ...
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3answers
4k views

Identifying the key of a song by ear?

I'm developing a method for students to identify the key of a song by ear. I've seen a lot of videos on YouTube where they say that you should try to identify a common note and that will be your ...
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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
316 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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6answers
17k views

Playing a song in a different key

I trying to teach myself guitar and one song I want to perform for a friend (soon) is Akon's "Don't Matter." I can't read sheet music (but i want to learn) but i found the chord progression of the ...
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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 ...
2
votes
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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3answers
279 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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3answers
850 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 ...
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5answers
3k views

B flat minor - the key of death … seriously?

My music teacher always rambles on about B flat minor, endlessly repeating how it is the key of death and is therefore used in movies for death scenes. Alright, I understand that it is minor, no ...
0
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1answer
89 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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8answers
4k views

Is Emajor the dominant chord in the key of A minor?

I read somewhere that Emajor is the dominant (V) chord in A minor. Is this correct? If so, why is it not Eminor, since the A minor scale has no sharps or flats in it?
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3answers
178 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
118 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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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
73 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
102 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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3answers
160 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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3answers
1k views

How to make a chord progress go from the key of C major to the key of A minor?

How do you chord progress go from the key of C major to the key of A minor? I would do it this way: progress to the III chord (Em), change the III chord to a Dominant 7th form (E7), now the E7 chord ...
3
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4answers
259 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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4answers
353 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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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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3answers
821 views

How to determine what key changes are appropriate?

In the month or so until my band get back together I've been working on writing some new material, and want to try and expand how complex my songs are. I apologise if there are a lot of questions - ...
6
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4answers
751 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 ...
5
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2answers
368 views

Chord progression if the chords are not part of the scale?

I've been learning about harmony, and the harmonisation of major scales. I can recognise simple chord progressions, and I try and practice by listening to popular songs. For a major scale, we ...
2
votes
1answer
258 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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6answers
5k views

With sheet music, how do you determine whether the song is in the major key or the minor key?

For example, if the key signature on the left doesn't have any sharps or flats then it could theoretically be in either the C Major scale or the A Minor scale. How do you determine which one?
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4answers
174 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
741 views

What is this called? Why is it allowed?

"Golden Train" by Justin Nozuka (YouTube link below) is in the key of Ab major. However he uses a Cb major chord throughout the song, which is not in the key of Ab major. It sounds good and works ...
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22answers
8k views

What's the point of keys other than C and Am?

I'm VERY new to music theory, just learning. I'm reading about keys and scales right now. From what I understand major keys are all the same except for being shifted by one or more semitones (e.g. C ...
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6answers
4k views

Why do musicians prefer to play in certain keys?

Why do musicians care about which keys they choose?
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3answers
1k views

How can I easily translate between a key and a key signature?

Is there a good mnemonic or trick for working out the key signature from a given key? I can always write out the chromatic scale, then count out the appropriate intervals from the tonic, and figure ...
16
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5answers
5k views

If Für Elise is in Am why there is a D# in it?

Für Elise intro starts with E D♯ E D♯, Wikipedia says the key is Am. What scale does it fit? Is it like a blues scale where D♯ is a flat 5? Why D♯ is used in the sheet music? Is it easier to read ...