Tagged Questions

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

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12
votes
2answers
2k views

Why does the following chord progression sound good?

Dmaj Emaj and Bmaj I have looked up the chord progressions of all major and minor scale keys and these three don't fit in any of them?
2
votes
4answers
240 views

What could be the key of this chord progression?

I started writing a melody that has the following chord progression: Cm - G - Am - C What key would that be in? I imagine it could be in the key of C or Am if the Cm chord wasn't there. I've just ...
4
votes
4answers
209 views

Why do Major keys contain minor chords?

Looking through each Major Key: At position II, III, VI these are MINOR key signatures? At position VII, this is a DIMINISHED key signature? Looking at the C Major Key as an example, this chord ...
5
votes
3answers
139 views

Determining Key / Key Change / Chords?

I've been playing guitar for about 5 years... I've been slowly trying to teach myself some of the THEORY behind music.. I've just always had trouble really understanding.. When I hear a song, and ...
4
votes
1answer
223 views

Full range with white keys only?

This is probably a really stoopid question but.....I'm trying to learn to play a virtual keyboard online(Virtual Piano) but its really hard to use the black keys since you need to press Shift+(another ...
5
votes
4answers
94 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
168 views

Why is the choice of key considered so fundamental in Classical music that it often effectively becomes part of the name of the composition? [duplicate]

I often hear references to, e.g., "Bach's Fugue in G Minor," sometimes with a number (something like "Bach's Fugue in G Minor #13"). Why is the key of the piece so important that it becomes part of ...
10
votes
4answers
693 views

Is there a minimum of notes and chords i need to determine the key of a song?

Just by curiosity. What is the minimum of notes and chords i need to determine the key of a song?
3
votes
2answers
806 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
448 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
140 views

Why does the first note is the second Bach cello suite(Prelude) sound like C#?

Suite 2 in the Bach suites is in D minor howcome the first note sounds like C# even though its written on the 3rd line(d)?
10
votes
0answers
172 views

Are there any rules of thumb for shifting the key signature within a tone net?

[ ... struggling with giving this a better title ] I'm working out the algorithmic bases for generation of a tone-net (tonnetz) in preparation for programming the presentation layer. The problem is ...
11
votes
4answers
307 views

Do songs written in certain modes not have keys?

Up until recently I thought that if a song was written in a mode with a major 3rd, then it was in a major key, and if it was in a mode with a minor 3rd, then it was in a minor key. But I read an ...
17
votes
7answers
2k views

How to escape the C Major trap when improvising on the piano

I play/practice the piano for some decades and when improvising (Jazz, Romantic, and sometimes even Baroque), I observe a certain magnetism of the C Major key. I'm able to play scales, arpeggios, ...
24
votes
4answers
272 views

When were the terms “Major” and “Minor” applied to keys?

In 1547, Heinrich Glarean published Dodecachordon in which he posited that in addition to the 4 existing pairs of church modes (plagal and authentic versions of modes with finals on D (Dorian), E ...
7
votes
3answers
362 views

How do I tell the difference between a borrowed chord and a key change?

Having muddled through for a few years, I'm finally learning the basics of harmony. I'm having a bit of trouble, though understanding exactly what goes on when chords occur from outside the key. Is ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

Why is music for strings more likely to be in keys with sharps?

One thing I've noticed is that music written for strings, such as violin concertos, are a lot more likely to written in a key like D or A major than something like F or Bb major. I recently saw a ...
6
votes
2answers
319 views

Which scales are used by Tom Morello?

In Rage Against The Machine's first album (Rage Against The Machine) I frequently hear Tom Morello play with several "weird" scales. A few examples: Take The Power Back, Settle For Nothing, ... I ...
1
vote
2answers
111 views

Which key mode is funk saxophone played in?

I am analysing the musical style of playing saxophone on dance beats, or dubstep, like in this song. Would you characterise this as funk? And what is the key they use. My closest guess is a minor or ...
2
votes
3answers
277 views

Picking a key for a song and how to use the notes in that scale? [closed]

So just to make it simple. When you pick a key for a song and you use the notes in that scale, do you only use those notes for all other instruments? And does the octave of each note matter? Or as ...
9
votes
3answers
915 views

Understanding minor key harmony

A comment discussion under this question from me, clued me in to the fact that I don't really understand how minor keys work very well. So here is what I think I know The natural minor comes from the ...
0
votes
5answers
328 views

A reliable foundation from which to understand what “key” really means [closed]

(my original question) I am well-educated. I'm new to, and trying to learn, music theory, but the constant hedging on what things mean is frustrating. Can you say ANYTHING that is 100% reliable about ...
0
votes
1answer
231 views

How to know what scale or what is the key of the composition(lyrics and singing) is this song?

I always have trouble finding the key of the song, actually when ever I write a song just lyrics and I know how I sing it I mean I know the composition, but I don’t get to know what should be what ...
3
votes
6answers
3k 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
187 views

How should I choose the key of my harmonica?

I've read few articles about it, but none of them seem to help me with this problem. Let's say we have a song in certain key - which harmonica should I choose? Let me give you an example, we have a ...
0
votes
2answers
139 views

Understanding the key concept

I'm trying to understand the concept of key. After googling for a while I found that key is the same as tonality, and it consists of the set of notes that form a scale (major, minor, ...). But which ...
3
votes
4answers
259 views

What is the best way to organize chords/keys in a database (details below)?

I am working on a project that involves putting together a database of chords/keys, and I'm wondering what you guys think is the best way to categorize each chord/key. For example, if I want users to ...
2
votes
1answer
88 views

Why a composition is made in a certain key [duplicate]

Why a composer would decide to write certain work in let's say D flat rather than D? If some of the elements have certain limits in their pitch, especially singers, it may justify even a semitone of ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Do I play all the F's as sharp or just the one with the sharp in the space?

I am trying to teach myself how to play piano and while I know what a key signature is, I don't have a firm grasp on it. I have sheet music in the key of G major. There aren't any F's on that line, ...
5
votes
3answers
157 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.
18
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
162 views

Chord performance in different scales

As an absolute beginner to both music reading and playing, I have a question that will no doubt appear silly, but it is driving me insane. In the key of F there is a Bflat, does this mean that if you ...
5
votes
3answers
381 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 alot of questions - ...
4
votes
2answers
333 views

Why do so many pieces written in a minor key sharp the 7th?

I've been going through several pieces (mostly of Bach, but also others) and I noticed that very commonly, the 7th is sharped when played coming down from the tonic. Examples: Little Fugue, Toccata ...
7
votes
5answers
447 views

Comfortable notes in a key

I've been playing guitar for some time, and often when i do improvisation exercises, I hit notes which sound too tense to finish a run/lick/riff on. Kind of like having a sentence which no full stop. ...
2
votes
1answer
558 views

RHCP “Wet Sand” solo doesn't correspond to the key?

Hi! I'm just starting to learn music theory, and i worked out the chord progression of the song "Wet Sand" by Red Hot Chili Peppers. It has the chords G, D, Em and Bm as well as some fills that are ...
0
votes
2answers
137 views

Roman numeral analysis for a minor song switching to a Major sound

I have a song that I am using Roman numeral analysis for a song I have written. The first part based on D minor. The minor progression looks like this: I__ Isus __ VII Dm ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Which key harmonica I should use for playing All along the Watchtower - By Bob Dylan (in C# minor)?

The song 'All Along The Watchtower' by Bob Dylan is in the key of C#m. Which key Harmonica should I use to play the harmonica parts in it? I wish to play the harmonica along with rhythm guitar and ...
4
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
4k views

Can a song in one key contain major chords that are not in the key? Or does that change the key?

As an intro to piano, I want to learn basic chords from 2 White Stripes songs. They are as basic as piano gets, yet very catchy and powerful. They are very major sounding. I have never been able ...
11
votes
5answers
7k views

When playing in a minor key, will the chords be minor as well?

I've been jumping into music theory myself and I've been stumbling on creating certain melodies and such. I've played guitar all my teenage life and not once have I ever sat down and said I'm going to ...
1
vote
1answer
285 views

Determining the root key and note of this riff

I am just starting to produce music and, for music, I learn better by doing and then learning about what I've done. Let's say that I have two measures in 4/4 time with each of the following eighth ...
10
votes
4answers
804 views

Why does this key change work?

In the song 'Respect' by Aretha Franklin which is a fairly simple progression in Bb major the saxophone solo part of the song seems to make a key change to the key of Em. I don't understand why this ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Does the C chord change based on what key it's in?

Typically, the "C" is played like this in the key of C: But when I play another song, in the key of D, is the C chord still played like this? If not, how do I play it on the guitar? Likewise, if ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

Capitalization of key names (C Minor vs. c minor)

I was taught when I was young that minor key names should be written with the note in lowercase, as well as the word "minor". Nowadays on recordings, etc., I usually see both capitalized. What was ...