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38

'Dorian mode on C' does not mean "the Dorian scale that you can find among the notes that are available in the major key of C"! 'Dorian mode on C' refers to the Dorian scale, or set of note intervals, that start on the note C, i.e. C is its root or tonic. This set of notes happens to be the same as the ones found in the Bb major key, thus two flats. This is ...


27

The short (and oversimplified) answer is: Because Ab Major has fewer flats than G# Major has sharps, and thus it's easier for musicians to read. This becomes especially apparent with keys such as D# Major, which has a double-sharp in it---the seventh note of the D# Major scale is not D, but Cx (that's "C double-sharp"). The longer and more accurate answer ...


27

The sharps and flats are always "added" in a particular order. So, if you know how many there should be for a key, you can work out what they are. The mnemonics you refer to can help you to remember the order sharps and flats are added in. To be honest, though, I tell music pupils of mine, that learning key-signatures by using mnemonics is only partially ...


24

The convention generally follows that which we see for minor key signatures. There is not a 1 to 1 relationship of key signature to root, rather, the key signature is there to tell us what notes exist in the scale. Then, we use the music itself to figure out where the root is. If you were writing in D phrygian, for example, would you have two sharps in the ...


24

The fact that you are in A minor without G# (or F# and G#) means that you are in A natural minor. What defines a scale as minor or major, is the third of the scale, not the accidentals. If you have A as the root of your scale and the third is a C, then the scale is a minor one. There are 3 different types of minor scales: A harmonic minor (it has G#) A ...


20

As I'm sure you're aware, you can transpose any tune to whatever key you like. One reason to choose a certain key, is simply that it sounds good. It might be that you feel that notes of a certain pitch inherently sound pleasant on your chosen instrument. I happen to like the tone of my guitar with a capo on the 7th string, for example. Or it might be ...


20

Yes. The key signature of Db has a Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, and a Gb. Those notes are flat unless otherwise noted no matter the octave. For any key signature on any staff, you will only ever see the accidentals written once in a typical pattern. The octave the accidentals are in are entirely based on the clef used, but apply to all octaves. You can think of the ...


19

Obviously the answer depends on your point of view, and there probably isn't one "right" answer. There are 12 unique named tones in Western music; all pitches are one of these 12 tones. Thus, from a purely sonic perspective, there are only twelve starting notes for a key, and with major and minor scale qualities, there are 24 tonally unique keys. For my ...


18

It's the key signature. It means the music you're reading is in G Major. Even if there are no F notes, it's important to know what key you're in. You don't need to modify anything if there are no F's and that's the only alteration in the key signature.


17

C sharp major has seven sharps, D flat major has five flats. Out of the box, the latter is preferable. The former may be more appropriate when there is more material requiring "flattening" the key signature than otherwise. Now major is a rather sharp mode, so it's not quite unlikely. For example, a "proper" fully diminuished chord in C sharp features ...


16

Technically, there could be, you just keep extending the pattern. You could even keep extending it to the point where you need to start using double flats, though this is almost never done in practice. The key of F contains: B♭ The key of B♭ contains: B♭, E♭ The key of E♭ contains: B♭, E♭, A♭ The key of A♭ ...


15

No, it is still a B♭. The flat is just reminding you that the B is flat. This is typically done if the previous measure uses a B that was different then the one in the key signature or if there was a different quality of B used in the measure it is used to cancel out the other quality. In the key D minor, if you were ascending from A to D, a typical melody ...


14

If it starts on C and ends on C, it's probably in C. And vice versa. If it has lots of A minor and E minor chords, it's probably in Am (E is the dominant). Likewise, lots of Cs and Gs implies C Major. There are a few other indicators — for example, the harmonic minor scale raises the 7th one semitone (as Jenny mentions) and the melodic minor raises ...


14

The easiest way for me to figure this out (until you start memorizing them or gaining more aural awareness of tonality) was to remember the orders of sharps and flats (which are opposites of each other), and two simple rules for translating from key signature to major keys. Sharps: Order: FCGDAEB = Fat Cats Go Down After Eating Breakfast From the last ...


14

Both C# minor and E major keys have the same key signature, so there is no difference there. This relationship is called 'relative key'. Each major key has a relative minor one, with the same key signature (to find it, descend a minor 3rd or ascend a major 6th from your tonic). Similarly for the minor key. To sum up the difference: These two keys have the ...


14

It certainly holds some truth, irrespective of tuning system, in this sense: modulating to a key with more sharps evokes a “bright” sensation; modulating to more flat evokes a “dark” sensation. This is somewhat tangible: raising accidentals are likely to be perceived as “uplifting”. (Except when they're not; perception is ...


13

Without the key signature is looks confusing and wrong to musicians who are used to reading music in context, instead of just treating sheet music as a "play by numbers" game. It looks like C major, but the notes are mostly confined to the GABCD range, and the theme ends on G. Indeed, an F note will indeed occur in harmonizations of the theme. For instance ...


12

No. A key* is not just a set of notes, it tells you the tonal center** of a piece and the expected harmony and melody of the piece. If that was the case we wouldn't even distinguish between major and minor as they have the same set of notes as do all 7 modes of the diatonic scale. How you use your harmony and melody will define the key and tonal center by ...


11

As Chochos and Kaz said, it lets you know that the key is G. Kaz described some things that knowing the key will let you do. Here are some more: Since the song is in the key of G, the note G will sound more consonant than any other note, followed by a D (the fifth of the scale). These notes will sound more peaceful than any other note, and most phrases ...


10

This depends on the circumstances, but I would suggest it is more common to write no key signature (or the best closest match like "F" if all B tends to be Bb.) especially in the case of changes that last only a few measures. Here are my reasons: 1) It's not normal for jazz music to include alot of key changes written as new key signatures. This will happen ...


10

They're just extreme versions of enharmonic scales-that is, scales that exist in an identical sounding key but are spelled differently. It simply has to do with the fact that we have to have as many keys as possible to allow correct spellings of chords and whatnot. For example, A# minor is the relative minor of C# major (they share all the same notes). Now, ...


10

Yes indeed there is a key of C Sharp Major (C# Major). But the key of C Sharp Major is the “enharmonic equivalent” of the key of D Flat Major. What that means is that all of the notes in the C sharp major scale sound pretty much exactly the same (to the human ear) as all the notes in the D Flat major scale – only they are notated (written) differently. ...


9

I've played a lot of Eastern European music and often the minor keys will show the mode in the key signature e.g G minor has F sharp and B flat in the key signature so no accidentals needed all over the place. Another is a mode based on E that only has a G sharp in the key signature. It may not be a familiar to a newer musician, but I find once people know ...


9

An accidental is not the note as you describe it. That word does refer to the sign itself, not the note. The question remains whether it is correct to use it in the context of a key signature as well. Personally, I don't have any problem with the phrase "accidentals in the key signature," but would typically just say "sharps or flats," since you're never ...


9

If you examine the circle of fifths, this will help visualize why the orders of sharps and flats occur in their respective sequences. For sharps, we begin with C. The next item in the circle is the key of G, with one sharp in the key signature: F. The next key is D, with two sharps, F and C. Next comes the key of A, with F, C, and G in the key signature. ...


9

Accidentals override key signatures and previous accidentals. The circled chord has two G# and and one C# note. Having "additive" accidentals would make it very hard to read music. In this excerpt, the next octave chords in the top staff would then be B-flat, then B-doubleflat, and then either G natural (if adding to the previous accidental) or or G double ...


8

Key signatures with sharps and flats aren't any easier or harder. On a piano, for example, I find E Major (4 sharps) to be the easiest to play, whereas the composer Chopin taught his students B Major (5 sharps) first since he viewed it as the easiest. C Major, which you might think is the easiest because it's all white notes, is actually quite unnatural. ...


8

Minor keys will usually have the 7th note raised. E.g. in A minor the 7th note is G, so you will see Gsharps throughout the music


8

A key signature is a bunch of zero or more sharp or flat signs written at the beginning of each line of music (sometimes only the first line). It tells you which notes are to be raised or lowered by a semitone by default. When you start from C and play a scale of "just the names", that is C, D, E, F, G, A, B and C, without any sharps or flats you get ...


8

Even though you are learning the flute, I think it is worth understanding the piano keyboard, and thinking about key signatures in terms of that. It's worth experimenting with a piano, or an electronic keyboard, or even web app like this one. The white keys are the 'natural' notes A-G. The black keys are used to play sharps and flats. Notice that B flat ...



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