My ear is not good enough to determine the key of a piece of music just by hearing.

Is there a way to automatically determine the key and tempo of a musical recording using a computer?

  • Have you considered working on ear training? You can improve your ear, which will make you a better musician. There are actually apps available to help you. I have an Android app called "Functional Ear Trainer" - easy to use, very helpful.
    – Stinkfoot
    Jul 8 '17 at 23:17
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    I am interested why you need to be given this information, and what you'll do with it. It concerns me that almost everything is increasingly expected to be given on a plate, with little or no effort made by the recipient. Eventually our potential human skills will disappear and we'll believe everything we're told by an app, or such like. Seems we are well on the way already...With due respect, your ears aren't good enough just by listening because they haven't been used and trained enough yet. Experience will usually win.
    – Tim
    Jul 9 '17 at 6:30
  • I have the mind of a greedy child. Jul 9 '17 at 7:37
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    That's not good. He probably needs it given back.
    – Tim
    Jul 9 '17 at 8:18
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    Don't do it automatically. It'll ruin you as a musician. Just listen to how the songs ends it's usually the key. You could also play random notes as the song is playing and find notes that just sound "good" with it. Those notes will eventually form the key. Also figure out how to slow down youtube videos with the settings button.
    – user34288
    Sep 10 '17 at 0:30

There are a few resources which may be of help:

If you want to work it out from a local file you can always use a DJ beat-matching app like Djay Pro to give you the BPM and key. Results may vary.


What I do is take a tuner to see what the last chord is. That is usually the key it is in. (Occasionally, a song in C major will end on a D or an even stranger note, so in that event you'll have to see what other notes are in the song.) And for the tempo, use a tap metronome and keep tapping every beat. Most pop, rock, and hip hop songs are 80-160 BPM. if you get something like 204, it's probably 102. I mainly listen to Contemporary Christian Music, which (it seems like, anyway) 60% of the songs are in C major (probably because hymns were mostly written it that key), so I can usually tell when a song in C major is on even on TV commercials, et cetera.

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    Tuners generally signify one note. Turning one on when a 3,4,5 note chord is played? Won't it just get confused? Don't believe that most hymns are written in C !
    – Tim
    Jul 12 '17 at 5:49

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