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Questions tagged [key]

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

16
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4answers
3k views

Why are both D and D# fitting into my E minor key?

I tried to look around for an answer to this problem but don't know how to ask the proper question in a search engine. I've been working on a song and realized recently that while I had been working ...
1
vote
3answers
69 views

Would this be a key change from B minor to D major?

In this amazing song by Ed Carlsen, would the part at 1:14 be considered a key change from B minor to D major? Why or why not? When I'm trying to find a key to a song, I always listen to the chord ...
2
votes
1answer
70 views

Why weren't Ionian / Aeolian / Locrian modes considered Gregorian modes?

It is said that the Ionian (major), Aeolian (natural minor), and Locrian modes weren't really three of the ancient church (Gregorian) modes. What is the reason?
1
vote
0answers
32 views

Did Beethoven write any modes other than the Ionian / Aeolian / Lydian modes?

The Ionian and the Aeolian modes are considered major and natural minor keys, and all composers used these modes all the time, including Beethoven, who also wrote Lydian mode in one of his string ...
3
votes
1answer
80 views

confused by pitch sources/scales [closed]

I am hoping someone can unpack some ideas for me, which I have never encountered. Or, if you could point me in the direction of some background reading, that would be helpful as well. I am confused ...
1
vote
5answers
281 views

Is A♭ major a closely related key to C♯ major?

I'm trying to list the closely related keys to C♯ major, and here is what I get: C♯ major, the original key D♯ minor (???) F♯ major (???) A♯ minor x (B♯ diminished is not a key!) For the points that ...
2
votes
1answer
71 views

What is the key/mode of “you are the government” by bad religion?

I'm trying to make sense of keys and modes, and I'm studying simple songs note by note to reach this goal. One of them is "You are the Government" from Bad Religion. It starts with a riff that goes : ...
2
votes
3answers
87 views

What key is this?

So I'm listening to a song, and the pitches used are these: C, D♭, E♭, F, G, A♭, B♭ Seems like the key of A♭ major, right? Or perhaps F minor. (Indeed, the song seems to be in a minor key.) But no, ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Shifting between bemols (flats) and diesis (sharps)in the key signature

I am a beginner in music with little knowledge, but like once in a month spend a little time playing with a digital keyboard. I noticed that if I have some notes of a song which got 4# in the ...
-1
votes
3answers
302 views

Chord has every note of the harmonic minor scale. Name? [closed]

I see an extremely strange type of chord in the first bar of the attachment below. This is the beginning of the fourth movement of Beethoven's 9th Symphony. It has all of the notes of the D harmonic ...
3
votes
1answer
74 views

What is the standard definition of a distant key?

In my knowledge, a distant key is any key that is not enharmonic, parallel, relative, or closely related to the original key. However, some people claim that distant keys are simply keys that are not ...
2
votes
6answers
112 views

Why is this not a modulation?

Bars three and four look to me like a modulation to the subdominant with an imperfect cadence in Eb (especially with the Ab auxiliary note in bar three). The answers, however, mark bars three and four ...
2
votes
5answers
87 views

How to get a more major sound without going directly to major?

So I am composing a piece for piano trio to represent the transition from winter to spring. I have finished the first part where it is all in minor, D minor to be more specific, to represent winter. ...
3
votes
3answers
99 views

Are there any cases where the ii chord is replaced by the Neapolitan chord in the Circle of Fifths Progression?

I know that the circle of fifths progression is extremely common, and it is "I-IV-viio-iii-vi-ii-V-I" in major and "i-iv-VII-III-VI-iio-V-i" in minor. However, are there any cases where the ii / iio ...
7
votes
3answers
643 views

Can someone explain what a key is?

I feel like I shouldn't be asking this... ugh. Every explanation I've encountered left me feeling like a key is the same as a scale. I've been using the word "key" to mean the primary scale the song ...
5
votes
2answers
93 views

Special case of polytonality, why does it sound like a single key?

I watched Adam Neely's video on polytonality and came across a special case of polytonality. He was playing and singing Mary Had a Little Lamb in 2 different keys. ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

E-flat minor vs D-sharp minor? [duplicate]

I'm a beginner guitar player, and I was working a little bit on my theory as well as learning songs I like with the song Feel Good Inc., by Gorillaz. So, I was looking at the chords and I was trying ...
2
votes
3answers
106 views

Turning Major to Minor

I'm changing a song (When I Was Your Man) from a C major to C harmonic minor. I am not quite sure what to do with the Dm Em and Bb that exist in the major key. I have been using Ddim which has worked ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

How to know key of a melody

How can you tell what key a melody is in if it uses notes found in multiple scales? And if a note is introduced from a different scale than the one it was in, does that change the key? What if it only ...
4
votes
4answers
197 views

Is modulating from major to relative minor a key change?

I know that C major and A natural minor have the same key signature. Are they considered different keys though? Is modulating from one to the other considered a key change?
4
votes
5answers
2k views

If parallel keys aren't closely related, then why are they so easy to get to?

I got this comment on an answer of mine: Parallel major/minor keys are not closely related. They are easy to get to, but not closely related. It's like you might live by a subway that make it ...
1
vote
3answers
131 views

Do I play C and G as natural in G major?

For any major played, (G major, D major, etc.) do we play everything else as a natural? (Ex. G major only uses every F as an F#, so would C and G both be played as a natural in the piece if they are ...
6
votes
8answers
637 views

Confused about intervals and keys, does the former depends on the latter?

Sorry if my question is too trivial, I'm trying to understand intervals and keys. I've read on Wikipedia that a third "is a musical interval encompassing three staff positions and the major third is a ...
0
votes
1answer
69 views

Why do some phrygian dominant pieces end on the iv chord?

I was looking at Itzhak Perlman playing Shalom Aleichem It starts (0:14) in E Phrygian Dominant with the i chord, but ends (4:16) in A minor, the iv chord. I've seen the same thing happen with Hava ...
2
votes
1answer
780 views

Are you still playing a scale if you don't include every note in said scale? [duplicate]

For instance, if you're playing C major, and instead of playing C D E F G A B, you play C D E F G A, or C D E F G, would that still be considered playing in that scale or key? Because I doubt that ...
0
votes
1answer
82 views

Psychology Of Key Preferences

I'm a layperson with regards to all things music. I have some experience with the guitar and took a semester long music theory class in high school, but aside from that and some stuff I've heard from ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

Do the notes in a scale have to be played in order?

Beginner here, it seems like a scale just defines a particular set of notes that don't have to be played in any order to me. But if you look at A minor pentatonic scale you have A, C, D, E, G, yet ...
6
votes
6answers
2k views

Which 'Scale' A Song is In

A month or two ago, I participated in a school music programme, where I was playing guitar. The chord progression I was playing was in the key of C. Then our music teacher comes, and asks in which ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

Which key are these notes and how to transpose it to the key of D?

I am a beginner in music theory so please bear with me. I was looking up a document which talks about transposing music and I understand a few things I think about transposing music. But if I, for ...
12
votes
8answers
3k views

Do all songs have to be in a major or minor scale? Can a song have random notes that don't belong to any major or minor scale?

For example, every scale has a given set of notes. But is it possible that there's a composition which doesn't fall into one particular scale?
9
votes
6answers
2k views

When we play the C mixolydian mode, are we still in the key of C?

Whenever we discuss the key of a piece, we usually describe it as either a major or minor key. And then, based on the intervals of the major or minor scale and the root note we define, we can ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Can I use this chord progression in G major?

I am trying to write a song in G major and I am wondering if it would be ok to use this chord progression in G major: G - Em - D - Am
1
vote
2answers
81 views

Using a constant tone to find the key center

I have a song that I'm trying to figure out the key center. I'll explain the process and you can tell me if I"m on the right track. I start by analyzing the song using software that finds the chords. ...
2
votes
3answers
583 views

Trying to figure out the scale of a piece I am writing

I am writing something and am unsure of how I can work out exactly what key it is in, not that it really matters but I'm interested. I think I have narrowed it down to C or G minor, as the notes in ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

Why use accidentals instead of a key signature?

Using my ears, I determined the key of Theme from Schindler's List to be D minor. Looking at the sheet music that I have, I saw that the key signature is C major/A minor, but every single B in the ...
5
votes
4answers
376 views

Determining the seventh chords of a key

I know that every key has a set of 7 chords by taking each note of the scale as a root. I also know that the pattern for naming these chords go as follows: Major, minor, minor,major,major,minor and ...
2
votes
2answers
170 views

Only one key possible to play in for harmonicas?

Harmonicas are always tuned in a certain key. Does that mean that I can only play songs in that key on it or that it is just harder to play something written in a different key?
3
votes
1answer
49 views

Can someone help me figure out this music theory KEY finding question

Messing around Sunday I came up with a song that has the following Chord Progression. I'm just learning music theory and am having trouble on identifying the key. The chord progression is: C7 D7 F7 ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

Acoustic Guitar tuning key

My acoustic guitar's one of tuning keys gear teeth got broken while tuning (G string).Here's a image. What can I do t fix it?
3
votes
6answers
321 views

Why does VII have dominant function in natural minor

I have noticed with my own compositions that I can take something like B♭ major and use it to prepare for a C minor entrance, even if C minor is in fact the tonic. Also I have noticed that I can use G ...
3
votes
2answers
565 views

Polyphia - GOAT | scale and key [closed]

I have discovered a song that doesn't let me sleep at nights. I am trying to figure out how they came up with this piece. First thing was to find the right notes that appear there and as I can see ...
5
votes
4answers
209 views

E# note in the D# Major scale. What does it mean?

I've been having this doubt for a quite a while and haven't been able to find a satisfying answer. Is the 'E#' note technically an F? If so, why does it not exist on the chromatic scale like other ...
2
votes
2answers
158 views

Why are key signatures put in a circle?

Why are key signatures arranged in a circle like it is today, why not a triangle... or a square? Who came up with the idea to arrange the key signatures in a circle?
9
votes
4answers
1k views

What's the point of composing music for the violin in D flat?

I want to play Romance from Gadfly by Shostakovich, but being in D flat makes it more difficult to play than if it were a semitone higher. I don't see any interest in composing in D flat for the ...
0
votes
1answer
504 views

Determining Key when using a Capo [duplicate]

I'm using a Capo for the first time and wanted to know if I understand correctly how it works. Right now I have my Capo across the strings on the third fret. By placing it there and using the open C ...
3
votes
3answers
163 views

Way to lower key of song without changing sound of chord progression (like the opposite of a capo)?

Capos heighten the pitch of the guitar. Is there a thing that lowers the pitch of the guitar? I've been having problems playing a song on guitar and also singing it. For example, a song's chord ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Why does Beethoven's fifth symphony in c minor begin with a C major interval?

I have been told when composing the first thing is to establish the key. Beethoven's fifth symphony in c minor starts with major third interval. "...-". I would expect a major key. What am I ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Why don’t we use the term “scale signature”, rather than “key signature”?

This would avoid the confusion to some, of saying that the key/mode of A dorian has a key signature of G. I’m all for making things clearer for people learning music. If a piece is in D dorian, I ...
-1
votes
2answers
126 views

Why is the fifth chord a dominant 7? And if it is a dominant 7, why most of the songs use just D major along with G and not D7?

He says here that D7 is the fifth chord in the key of G. Still in most songs and places, you'll see D being used instead of D7 along with G.
5
votes
6answers
804 views

How do you think of the natural minor scale (or any non-major scale), when you play it?

I would be grateful to know how other beginner musicians think of the natural scale. For example, do you think: I need to play in A minor - the relative major is C. I shall therefore play in C ...