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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".

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Key vs Mode, why are there two different definitions?

When I search for the definition of key and mode, I see two arguments: When we talk about key, we only talk about major and minor. Letter name plus major and letter name plus minor are the only keys ...
Eary Chow's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
116 views

Is it possible to write a song “pitch first” or “key first”?

I believe there are 3 possible main elements to a song (not minding dynamics, articulation etc): The Type of Sounds + their order & The Amount of Sounds (Vowels, Consonants & Syllables & ...
Emotion's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
94 views

3:1 (or 1:3) interval, does it exist ? How to perform it from a C?

Given that a composed sound is composed of a fundamental frequency and its harmonics (multiples of the fundamental), we could easily image that a pitch (with a fundamenal frequency f) is played and ...
niobium's user avatar
  • 113
11 votes
5 answers
2k views

Why is the key typically the first and/or last note (or chord) of a song?

Is there a strategical reason when composing for the key to commonly be the first and/or last note (or chord) of a song?
Emotion's user avatar
  • 337
6 votes
4 answers
523 views

Chord progressions without the tonic chord: same key or different?

If you don't start your chord progression with the tonic chord, how do you retain the tonality / tonal center/ feel of a key? Or does the lack of the tonic chord cause the key to be a different one? ...
MusicQuestions7's user avatar
12 votes
3 answers
1k views

D major with no C tone

I just played the melody of the famous German Epiphany song "Stern über Bethlehem" and thought it was g major. When I googled the melody, I saw it written in d major. I was confused but then ...
J Fabian Meier's user avatar
10 votes
4 answers
2k views

Why is the scale of Hotel California B-min but not F#-phrygian?

I was listening Hotel California by Eagles and decided that F# is the key/tonic for this song. Thus it has to be F#-Phrygian scale. But over the internet I see that it is B-minor. It means it has same ...
Alexander C's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
75 views

Do added-tone chords change depending on the key?

I'm so confused. I have three questions. 1. Is the added tone (or note) counted from the tonic of a key or the root note of the chord? 2. Since, with the same scale degree, a note changes depending on ...
Laura Strondtham's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
56 views

Why is it the C Major scale that is played without accidentals, instead of A [duplicate]

Why is it C's Major scale that comes without accidentals instead of A? The C Major scale is played C D E F G A B C The C chromatic scale is played C C# D D# E F F# G G# A A# B C Why was it decided ...
eac's user avatar
  • 21
4 votes
2 answers
342 views

Bach St. Matthew Passion section 33 key shift

In Bach's St. Matthew's Passion section 33, at measure 104, both the first and second chorus pause together all at once, and there is a key shift. But I don't know to what key the music is shifting to....
Song's user avatar
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6 votes
5 answers
348 views

Is a minor key based on the natural minor scale or all 3 minor scales?

I am finding very different answers from various sources online regarding this topic. Some say that the minor key is based on the natural minor scale, but harmonic and melodic minor can be used too. ...
MusicQuestions7's user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
225 views

How should I comprehend Modal Mixture?

I’m studying the concept of modal mixture and there’s one thing that I immediately got curious about. Supposedly, the majority of POP music (rock, hip hop, r&b, country, etc) is a mixture of Major ...
Lecifer's user avatar
  • 954
1 vote
2 answers
113 views

Why do the chords of one song work with the melody of the other perfectly

Specifically, these 2 songs: Redbone: (Chords are B, C#, D#m in original key) Snooze: (Chords are G#m7, A#m7, Bmaj7 transposed + 6 ...
nofarings's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
220 views

What are the main concepts that aid singing in key?

In my previous question I asked about how many notes are needed to establish what key you are in. That kind of dodges around the purpose of me asking so here’s a more direct question. With an ...
Lecifer's user avatar
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3 votes
3 answers
279 views

How many notes does it take to state the key? To Have "Tonality"?

I'm referring to "tonal dominant function" as this gentleman is talking about in this video. How many notes in a "melody" do you need to state the ...
Lecifer's user avatar
  • 954
6 votes
8 answers
4k views

Perfect Pitch: Are tones recognizable by themselves or only in comparison with another tone?

Are the frequencies C4 260hz and A4 440hz actually noticeably different to someone with “perfect pitch”. I ask myself, What did they learn differently growing up to notice the difference in these ...
Lecifer's user avatar
  • 954
2 votes
5 answers
590 views

Purpose of ascending and descending scales?

I understand that ascending scales go from a lower pitch class up to the next pitch class with the same letter name. For example, C to C'. For descending scales it is the reverse. What I don't get is ...
MusicQuestions7's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
157 views

How to approach changing keys when singing from sheet music?

For the purpose of ear training and to practice reading sheet music, I am trying to sight sing from the book "Melodia - A compréhensive course in sight singing" https://scholarworks.sjsu.edu/...
Trip's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
116 views

I’m looking for information/references on how we developed the Major Mode (Scale/Key) [closed]

As the title says, I’m looking for some information on the history of how the Major Mode (Scale,Key) was developed/designed. I already know a little bit, that is, I am not completely new to the topic, ...
Lecifer's user avatar
  • 954
6 votes
4 answers
687 views

Why does this melody tend to be in the key of F Major rather than in the key of C Major

When composing, I generally start with C Major to be simple, but very often, I can hear that in the melody another key is suggested. Here is such an example : The melody starts by leaping to the VI ...
amcstomp's user avatar
  • 123
9 votes
3 answers
1k views

Changing a melody from major to minor key, twice

I thought of an interesting idea but I have very little music theory knowledge so I don't know how to look up additional information about it. The idea is the following: Say I have a melody in A major ...
Darwin's user avatar
  • 193
0 votes
1 answer
113 views

How do I release a piano note sooner when going to the next set of keys? For example, when I play a quarter note I do not release that note quickly [duplicate]

how do I release a piano key quicker and still stay in rhythm? When I play a quarter note followed by a half note, I do not release the quarter note quickly and that causes a delay in playing the next ...
Annetta 's user avatar
-3 votes
5 answers
294 views

What is between a Major Key and a Minor Key? (keys with a neutral third)

I know the 2 main types of keys are major and minor, but is there a 3rd type of key? (Diminished keys would be extra-minor keys; so, that is not what I am searching for.) I’m looking for keys with a ...
Dave Little's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
86 views

What is it called when a chord progression in a specific key uses root/tonic notes that are in-key, but other members of the chord are not?

What is it called when a chord progression in a specific key uses root/tonic notes that are in-key, but other members of the chord are not? For example, say I am in the key of C major and I pay C Maj, ...
the_endian's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
52 views

Is there any generic motivation for building scales which are supersets of the desired key(s)?

In conventional music, the octave is divided into the twelve frequency Chromatic Scale, but then only subsets of those twelve frequencies form the key used at any given time. I understand why the ...
user10478's user avatar
  • 123
0 votes
2 answers
121 views

How can I lift my fingers off each piano key faster and still keep the same tempo when playing songs?

I recently noticed that when I press the piano keys, I do not lift my fingers fast enough off the keys. This causes a "dragging sound". However, I seem to keep the music tempo going. This ...
Annetta 's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
368 views

How should this passage be analyzed?

From a previous exam. Possible answers were D maj, G maj, d min or a min. I think it’s a minor: if D or G then the F needs to be sharp and if it’s d the B would need to be flat. I think the c# is ...
Ryan's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
140 views

Is there a way to learn to appreciate music in major key?

I am unable to appreciate music in major key and it seems to be something I was born with. In early childhood I already had a preference for some nursery rhymes while disliking others. Only when I ...
user avatar
13 votes
5 answers
2k views

What indicates this passage as B flat minor and not D flat major?

From an exercise to identify the key of this passage, I thought it was D flat major, given the first note, but the answer is B flat minor. What in the passage indicates it as B flat minor?
Ryan's user avatar
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2 votes
3 answers
156 views

In which cadence can parents reasonably expect multiple key signatures to be introduced in piano instruction?

If a child starts to play the piano at six (at or about the beginning of Grade 1) with a teacher, reading sheet music from the first lesson, at what point can one reasonably expect the pupil/teacher ...
Sam7919's user avatar
  • 123
3 votes
2 answers
558 views

How do I identify the key of a tuba?

I'm trying to identify the key of a tuba in the below picture. I suspect it's either a Bb or a Eb but cannot confirm. I tried to measure and it was approx. just over 16ft (although that may be ...
Shoejep's user avatar
  • 133
4 votes
3 answers
987 views

how does the key signature work (not reading it)

If I find the key signature contains, let's say, E flat, does that only mean only E's are E flat or every note on the staff of the key signature are flats? I've looked up multiple things but I am not ...
kian myers's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
110 views

Finding the key of a song that begins in other key

Most classical musics begin in a key that matches its inital key signature, but some songs doesn't. For example, Schubert's impromptu no. 4, op. 90 begins in A-flat minor, but its key is A-flat major, ...
cplex's user avatar
  • 125
4 votes
3 answers
798 views

Could minor-third be used to judge major or minor key?

As my background is engineering, I often notice the occurrence of repeated things. I am learning to play pop songs by ear. It seems if a pop song has more minor-third intervals at or around the ...
SBMVNO's user avatar
  • 309
5 votes
3 answers
517 views

Usage of sharpened subdominant in minor key: what is the diatonic function?

The piece Für Elise uses a D♯ in the key of A minor in the first bar, which is the sharpened subdominant. (I'm focusing on the first part, up to halfway through bar 23 in this score.) D♯ and G♯ are ...
mathlander's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
230 views

How do I correctly identify whether a song is in minor or major? (Take "My Old School" as an example)

My Old School: This song is very confusing. Is it in E minor or G major? 4:31 ends in a G major chord, but 4:50 ends in an E minor chord. How do I identify which key ...
Ludwig Gershwin's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
1k views

What is the musical term for a song that uses a higher key for its last chorus?

While listening to a playlist of music from the 1980s / 1990s / early 2000s, I noticed that many of the songs have a pattern where the last chorus is sung in a much higher key than the previous ...
Scott Crooks's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
130 views

Am I over simplifying what I think I know about keys

I've read a few threads about the same question and seem to have really missed something from music theory 101. My question is around, for example, Cant you See by Marshall Tucker. Very simple ...
Bill Smith's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
718 views

Greek modes, minor and major scales

By definition, a major scale is: W W H W W W H similarly, a minor scale is: W H W W H W W Now, the standard notion of Greek modes begins with: a major scale, and the construction of the modes with ...
M.N.Raia's user avatar
  • 273
-4 votes
1 answer
482 views

Why are Christmas songs usually in minor keys? [closed]

Christmas is nominally about celebrating the birth of Christ, who (if you believe such things) is here to save the world. Sounds good, right? And yet, many Christmas songs don't sound happy or joyful; ...
MathematicalOrchid's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
129 views

Chords for rumba don't fit in any scale

I was trying to find the scale for this tab: https://acordes.lacuerda.net/pablo_montero/gata_salvaje.shtml The main chords are Fm A#m D# C. I tried with F Harmonic Minor, but it lacks the D#. Not only ...
Juan Enrich's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
250 views

Can lowered second degrees be used when switching music from major to minor even though they aren't actually part of the minor scale? [closed]

What I noticed in some songs is the second degrees of the scale rarely get turned into lowered second degrees when switching music from major to minor by lowering the third, sixth and seventh degrees. ...
Matthew the Music Fan's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
427 views

How do i solo with both scale and chords? [closed]

I know how to play pentatonic, major and minor scale. The question in solo i have chord progression like: C G Am F. Then i play C major scale, i could play are C major chord in all shapes. But how ...
TomSawyer's user avatar
  • 143
3 votes
3 answers
2k views

Female singing a song written for a male vocalist

I am a singer at my church. Oftentimes I have to choose a song written for a male’s vocal range, which means I have to sing the song in a male key but with my soprano voice. What is the official term ...
Smoores's user avatar
  • 31
2 votes
0 answers
92 views

Changing the key of a practice chanter

There are tunable practice chanters for sale that some say can be retuned from the key of A to C. Would love to hear from anybody who has tried / done this to learn what's involved.
Caomhainn's user avatar
15 votes
7 answers
3k views

Does the key a piece is written in affect playability for piano?

Key signatures and reading sheet music aside, does the key a piece is written in affect the ease with which it can be played on piano? For example, are any keys known for more difficult or awkward ...
hb20007's user avatar
  • 341
-1 votes
3 answers
563 views

Solo piano: Why not compose everything in or including the keys C major and A minor? [duplicate]

This is a follow-up question to What's the point of keys other than C and Am? After going through that question, I wrote down the key general facts: The C major and A minor keys have the simplest ...
hb20007's user avatar
  • 341
3 votes
1 answer
128 views

G# major vs Ab major in the Liszt's Les Preludes

In this video at 6:21, the instructor says that In measure 62 of Liszt Les Preludes (image below), the intonation is difficult if you think of as a "G sharp major." Instead, it will be ...
wonderich's user avatar
  • 921
2 votes
1 answer
303 views

The definition, and the origin of this sign notation "x"

Here is an example of the double sharp (within the red mark) from Liszt Les Preludes, see below. I suppose this notation "x" is called double sharp. Questions: What are (1) the definition, ...
wonderich's user avatar
  • 921
8 votes
8 answers
972 views

How can Key be understood differently when composing music vs playing it as a musician?

When I was younger, for years, I played musical instruments such as the french horn, violin, acoustic ("standing") bass, electric bass, piano, and electric guitar. During these years, I also ...
the_endian's user avatar

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