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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".

4
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6answers
354 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 ...
-1
votes
3answers
342 views

Chord has every note of the harmonic minor scale. Name or just an effect? [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 ...
9
votes
2answers
229 views

Lilypond - Custom Key Signature for Turkish folk music and microtonal accidentals

I have to create this key signature in lilypond: Would it be possible to create something like that? I really appreciate any help you can provide. Thanks!
9
votes
5answers
2k views

If there are no diminished keys, then why does Locrian mode exist?

A diminished chord can't work as a tonic due to its dissonance. If then, why does Locrian mode even exist? It's confusing!
1
vote
5answers
328 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
44 views

I don't know what key I am writing in [on hold]

I write melodies. I was content with writing just melodies. Now, I realize my melodies need harmonies and backing tracks to make them sound full. I bought Band-In-A-Box to auto generate harmonies and ...
16
votes
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 ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Why isn't there a closely related key to C minor that has D as tonic?

For minor keys, there are no closely related keys built on the second scale degree. Why? Is it because the chord built from the second scale degree is diminished?
1
vote
3answers
70 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 ...
10
votes
8answers
21k views

Why do Major keys contain minor chords?

Looking through each Major Key: At position II, III, VI are MINOR chords. At position VII, this is a DIMINISHED chord. Looking at the C Major Key as an example, this chord progression is made up ...
13
votes
6answers
12k views

Why have I never found any music written in the key of C Sharp Major?

Music is written in almost every key that corresponds to every note that is on my piano keyboard. There is clearly a C Sharp (black key right of C) on my piano keyboard but I don't recall ever seeing ...
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?
3
votes
3answers
116 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 ...
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
0answers
33 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Minor key and its chords [duplicate]

I am trying to learn the scales and its relative chords. I am confused with Minor scale. Lets take A minor key for an example. A minor key has following notes: A B C D E F G and its relative chords ...
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 ...
1
vote
3answers
546 views

Printing Keyboard Labels

Is there any kind of label sheet size or template that will fit on a piano keyboard? I want to print from my printer ABC's that will fit on the keyboard. Thanks!
6
votes
3answers
34k views

Is there a simple way to transpose a song from one key to another? What is the methodology?

What is a simple way to accomplish transposing a song from one key to another key? In other words if I am looking at a song written in the key of C and can't sing it in that key and I want to ...
2
votes
1answer
73 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
4answers
444 views

Em9-A-B progression - would you consider that a key change?

From a theory perspective, does a repeated R&B progression like Em9-A-B count as a key change occurring over and over, or a I-IV-V progression with a seriously modified I chord (from major to ...
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, ...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

What key contains the chord progression C, Fm, Bb? Or is it multiple keys?

The chord progressions for the song Nomadic Revery by Bonnie Prince Billy are: Verse: (C Fm Bb Fm Bb C)x2 Cmaj7 Chorus: (Bb C Fm Bb C)x2 Bridge: (Cm Eb)x3 Gm (Cm Eb)x3 Bb Cm (Cm Eb)x3 Fm Gm The ...
27
votes
8answers
13k 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 ...
2
votes
5answers
88 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. ...
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 ...
21
votes
8answers
14k views

Is F Lydian mode in the “key” of C Major?

In most cases (if not all), a piece of music without sharps or flats in the key signature, would be considered in the key of C major or A minor. This question assumes the context of Western Music ...
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 ...
7
votes
4answers
282 views

Piece is D harmonic minor. Should I sharp all Cs?

If I'm playing a piece (piano) in D harmonic minor, I only sharp the 7th (C) if there is an accidental. Is that right?
5
votes
5answers
3k views

What key is correct when guitars are half step down?

I see many charts for praise and worship songs charted in sharp keys (A#, F#) major. One song is charted F# Major. I would think the guitars are tuned a half step down and they are playing like it is ...
2
votes
6answers
113 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 ...
24
votes
4answers
870 views

Where do the double accidentals go in “theoretical” key signatures?

Recent questions led me to discussions of theoretical keys, which are defined by Wikipedia as keys with at least one double accidental in the key signature. (Unfortunately, the source of that ...
4
votes
4answers
435 views

What key is a piece in if an augmented chord is used as a dominant?

I personally think that augmented chords can be just as consonant as major if used in a certain way. For example, in the first octave of a piano, if I play an augmented chord, yes it will want to ...
2
votes
5answers
2k views

Diminished and augmented key signature

Now I know that augmented chords and diminished chords are dissonant normally. Arpeggiate it and it is much more consonant. 3rd octave and it is much more consonant. But can you actually have ...
14
votes
9answers
6k views

Is it harder to play in a key with more flats or sharps?

This is a very naive question, but I tend to perceive a song with a key signature that has more flats or sharps to be more difficult than the same song written in a key with fewer flats or sharps. ...
16
votes
6answers
8k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
648 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 ...
6
votes
6answers
694 views

Why do jazz chord symbols give absolute, not relative, roots?

Answers to the question How do they decide the key? point out how useful it is for a jazz musician to be able to play a piece in any key. So, in jazz, why does sheet music give chord symbols with ...
5
votes
2answers
94 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
116 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 ...
21
votes
8answers
6k views

Are sharp keys “bright” and flat keys “dark”?

I was reading this book and on the "Circle of Fifths" chapter it claims that keys with sharp key signatures (C, G, D, ...) are "often though by musicians" to be "bright" sounding and those with flat ...
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
200 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?
15
votes
6answers
29k 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

How to differentiate between relative keys [duplicate]

So I'm learning that C major and A minor scales have the same notes. Then, if I look at, say, 10 consecutive single notes, how do I tell if they're in C or Am? It's easier when you see a chord, ...
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 ...
6
votes
8answers
641 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
73 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 ...