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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5
votes
1answer
128 views

Are there J.S. Bach pieces that do not start with the tonic chord?

I know some simple pieces where the initial phrase starts in the IV chord or the V chord, but I'm wondering if Bach used to do that.
5
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2answers
159 views

Break from conventionality in Mahler Symphony no. 1

In the Wikipedia article for Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 1, in describing its structure, a paragraph ends with The usage of F minor for the last movement was a dramatic break from conventional ...
1
vote
1answer
187 views

Key modulation in a fugue, how to not lose sight of the tonic?

Now I'm having some more trouble with my fugue. But this time it has to do with key modulation. I feel my fugue is becoming too jazzy thanks to the modulation. There are the primary modulations(from ...
24
votes
4answers
973 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
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 ...
101
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25answers
23k views

What's the point of keys other than C and Am?

I'm VERY new to music theory, just learning. I'm reading about keys and scales right now. From what I understand major keys are all the same except for being shifted by one or more semitones (e.g. C ...
1
vote
2answers
118 views

How do I know if I'm in a Major key or its Relative Minor? [duplicate]

For example, if I compose a chord progression F-G-C-Am. Can I Assume C as the Key? How do I know I'm not in A minor? I've seen songs analysis that says a song is in determined key even when the root ...
24
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9answers
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 ...
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3answers
2k views

What is the key for “Purple Haze”?

I was looking at the sheet music for purple haze by Jimi Hendrix and I was pretty confused. The first two bars, and all over the song, has a LOT of accidentals. Then the root of the first chord was ...
-1
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3answers
420 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 ...
2
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1answer
57 views

Guidelines for finding tonality/key of a song

I am trying to determinate in which key a song was written. I am not musician nor music student. I knew some clues for finding the key but I am having trouble with a specific song because the criteria ...
8
votes
2answers
73 views

Is parallel modulation a thing?

I have heard that going in between 2 parallel keys is just modal interchange and not a modulation because the tonic note is the same. Maybe if the change in key is short and only to add color to a ...
15
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2answers
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
117 views

Chromatic 7th chords going upwards in Beethoven

This is about how the harmony is working in Rondo a Capriccio by Beethoven. Here is the passage I am talking about: So starting at measure 291, there is a passage where 7th chords go up chromatically,...
4
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3answers
125 views

Can the melody determine the key of an ambiguous chord progression

I am writing a song in A major. The chords in the verse are A, C#m, F#m, F#m. Now it is clear to me the key of this part of the song is A/F#m but then in the chorus the C#m chord is switched with the ...
5
votes
2answers
289 views

what kind of chord progession is this?

im quite new in music theory and i really dont understand what he is doing here. is he changing the key after every chord? he talks about c minor being the root note. after that he switches to c# ...
3
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2answers
87 views

Why does the key change happen where it does here?

In the image below, the key is initially G, then changes to E (right?) for the rest of the song. However, that entire bar uses sharps from E, and the key never changes back. Why wouldn't the key ...
0
votes
1answer
86 views

Is Yo Ho (A Pirate's Life for Me) in A minor or F major? [closed]

'A pirate's life for me' sounds like it's in A minor (and that's what multiple websites indicate) yet there's an A#/Bb in it. Where does that Bb come from? Does it modulate between F major and A minor ...
6
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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?
5
votes
4answers
360 views

How exactly tell the root of a song over a defined scale on ambiguous harmonic context?

I play a song in either C major key or A minor key. Usually I determine the root (C or A) taking into account clues like: The happy or sad feel of it all The first chord (C or Am) Stereotypical ...
0
votes
5answers
122 views

Play a song in its original key? [closed]

Sometimes I play a given song in different keys, but I'm wondering if its preferable to play a song in its original key especially in performance in order to appeal to the audience the most. I read ...
4
votes
6answers
480 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 ...
10
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2answers
277 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
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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!
0
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5answers
423 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 ...
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
88 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
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8answers
23k 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
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6answers
13k 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
85 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
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3answers
154 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
86 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
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0answers
50 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
143 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
566 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
38k 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
79 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
491 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
90 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
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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
95 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 ...
23
votes
8answers
15k 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
90 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
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4answers
294 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
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6answers
114 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
538 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 ...