Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 175 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions tagged [key]

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

4
votes
4answers
185 views

Can someone explain what a key is?

I feel like 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 is ...
6
votes
6answers
667 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
71 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. ...
-1
votes
1answer
61 views

Do I play C and G as natural in G major? Is it always played the rest in natural?

For any major played, (g major, d major, etc.) do we play everything else as a low/natural? (Ex. G major only uses every f as a f sharp. so would c and g be played both as low/natural in the piece if ...
26
votes
8answers
12k 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
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 ...
0
votes
0answers
22 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 ...
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 ...
2
votes
3answers
58 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
941 views

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

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?
4
votes
4answers
102 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
151 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
601 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
57 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
313 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
1answer
777 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 ...
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
909 views

What are some effective ways to use a key change during a song?

In my own songwriting, I might change keys to reinforce a change in the direction of the lyrics. For example if the first two verses are first person but the last verse is 3rd person, I might ...
0
votes
1answer
73 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 ...
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?
6
votes
3answers
355 views

GuitarPro: Change to Eb, but keep notation in E

I just downloaded GuitarPro 7.5. I used to use GuitarPro quite a bit, but it's been a while. I like to tune down and play in Eb. I want to change a song to sound 1/2 step lower, but want to keep ...
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 ...
5
votes
6answers
749 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
75 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. ...
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 ...
4
votes
6answers
660 views

V chord becoming 7th? minor key [duplicate]

Im analyzing a song that is in the key of e minor. And the chords for the song are: Em B7 Am Now, I'm no expert but from my theory I learnt a while back for a minor key the chords are: Minor- dim -...
18
votes
8answers
13k 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 ...
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
6
votes
3answers
537 views

Xaphoon: Which key, C or Bb?

I have been thinking about buying a xaphoon for a while. I have no experience with wind instruments of any kind (well, I can play the sweetflute) so I don't know whether to pick the C key or the Bb ...
9
votes
7answers
4k views

Why is 'C minor' parallel to 'E♭ major', but not to 'D♯ major'?

The way I have parallel keys in my head is that a major key is always three half-steps higher than a minor key. I was trying to evaluate this on the circle of fifths and also during an exam, but I ...
2
votes
3answers
580 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 ...
39
votes
5answers
7k views

When were the terms “Major” and “Minor” applied to keys?

In 1547, Heinrich Glarean published Dodecachordon in which he posited that in addition to the 4 existing pairs of church modes (plagal and authentic versions of modes with finals on D (Dorian), E (...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

How can you find the key of a song by ear?

If you don't have the music notation available, how can you determine what key a song is in by just listening? Must one have perfect pitch to do this or is there an easy way or a trick that can help ...
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 ...
8
votes
6answers
9k views

Does the C chord change based on what key it's in?

Typically, the "C" is played like this in the key of C: But when I play another song, in the key of D, is the C chord still played like this? If not, how do I play it on the guitar? Likewise, if the ...
2
votes
5answers
7k views

What does the key of a song mean? [duplicate]

I want to know what it means, in terms of the scales and chords involved, when we say that a song is played in a certain 'key'.
4
votes
3answers
3k views

How should I choose the key of my harmonica?

I've read few articles about it, but none of them seem to help me with this problem. Let's say we have a song in certain key - which harmonica should I choose? Let me give you an example, we have a ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

How are keys in the circle of fifths related?

I know this seems like a basic question, and in the traditional sense, I actually know how they are related. Though, while reading a book titled 'Harmony for Computer Musicians', I've come across a ...
2
votes
2answers
107 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
48 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 ...
2
votes
4answers
393 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 ...
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 ...
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
35 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?
2
votes
3answers
115 views

Why does VII have dominant function in natural minor

I have noticed with my own compositions that I can take something like Bb 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 ...