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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63 views

How to assure acapella is in key with instrumental

I am a bit confused. I always use a reference track, in order to create my chord progression, in this case it was: I created the Chord Progression and then I used my ...
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2answers
53 views

Rules for naming borrowed chords in roman numeral analysis

I don't seem to find an extensive resource on how to name out of scale chords in roman numeral analysis. E.g. let's look at this piece from "All imperfect things" of Michael Nyman: I'm stuck on M5 ...
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1answer
49 views

What key is the song “Old Town Road” by Lil Nas X in? [closed]

Link to the song: The chords in the song are as follows: G# - B - F# - C# (All in Major) But as I listen to the song I keep thinking it's in the key of G# Minor (...
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3answers
1k views

How can you tell when you unintentionally change keys when singing?

My dad always tells me that when I sing I change keys. Like I'll start out right and then change for a single phrase or word and then change back. I don't know when I do this, I can't tell and my ...
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5answers
2k views

Accurately recalling the key - can everyone do it?

I'm wondering if it is common for people to accurately recall not only the melody of a song they know, but also the key. I've recently done a small experiment where I asked a few of my friends to hum ...
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1answer
135 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.
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2answers
119 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 ...
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1answer
60 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 ...
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2answers
82 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 ...
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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# ...
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3answers
133 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 ...
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2answers
88 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 ...
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1answer
126 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,...
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1answer
88 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 ...
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5answers
124 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 ...
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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 ...
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3answers
94 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 ...
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1answer
87 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?
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57 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 ...
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1answer
88 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 ...
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5answers
425 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 ...
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1answer
80 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 : ...
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3answers
92 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, ...
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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 ...
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3answers
423 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 ...
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1answer
92 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 ...
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6answers
116 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 ...
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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. ...
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3answers
157 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 ...
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3answers
1k 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 ...
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2answers
107 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. ...
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0answers
26 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 ...
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3answers
209 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 ...
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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 ...
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4answers
276 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?
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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!
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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 ...
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3answers
147 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 ...
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8answers
772 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 ...
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1answer
97 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 ...
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1answer
784 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 ...
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1answer
101 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 ...
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5answers
2k 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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8answers
4k 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?
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6answers
3k 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 ...
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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
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2answers
87 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. ...
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3answers
589 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 ...