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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3answers
63 views

Emoji Of a Wave Amaj9/Amaj7 not diatonic in key (B major)?

I know using diatonic chords isn't a hard and fast rule, but i was wondering from a music theory perspective why the Amaj9/Amaj7 "works" in this song since it isn't in the key of B major. (The rest of ...
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3answers
81 views

What criteria do composers use to choose the key of a song? [duplicate]

I would like to know what criteria composers use when choosing the key of a song. In the case of music composed for orchestra or, in general, for instruments with limited tessitura or tuned in a ...
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2answers
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How can Alkan's Allegro Barbaro be and sound in the key of F major, when all the B's are natural?

I don't know much about chords and scales, so sorry if this question sounds misinformed. This just seems like witchcraft to me. Here's playable sheet music for this 1848 composition by Charles-...
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2answers
79 views

Why is the tonic so important for melodies?

I made a simple melody in FL studio that was in C Major. The melody consisted of two phrases both of which started on D. The only difference between the two is the second phrase ended on C (the tonic ...
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3answers
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Why do instruments have a key?

There are many instruments that have keys other than C. For example: The Eb Alto Saxophone The Bb Clarinet The Horn in F Why do these instruments have a key in the first place? Here's a more ...
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2answers
109 views

is this song written in dorian or mixolydian mode?

i have a question about the modes hopefully someone sees this if a song follows a chord progression of verse Bb-Ab-Eb Bb-Ab-Eb then pre chorus Ab-Eb-Bb // Ab-Eb-Db-Eb and then the chorus is Bb-...
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7answers
756 views

Can the key of a song be only major or natural minor scale?

From what I read, the key of a song or piece of music can be either from the major scale or natural minor scale. Is this true? Can a song have a key in a different scale? I ask because there are ...
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3answers
87 views

When looking up the key of a song, what octave is the singer singing in?

When you look up the key to a song and it says the key is something like E♭ or F, how do you know what octave the singer is singing in? Is it, for example, an F3 or F4? Is it above or below ...
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4answers
93 views

How do I know what note is #11 in my Fmaj9#11 chord

I am working my way through music theory. I play acoustic guitar - or try to. One of the exercises was in C and mentioned a Fmaj9#11 chord. So I dutifully worked out the notes for the chord and was ...
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3answers
114 views

Confused about the key of “Watermelon Man”

It is said that the original 1962 recording of "Watermelon Man" by Herbie Hancock is in the key of F. It makes a lot of sense given it's a bluesy piece, so we have a typical I-IV-V based chord ...
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7answers
1k views

Can a song be in both a major and minor key at the same time?

I was wondering if a song's key can be declared as just being ambiguous, where you just don't know if it's in major or minor? I think this concept applies only to relative keys as parallel keys have ...
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2answers
880 views

Key of a Song in Modes

If I'm playing a song in Dorian D would I say that the song is in the key of C? Or is the song in the key of D, cause that my true tonic? I guess the question can be boiled down to, is the tonic the ...
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8answers
15k 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 ...
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3answers
133 views

What decides the key of a song?

I'm creating a list with the keys of the songs we play in the band, and I found a song, where I'm not sure what it is. Note that this is just an example. In general, I'm finding for a way how to get ...
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4answers
1k views

How do I tell the difference between a borrowed chord and a key change?

Having muddled through for a few years, I'm finally learning the basics of harmony. I'm having a bit of trouble, though understanding exactly what goes on when chords occur from outside the key. Is ...
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2answers
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What is this note? [duplicate]

This is in key of F# major or D# minor, there is a D# in this key, but the D# in this picture has a double sharp sign beside it, so is it a D#(##) (which is an F)?
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0answers
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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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3answers
15k views

What is the difference between the Circle of Fifths and the Camelot Wheel?

I understand the Camelot Wheel is used by DJs to mix songs of different keys together by using adjacent and relative major/minor keys. Can't this same information be deduced from the Circle of Fifths? ...
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3answers
39k views

How do you convert a major song to a minor and vice versa?

On YouTube there are a load of videos where songs have had their keys switched from major to minor and vice versa. For example, YMCA which has been edited to a minor key: ...
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6answers
1k views

What is the best way to organize chords/keys in a database (details below)?

I am working on a project that involves putting together a database of chords/keys, and I'm wondering what you guys think is the best way to categorize each chord/key. For example, if I want users to ...
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3answers
131 views

Minor Key (and other key?) Roman Numeral Analysis

What is the general standard in RNA for the natural minor key, as well as keys that are neither major nor nat. minor? So in studying RNA, I found the major key pretty straightforward: I ii iii IV V ...
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1answer
72 views

Identifying a key [closed]

My girlfriend is not a Stack Exchange community member, but she's struggling with identifying a key for a given chord progression and I've offered to relay her question to the community here at large. ...
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1answer
216 views

Why are most string quartets in a key with few sharps or flats?

At most, in a string quartet, I've seen 4 flats or sharps. Now I have been told that this is because C major, G major, D major and A major are the easiest keys on a string instrument because they have ...
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2answers
101 views

Is B major harder or easier to play on strings than Ab major?

I started improvising a nocturne in B major that I think I will write for a piano sextet(string quintet + Piano). But, there is one thing I feel that I need to ask first before I get 25% of the way ...
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4answers
118 views

I have learnt a song in the key of D what capo threat should I use to change it into the key of C?

I am needing this for the song wanted dead or alive as the original key is D however, for the musical Rock of Ages they play the song in C. Is there any chance that I could put a capo on to keep the ...
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4answers
1k views

Chord progression where tonic chord does not appear at all

The song Weird Fishes (Arpeggi) by Radiohead has a chord progression which has been shared in a website and I believe it is more or less correct: Em7 F#m7 A A7 A6 Gmaj7 The song seems to be in ...
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0answers
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analysis of The Man Who Sold the World

So because I looked at the sheet music I assume the home key is either F or D minor. I understand the basics of using Roman numerals I'm just not sure if D minor should be i or F should be I. It seems ...
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5answers
2k views

What intervals are common for sudden key changes?

By "sudden", I mean that there is no dedicated harmonic preparation leading into the new key. The commonly used ones I can think of are: Up a semitone (the classic signal that this is final repeat ...
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2answers
121 views

Key Signature Reasoning

I'm looking through a piece of music that has two flats in the key signature. It feels like it's in D minor (the last chord), and the verse alternates between E♭9 and Dm6. A couple of things - ...
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3answers
154 views

preference of the key of B or Cb (also G#min and Abmin)

The debate of whether F# or Gb is a better key is very prominent, but I'd like to discuss the keys of B and Cb. As a guitar player, I would much rather have the key of B to play in. As a trombonist, ...
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9answers
31k 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 ...
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7answers
3k views

Key of a song with capo on the 4th fret

I have a song I'm playing on guitar and the original key is C# minor. If I play with a capo on the 4th fret, the chord shapes in the song are Am, C, G, Dm, F and E. So would this technically change ...
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0answers
39 views

What key to use for the Trio part of my Scherzo?

As you know from my previous question about tempo conservation and time signatures, I am writing a Scherzo in Eb major. Now, if I were writing this for solo piano, I would gladly do an Eb to Ebm key ...
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7answers
17k 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 ...
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4answers
169 views

Is there any objective evidence that different keys “feel different” or have different moods?

In an advertisement in YouTube for composer Danny Elfman's master class viewable here the composer says: When somebody starts talking about “this should be in such and such a key because such a key ...
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5answers
4k views

What keys contain both E and Am and is there an easy trick to determine this?

By 'keys contain' I mean in the normal rules of choosing what chords 'fit' within a given key, since of course you can put just about any chord anywhere if you try hard enough! Is there a shortcut ...
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5answers
105 views

Changing keys from the piano to Baritone Saxophone [closed]

I need to change the key of a song I’m playing. The song is changes by David Bowie and I’m hoping to change it from the original key in piano (C) to my baritone saxophone (the bari sax is in the key ...
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1answer
52 views

What minor key siganture has 6 double flats? [closed]

I have read Wiki-pedia, the theorethical key page however does not list if there's a key signature with 6 double flats and 1 flat. The max that that page lists are key signatures with 3 double flats.
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6answers
507 views

How do I contextualize chords from different keys that sound good together?

For instance, an E major triad followed by an A minor sounds really good to me. I don't believe these can belong to the same key, because you can't have a sharp g and a natural C in the same scale as ...
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2answers
100 views

Why do I hear characters to keys in equal temperament? [closed]

I know, I'm not the only one who hears key characters. But I have heard time and time again that equal temperament means that all keys are equal and thus there aren't any characters to it beyond Major ...
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4answers
2k 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 ...
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2answers
77 views

Need help changing keys from A to C using open-position chord shapes [closed]

So, I’m playing a song in the key of A. The chords are simple and fretted as a “g sus,” “C sus,” “Em,” and “D”. Now I know that I’m holding these shapes but the notes that’s actually being played for ...
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7answers
4k views

Changing key in a song convincingly

Update 3 I have started to break down this broad question to specific, smaller questions. 1) Classical music example for seamless transition from one section to other with changing keys Say, I have ...
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4answers
133 views

Did classical composers typically modulate using the circle of fifths?

I read somewhere that classical composers modulate using a fifth. I think they did this because it's the smoothest key change as scales only differ between one note when they do that. So was that the ...
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2answers
163 views

Why is F sharp the only sharp Major Diatonic Harmonica offered and why is there no G flat harmonica?

I tune my guitar half step flat to make it easier to sing the songs I love to play. I also play harmonica along with guitar on many songs that feature a harmonica solo (Neil Young's "Heart of Gold" ...
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2answers
1k views

Is this a key change? (Radiohead:Creep)

The chords for Radiohead's Creep follow this pattern: G Bm C Cm My question is whether the C->Cm constitutes a change of key and if so which keys are being used and why does this 'work'?
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3answers
98 views

Measuring key-relatedness of chords on the circle of fifths

Is there an easy way to visualise scale-degree triads for a given key, based on the circle of fifths? And to also use the circle to 'measure' how distant a given out-of-key chord is to our home key? I ...
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3answers
183 views

How does performing a chromatic inversion changes the root key?

In this video, they explain that performing a chromatic inversion on Paganini's them changes the root note from Am to D#. Why does it changes both the root key and the mode, and how does that work? It ...
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3answers
108 views

Does minor/major affect scale degrees when talking about chords?

Say I'm playing a song in C Minor, and I play the chords Cm, B♭, A♭, G If I was talking about, or analyzing these chords using roman numerals, which way is more correct to refer to them? i, VII,...
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5answers
29k views

Hard to tell major from minor

I have a hard time figuring out if a song with a certain key signature is major or minor. I know some sound minor and are and some sound major and are but some sound opposite of what they actually are(...

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