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
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4answers
2k views

Is an accidental considered off key?

If you have a song with accidentals and you sing it, are you then singing off key? And if you are in the key of C major for example, and in the song a D is raised to a D# with an accidental and ...
2
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3answers
154 views

When playing in a minor key, is it common to switch between the different minor scales?

Is it common to switch between natural, harmonic, and melodic minor scales when playing the same piece or is it best to stick with one?
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1answer
51 views

is the definition of a natural sound adjusted by the key signature?

Suppose we are talking about C major. In this case if we want any sound to be "higher", we use #, if we want a sound to be lower, we use b. If on a given bar we have already altered a sound and we ...
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3answers
1k views

How do you know when a key name needs an accidental?

Take the following example from musictheory.net. If we go by the "cheat" rule where you can take the last sharp, then go one half note up, it will tell us that the major key is A. Next, if we use the ...
2
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3answers
857 views

Do major triad chord notes depend on the key? Key=E, Emaj=EG#B vs Key=C, Emaj=EGB?

I came across something odd shown in the picture below. (What this is from is not very relevant, but in case your interested: I'm building a simple phone app that would allow me to practice ...
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6answers
23k views

With sheet music, how do you determine whether the song is in the major key or the minor key?

For example, if the key signature on the left doesn't have any sharps or flats then it could theoretically be in either the C Major scale or the A Minor scale. How do you determine which one?
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2answers
125 views

Harmony Question

Cmaj7 to Abmaj7 to Gmaj7. The G seems like a resolution, it feels like the tonal center changes to G when you do such movement. The Abmaj7 almost begs for it. What is the explanation? For example G7 ...
2
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2answers
408 views

What does “Base key” mean?

I have come across lyrics and chord sheets that show "Base key : (A, B, C etc)". What does it mean? Passion Planetshakers, Legacy Base key: A Intro Fm Ab/C Db Fm Ab/C Db Ab Verse ...
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7answers
2k views

Chord progression if the chords are not part of the scale?

I've been learning about harmony, and the harmonisation of major scales. I can recognise simple chord progressions, and I try and practice by listening to popular songs. For a major scale, we have:...
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2answers
245 views

How do they decide the key?

Duke Ellington plays a beautiful solo Take the A Train in 1956 [see youtube live performance is awesome] I think it's in C and most transcripts are in C. But there is a video of him playing with the ...
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2answers
14k 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
3k views

What key fits with the chords Em7, F#m7, and B7#5?

I'm trying to find some good places to start an electric guitar solo for the song Cosmic Girl by Jamiroquai . The solo will go over the verse progression. The verse progression seems to be some sort ...
3
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4answers
2k views

Does changing the music's key change the feeling?

If I write a major scale in the key of A, is there any difference if I write that major scale but change the key to F or G or B or F♯? In other words, are there any differences between different keys ...
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1answer
142 views

I have no music background and wrote this music score for a simple composition. What should be the key? [closed]

I have no music background but would like to record a simple self composed melody onto a score sheet. I used Musescore. Could someone help me identify the key of this song and also if there are any ...
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1answer
1k views

How to identify which key a song is in by ear?

For example, for this piece, how can I tell whether it's in D major or other keys by just listening to it. And is there any systematic way to do so? Thanks!
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2answers
576 views

Does a chord imply a change in the key signature?

I was looking at Cold Duck Time : Where the key signature is F major. On the second bar, the bass line says that the A is to be played natural. The key signature doesn't have Ab, but the chord (Bb7) ...
12
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4answers
1k views

What determines the overall key of a work with multiple movements and key changes?

For example, we talk about Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 in C minor, yet the movements are in a variety of keys: Allegro con brio (C minor) Andante con moto (A♭ major) Scherzo: Allegro (C minor) Allegro ...
1
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1answer
45 views

Relevance of compositional key? [duplicate]

Listening to Bach's Sonata No.4 for violin and harpsichord in C Minor made me wonder; does the key music is written and played in, have specific relevance to the compositions mood?
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2answers
108 views

What do I name this chord?

When I'm warming up to play piano, I often play a little right-hand improv with the left hand sounding out the following chord sequence, over and over, then ending in a final Am: Am F G C F X E E7 ...
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3answers
9k views

Lowering the key of a song by a semitone

What does lowering the key of a song by a semitone exactly mean? If a song is for example in F major, and you lower the key by a semitone, do you lower every note by a semitone? This becomes E G♭ A♭ A ...
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4answers
214 views

Are all modes/scales in a given key signature perceived as equally bright/dark?

Many people experience certain keys to be "brighter" or "sharper" relative to other keys. Keys with more sharps than flats are reported as being "brighter" and keys with more flats than sharps as ...
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2answers
756 views

How to know singing is in a particular key

At Deering's web site, they have a blog entry Learning Banjo by Ear for Beginners. The third step says, "Sing that melody aloud in the key of G. (keep strumming that chord if you need a reference ...
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2answers
1k views

Any way to automatically determine key and tempo of a music recording?

My ear is not good enough to determine the key of a piece of music just by hearing. Is there a way to automatically determine the key and tempo of a musical recording using a computer?
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1answer
98 views

Why are pedal notes in the lower, not in the higher, register?

At church today I listened to an organ piece that had a constant pedal note from the beginning to the end of the piece. The strange (and very unpleasant) thing about this pedal note was, that it was ...
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3answers
37k 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
8k views

Is there any way to find a key of song somehow mathematically/algorithmically?

There are many scales with different keys for the same notes. For example, with the notes C D E F G A B C, we can have: C major, C Ionian, A natural minor, D Dorian, E Phrygian, F Lydian, G ...
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2answers
199 views

Can a song contain pitches outside of its intended key? [duplicate]

I'm new to music theory and am self teaching so I apologise if this has already been asked but I'd be extremely grateful if you could point me in the right direction. I'm trying to learn the best way ...
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2answers
1k views

How to interpret notes outside of the key signature?

Lets make this question a bit clear. If you're playing Bach's music, it shows you that its' key is E minor, or A major or anything. But, when you play something like: He add sharp in his notes. ...
17
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5answers
29k views

How come songs in a certain key play notes not in that key

I just started trying to learn about music theory as I'm learning to play the guitar. So as beginner's do I looked up a list of easy songs to play and I start learning away. Since I'm also trying to ...
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3answers
3k views

Why does the chord progression Dmaj -> Emaj -> Bmaj sound good?

I looked up the chord progressions for all major and minor scale keys, but this combination doesn't match any of them. Why does it work well?
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6answers
10k views

Is G sharp major a real key?

I'm mostly self-taught, so I don't know much in the way of theory beyond the basics. I have heard of G sharp Major a few times. I believe a scale in the key goes as such: G♯, A♯, B♯, C♯, D♯, E♯, Fx, G♯...
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3answers
825 views

Combining chords from relative keys

I came across the theme for flowers in the attic: Please forward to the main theme at 1:33. I'm trying to figure if it is using relative keys. It seems it uses a ...
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2answers
752 views

Song is described as C# is this C# major, minor or?

I am learning to play "Every praise by Hezekiah Walker" and the gentleman in the video describes the song in C# with the chords F, Eb, F#, is he referring to C# Major or Minor? I understand C# is ...
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4answers
2k views

How to determine what key changes are appropriate?

In the month or so until my band get back together I've been working on writing some new material, and want to try and expand how complex my songs are. I apologise if there are a lot of questions - I'...
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1answer
103 views

Key of song sung a cappella

If someone starts singing a song a cappella, then is it necessary for this person to sing in one of the 12 Western keys (A, A#, B, C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#)? For example, would it be ...
0
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1answer
90 views

S.O.S my Upright Piano keys aren'r working

please someone help me! I have an ED.SEILER upright wood piano with ivory keys, that's from 1911 (so it's 106 years old) and some of the black keys stopped working! It was working perfectly like a ...
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1answer
587 views

Songs that don't end with key chord? [closed]

I'm quite new to music theory, I think the fact that I've just found out that songs most of the time end with the key chords would prove it :D. To be able to understand this better I'm looking for ...
6
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2answers
817 views

Why is the key signature not the same as the listed key?

Looking at the following piece, the information says that the key is G minor. However. the score in the "original key" has a key signature of D minor. Moreover, the score transposed to A minor has a ...
2
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3answers
245 views

Should you return to the original key?

So I've begun writing several orchestral pieces (forgive me if I use incorrect names, I didn't study orchestrastion or composition beyond my GCSEs). When writing a piece, you often change the key ...
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1answer
78 views

Having a set of notes from a song how can I find out the right key which is written in, from the possible ones (considering modes) that fit those?

Having a set of notes that fit in both the G major scale and D mixolydian scale how can I find out which key is it in? What if it's hard to even find the tonic, because maybe it is rarely used?
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4answers
8k views

The Chords in this progression sound great but don't belong together - so why do they work?

I am a songwriter and compose my own music to go with my lyrics. Most of my chord progressions follow common patterns like using a I V IV or I IV V with an occasional ii or iii or vi chord thrown in ...
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1answer
108 views

Scale Chords are different. Why?

So I saw this chart: http://guitarteacher.com/2009/02/17/major-scale-chords-guitar-keys-of-caged/ Now I am asking myself: if you take a simple chord with 1-3-5, why do they look different in ...
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6answers
9k views

What key has the chords G, Dm, Bb, C and F?

I've been trying to brush up on my music theory recently, but I can't work out what key "Home" by Sheryl Crow is in. The chords are: G, Dm, Bb, C and F. It would appear to be C major, except for the ...
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6answers
7k views

B flat minor - the key of death … seriously?

My music teacher always rambles on about B flat minor, endlessly repeating how it is the key of death and is therefore used in movies for death scenes. Alright, I understand that it is minor, no ...
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5answers
2k views

Why does a major minor modulation with the same root work (e.g. C to Cm) [duplicate]

There are very few chord changes I cannot rationalize and fit into some mode of a major scale. One of these is a major minor change with the same root (e.g. C to Cm). The C chord has c, e, and g ...
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3answers
2k views

Changing the key of a track without changing the speed of a track

I have two mp3 tracks. Track1 has a key of A flat major. Track2 has a key of D minor. I would like to increase the key of track1 to match the key of track2 without changing the speed of track1 so ...
2
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3answers
119 views

Motivations to change a key in a transcription

I stumbled upon a transcription for guitar from a Lute piece. The original piece is written in G minor but the transcription is in A minor. From the transcriber's notes the bass line's octave was ...
2
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2answers
5k views

Distinction between Mode and Key [duplicate]

I am a little confused on the distinction between mode and key. If I see a lot of F#s (not in the key signature) and Cs, is it correct to say I am in C lydian mode but still in C major key? Moreover, ...
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5answers
180 views

Minor Key Confusion

I find when playing in a minor key I always end up playing the major version of the V chord. (So in Em I always end up playing a "B major" chord.) However, the third of this chord should be played as ...
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2answers
219 views

Smoothest key change when playing same song in different key?

Let's say I'm playing a song. Let's keep this easy for this example "London Bridge" and I play it in C major. After I finish this song, if I'd like to play it again but in a different key, what key ...

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