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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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 ...
1
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1answer
137 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 ...
3
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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
401 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 ...
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 ...
26
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4answers
1k 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 ...
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?
1
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2answers
107 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 ...
4
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4answers
212 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 ...
5
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2answers
727 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 ...
4
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3answers
8k 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 ...
1
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1answer
94 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 ...
11
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3answers
36k 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 ...
2
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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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3answers
808 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 ...
-1
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1answer
102 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
570 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 ...
1
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1answer
77 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?
2
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3answers
242 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 ...
0
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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 ...
4
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2answers
248 views

Is it considered polytonality if the song is using two keys but not on top of each other

I've run into a couple songs recently that use two keys at the time, but not in the way that would meet the definition of polytonality. What they do is they establish one key as the primary key and ...
0
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1answer
89 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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5answers
3k views

Why are different keys necessary / important? [duplicate]

If all major key songs can be played in C major, then why do people play them in other keys? Assume there is no singer involved and we're just talking about what sounds "good". My understanding is ...
2
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3answers
118 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 ...
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5answers
179 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 ...
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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2answers
210 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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2answers
973 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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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?
2
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5answers
225 views

B5 power chord in A minor

I'm trying to write a rock/punk song in the key of A minor and the chorus goes: B5, C5, G5, F5. The B chord in A minor is B diminished, does that mean I have to use the diminished chord or can I use ...
0
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1answer
552 views

Changing clef position

What's the purpose for changing the position of the clef on the staff, for example the alto clef could be on the first, third and fourth line while the notes on the staff remain unchanged?
0
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1answer
220 views

can natural, harmonic and melodic minor (melodically and harmonically) be used together? [duplicate]

can the natural, melodic and harmonic minor be used all together in the same phrasing regarding the melody and the harmony? so if I ascend in natural minor can i descend in harmonic minor.and why can'...
12
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4answers
3k views

Why did Albéniz write in C♭ instead of B?

I'm referring to Evocación, the first movement of Iberia, which is in the key of C flat (7 flats, every note flat). The key of B uses exactly the same hotes, but using 5 sharps instead of 7 flats. To ...
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3answers
2k views

what happens when we change the key [closed]

Are there mood or any feeling change when we shift from one major key to another and does is this related to selecting the correct key signature for a certain song or melody .
0
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1answer
672 views

Ways to modulate from Lydian to the relative Mixolydian

I'm trying to write a song, where I go from B minor for 4 bars to the relative G Lydian mode. Then there is a gap of 4 bars followed by a section in the relative A Mixolydian mode. It's worth ...
3
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5answers
1k views

What software can change guitar backing track one-half step lower?

What software can change guitar backing track one-half step lower? Many guitar songs are in E and A flat key and backing tracks are in pure E and A respectively, you know. It sounds obviously ...
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3answers
3k views

How to quickly know the notes in a key?

I'm a guitar player. I know about all the basic music theory for the simple major, minor and pentatonic scales. I know that a major chord consists of the 1,3 and the 5 and a minor of the 1, the b3 and ...
0
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1answer
197 views

Is this a harmonic riff?

Here's the riff. For me a harmonic riff sounds harmonic. Without any thinking about the theory I can hear it most of the times. But in this case I'm not sure. Especially G 1 sounds a little bit off. ...
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3answers
1k views

How to use modes in popular music?

Can a pop song be written using a specific mode for the vocal melody, and another for the chord progression, when both of the modes share the same key signature? (Please note that I am not referring ...
1
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4answers
234 views

Composing in one key and then switch to another

This is a question mainly for more advanced pianists: What is a better way for me to compose? As of now, I compose mostly in C or A, as I'm not as familiar with other keys in terms of finding chords ...
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7answers
5k views

Can any song in a major key be performed in C major?

Let's say we have a song in a major key. My understanding is that performing different songs in different major keys just makes the song either higher or lower in pitch. And that's just about the only ...
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2answers
595 views

What is the difference between the American and the French systems? [closed]

I'm trying to learn about musical notes and their names in the American system. I'm not entirely sure what a "note" is. I would appreciate if you use the notes highlighted here as an example.
0
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2answers
109 views

Are there rules of thumb that let me quickly determine a possible playing position from the key?

I am playing some pieces in various keys; for example this one (from William Leavitt - Melodic Rhythms For Guitar): I want to play it in a certain position (not using open strings), such that each ...
2
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4answers
972 views

Finding The Key Of A Song [duplicate]

How can I find out what the key of a song is? The method I'm most familiar and comfortable with is playing each pitch along with the song and then checking which pitch sounds the most stable at all ...
3
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3answers
1k views

Key of themes in soundtrack

I ask this for a videogame soundtrack but I guess the answer would apply the same to movie soundtracks or music albums. Ideally, should the keys of all the songs be related or gradated accordingly? ...
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4answers
816 views

Key signature change from D Major to G Major? [duplicate]

Which of the following is correct to indicate a key signature change from D Major to G Major?
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4answers
3k views

Indicating Key Signature Change

Key of C Key Signature has no symbol, so say I was notating music in G Major then wanted to change to the Key of C, how would I show this?
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7answers
5k 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
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3answers
851 views

How to work out the key of a song whose chords don't seem to fit an obvious scale?

I don't really know where to start with "House of the Rising Sun" as an example of a song which doesn't have an obvious key. How would I go about working this out - and does it actually matter that ...