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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8answers
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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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Does the starting note for a song have to be the starting note of its scale?

Does a scale always have to start off with the note it is named after? For example, the Dm scale is defgab♭cd`. If I wanted to sing a song in D minor, would I have to start with the note D? Or could ...
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If a piece (classical or otherwise) has multiple sections with different keys, is “this piece is in key X” a valid statement? Why?

Now, this would be an easy enough question if: The piece in question had a title containing the key, or The piece would have a home key, modulate to another key and then come back to finish in the ...
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Can a song be in the chromatic scale?

I noticed that Entry of the Gladiators is said to be in C major scale but I was wondering if it could be in the chromatic scale since it uses all the notes. And if not, are there examples of songs ...
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What key could the progression Cm - G - Dm - Am be in?

I'm working on a song (my first ever actually) and I love the chord sequence: Cm - G - Dm - Am I started off working in C-Major, but borrowed Cm from the parallel minor key C-Minor. But really, in ...
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How can I easily translate between a key and a key signature?

Is there a good mnemonic or trick for working out the key signature from a given key? I can always write out the chromatic scale, then count out the appropriate intervals from the tonic, and figure ...
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Is there a minimum of notes and chords i need to determine the key of a song?

Just by curiosity. What is the minimum of notes and chords i need to determine the key of a song?
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Why is the choice of key considered so fundamental in Classical music that it often effectively becomes part of the name of the composition? [duplicate]

I often hear references to, e.g., "Bach's Fugue in G Minor," sometimes with a number (something like "Bach's Fugue in G Minor #13"). Why is the key of the piece so important that it becomes part of ...
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Do songs written in certain modes not have keys?

Up until recently I thought that if a song was written in a mode with a major 3rd, then it was in a major key, and if it was in a mode with a minor 3rd, then it was in a minor key. But I read an ...
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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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Rules for key changes

On reading my new theory book I have come across a very interesting passage on Keys Change. Here are the rules: When the music changes keys, it changes to a closely related key Closest related key is ...
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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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Determining Key / Key Change / Chords?

I've been playing guitar for about 5 years... I've been slowly trying to teach myself some of the THEORY behind music.. I've just always had trouble really understanding.. When I hear a song, and ...
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1answer
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Chopin Polonaise in Ab major, op 53 change in key

In Chopin's polonaise in A-flat major, op.53, in the second section the key changes from A flat to E major. What type of change is this? Is it from the flattening of the sixth (F-flat major), or was ...
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Comfortable notes in a key

I've been playing guitar for some time, and often when i do improvisation exercises, I hit notes which sound too tense to finish a run/lick/riff on. Kind of like having a sentence which no full stop. ...
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4answers
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Why does this key change work?

In the song 'Respect' by Aretha Franklin which is a fairly simple progression in Bb major the saxophone solo part of the song seems to make a key change to the key of Em. I don't understand why this ...
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Lilypond - Custom Key Signature for Turkish folk music and microtonal accidentals

I have to create this key signature in lilypond: Would it be possible to create something like that? I really appreciate any help you can provide. Thanks!
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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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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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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 ...
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Do I play all the F's as sharp or just the one with the sharp in the space?

I am trying to teach myself how to play piano and while I know what a key signature is, I don't have a firm grasp on it. I have sheet music in the key of G major. There aren't any F's on that line, ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Playing a song in a different key

I trying to teach myself guitar and one song I want to perform for a friend (soon) is Akon's "Don't Matter." I can't read sheet music (but i want to learn) but i found the chord progression of the ...
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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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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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Why is a major key called major?

We are aware that the major scale or key is the sort of datum point for a lot of theory. But why the word major? That very same word is used to describe intervals, but there's no correlation. Or is ...
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Can the same song be written in a minor key and major key with the progression written differently?

quick question that's been bugging me lately. When it comes to a songs key specifically major and minor relatives- is it correct to say it can be written in two different keys with the same ...
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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 ...
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Finding key of a song with accidentals

I have a very basic understanding of keys / scales and am a keyboard hobbyist. Every now and then I try to find the notes of a song by ear. The problem I sometimes face is with identifying key/scale ...
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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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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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889 views

What is this called? Why is it allowed?

"Golden Train" by Justin Nozuka (YouTube link below) is in the key of Ab major. However he uses a Cb major chord throughout the song, which is not in the key of Ab major. It sounds good and works ...
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Does Schoenberg or Glenn Gould have a point? Does a great deal of music remain to be written in C major?

There's a great interview online where Glenn Gould talks about Stravinsky and Schoenberg (circa 1960). His comments about Stravinsky certainly haven't aged well but nonetheless, he does make some ...
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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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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 ...
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Can someone explain what a key is? [duplicate]

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
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What's the exact difference between modulation, key change and tonicisation?

I've always regarded a key change as the use of a completely different set of notes for the following music - definitely in a different key. Was in C, now is in C#, with no reason to suppose a return. ...
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Singing - effect of vowels on tuning and tonality

I am a multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter. Singing for me has been a long road but recently I found out something very interesting. I have a certain song that I am very fond of but I have ...
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Why are Ionian and Aeolian considered Major and Minor keys respectively, but not the other modes? [duplicate]

Why is the Ionian mode called a major key, and the Aeolian mode called a minor key, while the other modes aren't called "Keys"? F Major is relative to D Minor, and just so G Dorian is relative to ...
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Piece is D harmonic minor. Should I sharp all Cs?

If I'm playing a piece (piano) in D harmonic minor, I only sharp the 7th (C) if there is an accidental. Is that right?
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Why don’t we use the term “scale signature”, rather than “key signature”?

This would avoid the confusion to some, of saying that the key/mode of A dorian has a key signature of G. I’m all for making things clearer for people learning music. If a piece is in D dorian, I ...
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Why did it take so long for keys with several accidentals to become common?

(I am referring mostly to the common practice period.) Before the advent of well temperament in the 1700s, moving very far from C was not done often because of the mean temperament causing out of tune ...
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A Major Key Song for a Sad Lyrics - a Mismatch?

Isn't it odd that I Dreamed a Dream, a very sad song from "Les Misérables", is written in a major key? Isn't it a mismatch between the lyrics and the music?
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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. ...
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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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What Happens To The Melody When Played In A Different Key

What happens to notation (e.g. a melody line) when a tune is played in a different key than the one it was written in? Do the notes alter in any way or do they always stay the same as originally ...
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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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Is a switch to the relative minor still called a modulation?

I am recording a song which is largely written in C major. About halfway through the song, the emphasis changes to A minor, with chord progressions resolving to the Am chord specifically. Is this ...
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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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