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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4answers
154 views

Names of different definitions of key

If we read the Wikipedia page for musical key, or the question about the Definition of minor key, we might notice conflicting views regarding the definition of "key". On one hand, we have a ...
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Confused about shared notes between keys

It is said that keys that are opposite on the Circle of Fifths only share one note. However, opposite keys on the Circle also share the same tritones, which would imply that they share two notes. For ...
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6answers
833 views

Why do jazz chord symbols give absolute, not relative, roots?

Answers to the question How do they decide the key? point out how useful it is for a jazz musician to be able to play a piece in any key. So, in jazz, why does sheet music give chord symbols with ...
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7answers
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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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8answers
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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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7answers
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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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6answers
769 views

Relative minor: What notes do I actually play?

I am confused on the difference on the actual notes between a relative minor and major key - Are the notes (as in the accidentals of the key signature that tell us which notes are sharp or flat) the ...
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7answers
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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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3answers
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Is there a simple way to transpose a song from one key to another? What is the methodology?

What is a simple way to accomplish transposing a song from one key to another key? In other words if I am looking at a song written in the key of C and can't sing it in that key and I want to ...
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6answers
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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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2answers
877 views

Can you hear the difference between relative keys?

When I search the key of a song on Google, I always get 2 keys which have a relative relationship. For example, when I search the key of the song Emotions by Mariah Carey, I get C major and A minor. ...
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3answers
12k views

How to identify key changes?

I have learned music theory from the internet, but I have this question that how to come to know that where one key starts and other end when I am reading the music sheet. For example, in Minuet In G,...
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7answers
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Will a song written in a key only use chords in that key?

When you figure out a key that a song is written in. Will the entire song use the chords in that key? With maybe an accidental?? I've tried several different methods.
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2answers
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How to identify a key given a certain chord progression

At the age of 53 I'm new to music theory and in particular to chord progressions. While playing around with the piano, I've noticed that I like the sound of this progression Cm Gm AM Dm I have ...
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3answers
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Xaphoon: Which key, C or Bb?

I have been thinking about buying a xaphoon for a while. I have no experience with wind instruments of any kind (well, I can play the sweetflute) so I don't know whether to pick the C key or the Bb ...
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2answers
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Which scales are used by Tom Morello?

In Rage Against The Machine's first album (Rage Against The Machine) I frequently hear Tom Morello play with several "weird" scales. A few examples: Take The Power Back, Settle For Nothing, ... I ...
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4answers
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Why was “A” called “a good country key”?

Background I'm a novice. I'm currently learning to play and sing a "country"-style song on guitar. I'm playing it in G major. The melody is just over one octave, from E3 though G4. That's ...
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4answers
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Full range with white keys only?

This is probably a really stoopid question but.....I'm trying to learn to play a virtual keyboard online(Virtual Piano) but its really hard to use the black keys since you need to press Shift+(another ...
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4answers
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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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3answers
525 views

Will two versions of a song, in the same key, fit together if supporting chords differ?

I get that the title is vague, but that's kind of the problem. Basically, I've learned a jazzy version of the song "Heart and Soul" on the piano (you know, the one everyone learns to play ...
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1answer
187 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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4answers
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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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6answers
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Agreeing on the key of a (cover) song as a band

When it comes to a band, all musicians should be aligned and agree on the most parts (if not all) of the musical adventure they're about to embark upon. This question aims to evaluate how, as a band,...
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3answers
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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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7answers
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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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3answers
2k 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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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 ...
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6answers
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What are some effective ways to use a key change during a song?

In my own songwriting, I might change keys to reinforce a change in the direction of the lyrics. For example if the first two verses are first person but the last verse is 3rd person, I might ...
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8answers
20k views

Can a song in one key contain major chords that are not in the key? Or does that change the key?

As an intro to piano, I want to learn basic chords from 2 White Stripes songs. They are as basic as piano gets, yet very catchy and powerful. They are very major sounding. I have never been able ...
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2answers
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Why isn't there a closely related key to C minor that has D as tonic?

For minor keys, there are no closely related keys built on the second scale degree. Why? Is it because the chord built from the second scale degree is diminished?
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2answers
257 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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3answers
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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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2answers
321 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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4answers
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What key is the song in if it's just four chords repeated? Gm Eb Bb F [closed]

What key is the song in if it's just four chords repeated? Gm Eb Bb F. One key identifier says Gm but another says Bb.. here is the song
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3answers
563 views

Key signatures in Dvorak 9th symphony

I'm learning about transposing instruments, and now I'm looking at Dvorak's 9th symphony. In the second movement (Largo) I don't understand the key signature of the clarinet in A. The first movement ...
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4answers
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E# note in the D# Major scale. What does it mean?

I've been having this doubt for a quite a while and haven't been able to find a satisfying answer. Is the 'E#' note technically an F? If so, why does it not exist on the chromatic scale like other ...
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5answers
20k views

Identifying the key of a song by ear?

I'm developing a method for students to identify the key of a song by ear. I've seen a lot of videos on YouTube where they say that you should try to identify a common note and that will be your tonic....
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3answers
249 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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4answers
409 views

How exactly tell the root of a song over a defined scale on ambiguous harmonic context?

I play a song in either C major key or A minor key. Usually I determine the root (C or A) taking into account clues like: The happy or sad feel of it all The first chord (C or Am) Stereotypical ...
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2answers
879 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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4answers
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Determining the seventh chords of a key

I know that every key has a set of 7 chords by taking each note of the scale as a root. I also know that the pattern for naming these chords go as follows: Major, minor, minor,major,major,minor and ...
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1answer
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Key used by clarinet

I do not understand the key notation for the clarinet in an orchestral score I am looking at. This is an extract from the Andante of the Ravel concerto in G: The clarinet has a different key ...
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3answers
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How to make a chord progress go from the key of C major to the key of A minor?

How do you chord progress go from the key of C major to the key of A minor? I would do it this way: progress to the III chord (Em), change the III chord to a Dominant 7th form (E7), now the E7 chord ...
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5answers
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What key is correct when guitars are half step down?

I see many charts for praise and worship songs charted in sharp keys (A#, F#) major. One song is charted F# Major. I would think the guitars are tuned a half step down and they are playing like it is ...
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2answers
210 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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4answers
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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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2answers
370 views

Esus4 in the key of C. How can I use it?

Recently I've discovered that Esus4 chord can be built by using notes from C major scale (Esus4 notes: E-A-B - no 'sharps' or 'flats'). But I don't know how can I use the chord in the keys of C or Am ...
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2answers
1k views

Singing in a preferred key?

Occasionally, when backing vocalists, I hear them say 'I sing in Bb', or I usually sing in my favourite key - G'. They sometimes proved themselves wrong, when I had to change key to one which fitted ...
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1answer
404 views

Why does the first note is the second Bach cello suite(Prelude) sound like C#?

Suite 2 in the Bach suites is in D minor howcome the first note sounds like C# even though its written on the 3rd line(d)?
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3answers
869 views

Definition of minor key

Minor key music uses the harmonic minor scale as the basis for its harmony and the melodic minor scale for the melody. If the music uses nothing but the natural minor scale it IS NOT in a minor ...

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