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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How does one establish a key? What are the criteria?

I am reading 'Guide to the Practical Study of Harmony' by Tchaikovsky. On page 63, he says to pass from one key into another it is not sufficient merely to employ a number of chords not belonging ...
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1answer
304 views

Are all keys created equal?

Often when I have been composing, I have noticed a peculiar phenomenon. Sometimes I can't think of a new way to tweak my song and it helps to change the key. I get new ideas and can then switch back ...
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2answers
62 views

Is there a specific name for the type of bridge that signals that a song is going from one key to another

The music starts in C and then there is a BRIDGE of some type that is played and the ear is prepared for the fact that the music is going to another key. What is this "we are shifting to another ...
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1answer
200 views

What is the standard definition of a distant key?

In my knowledge, a distant key is any key that is not enharmonic, parallel, relative, or closely related to the original key. However, some people claim that distant keys are simply keys that are not ...
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1answer
53 views

Can someone help me figure out this music theory KEY finding question

Messing around Sunday I came up with a song that has the following Chord Progression. I'm just learning music theory and am having trouble on identifying the key. The chord progression is: C7 D7 F7 ...
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2answers
87 views

What makes Beethoven’s False Picardy Third so convincing?

So, there’s one aspect of Beethoven’s style that I personally, haven’t been able to write convincing examples of. That would be the False Picardy Third. To clarify, this is what I mean by False ...
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5answers
5k views

What is the key for “Purple Haze”?

I was looking at the sheet music for purple haze by Jimi Hendrix and I was pretty confused. The first two bars, and all over the song, has a LOT of accidentals. Then the root of the first chord was ...
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4answers
577 views

How can different compositions use C Major?

Pardon what I know is an embarrassing question - I am at the very basics of learning music theory. If a scale such as C Major is an exact pattern of intervals, how can multiple songs be composed with ...
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4answers
2k views

How to differentiate between relative keys [duplicate]

So I'm learning that C major and A minor scales have the same notes. Then, if I look at, say, 10 consecutive single notes, how do I tell if they're in C or Am? It's easier when you see a chord, ...
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3answers
597 views

Trying to figure out the scale of a piece I am writing

I am writing something and am unsure of how I can work out exactly what key it is in, not that it really matters but I'm interested. I think I have narrowed it down to C or G minor, as the notes in ...
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3answers
821 views

Did Bach ever use melodic minor keys in chorales?

For example, E Melodic Minor would have C#, allowing for a ii7-V-I cadence.
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3answers
308 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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4answers
166 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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6answers
120 views

Why is this not a modulation?

Bars three and four look to me like a modulation to the subdominant with an imperfect cadence in Eb (especially with the Ab auxiliary note in bar three). The answers, however, mark bars three and four ...
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3answers
1k 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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3answers
219 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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5answers
110 views

How to get a more major sound without going directly to major?

So I am composing a piece for piano trio to represent the transition from winter to spring. I have finished the first part where it is all in minor, D minor to be more specific, to represent winter. ...
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3answers
932 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 ...
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3answers
475 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
795 views

Are you still playing a scale if you don't include every note in said scale? [duplicate]

For instance, if you're playing C major, and instead of playing C D E F G A B, you play C D E F G A, or C D E F G, would that still be considered playing in that scale or key? Because I doubt that ...
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1answer
19k views

How many cents would would i need to shift the pitch of the sample to change its key?

I have a sample in C# Major that I want transposed to F# Major. How many cents would would i need to shift the pitch of the sample in order to transpose it?
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3answers
276 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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5answers
267 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 ...
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2answers
133 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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2answers
202 views

Why are key signatures put in a circle?

Why are key signatures arranged in a circle like it is today, why not a triangle... or a square? Who came up with the idea to arrange the key signatures in a circle?
2
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1answer
787 views

Is there a name for when two keys next to each-other on a keyboard are played at the same time?

For example, suppose you play an F and an F#, or a B and a C, from the same octave at the same time. It usually doesn't sound very good. I've looked a while but I can't seem to find a name for it. Is ...
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1answer
270 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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4answers
662 views

Why is a Major sixth A interval an A minor chord in the Key of C?

In key signature of C major the notes used are CDEFGABC and I came to know that in Chord signature become C Dmin Emin F G Amin Bdim and C. D is major second and A is major sixth interval but it is ...
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4answers
2k views

What key contains the chord progression C, Fm, Bb? Or is it multiple keys?

The chord progressions for the song Nomadic Revery by Bonnie Prince Billy are: Verse: (C Fm Bb Fm Bb C)x2 Cmaj7 Chorus: (Bb C Fm Bb C)x2 Bridge: (Cm Eb)x3 Gm (Cm Eb)x3 Bb Cm (Cm Eb)x3 Fm Gm The ...
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3answers
482 views

Modulating from key Gm to key Bbm

I'm trying to modulate from the song 7 Years (Gm) to the song Hometown Glory (Bbm). How do I write a something that joins the two?
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4answers
2k views

How to find the key of a song without a pitch reference?

For instance, if I play the middle C or any note before a song starts, I can instantly guess the key of the song(I think this is known as RP - relative pitch). Another trick I've used is finding out ...
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2answers
139 views

Soloing in any key on guitar. Knowing the fretboard or knowing the boxes?

A few days ago I started to practice soloing in random keys. For example A major, G minor, etc. Before I dive into the details I must add that I know every single box in minor/major/pentatonic scales,...
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2answers
1k views

Only one key possible to play in for harmonicas?

Harmonicas are always tuned in a certain key. Does that mean that I can only play songs in that key on it or that it is just harder to play something written in a different key?
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3answers
237 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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4answers
804 views

Em9-A-B progression - would you consider that a key change?

From a theory perspective, does a repeated R&B progression like Em9-A-B count as a key change occurring over and over, or a I-IV-V progression with a seriously modified I chord (from major to ...
2
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2answers
544 views

Determine whether to keep the original key when arranging a solo piece

Is there any best practice? Or perhaps how should you do it. To keep the original key or not, while playing a solo piece. I have several pieces by Bach which I would like to perform and possibly also ...
2
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3answers
777 views

How to figure out which key a song is written in when you know the key signature? [duplicate]

How to figure out the key specifically in this song? I know that the key signature has a sharpened F, but this means that it could either be in G major or E minor. The beginning note and the ending ...
2
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5answers
733 views

Is it common to you use “wrong notes” in your own song?

Occasionally I will use a note that is in the wrong key because I feel like it emphasizes the beauty in the original notes by showing contrast. I'm only a hobby pianist, so I was just wondering if it'...
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3answers
4k 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 ...
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1answer
312 views

Diminished key?

Why can't a song be in a half-diminished, diminished, augmented, or altered key? Or technically, why aren't songs in half-diminished, diminished, augmented, or altered keys? I've asked one of my ...
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4answers
347 views

Relationship between modes and keys

I watched a video about playing a lead/melody over the chord progression of A minor -> D major. In the video it was stated that these chords are from the key of G major, but since the "tonic" of the ...
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3answers
121 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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2answers
6k 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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4answers
269 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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2answers
633 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) ...
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4answers
650 views

Is there a pattern behind the numbers of sharp keys in chromatic scale

Here are the keys of the chromatic scale containing 12 pitches: | C | C# | D | D# | E | F | F# | G | G# | A | A# | B | |---+----+---+----+---+---+----+---+----+---+----+----+ | 0 | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | ...
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2answers
231 views

Chord performance in different scales

As an absolute beginner to both music reading and playing, I have a question that will no doubt appear silly, but it is driving me insane. In the key of F there is a Bflat, does this mean that if you ...
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2answers
422 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
380 views

Find notes by chords and key

How can I find the notes of a song if I have the song key and chords? For example, the song “In my Blood” by Shawn Mendes is in the key of F and the chords are F, A♯, Dm; so now how can I find the ...
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1answer
800 views

How to find the key from chords [duplicate]

This is a danish song, but that shoud not matter. My problem is and has always been, how to figure out the key when presented to chords like the following: D D#- Em A7 Tyggegummikongen Bobbel D D#- ...

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