49

Put it in key A. That's I, and D is IV, while E is V. The slightly awkward G is said to be a borrowed chord, from, in this case, A minor, the parallel key. It's theory, an observation, not a rule, and obviously it works, not only in your song, but many, many others. The reason A seems better is that the E at the end of four bars (I guess) is the dominant, ...


48

'Dorian mode on C' does not mean "the Dorian scale that you can find among the notes that are available in the major key of C"! 'Dorian mode on C' refers to the Dorian scale, or set of note intervals, that start on the note C, i.e. C is its root or tonic. This set of notes happens to be the same as the ones found in the Bb major key, thus two flats. This is ...


41

It's an artifact of Spotify's analysis. Notice that this chart shows no songs written in a flat key. Therefore, without a doubt, the chart is simply using "F♯" to mean "F♯ or G♭," "A♯" to mean "A♯ or B♭," and so forth. In particular, B♭ major (with a key signature of ♭♭ – two flats) is definitely much more common than A♯ (with a key signature of 𝄪𝄪𝄪♯♯♯♯ –...


40

It is related to "chunking", once you are used to keys, it is easier to quickly understand the single chunk "This piece is in G major" instead of having to see and interpret each of the individual sharp signs. This aids sight reading. With the way keys are conventionally notated, the presence of accidentals is actually informative: it tells you when the ...


39

The sharps and flats are always "added" in a particular order. So, if you know how many there should be for a key, you can work out what they are. The mnemonics you refer to can help you to remember the order sharps and flats are added in. To be honest, though, I tell music pupils of mine, that learning key-signatures by using mnemonics is only partially ...


29

Hmm. Lets take an example of how this would work in practice. Currently, when I see a sharp sign in front of a note (lets say F as an example) I know that the note required is an F sharp. It may be in the key signature already but that does not matter: it is an F sharp, always - no question. Under your system when I see a sharp sign in front of an F ...


27

The fact that you are in A minor without G# (or F# and G#) means that you are in A natural minor. What defines a scale as minor or major, is the third of the scale, not the accidentals. If you have A as the root of your scale and the third is a C, then the scale is a minor one. There are 3 different types of minor scales: A harmonic minor (it has G#) A ...


26

As I'm sure you're aware, you can transpose any tune to whatever key you like. One reason to choose a certain key, is simply that it sounds good. It might be that you feel that notes of a certain pitch inherently sound pleasant on your chosen instrument. I happen to like the tone of my guitar with a capo on the 7th fret, for example. Or it might be that ...


26

There's a blog series on film scoring that I can't seem to find again right now, but in it the blogger (who composes and conducts orchestras for film scores) mentions that key signatures are never used for film scores - all accidentals are explicitly written in. The reason is that when a film score is recorded, the musicians are seeing it for the first time ...


25

Sharp-keys are in some ways nicer to play than flat ones. The preference for these keys is perhaps most extreme in folk styles: going through two collections of celtic-style fiddle music[978-1-85720-202-1],[1-871931-04-5], I found the distribution to be this crass: ♭♭ : 5 ♭  : 5 ♮  : 7 ♯  : 57 ♯♯ : 70 ♯♯♯: 9 In particular D major is really a great ...


25

IN orchestral (and other instrumental) music, the notation like "Clarinet in Bb" (or "Klarinette in B") means that the instrument is a "transposing instrument." When the clarinetist plays what his music shows as a "C." the note comes out as a Bb. The true (or "concert") note is always one whole step below the notation. With instruments with the notation "in ...


24

C sharp major has seven sharps, D flat major has five flats. Out of the box, the latter is preferable. The former may be more appropriate when there is more material requiring "flattening" the key signature than otherwise. Now major is a rather sharp mode, so it's not quite unlikely. For example, a "proper" fully diminuished chord in C sharp features C-...


23

Obviously the answer depends on your point of view, and there probably isn't one "right" answer. There are 12 unique named tones in Western music; all pitches are one of these 12 tones. Thus, from a purely sonic perspective, there are only twelve starting notes for a key, and with major and minor scale qualities, there are 24 tonally unique keys. For my ...


23

Yes. The key signature of Db has a Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, and a Gb. Those notes are flat unless otherwise noted no matter the octave. For any key signature on any staff, you will only ever see the accidentals written once in a typical pattern. The octave the accidentals are in are entirely based on the clef used, but apply to all octaves. You can think of the ...


23

It certainly holds some truth, irrespective of tuning system, in the following sense: modulating to a key with more sharps evokes a “bright” sensation; modulating to more flat evokes a “dark” sensation. This is somewhat tangible: raising accidentals are likely to be perceived as “uplifting”. (Except when they're not; ...


23

Tuning forks, invented in 1711, standardised tuning. (A student of mine used to call them pitchforks...) Trouble was, there was no standardised pitch for the note,that came much later. So various forks ranged from 400 - 450Hz, depending where they were made/used. I guess musicians didn't travel too far for engagements, so discrepancies in 'concert pitch' ...


22

It's the key signature. It means the music you're reading is in G Major. Even if there are no F notes, it's important to know what key you're in. You don't need to modify anything if there are no F's and that's the only alteration in the key signature.


22

It wouldn't be easier to read. Firstly, most instruments are not tied into any particular key signature. A simple sequence like someone singing/playing a scale in E major and someone else singing a third above feels very natural but actually is a complex walk resulting in an unregular sequence of major and minor thirds. This makes sense and can be done in ...


21

The tonal system is an historical inheritance, but we could not do without it today in the realms of most classical, popular and main stream music, even if we wanted to (and why would we want it?, anyone who decides to play all their life entirely in one key is perfectly free to do so :-) Now, seriously, there are many reasons why we absolutely need ...


20

Without the key signature it looks confusing and wrong to musicians who are used to reading music in context, instead of just treating sheet music as a "play by numbers" game. It looks like C major, but the notes are mostly confined to the GABCD range, and the theme ends on G. Indeed, an F note will indeed occur in harmonizations of the theme. For instance ...


20

No, it is still a B♭ as the accidentals in the key signature and measure are never additive. The flat is just reminding you that the B is flat. This is known as a courtesy accidental and is typically done if the previous measure uses a B that was different then the one in the key signature or if there was a different quality of B used in the measure it is ...


19

The harmony of the given chord in the 1st 2 bars is in E (major chord), the accidental in front of g you consider (minor third!) is referring to this Chord of E.


19

I'm not aware of a name for this phenomenon, it's just a quick way to transpose music based on how the tonal system works out. In short, when you're in a key, look at the key signature. Take the number of accidentals in the key and replace them with the mod-7 complement of the other accidental type and you're left with a key built a half step away from the ...


19

While there are certainly questions about how all of this data was classified, it's not surprising to me that the most popular keys tend slightly toward the sharp side (G, D, and A), with flat keys like F and B-flat ("A-sharp") turning up with smaller percentages. I assume much of Spotify's catalog is popular music. Guitars and electric basses are rather ...


18

If it starts on C and ends on C, it's probably in C. And vice versa. If it has lots of A minor and E minor chords, it's probably in Am (E is the dominant). Likewise, lots of Cs and Gs implies C Major. There are a few other indicators — for example, the harmonic minor scale raises the 7th one semitone (as Jenny mentions) and the melodic minor raises ...


17

Technically, there could be, you just keep extending the pattern. You could even keep extending it to the point where you need to start using double flats, though this is almost never done in practice. The key of F contains: B♭ The key of B♭ contains: B♭, E♭ The key of E♭ contains: B♭, E♭, A♭ The key of A♭ ...


17

Last sharp in the key signature is the leading note (7th) of the major key. Last flat is the 4th. Or last but one is the tonic. So three sharps - F, C and G - is A major. G♯ is the 7th note of A major. Four flats - B, E, A and D - is A♭ major. D♭ is the 4th note of A♭ major. Or, just go back one from D in the list! When taking ...


16

Both C# minor and E major keys have the same key signature, so there is no difference there. This relationship is called 'relative key'. Each major key has a relative minor one, with the same key signature (to find it, descend a minor 3rd or ascend a major 6th from your tonic). Similarly for the minor key. To sum up the difference: These two keys have the ...


16

You're exactly right! It's technically a motion to ♭VI, which would be F♭ major. But in order to make it easier to read, he spells it in E major (♯V). F♭ isn't in A♭ major, but it is in A♭ minor; thus this is an example of mode mixture. The modulation is created by the common tone between the original A♭ tonic and the new E tonic. A♭ becomes the chordal ...


15

Even though you are learning the flute, I think it is worth understanding the piano keyboard, and thinking about key signatures in terms of that. It's worth experimenting with a piano, or an electronic keyboard, or even web app like this one. The white keys are the 'natural' notes A-G. The black keys are used to play sharps and flats. Notice that B flat is ...


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