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Bernadette Peters - Broadway's Best
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'How Do You Know What Key You Are In?'
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#beginquote# The first step to knowing what key you're in is knowing how to read the key signatures. Wonderflute's explanation of Eb is an example of the trick used in determining key signatures. But, as he/she mentioned, it only works with major keys. The progression of flats in key signatures is always: B E A D G C F. So, if a song's key signature has five flats, that means that B, E, A, D, and G will always be flat in that song (barring accidentals). To determine the key when there are flats in the key signature, you always look at the next to last flat. In this case, it is D, so we know we are in the key of Db. The progression of sharps in key signatures is always: F C G D A E B. So, if a song's key signature has five sharps, that means that F, C, G, D, and A will always be sharp in that song (barring accidentals). To determine the key when there are sharps in the key signature, you always look at the last sharp. In this case, it is A. From here you go up one whole step, so we know we are in the key of B. The only exception to these rules are the keys of C and F. You just have to memorize that C has no sharps or flats, and that F has one flat. Fo minor keys, the first thing you should notice is that the song itself sounds different - it sounds much more sad or somber. As far as figuring out the key, it's a little harder, and I don't know that there is a trick like with the major keys to figure it out easily without memorizing all of them. Every major key has a relative minor key, and that's probably the easiest way to memorize it. As Wonderflute said, the relative minor key of Cmaj is Amin. So, the major key of C has the same number of sharps and flats as the minor key of A. If you do a google on "minor keys" or "relative minor", you should be able to find a few websites that will list out all the major and minor keys and their relations. #endquote#
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