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Topic: keys
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AuthorTopic:   keys
Anonymous Poster

From Internet Network:

posted: 8/20/2003 at 5:07:42 AM ET
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What are "keys" in music. For example, what is meant when it is said that a peice of music is in the key of A? Also, how can you tell?

Registered User

posted: 8/20/2003 at 6:26:33 PM ET
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These things are quite complicated. I've been in music for about 6 years, and only truly learned about how to determine keys and know the difference between major and minor and all that within the last year. It took a course in music theory for me to learn. Well, a key is a system of tones... like, the key of C major has no sharps or flats. C major equals A minor... you simply count down 3 letters from C (c, b, then a) to get the relative minor of a major key. The key of Bb major has 2 flats, Bb and Eb. This is how you determine. First, the main key is C major, where all tones are natural. When you go to the key with one sharp, you count up from C a fifth. c, d, e, f, G. So G major is the key with one sharp. Count up 5 again to get the key with 2 sharps, D major. When going down the opposite way, count 4. Starting with C Major, when you count up 4 it is F, and F major has one flat. Count up 4 again, and get B. It would be Bb though, because the 2 flats are Bb and Eb. This is probably all really confusing, but that's pretty much what it is, very confusing (at least for me when I started learning)I think it's pretty much impossible to put it all in easy terms.

Anonymous Poster

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posted: 8/21/2003 at 4:30:08 AM ET
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hi, to help the person with the keys problem yes the last response was correct it could get frustrating. they were right in saying what they said but when I was learning I simply remembered too little rimes, Gorillas Don't Always Eat Baboons /For Cholesterol, this one helps with the sharps. Fat/ Boys Eat Apple Dumpling Greedily Constantly, this one with with the flats, this is how it works, the first letter of each word represents the key, eg if you saw music with three sharps at the start simply count from the start of the rime like this, G,D,A now starting with the F at the end the sharps are F,C back to the start and G this means that in the key of A there is three sharps, which is F,C,G so that when you see a note on F in the key of A the same for the C it would be sharped and the G to,you sharpen or raise the note by a semitone it would be. for the flats its a little different but along the same lines, you see for, flats in a piece of music, so you count from the start F,B,E,A there its in the key of A flat then starting on the B this time, we have B,E,A,D these are the notes that instead of playing normal you flatten... I hop this has been some help to you... EDDIE

trumpet guru
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Washington State

posted: 8/22/2003 at 5:58:58 AM ET
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try this link: http://www.teoria.com/reference/reading/20.htm

It has a pretty clear explanation of Key Signatures. In music there is something called "tonality". It is what makes a song sound like it is centered around one note or another. Key signatures are used to avoid having to write lots of sharps and flats all of the time.

Some more modern music is atonal. This means it doesn't sound like it is in any key. Other music may be bitonal. This means it uses two keys simultaneously. As you can tell by the previous replies to your question, it is a concept not easily explained and you can really go into depth if you want. There are many sites and books which walk you through it at your own pace.


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posted: 8/30/2017 at 5:38:06 AM ET
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