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Topic: need help with choir music, specifically reading key signatures
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AuthorTopic:   need help with choir music, specifically reading key signatures
Registered User

posted: 9/10/2004 at 10:44:09 AM ET
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I have sung in choirs for much of my life, mostly relying on repetition to learn my part by ear. I can follow music (see when the notes go up and down, read notes for rhythm, hear the relative pitch, etc.) but can't really READ it per se (e.g., sight read on first glance.) Now I have joined a truly professional choir, rehearsals are short and sweet, and much of my ear-learning is going to have to happen at home, with me plunking out the notes on a keyboard to learn my part.

Here's the problem: because I don't really understand the relationship of key signatures to notes, I'm not certain that what I'll be plunking is what's actually written. Add to this the complication that I now sing alto (tricky harmony lines) rather than soprano (easy lazy melody lines.)

I have looked through the excellent "Learning to Read Music" pages on this site, but don't see a topic in there for key signatures. Does anyone know of a good resource?

Thanks so much!!

Anonymous Poster

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posted: 9/13/2004 at 11:42:37 AM ET
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well firstly you need to learn the keys and then you will understand the key signatures.every piece of music is written in a key, for example F major. F major has B flat so that will be written as the key signature. That means that unless otherwise stated (by having a natural sign) every B in the piece of music will be a Bflat. You don't neccessarily need to know all of your keys (majors and minors)to apply the key signatures to the notes. If a key signature states sharps or flats then every time you see that note in the music make sure you play a sharp or flat as opposed to natural.
resource wise - best to look into some music theory guides or ask any instrumental teacher.it won't take you long to learn and once you understand then will make a huge difference to your sight reading and learning of music!!
hope this helps.

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