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Topic: What Key?
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AuthorTopic:   What Key?
Registered User

posted: 2/25/2005 at 5:17:47 PM ET
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How do I tell what key a song is in when reading sheet music?

Bill P Ballinger

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posted: 2/25/2005 at 11:41:07 PM ET
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Without just learning each key name you can try this.

Flats(b) ALWAYS occur in this order BEADGCF. Sharps(#) ALWAYS occur in THIS order FCGDAEB. Remember this.
Now you can have any number of flats or sharps from 0 to 7. You cannot have both in a key signature.

The tip I'm giving you will work for all major keys except 2. No sharps or flats is the key of C. 1 Flat is the key of F.
In flat keys except F(with 1 flat,Bb), the next to the last flat is the key name. For example: a key with 4 flats will have Bb,Eb,Ab, and Db. The name of this key is AbMajor. This works for flat keys.
On sharp key, find the last sharp and go up 1 step/note and that will be the name of the key. for example a key with 4 sharps will have F#,C#,G#,and D#. 1 note higher than D is E. The name of 4 sharps is E Major.
Remember that when you apply this tip that if the name of the note you get to is flat or sharp in the key you must apply that to the key name.
There may be a tip for minor keys, but I don't know what it is. I'll work on it.

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