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Key Signatures

and relevant information

The 5 rules to read a key signature

  1. The key of C major or A minor has no sharps (#) or flats (b)

  2. The key of F major or D minor has only one flat (Bb)

  3. The last sharp written in the key signature from left to right, add on semitone, (one fret) equals the major key.

  4. The second to last flat (left to right) in the key signature is the major key.

  5. The Relative Minor tonic is a 6th of the major key. To decide if the key is major or minor, read ahead in the music.

 

Enharmonics

(1 note, 2 names. All white notes have one name. All black notes have two names)

Rule

Between B and C, and between E and F is a semitone or one fret.

A A#/Bb B C C#/Db D D#/Eb E F F#/Gb G G#/Ab A

Is there a black note between every white note on a piano keyboard?

Where there is not is between B and C and also E and F

 

The Scale Degrees

1st   tonic Key naming note 2nd supertonic immediately above the tonic 3rd mediant the middle note of the tonic triad 4th subdominant    a fourth above and a fifth below the tonic 5th   dominant  the most pronounced harmonic note after the tonic 6th submediant the middle note of the subdominant triad 7th  leading tone leads to the tonic also referred to as subtonic

 

All the Major Keys

#or sharps. Up a fret or semitone
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8/1
C D E F G A B C
G A B C D E F# G
D E F# G A B C# D
A B C# D E F# G# A
E F# G# A B C# D# E
B C# D# E F# G# A# B
F# G# A# B C# D# E# F#
C# D# E# F# G# A# B# C#
b or flats. Down a fret or semitone
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8/1
C D E F G A B C
F G A Bb C D E F
Bb C D Eb F G A Bb
Eb F G Ab Bb C D Eb
Ab Bb C Db Eb F G Ab
Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C Db
Gb Ab Bb Cb Db Eb F Gb
Cb Db Eb Fb Gb Ab Bb Cb
Fb Gb Ab Bb Cb Db Eb Fb

Chart Key =

A

white note

B C

semitone to next note

  D# Eb

black note

E

starts next key

F# Gb

new sharp or flat to add to key

 

The Circle of 5ths

This site was last updated 03/27/18