#1
So I read through to modes, and was going through the stickied post when everything was making sense until I got to this :

Natural Key
C major: C D E F G A B

Sharp Keys
G major: G A B C D E F# G
D major: D E F# G A B C#
A major: A B C# D E F# G#
E major: E F# G# A B C# D#

Enharmonic Keys
B/Cb major: B C# D# E F# G# A# / Cb Db Eb Fb Gb Ab Bb
F#/Gb major: F# G# A# B C# D# E# / Gb Ab Bb Cb Db Eb F
C#/Db major: C# D# E# F# G# A# B# / Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C

Flat Keys
Ab major: Ab Bb C Db Eb F G
Eb major: Eb F G Ab Bb C D
Bb major: Bb C D Eb F G A
F major: F G A Bb C D E

Ok, so please explain to me, what makes a key sharp, enharmonic, and flat? Now I understand the natural key I think. Basically since it's the major scale, it's considered natural. I'm assuming.
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#2
sharp meaning it has sharps in it.... ie. C#, D#, etc.
enharmonic means that it is the same scale with a different name Cb = B, Db = C#, etc.
flat meaning it has flats in it... Ab, Bb, you see where im going...

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#3
it's to do with intervals - the pattern of intervals for a major scale stays the same no matter what the root.

Take C major for example - the 7th is 11semitones above the C. In G major the 7th must therefore also be 11 semitones above the G to make it sound the same. 11 semitones above the G is not an F however it's an F#, so a G must include an F#.

To understand this better play a C major scale up a single string. and make a mental note of the gaps between notes. Now play a D and compare the gaps between notes - they're the same. From there it's just a case of naming the notes you just played - you'll find there are 2 sharps in the notes of D major.

Enharmonic is just a posh way of saying - sounds the same despite having a different name (like car and automobile mean the same thing).

It's probably easier if you stop thinking in context of flat and sharp keys altogether and start thinking of intervals. Then note names matter a lot less.
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#4
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#5
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#7
Yeah the fact that they have sharps or flats really does absolutely nothing to the sound. They are all made of the same intervals, and are all a major scale.
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#8
All of the keys you listed are major keys - not just C. C just happens to be the only major key with no sharps or flats.

Do what Doive said and look at the intervals. The major scale is made up of intervals W W H W W W H - where W is a whole tone (or whole step) and H is a semitone (or half step). If you apply that formula to C, you get C D E F G A B - no sharps or flats. If you apply it to G you get G A B C D E F# - one sharp. If you apply it to F you get F G A Bb C D E - one flat. etc


As a side note, I wouldn't worry about modes until you really understand intervals and the major scale. Once you really understand the major scale in terms of notes and intervals learn to harmonise it in 3rds, then think about looking at modes if you want to.
#9
Quote by zhilla
All of the keys you listed are major keys - not just C. C just happens to be the only major key with no sharps or flats.

Do what Doive said and look at the intervals. The major scale is made up of intervals W W H W W W H - where W is a whole tone (or whole step) and H is a semitone (or half step). If you apply that formula to C, you get C D E F G A B - no sharps or flats. If you apply it to G you get G A B C D E F# - one sharp. If you apply it to F you get F G A Bb C D E - one flat. etc


As a side note, I wouldn't worry about modes until you really understand intervals and the major scale. Once you really understand the major scale in terms of notes and intervals learn to harmonise it in 3rds, then think about looking at modes if you want to.


Yes, you're correct. I'm going to be picky though and say that WWHWWWH is the set of steps/tones that make the major scale. Intervals would be 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. TS would need to learn about intervals to apply this, so your method is an instantly quicker way, but I'd say understanding intervals should be high on every musician's list of things to know.