#1
Okay, I know how to read it, and I can work it out. However, I have my GCSE music exam today and I won't have a circle of fifths with me. In order not to waste time working out key signatures, is there an easy way to recognise what key is depicted?

Like, C has 0 sharps or flats. G has 1 sharp. Etc.

Is there an easy way to work out what key it's in quickly?

(Don't bother talking about the relative minors and stuff, once I work out the major key I can get it to the relative minor from there.)

Thanks for any help!
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Your = Belongs to you

There = Not here
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Quote by Tim the Rocker
Good grammar is like sex. It feels good.
#2
For sharp keys, look at the final sharp and raise it by a semi-tone, i.e from left to right

F#, C# & D# = E Major

For flat keys, look at the penultimate "Flat", i.e. from left to right in the key signature

Bb, Eb, Ab Db Gb - Db major


To remember the cycle of 5ths for sharps - Father Charles Goes Down And Ends Battle
F C G D A E B

For flats....

Battle Ends And Down Goes Charles' Father

B E A D G C F

Hope this all helps and makes sense
#4
No worries, I remember doing GCSE music and you weren't taught the quick way!

I only learnt that during a diploma course
#5
Quote by Lcollins1
For sharp keys, look at the final sharp and raise it by a semi-tone, i.e from left to right

F#, C# & D# = E Major

For flat keys, look at the penultimate "Flat", i.e. from left to right in the key signature

Bb, Eb, Ab Db Gb - Db major



To remember the cycle of 5ths for sharps - Father Charles Goes Down And Ends Battle
F C G D A E B

For flats....

Battle Ends And Down Goes Charles' Father

B E A D G C F

Hope this all helps and makes sense


I've never heard that method before...

So simple!

Thanks a lot
You're = You are
Your = Belongs to you

There = Not here
Their = Belongs to them
They're = They are
Thx.

Quote by Tim the Rocker
Good grammar is like sex. It feels good.
#7
I always just stack fifths... Like in sharps:

C 0#
G 1#
D 2#
A 3#
E 4#
B 5#
F# 6#
C# 7#

You don't really need a circle of fifths for that if you understand intervals :]
And for flats you stack fifths downwards (or fourths upwards):

C Ob
F 1b
Bb 2b
Eb 3b
Ab 4b
Db 5b
Gb 6b
Cb 7b

Pretty easy for me

So lets say I see a key signature with 3 sharps, I start at C and stack 3 fifths on top of it, bringing me at A major or F# minor

When you do this enough you know it of the top of your head though, I don't really have to figure stuff out anymore... I just know. All I have to think about is if it is the minor or major key, or a mode even.
Last edited by KoenDercksen at Jun 18, 2010,
#8
If you are reading in guitar, after knowing which sharp and flat are atributed to each key, you should try to read in position; if you know that there is only a Bb it is F major so you should read as you do but on an F major scale. If you know all the positions you cold easily move from diferent tonalitys without moving your hand.
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