#1
OK, so, this isn't as easy as I thought. Is there an easy way to name the key by looking at the signature or an easy way to write the signature having the key? Apparently there are tricks to this or maybe not. Is it just recognition?
Signatures are too mainstream
#2
Yes. Each key signature has a name. You can use the old mnemonic 'Father Charles Goes Down And Ends Battle" for sharp keys, and reverse it for flat keys.

With sharps, the last sharp in the signature goes FCGDAEB. So find the last sharp in the signature, raise a semitone, and that's your tonic. So for example, there's a signature with 5 sharps. You know they are FCGDA. Since A# is the last note in the signature, the tonic must be B. This is B Major (or G# Minor).

Now for flats, the second last flat in the key signature is the tonic. The flats in the signature go as follows; BEADGCF. So if we've got a key signature with 6 flats, BEADGC, you know that it's Gb Major (or Eb Minor)
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Last edited by Muphin at Aug 15, 2007,
#3
Except 6 flats = Gb major or Eb minor. For the flat keys it's the fifth of the flat you add for the key signature ie if ti's 3 flats, Bb Eb and Ab the key signature is Eb.
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#4
OK that helps me a lot. I guess I was trying to use the BEADGCF with the flat signatures with the sharp signatures and reading it backwards. It's better your way. You just do the reverse to write the signature?
Signatures are too mainstream
#5
Quote by sinan90
Except 6 flats = Gb major or Eb minor. For the flat keys it's the fifth of the flat you add for the key signature ie if ti's 3 flats, Bb Eb and Ab the key signature is Eb.


Woops, my mistake. And I forgot to add the last F in the flat secion, I'll fix that not.
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#6
BEADGCF = 7 flats which would be Cb major or Ab minor.
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#7
Of course though, remember to check the piece for accidentals such as flattened thirds/sixths, as it could be in a minor key. To find out what minor key it is, look at the key signature, and if it's the key signature of e.g. D Major (with F# + C#), go 3 semitones down and you'll get the minor key, which in this case, is B minor.

Another clue to seeing if it's major/minor is checking the first/last note of the piece, as frequently (but not always), the first/last note is also the tonic, which can speed up the process of deducting whether it's major/minor.
Last edited by Steve The Plank at Aug 15, 2007,
#8
Quote by sinan90
Except 6 flats = Gb major or Eb minor. For the flat keys it's the fifth of the flat you add for the key signature ie if ti's 3 flats, Bb Eb and Ab the key signature is Eb.


not sure what you mean by this, but the 2nd from last flat thing works for Gb as well....

BEADGC

key of Gb has Bb,Eb,Ab,Db,Gb,Cb

I think the only time the 2nd from last flat trick doesnt work is the key of F major....1 flat
#9
It's the same thing, the second to last flat is the fifth of the last flat.
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[22:08:26] <Confusius> you fuckers look cool


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