#1
I've heard the term "key" before (as in: that song is in the key of E" but I don't know what it means and haven't found an answer yet, so help me if you can. gracias.

Rob
#2
It's the tonal center of a piece of music, the sound to which your ear is drawn. For instance, a song in the key of G major will contain many chords, perhaps even minor chords (yes, you can have minor chords in a major key and major chords in a minor key) but the song will pull your ear to the G chord.
#3
He's correct.

Keys are the tonal center of your piece of music. Which key you piece is in depends on the number of sharp or flat notes are in it.

Take a look at this.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relative_key

You should start getting yourself familiar with these. Learn them, they will be very useful to you when playing with seasoned players. And it will help out a lot when you are writing chord progressions.
#4
What determines what key a song/instrumental is or should be written in?... the singer's voice? the mood you want to set? the instruments available (for example i read trumpets and saxophones are more suited to C and F)?

So a key denotes the tonal centre of the piece... but why that key, why not another key?

Thanks.
#5
Quote by geetarmanic
What determines what key a song/instrumental is or should be written in?... the singer's voice? the mood you want to set? the instruments available (for example i read trumpets and saxophones are more suited to C and F)?

So a key denotes the tonal centre of the piece... but why that key, why not another key?

Thanks.


A lot of times, at least when I compose, I'll get something in my head, be it a progression or melody and figure out what key it's in based on the notes/chords. The key is completely at the performer's discretion. You might want to be generic in setting a mood and associate major with happiness and minor with sadness, but in my opinion it's more about what you do with the music in the key (such as a specific theme or melody) as opposed to the key signature itself.