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::: Who can absolutely explain what is : Key Signature ? :::

I'm Confused , and i need to your help!!! Sad
Hmm, I'm surprised there's no replies.

Ok. In standard modern music, you have a set of scales, based off major and minor scales.

A major scale follows the pattern tone-tone-semitone-tone-tone-tone-semitone

Hence, C Major:


A 'tone' is the difference in pitch between three notes on the keyboard - INCLUDING black notes, and a half tone is the difference in pitch between two notes, including black notes.

Your keyboard looks like the following:



Where as you can see, there are no black notes separating E and F, and B and C, which makes the difference between the two sets of note a half tone rather than the full tone separating G and A for example.

This is the reason that C Major does not require any black notes to have the correct sound of a major scale.

If you were to go for the scale of A Major, you then have to add three sharps:

A B C# D E F# G# A

You'll notice that because you're starting the scale from a different note, the pattern of notes has to move to now include black notes:

A - B (tone) B - C# (tone) C# - D (semitone) D - E (tone) - E - F# (tone) F# - G# (tone) G# - A (semitone)

You can of course, write scales with Flat notes. I'm assuming you do know the difference between sharp and flat notes, but in case you don't, a Sharp note is when you strike the key a semi-tone ABOVE, and a flat note is when you strike the key a semi-tone BELOW.

So for examples, Eb = D#, E# = F, A#=Bb.

You now have the scale of F major:

F G A Bb C D E F

F - G (tone) G - A (tone) A - Bb (semitone), etc.

Now that you understand how scales work, key signatures will make much more sense in written music:

If you are in the scale of G Major, which contains ONE sharp - F# (GABCDEF#G), and you were writing a song in G Major, you would notate the F# onto the staff to indicate the key signature.

When you indicate the key signature, you don't have to notate the sharps or flats in the key, but you do still have to indicate when you would use a non-key sharp or flat (or natural, to un-flat or un-sharp a note).

I hope this helps Smile
Simply put: the key signature is like a map's legend. It tells you (or the performer) what notes make up the basic scale of the piece you're playing.
Very well explained, David! So the signature is just the (lack of) #'s and b's in front of the actual notes?
Hmm, I wouldn't say it like that.

The key signature indicates what key the song is in. As you get into more complicated musical theory (not that this stuff is particularly deep), you learn how things are constructed, how you create the various chords in each key, etc., and how to transpose things correctly.

Transposing is essentially just changing a song to a different key, so by transposing a song in C major to E major, you've just raised it by two whole tones in pitch, and added four sharps to the chord structures.

You also have a set of chords - the Root chord, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, etc. But the most important ones are the Root, Third, Fourth and Fifth.

So in order, those chords in C major are:

So if you then transpose these chords to E Major, they become:

EG#B, G#BD#, AC#E, BD#F#

So the key signature is VERY important, it is more than just making it possible to not have to notate the sharps/flats on a transcription Smile.

Oh, and here's a little challenge for you: Find a piano, pick a key signature, and play the chords in this order: I, IV, V, III (Root, Fourth, Fifth, Third). Prepare to be intrigued Wink.
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