Music 07 – Keys

Music 07 – Keys

In western Music, to be able to evoke the correct emotion that the song is trying to convey, it is important that the song is written, and performed, in the correct key.  A Key is a description of a group of notes that can be played together in a scale or chords, and compliment each other harmoniously.  The definition from about.piano.com, written by Brandy Kraemer:

Definition: A key in music is:

  1. A group of notes upon which scale is based; the specific pattern of notes that governs a song.A key is identified by its key signature, which shows the number of sharps or flats in its scale. A key is named after its keynote; F major’s keynote is F, C# minor’s keynote is C#, and so on.

This is fairly straightforward, but how many musical keys are there?  The answer is 12 Major Keys.  These keys absolutely govern a song, and how it works.  This will control the scale(s) in which a song can be played.  Each of these keys evokes a certain color, or emotion, and have their own variations.

Check out these affective characteristics of musical keys according to Christian Schubert:

http://www.wmich.edu/mus-theo/courses/keys.html

Schubert described the 12 keys, plus variations. This is a very useful tool to use when writing a song, to insure you evoke the correct emotion.

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