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Key Signatures - Introduction

A summary of the sharps or flats in a Major or its relative Natural Minor scale.

PUBLISHED: Jun 30, 2013 UPDATED: Feb 12, 0202 • VIEWS: 7 • LESSON CODE: UL44i

Instruments: ANY ukulele guitar music Subjects: theory

Key Signatures - Introduction

A key signature is a summary of the sharps or flats in a Major or its relative Natural Minor scale.

Key signatures are generally written immediately after the clef at the beginning of a line of standard musical notation. Each major and minor key has an associated key signature that sharpens or flattens the notes which are used in its scale.

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Key Signatures

In musical notation, a key signature is a collection of sharp or flat symbols placed together on the staff. Key signatures are generally written immediately after the clef at the beginning of a line of musical notation, although they can appear in other parts of a score, notably after a double bar line.

Although a key signature may be written using any combination of sharp and flat symbols, about a dozen diatonic key signatures are by far the most common, and their use is assumed in much of this lesson.

What is a Key Signature?

Each major and minor key has an associated key signature that sharpens or flattens the notes which are used in its scale.

ALL 15 Major and Relative Minor Keys

A key signature is a summary of the sharps or flats in a Major or it’s relative Natural Minor scale.

Key signatures are generally written immediately after the clef at the beginning of a line of standard musical notation. Each major and minor key has an associated key signature that sharpens or flattens the notes which are used in its scale.

In addition to the Key of C Major and it's Relative Minor Key of Am , there are 14 additional major keys.

If a song or composition has a major tonal shift a new key signature will be introduced with the previous key signature canceled with the use of the natural accidental.


C Major / A Minor

It all starts with the Major scales and there‘s not better scale to start with than the C Major scale .

Common Keys

Common Rock, Pop, Folk and Country Keys: C, G, D, A, and E.

These common keys can be directly attributed to the popularity of the guitar in popular popular music.

Common Jazz Keys

Common Jazz Keys: C, F, Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, and the lone sharp key of G.

This is directly attributed to the popularity of the trumpet and saxophone in this genre of music. Both the trumpet and tenor saxophone are transposing instruments pitched in Bb.

WidipediA: Has a lot of additional information regarding Keys and Key Signatures .

Related Books

Related Books for Key Signatures - Introduction at this time.

Harmonic Analysis for Scale Selection and Chord Substitution
Updated: Feb 7, 2019

Harmonic Analysis is the understanding of the functional sequence of chords.

Daily Practice Material for the Contemporary Musician
Updated: Jul 12, 2007

Scales, Intervals and Sequences for Daily Practice for Musicians

Related Lesson Series

Related Lessons Series for Key Signatures - Introduction at this time.

Key Signatures - C Major
Updated: Jan 1, 2003

A key signature is a summary of the sharps or flats in a Major or it's relative Natural Minor scale. This series of lessons covers ALL 15 major and relative minor keys with their primary and secondary chords as well as sample common chord progressions.

Key Signatures - G Major
Updated: Jan 1, 2003

The key of G major-E minor.

Cover the primary and secondary chords and common chord progressions.

Key Signatures - D Major
Updated: Jan 1, 2003

The key of D major-B minor.

Cover the primary and secondary chords and common chord progressions.

Key Signatures - A Major
Updated: Jan 1, 2003

The key of A major-F# minor.

Cover the primary and secondary chords and common chord progressions.

Key Signatures - E Major
Updated: Jan 1, 2003

The key of E major-C# minor.

Cover the primary and secondary chords and common chord progressions.

Key Signatures - B Major
Updated: Jan 1, 2003

The key of B major-G# minor.

Cover the primary and secondary chords and common chord progressions.

Key Signatures - F# Major
Updated: Jan 1, 2003

The key of F major-D# minor.

Cover the primary and secondary chords and common chord progressions.

Key Signatures - C# Major
Updated: Jan 1, 2003

The key of C# major-A# minor.

Cover the primary and secondary chords and common chord progressions.

Key Signatures - F Major
Updated: Jan 1, 2003

The Key of F Major and its Relative Minor, D minor.

Cover the primary and secondary chords and common chord progressions.

Key Signatures - Bb Major
Updated: Jan 1, 2003

The key of Bb major-G minor.

Cover the primary and secondary chords and common chord progressions.

Key Signatures - Eb Major
Updated: Jan 1, 2003

The key of Eb major-C minor.

Cover the primary and secondary chords and common chord progressions.

Key Signatures - Ab Major
Updated: Jan 1, 2003

The key of Ab major-F minor.

Cover the primary and secondary chords and common chord progressions.

Key Signatures - Db Major
Updated: Jan 1, 2003

The key of Db major-Bb minor.

Cover the primary and secondary chords and common chord progressions.

Key Signatures - Gb Major
Updated: Jan 1, 2003

The key of Gb major-Eb minor.

Cover the primary and secondary chords and common chord progressions.

Key Signatures - Cb Major
Updated: Jan 1, 2003

The key of Cb major-Ab minor.

Cover the primary and secondary chords and common chord progressions.

Harmonic Analysis for Scale and Chord Selection
Updated: Jan 1, 2003

Harmonic Analysis is the process used to determine the harmonic function of chords within a chord progression or song. A chord progression is defined as a sequence of chords, each chord has a root and is a particular chord type. The relationship of a chord's to a scale determines its function within that scale's tonality.

Related Lesson Files, Resources and Assets

Related Assets for Key Signatures - Introduction at this time.

Key Signatures - Cycle of Fourths and Fifths
Updated: Oct 14, 2019

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