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The Key Signatures Made Easy

key-signatures

Learning how to play piano involves some music theory knowledge. Before taking the InsidePiano online course is good to know a few things about music. On this article, we are going to learn how to recognize the music key signatures on the clefs. Piano players have to read two different clefs.

1. The treble clef (G) 

The treble clef is known as the G clef in which the note G is positioned on the second line from the bottom. 

 2.The bass clef (F)

The bass clef is known as the F clef in which the note F is positioned in between the two dots on the second line from the top.

The key signature of a music piece will be determined by the sets of sharps or flats indicated immediately after the clef. The order of these flats or sharps follows the circle of fifths. Starting from C (also its relative minor Am) which does not contain any flats or sharps. Following the circle of fifths moving clockwise adds the sharps to the clef and moving counterclockwise the circle (circle of fourths) adds the flats to the clef.

But how do we identify a key on a music score without having to resort to the circle of fifths?

There is a trick to identify what is the key when using flats and also to identify what is the key when using sharps.

IDENTFYING THE KEY (FLATS):

The key of F contains only one flat (Bb), and it's the only key with flats we have to memorize.

Image above shows the F Key on the treble clef and the bass clef.

After that, we just have to look at the flat before the last one, and that will give us the key. For example, if the clef contains two flats (Bb and Eb), the key would be "Bb," because the flat before the last is Bb.

 Image above shows the Eb Key on the treble clef and the bass clef.

IDENTIFYING THE KEY (SHARPS):

With the sharps, the trick is raising by half a step the last sharp. For example, the clef with one sharp (F#) would be G, because G is half a step up from F#.

Image above shows the D Key on the treble clef and the bass clef. 

If the clef contains three sharps (F#, C#, G#), the key would be A, because if we raise half a step up the last sharp (G#) the note would be A, and so on.

Image above shows the A Key on the treble clef and the bass clef. 

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