What is the key of a Song
The basic definition of a scale is a set of musical notes arranged in order. Scales help you understand music, how to solo, improvise, analyze chords, chord progressions and songs among many other aspects of music.
The concept of keys in music is important to understand. All songs are written in a particular key or keys that tell you what notes and chords will be used in the song. Finding the key of a song makes it easier for you to play on an instrument. You also need to know the key if you want to experiment with transposing, or changing, the song to a different key to make it easier for you to play or sing the song.
In music a key is the major or minor scale around which a piece of music revolves. A song in a major key is based on a major scale. A song in a minor key is based on a minor scale. A song played in the ‘key of C major’ revolves around the seven notes of the C major scale – C, D, E, F, G, A, and B. That means the fundamental notes making up the song’s melody, chords, and bassline are all derived from that group of notes. A song in the ‘key of F major’ uses the notes of the F major scale – F, G, A, Bb, C, D, and E.
Almost all songs and compositions have their key, which makes it a very important part of the music. The key of the song is, let’s say, a group of tones and chords that are tonally related, or compatible. That group is based on scales – major and minor, and playing it produces a very melodic sound. There are 12 major and 12 minor keys.
Also, a key has a central note – keynote, also known as the tonic note (or the root), which is the most common note in the song (repeats a lot, and most parts usually start and end with it). Naturally, a tonic chord is played based on a song key, and knowing those are very important for guitar and piano players or for any musician.
How to Find the Key of a Song?
The first and easiest way to find the key of a song is to look at the sheet music for the song and find any key signatures. A key signature is a symbol used in music notation telling you what key a song or piece of music is in. Key signatures can use either sharps or flats depending on the key of the song. Not all sheet music will use key signatures, but when they do, they’re the easiest way of finding a song’s key.
The next way you can find the key of a song is to look at the chords used in the song. his method works well when you’re playing a song that is mostly chord-based.
Can a song have more than one key?
Yes, of course, and it’s not that uncommon. Although people tend to play and compose songs in as few keys as possible (changing too many keys can lead to disharmony ), having two or a few different keys is quite normal. Jazz music is a perfect example of songs having different keys. But most of the popular songs have maybe two keys and change between them occurs two or three times.
Does the first chord define the key of a song?
Well, usually yes. The first and the last notes of the song typically describe the same key. If a song is in C, the first note or chord will probably be C. The last one may or may not be C, for key changes can occur during the song, but when continuing the C scale, the last note will most commonly be C as well. The notes in C key are comprised of C scale, and that will be the most common note in the song.
Are there happy and sad keys?
There are happy and sad keys and they are related to the song scale. The major key is considered to be the happy one, while the minor key is the sad one. Of course, this is not always the case. A song can be performed in a minor key but with high bpm (beats per minute) plus some happy lyrics, it will be difficult to call that song sad.