Monday, March 7, 2016

What is a Key?


Keys on a Piano

  • There are 88 keys — 52 white and 36 black. 
  • The black keys get divided into groups of twos and threes. 
  • There is no division of the white keys. 
  • There are 12 keys, one for each tone of Western music.
  • The 76 other keys are pitches of the 12 tones.

What is a Key?

  • key is a family of tones having fixed relation of one to another. 
  • There are seven tones to a key
  • The tone of a key from which all other tones resolve is the key tone. 
  • Another name for the key tone is the tonic.

Key Names

  • In Lesson 1, you learned the tone names: 
    C, C♯ or D♭ , D, D♯ or E♭, E, F, F♯ or G♭, G, G♯ or A♭, A, A♯ or B♭, B
  • There are 17 tone names for 12 tones as ten tone names name the same tones.

Major Keys and Minor Keys



  • There are 24 keys: 12 major keys and 12 minor keys.
  • Each major key and each minor key has a collection of chords that sound right when played in whatever successive order because tonal relationships exist among these chords.
  • The names of the keys use the same names as the 12 tones with the words major or minor said after the tone name.C, G, D, A, E, B, G♭, D♭, A♭, E♭, B♭, F