Key Signature

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Every song has a key signature.

A key signature tells us what originating tone a song is to be performed in. It can either be major or minor.

There are 12 tones in music of equal value. Imagine tones as blocks:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

The distance between each tone is called a half-step interval.

Since there are 12 tones in music, there are 12 Key Signatures in music. 7 of these are primary key signatures called A, B, C, D, E, F, and G.

The remaining 5 key signatures are secondary key signatures. They have dual names, meaning they can be called sharp or flat. A sharp means half a step higher and a flat mean half a step lower. Sharps are represented by a “#” and flats are represented by a “b”. The 5 secondary key signatures are called G# or Ab, A# or Bb, C# or Db, D# or Eb, and F# or Gb.

The 12 Key Signatures:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
A A#/Bb B C C#/Db D D#/Eb E F F#/Gb G G#/Ab