Music Composers Unite!
for the life of me I just can not figure out what key signature this song should be in.. there is a keychange in there also just after msr 72 and then a final keychange at msr 89
I have no idea what they should be.... what is in the music is my best guess based on the scale shapes I used on the guitar figureing out the mellody
I started the tune while doing guitar exercises for the whole tone scales. The mellody evolved from that into other scales and modes.
any incite is greatly appreciated!!
Why do you think it needs a key signature? If the objective is to aid potential performers it's possible that a key signature is more of an impediment than a help. Clearly there are a few sections that are in specific keys but they don't last long enough to firmly establish a central tonality. I'd leave it as it is, except for the section in e minor.. i'd remove the sharp in the key signature and leave the entire thing w/o a key signature.
Nice tune by the way. Reminded me of Corelli.
Anne, I think you are on the right trail.
For me at least, tonality as characterized by "key signature" has to do with cadential feeling, which fairly often, but not always, has to do with leading tones, as you suggest. Still, the tonality issue appears to be a good deal more elusive than that. As Hindemith pointed out 70 years ago, much of Schoenberg's "non tonal" music can be analyzed in terms of traditional harmony, and on the other hand, there are moments in Bach and Monteverdi where one is hard pressed to elucidate, without ambiguity, the "key signature."
Key signature and the relationships that arise out of the tonality premise are, I think, crucial to structural integrity. No matter what the hamonic language, as long as that language is consistent within the compositon, the organized variation and return of ideas is what matters. For a composition to be "good" as Simon pointed out, or "satisfying' or feel complete, it can't just be "one damn thing after another."
This may create an interesting paradox: because of the integrity of structure, much of Stockhausen's music ( or organized sound) is in a sense more "musical" than the tonic /dominant but shapeless meanderings of a student attempting to write in the style of Mozart or Haydn.
Is there any resources out there to help a person in learning to determine the key of a song with more complex harmonic arrangement?
I know the simple basics of the idea. I understand how key relates to the major and minor scales. but in examples like my song above. it almost seems to step outside of the basic rules. If anything having the key on this piece would tell the player what mode(s) I was thinking when writing the song. Also I wonder how I determine wether a song should have the key sig or not, as Fredrick pointed out in the first comment if it may be a hindrance to the performer. I have not heard of non standered key sigs before Ariel. I just did a google search and whoo-boy I see I have a new subject to teach myself this year hahah.
the main reason I wanted to figure out the key sigs is that is seems to me the song has LOTS of accidentals and having a proper key sig may clean up the score.
I tried to write 2 changes into the tonality. since I don't really know how to determine the first key makes it impossible to determine the changes in key. other than the last section which is in C I have no clue.
Thank you all for taking the time to listen and read. I am glad y'all enjoy.
First, very nice MAN!!! Great work (and chops).
Now from what my ear hears, you are definitely in the key of E minor or you cold say the key of G if you want but since the major feel of the song is actually "minor" then I would say E minor. With that in mind, you actually don't change keys. You start in Em then you go to B minor with a flat 5th which is the same as a G chord with a 7 (or F) in the chord. This would keep you in the key of E since B is the 5th. Toward the end you go to an A based motif which still keeps you in the key of Em. A way you can test this by playing E all the way through the song and you will see that is fits (dissonant at sometimes) but it does.
Now looking at your score and taking into account musicians and "read-ability", I would actually put the score in the key of Bb so that Bb and Eb are taken care of. Then at measure 32, I would change keys to F so that your "E" goes natural and Bb stays flat.
Again just my opinion. But please keep doing good work!
Just my two cents, but when determining a key, I generally look at the Bass/Root notes for "1" chord and the 5th. It has been my experience that generally speaking the "1" and "5" tend to determine the Key. For example, in the song attached to this thread, on could say that it is in the key of Em but Em scale is really G which makes Em the relative for G (Em is G with an E in the Bass - technically it's an Em7).
But that is just a small part in my opinion.Since the actual score (sheet music) is more so for the player then the composer, I tend to put my music in keys that are intended to lesson accidentals. Just think, If an accidental repeats frequently then it is technically not an accident... right? Since the purpose of sheet music is for readability of the player, I put my music that is geared toward making it easier to read. Keys are great to have as a whole, but it is really the partial of the key that the melody or motif is built around that determines the instrumentation key (in my opinion). With that being said, for every chord there are at least three partials that a melody can be built around. Many eastern compositions will put you to the test when determining keys because of this.
I a proponent of the musician reading the music and say that accidentals should be "accidental" and tend to put sheet music in the key of the melody or motiff.
Either way... do good work!!!!
Anne Goodwin said:
I've printed out the score provided above and I intend to look at it asap. However, I would like to ask for assistance in what are the determining factors that everyone thinks should be taken into consideration when attempting to determine key signature. I'm afraid that for me the determining factors are so basic as to be laughable. Essentially when I look at a piece of music, I look at the key signature that is already there, I look at the opening notes/chord, I look at the closing chord, and I look to see if there are raised 7th (and 6th) notes along with lowered third degree notes (indicating perhaps a minor key). This can hardly be enough to determine precisely what key a given piece may be in. I realize that most pieces modulate through a variety of keys and, of course, that the sound matters. Since my ear is not perfect, I myself, would never attempt to determine the key of a piece solely by listening to it. I am much more of a visual person and therefore when I look at a score, that is where I find my information. However, is this enough? Is it possible to know the key of a piece of music solely by looking at the score (I doubt it) and if it is, what more should I be looking for? What do you look for when attempting to determine key signature?