Keys are known as tonality too. It’s to determine the starting point of a key, it might be changing the tonality halfway and back to the tonic. And Keys are related to Intervals and Scales as well. Identifying a key is really crucial when you play a piece, you have to know which tonality you are playing, this is to prevent you from playing in the wrong key and sounds weird in your performance.
Table of Contents
What are the difference between Major and Minor Keys?
Major Keys sounds more “happy”, Why?
– The Major 3rd (first three notes) in a scale make the sound broader and wider, therefore listeners will sense that and feel happy.
Minor Keys sound more “sad”, Why?
– The Minor 3rd (first three notes) in a scale makes the sound more narrow, therefore listeners will sense that and feel sad.
For Minor Keys, there are two different types. Relative and Parallel minor, what are the differences between these two types?
Relative Minor is using the different tonic Major keys and reverting to the different Minor keys. For example, in C major the tonic note is C, and the relative minor is A minor. If you notice, both of these two keys are sharing the same key signature.
Parallel Minor is using the same tonic Major key and reverting to the Minor key. For example, in C major the tonic note is C, and the parallel minor is C minor. The similarity is the tonic, and the difference is the key signature. C major does not have any key signature, but C minor has 3 flats (Bb, Eb, Ab).
In a piece of music, composers might be switching back and forth between major and minor keys or sometimes simply sticking to one tonality.
Most of the students are struggling to understand or memorize the 12 Major and Minor Keys. So I have created material and talked about it. It included the key signature that was shared with the same relative minor/major key.
The box in between the major and minor key is the key signature.
First, to find a new sharp major key you just have to move to the right 5 steps diatonic, for example C major > (C, D, E, F, G) G major > (G, A, B, C, D) D major, etc.
To find a new flat major you just have to move to the left 5 steps diatonic, for example, C major < (C, B, A, G, F) F major < (F, E, D, C, Bb) Bb major, etc.
Next up, we can start with C major (no sharp no flat) at the middle, and start our journey from there to find a relative minor key from a major key. First, you have to move to the left 3 semitones, for example, to find G major relative minor, G < F# (1) < F (2) < E (3) = E minor is the relative minor key of G major, and reverse order to find the relative major key (move to the right 3 semitones). From E minor, E > F (1) > F# (2) > G(3) = G major.
Hope this clarifies your confusion. Let me know anytime if you have any questions! Happy to discuss this with you! =)