Lesson 12 - 12 Keys of Music
1. IntroductionIn music, the key identifies the tonal center or home base of a song. This tonal center or home base is a note that the whole song revolves around. Every note in the song wants to gravitate towards the home base note. For example, if a song is in the key of C, then every note in the song gravitates towards C. If a song is in the key of F, then every note would gravitate towards F.
2. 12 Possible Keys in MusicThere are 12 possible keys any particular song can be played in. This is because of the 12 notes on the piano keyboard, A, A#/Bb, B, C, C#/Db, D, D#/Eb, E, F, F#/Gb, G, and G#/Ab. A song can be played so that any one of these twelve notes will be the tonal center or home base.
3. How to Tell What Key a Particular Song is InThere are several ways to tell what key a particular song is in. Let's take a look at three things that can help you determine the key of a song.
Key signatures can provide a clue as to what key a piece of music is written in. Key signatures tell you what sharps or flats will appear in a song. Key signatures appear directly after the clef signs. The number of sharps or flats in the key signature can give you a clue as to what key a song is in. For example, if a song has no sharps or flats in the key signature, the song may be in the key of C. If a song has one sharp in the key signature, it may be in the key of G. If a song has one flat in the key signature, it may be in the key of F. Below is a chart of key signatures and what key it may correspond to.
What Melody Note a Song Ends On
What melody note a song ends on can also be a clue as to what key that song is written in. For example, if a song ends on C, it may be in the key of C. If a song ends on F, it may be in the key of F. If a song ends on G, it may be in the key of G, and so on.
What Chord a Song Ends On
What chord a song ends on can also be used to help you figure out what key a song is in. For example, if a song ends on a C chord, it may be in the key of C. If it ends on a G chord, it may be in the key of G. If it ends on an F chord, then it may be in the key of F, and so on.
4. Examples of Songs Played in Different KeysBelow are examples of "Deck the Halls" being played in three different keys.
("Deck the Halls" in the key of C)
("Deck the Halls" in the key of F)
("Deck the Halls" in the key of B)
5. The 12 Keys of Music
Below is a list of all the possible keys of music. Enharmonic keys are counted as one key.
Key of C
Key of Db / C# (enharmonic keys)
Key of D
Key of Eb
Key of E
Key of F
Key of Gb / Key of F# (enharmonic keys)
Key of G
Key of Ab
Key of A
Key of Bb
Key of B / Key of Cb (enharmonic keys)
6. ConclusionIn this lesson, you learned that in music, the key identifies the tonal center or home base of a song. A song can be in any of the 12 keys. You also learned three things that can help determine what key a song is in.
Lesson 12 - 12 Keys of Music
Lesson 13 - Major Scale
Lesson 14 - Intervals
Lesson 15 - Chords of the Major Scale
Lesson 16 - Circle of Fifths
Related topics for this lesson:
Lesson 10 - Three Primary Chords
Learn how to play C Major Scale
Click on "Play" button below to watch how to play C Major scale:
Lesson 13 - How to Play C Major Scale
See Instructions for using Z-Board
Learn music theory for beginners - Learn 12 Basic Intervals
Learn how to play:
Piano Basics - Learn Piano Layout and key names
The Complete Book of Scales, Chords, Arpeggios and Cadences
Includes All the Major, Minor (Natural, Harmonic, Melodic) & Chromatic Scales - Plus Additional Instructions on Music Fundamentals
Piano Instruction Books
Book & CD
The New, Easy and Fun Way to Teach Yourself to Play
Learn to Read Music
Scott The Piano Guy's Favorite Piano Fake Book
Alfred's Teach Yourself to Play Piano Bood & DVD, Everything you need to know to start playing now!
Glossary of Musical TermsLearn how to read
Free Interactive Music Training Tools
Free Virtual Piano Keyboard
Free Interactive Chord Chart
Adult All-In-One Course: Lesson-Theory-Technic: Level 1
Use these Free Music Training Tools below to test your piano skills: Alfred's Basic Piano Lesson Book
Level 1A (Alfred's Basic Piano Library)
Teaching Little Fingers to Play
For Earliest Beginners combining rote and note approach
Piano for Dummies
How to Read Music, Basics of Music Theory
Complete (Lessons * Ear Training * Workbook)
Designed for students of any age, who want to have a better understanding of
the Language of Music
The Chord Wheel
The Ultimate Tool for All Musicians. A revolutionary device that puts the most essential and practical applications of chord theory into your hands
Chord Ear Trainer
Features isometric hand exercises, finger strengthening drills, and written assignments. DVD includes performances of the pieces by well-known teacher, Gayle Kowalchyk. Titles: Alouette * Alpine Melody * Amazing Grace * & More
Hal Leonard Keyboard Style Series (Keyboard Instruction)
The Jazz Theory Book
Written by one of the acknowledged masters of jazz
For intermediate to advanced players
50 Free Piano Lessons
Lesson 1 - Patterns of Piano Keys
Lesson 2 - Names of White Keys
Lesson 3 - Names of Black Keys
Lesson 4 - Piano Grand Staff
Lesson 8 - Learn to play "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star"
Lesson 9 - Major Chords
Lesson 18-Double Chord Pattern
Lesson 22-Whole Tone Scale
More..... List of Free Piano Lessons
Five Finger Exercise
A Dozen a Day: Technical Exercises for the Piano to Be Done Each Day Before Practicing
Learn Songs - Learn 3 Easy Songs, free Virtual Piano provided
Chords - Learn how to construct Major Chords & more
Music Theory - Key Signatures, Major Scales, Intervals & more
Improvisation - Chord Inversions, and different Chord Patterns
Techniques - Piano Techniques for beginners
Use the Virtual Piano below to practice the piano finger exercise.
Use this piano in conjunction with all of our Free piano lessons.
Use the virtual piano keyboard below to practice what you've learned in the "Piano Basics" Section - Piano Layout. You can play this Virtual Piano Z-Board in two ways:
1. For playing melodies with the right hand
Use computer mouse to click directly on any key (note highlighted in RED) to play that note, or2. For playing chords with the left hand
Press on any corresponding button (key highlighted in BLUE) on your computer keyboard to play that particular note (this feature is used when playing chords - you have to first click on the virtual piano once to activate this feature)
e.g. Press "Shift" on the computer
keyboard to play "C" note,
Press "S" to play "E" note, and so on.
To play C Major Chord (C-E-G) -
Hold down "Shift"-"S"-"F" keys on
the computer keyboard at the same time. See sample below:
Access Major Chord chart
Play on Z-Board using the mouse to click directly Press these keys on the computer keyboard __________ __________ __________ C chord C - E - G Shift - S - F G chord G - B - D F - B - N F chord F - A - C D - G - Sp Dm chord D - F - A A - D - G
Access the "Piano Basics" section to learn the layout of piano keyboard. Learn how to read music - Music Notations. Next - Use this interactive Z-Board to practice playing easy popular songs.
Learn how to play Major Scale - Watch the video below:
DownloadAngels We Have Heard On High | Deck The Halls | Jingle Bells | This Old Man | Oh Susanna | Yankee Doodle & More!
Free Sheet Music for Beginners
Free Interactive Music Tools
Learning with Songs
Learn Numbers Song for Children
Online Game to TEST your piano skills: