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Identify the Key of a Score


You can do it in at least 2 ways:

1. Use the Circle of Fifths

Circle_of_Fifths.jpg

Source of diagram: http://cnx.org/content/m10865/jlatest/

You write the key names (C to B) in a circle starting with C. For each sharp, you move 4 steps forward (clockwise). For each flat, you move 4 steps backward (anit-clockwise). You will end up with a circle as shown above.

2. You can try to memorise the sequence. It is not as bad as it sounds.

C = 1
D = 2
E = 3
F = 4
G = 5
A = 6
B = 7

The sequence of sharps is 52 63 74. And you can see that 52+11=63 and 63+11=74.

5 2 6 3 7 4
G D A E B F#

The sequence of flats is opposite 47 36 25. And 47-11=36 and 36-11=25.

4 7 3 6 2 5
F Bb Eb Ab Db Gb

This gives you the major keys. The minor keys is 3 semitones below the corresponding major keys. You can read the key name off the piano directly. As minor keys start with La (6), the fingering is identical to the enharmonic major key.