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Thread: Keyboards basic sheet music question

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    Default Keyboards basic sheet music question

    Hi, The sheet music for songs has this indication: key: C (sometimes Cm, D, A etc)
    what does that mean ?
    Iam assuming just like we play scales, where we place our starting finger on that key. Example if the song says play in the key of C, then i should position my hand such that the thumb is on C. Lets say , if the song is to be played in the key of A, then i should place my thumb on A (atleast have the finger positioned that way to start with). Is that correct?

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    When it says "key" it means "tonality". These are chords. You need to know how to play chords. When you see the letter C, it means you need the C major chord (the notes C-E-G), etc, etc, etc. The chords are derived from the scales but there are many kinds of chords and need to know the principles of chord construction in order to play them. My suggestion: buy a book on scales and chords. Good luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smithmiller6 View Post
    Hi, The sheet music for songs has this indication: key: C (sometimes Cm, D, A etc)
    what does that mean ?
    Iam assuming just like we play scales, where we place our starting finger on that key. Example if the song says play in the key of C, then i should position my hand such that the thumb is on C. Lets say , if the song is to be played in the key of A, then i should place my thumb on A (atleast have the finger positioned that way to start with). Is that correct?
    Playing a song in C is not the same as playing the C Major scale. It does not tell you what key you should play with what finger. You can play every key on the keyboard with what ever finger is most comfortable for you.

    For a pianist, the key in which the piece is written is foremost supposed to give you some kind of "default setting"/"system of reference" of what keys to press. For the C Major key your "default keys" are all white; every time there is a note which is not part of this "default", say a B flat, the composer will specifically write it down in the score.

    For G Major, the "default keys" are white, apart from the F, which is replaced by the F sharp, unless otherwise noted. This means that every time there is an F written down in a score of a G Major song, you are automatically supposed to replace it with an F sharp.

    For F Major, the "default" is "all white keys apart from the B, which is replaced by the B flat",

    and so on.

    Furthermore, the key in which a song is written tells you something about the function of the notes played in the song (and often how often the note is pressed).
    Every major key has a so called "parallel" minor key. A major key and its parallel minor use the same keys on the piano, for example natural a minor uses all white keys, just like C Major, but there is a huge difference between a song written in C Major and one written in a minor. You can easily hear it, when you play a C Major chord with your left hand (C-E-G-C) and a G with you right: the sound will be pleasant; whereas, if you play an a minor chord (A-C-E-A) with you left and a G with your right, you will get a dissonance out of it, even though both keys use an "all white keys" reference system: The G has a different function in both keys.

    The more you practice, the more you will develop an instinct of what notes to expect dependant on the key in which a song is written. For example, a B in a song in a minor is almost always followed by an A...

    Hope that helps a bit. Don't worry about the keys too much at the beginning of learning the piano (apart from remembering when to replace a written F with an F sharp and the like!), the understanding will come with hearing what sounds pleasant and what sounds wrong. It did for me, eventually.

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    Default Keyboards basic sheet music question

    Hi, The sheet music for songs has this indication: key: C (sometimes Cm, D, A etc)
    what does that mean ?
    Iam assuming just like we play scales, where we place our starting finger on that key. Example if the song says play in the key of C, then i should position my hand such that the thumb is on C. Lets say , if the song is to be played in the key of A, then i should place my thumb on A (atleast have the finger positioned that way to start with). Is that correct?

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