How to determine the Key?

How to determine the Key?

I understand some music theory.
But I don’t understand how to deteremine if a tune is in Dmaj, or Amix, or Edor , or Bmin (all have 2 sharps).

Do you simply use the main notes of the tune to decide?
ex:|E2BE dEBE| = Edor, whereas |D2F#D ADF#D| = Dmaj?

Cheers,
Kalin

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Re: How to determine the Key?

Two die,, or one, and a reasonably level surface, though not really that important, shake and roll… Spit if you feel the urge. Where they resolve to end their movement, that’s it, where they come to rest, with any reasonable comfort… If they hang, that ain’t it, you’ll need to give it all a little shake until it moves to a settled position… 8-)

Re: How to determine the Key?

Sometimes it’s obvious cat’s eyes, like when it swings to a merry conclusion like here ~ courtesy of our illustrious web master ~

"The Harvest Home"
Key signature: D Major
Submitted on May 25th 2001 by Jeremy.
https://thesession.org/tunes/49

Which can end as given ~ | d2 f2 d2 :|
or ~ | d2 d2 d2 :|

It finishes there comfortably on d / D

~ but getting to whether Major, minor or otherwise inclined, that’s another issue mostly for later… But here’s a bit ~

Major examples (^ = 1/2 step & - = a full step):

C Major ~ C-D-E^F-G-A-B^c
Check out a keyboard, any musical keyboard, et voila, there are no back keys between all the E & Fs and B & Cs… If you move that patern one step up to D you get this:
D Major ~ D-E-F#^G-A-B-c#^d
& up to G:
G Major ~ G-A-B^c-d-e-f#^g
& up to A:
A Major ~ A,-B,-C#^D-E-F#-G#^A
etc…

The minor pattern is based on A to A
a minor ~ A-B^c-d-e^f-g-a
b minor ~ B-c#^d-e-f#^g-a-b

Dorian on D to D
D Dorian ~ D-E^F-G-A-B^c-d
A Dorian ~ A-B^c-d-e-f#^g-a

Confused yet? ;-)

"up to" is just figurative, I realize some examples are actually ‘down to’… :-/ It’s late…

Re: How to determine the Key?

It doesn’t matter.

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Re: How to determine the Key?

Yeah. Why worry if you play flute or whistle? Unless you’re having to shout out the key changes to a guitarist. In which case get another guitarist, or even better do without one.
BTW, I am already quite determined, thank you.

Re: How to determine the Key?

Using your example ~

"But I don’t understand how to deteremine if a tune is in Dmaj, or Amix, or Edor , or Bmin (all have 2 sharps)."

Patterns of conclusion:

D Major ~ resolves on D
D-E-F#^G-A-B-c#^d
—^—-^

E Dorian ~ resolves on E
E-F#^G-A-B-c#^d-e
-^—-^-

A Mixolydian ~ resolves on A
A,-B,-C#^D-E-F#^G-A
—^—^-

B minor ~ resolves on B
B,-C#^D-E-F#^G-A-B
-^—^—

If you are wanting to do a decent accompaniment, whether or not you like accompaniment llig, it can matter. If one has a passion, sometimes that is accompanied by a natural want to know and understand. If it didn’t matter to this person, they wouldn’t be asking… In my general sense of things, curiosity is mostly good, and it is generally others that threaten to kill it off…

But for you it is unimportant… :-/

For me it is part of the magic, the fun, the humour ~ the humours, including joy and sorrow…

Re: How to determine the Key?

What key, you can’t play all the keys on your whistles and flutes? How sad… :-D

Re: How to determine the Key?

Fair enough. Curiosity as to how things work is good. But I wouldn’t get obsessed about this. In fact I’m not. More interested in the feel, or shape, of the tunes

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Yeah, and that is in part about key, Key, but you know that, if only instinctively… I agree, obsession is not a good thing. It is much better to relax into understanding ~ all together now ~

OOOOHHHMMMM!!!

Re: How to determine the Key?

Of course, too much of that and you’ll develop bed sores, you know, stinking rotting flesh that oozes… :-/

Re: How to determine the Key?

ceolachan, I’m not being facetious, I’m saying that it doesn’t matter. A lot of our tunes are conspicuously in G maj. A lot are in D Maj. etc. A lot are in other modes etc. But some of the best ones eschew these pigeon holes. Take Sailing into Walpole’s Marsh, for example. What key is that in?

It comes back to the old adage: Learn the tunes. The idea that you can successfully strum to a tune if you know the key is inadequate. You have to know the tune

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Re: How to determine the Key?

Hallelujah! ~ But don’t scratch all the bark off the woody plants and don’t go burying those sticky stinky packages in the ground about here yuh fur ball… ;-)

Re: How to determine the Key?

"It comes back to the old adage: Learn the tunes. The idea that you can successfully strum to a tune if you know the key is inadequate. You have to know the tune…"

That’s more like it. Thanks for your capable elucidation Llig, very nicely put…

Re: How to determine the Key?

One other function this faculty enables: doing ABC’s. So it’s guitar accompaniment, curiosity as to how it works and ABC’s. I’m still not greatly tempted.

Re: How to determine the Key?

Yep, it sure doesn’t matter. But it’s not hard to understand keys and modes—one of the easier bits of music theory to grasp, really. And it can come in handy if you want to communicate verbally with other musicians.

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Re: How to determine the Key?

I think it adds another level of appreciation to it all too, like taste…

It’s been some time, but last time we were in Corvallis, after trekking in the mountains, we came across Corvallis as we headed for the coast and a chocolate company that made these large truffles, lovely stuff, top quality. We bought a whole box of them. It began with an ‘E’ or an ‘A’, and I’m pretty sure ‘Truffles’ was the second word in the name, but maybe it was ‘Chocolates’, ‘Ecstacy Chocolates’? Anyway, if they are still there, or something similar, go out and buy some of those fist-sized chocolate trufles from round about your area. We personally prefer nuts and chews… And enjoy a chocolate rush as you contemplate the music you’re playing, relaxed, and you’ll find the bed that tune lies in, or not… But, it will probably start to make a kind of sense to you if you pursue it ~ in a non-obsessive way, with chocolates or a good brew on hand, and friends to share it all with of course.

Unlike some, no one here, who think that ‘analysis’ toward understanding is destructive, I don’t agree. Yes, obsession can be, worrying about it is just plain foolish, but no search for understanding, meaning that it becomes more than just ‘fact’, but enters the level of feeling, no accomplishment of that nature, of the senses, is ever a wasted effort or accomplishment…

But as suggested, have fun doing it… Buy a box of chocolates and see if you can guess the flavour before you bite into it…

It is another ‘sense’ of the thing. Why ignore the nose if it is trying to tell you something by communicating smell? Keys have a flavour about them, that for me is part of the intoxication of music, that wonderful variety, like a box of chocolates… But I do appreciate all the variety, if favouring some more than others, like nuts and chews over soft centres… ;-)

Re: How to determine the Key?

That’d be Euphoria Chocolates (http://www.euphoriachocolate.com/), based in Eugene now for some time. Erm, they do ship those truffles, C. :o)

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That’s it ~ EUPHORIA CHOCOLATES!!! Damn they were nice…

You sweetheart… Now I know what to get my lovely wife sometime soon, to share of course… ;-)

Re: How to determine the Key?

C, sometimes I think that our species’ tendency to ratiocination IS obsessive and an evolutionary dead end. We end up using technology to improve our short term fitness for the environment, but wrecking the environment in the process. And using words like "ratiocination." :o)

Maybe we (and the world) would all be better off hunting and gathering and beating logs around the fire, whooping and dancing and procreating and passing on by 40. Think of the craic….

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:-P ~ drool….

Re: How to determine the Key?

Euphoria deserves its name—among the best chocolates in North America, one of the few that sidles in next to good European chocolates. Dark chocolate truffle with your favorite full-bodied red wine…ahhh.

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Re: How to determine the Key?

Oops! ~ that drool was poorly timed… :-/

Yes cat, I like the old way of grunting answers too… Sometimes that’s the best I’m able to do. I like the old way of giving a thing a name, rather than something that can seem as cold as say ‘g minor’… Wouldn’t it be a kick if it were a metophor for what the key suggests in its basic nature, its humour? However, that nature doesn’t change with the grunt ‘g minor’…not for me anyway, it remains magic and I often feel possessed by the spirit of it. So, stick a bone in my nose and tattoo my ass with porcupine quills… ;-)

Re: How to determine the Key?

i had sum of them there ecstasy chocs once and i could do all the modes with minimal problems for about five hours. I also found some new ones, although the general consensus by the six hour mark was that I had become oblivious to accepted patterns and that my musical tastes had exceeded most boundaries ordinarily associated with self-respect and common decency. None the less I bloody loved it.

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Re: How to determine the Key?

Hey, are you judging me, I’m still big into "hunting and gathering and beating logs around the fire, whooping and dancing" ~ but have gone a bit beyond the 40 mark, and we missed the procreation part, but not from lack of want or practice… :-/

Re: How to determine the Key?

pavlf, damn, that’s a hard one to say, good on yuh, someone else sympatico…

Re: How to determine the Key?

well, it’d be nice to think so ;-)

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Re: How to determine the Key?

This thread is making me want chocolate now.
That said……. if you can figure out the very first and the very last chord, you’ll have the key but not always a la mode.

Re: How to determine the Key?

Some of the opinions in this thread are made with good intentions, but way off the mark I’m afraid. Sure some people think it doesn’t matter, but to others nothing can be more important.

When trying to determine this it is essential to have knowledge about what you’re determining. If you aren’t educated on the subject your opinion is meaningless. Granted it requires good taste, but good taste isn’t enough unless you have the experience to know what it is you have good taste about.

I have seen this discussed many times, and sometimes with great passion, but at the end of the day, unless you have the best experience behind you, you’re really only guessing at best. People have devoted their life to this and made major sacrifices. Some come from great European cities, but that is not the essential requirement. No, it is more than that, and only a lifetime of work and dedication can answer this question with the proper authority.

So, gentlemen, and ladies, I submit… the best truffles can only be found here.

http://www.xoxtruffles.com/

Re: How to determine the Key?

… core, and I was expecting something rude or Censored!

Re: How to determine the Key?

I knew I could smell chocolate when I saw the title of this thread! :)
On a very practical level for Kalin: for the purposes of getting the tune to sound right when you are constructing the ABC’s the most important thing is getting the right sharps and flats - not so much about getting the Mixolydian/Dorian thing right. You will still get shot at for wrongly naming a tune mode but if it has the right sharps or flats then at least most people will not mind if they are just reading the sheet music or playing back the MIDI (not that anyone would ever do that!!).
You may have to make a choice between putting a C# in the key signature and then latering the C Naturals in the tune or vice versa - leaving C# out of the key signature and adding the accidental sharps in the body of the tune.

Re: How to determine the Key?

latering = later altering
Somthing to do with the insert key I think or maybe just a new word for the dictionary

Re: How to determine the Key?

PB,

Several years ago I worked on the renovation of this building in Berkeley for the Scharffen Berger Chocolate factory; there’s a great irtual tour of the chocolate making process here:

http://www.artisanconfection.com/stores/scharffenberger/

But I’ve long heard that San Francisco is the home of the best truffle makers. I’ve got to get out more.

As for determining the key of a tune, I think it’s one of the hardest things abot ITM, and might even require a PhD or something. I m invariably wrong when I try. It seems like accomplished accompanists must be the best equipt to do this.

Re: How to determine the Key?

So it’s really quite easy.
Figure out the sharps and flats.
Then figure out the main notes (or the notes it will end on properly).

I just never understood why Dmaj, Amix, Edor, & Bmin can’t all just be called Dmaj.

And it does help to think and figure tunes out, by knowing about keys and theory. Even though I only play those wind instruments.

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Re: How to determine the Key?

Good on you bay. Yes, sussing the key and mode can give your a head’s up about what notes to expect as you learn a tune, on the fly or otherwise. So no harm in knowing it. Were the tables (link) any help?

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Re: How to determine the Key?

Hi Kalin,

I’m not an expert at all, but if a tune starts with F#, it’s in Bmin, F#min, or Dmix. Examples are Otter’s Holt, Cock and Hen, and Banish Misfortune. Bachelor’s Walk, which you posted recently, reminds me of Hotter’s Holt, so I think it’s in Bmin. The tune sounds a bit weird with C notes sharp, so it’s probably not in Dmix or Gmaj. But, the second half sounds Dmaj-ish to me.

Ah, leave it to accompanists. But you should always use ABC converter to check your transcription is OK. http://www.concertina.net/tunes_convert.html

Re: How to determine the Key?

"I just never understood why Dmaj, Amix, Edor, & Bmin can’t all just be called Dmaj"
Whether this was meant seriously or not….
A "key signature" eg Dmaj, tells you the notes that that are mainly being used, the sharpses, flatses and naturals. What is doesn’t tell you where "home" is amongst those notes, both melodically and harmonically. That sense of home defines which mode your in. (Major and minor are just two "modes")

Re: How to determine the Key?

The secret is to be able to find the tonic of the scale ( i.e.the root note). This is often the last note. One way to try to find the root note is to test which note works well as drone note throughout the passage.

For example, take the Cmaj, Ddor, Am, Gmix. On the dots these scales have no sharps or flats, meaning that they share the same scale notes. However, each of them have a different root note C,D,A,G and this is the tonic. Besides the different tonic all these scales have different scale intervals and this is what gives any scale it’s unique characteristic feel and sound.

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Re: How to determine the Key?

I may be wrong and apologies if I am, but I get the impression Bay is quite new to playing this music. If that IS the case, my advice would be to concentrate more on building up a decent repertoire of tunes, and work on flute and whistle technique and breathing, rather than bothering too much with theory. But go for it if it interests you. Move forward on a broad front, if you think so, rather than cherry picking little juicy bits. Just my HO.

Re: How to determine the Key?

We always finish The Connaughtmans Rambles by dropping down to F#. And Her Long Black Hair etc. by going up to F#. Sounds right but why does it sound right? Is it some sort of harmony thing or is that the note that these resolve to?

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Re: How to determine the Key? ITS IMPORTANT

I play the flute and whistle and feel that its very important to know the key of the tunes you are playing. You should follow the suggestions listed by other members on this page in order to determine the key. Once you get the hang of it, every time you practice a certain tune, say to yourself what key it is in. This will help you hear the certain sound of each key. You will get better and better at it and it will train your ear. I found that after a while, it was very easy to recognize a tune in G maj, D, or any other minor/dorian/mixolydian scales.

Good luck

gebbytoo

Re: How to determine the Key?

OK, now I’m utterly confused. WHAT key is chocolate in exactly? It depends on the filling of the truffle? What tempo is truffle? Is that a slip-jig?

Re: How to determine the Key?

hussar, Connaughtman’s Rambles is in D (A part) and Bmin (B part). The two notes that fit the harmonic structure throughout are the D and F#, which are common to both the D chord and the Bmin chord. And the tune has quite a few F#s in it—so it is not surprising you like to end on that note—us, we hardly ever use that tune to end a set because of the lack of resolution.
Generally, when you find the number of sharps in a tune, and then the note that the tune "centers" around, you have the mode—Kalin, by knowing that there are four modes common to this music that all share the same number of sharps, you are way ahead of where I was when I started!
And like llig and others say, the ambiguity of some of the tunes is the source of their charm—tunes like this recently discussed include the Blarney Pilgrim and Earls Chair.

Re: How to determine the Key?

sorry if I’ve missed an earlier thought like this:

why agonise over whether a tune’s in one mode or another? As long as your (melody) instrument has the ability to play all the notes needed for the tune, what key it’s in doesn’t matter

if you’re trying to play harmony or to do a clever accompaniment on guitar, only your ears will (figuratively) do the job of picking the right notes or chords for ambiguous tunes

if your ears can’t do it yet, go for immersion in good ITM CDs for a year or two.

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Re: How to determine the Key?

Backers & melody players speak a different language.
The difference is between keys (modes) & key signature (# of sharps & flats)

With 1 sharp (F#) you have these modes depending on which note begins & where you resolve.

G major (Ionian)
A minor (Dorian)
D major (Mixolydian)
E minor (Aeolian)

Add another sharp (hence F# & C#)
can provide the following modes.

D major (Ionian)
E minor (Dorian)
A major (Mixolydian)
B minor (Aeolian)

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Re: How to determine the Key?

I’m not sure how often we need to re-emphasize the thing that some have said already ~

Llig!!! ~ "Learn the tunes."

Key!!! ~ "~ concentrate more on building up a decent repertoire of tunes, and work on flute and whistle technique and breathing, rather than bothering too much with theory."

And a twist on what millionyears_bc just said ~ "go for immersion" ~ only back on topic:

The following links will give you mostly what is listed, but there are the few mistakes and the few relative modes ~

D Major / Major = Bright colourful Fruity Centres
https://thesession.org/tunes/index/search?name=&type_id=&mode_id=7

b minor / minor = Bitter Sweet Chocolate at the core
https://thesession.org/tunes/index/search?name=&type_id=&mode_id=5

E Dorian / Dorian = Nuts and Chews
https://thesession.org/tunes/index/search?name=&type_id=&mode_id=14

A Mixolydian / Turkish Delight & halva
https://thesession.org/tunes/index/search?name=&type_id=&mode_id=4

So, for example, you could go out and get a box of D Major, maybe cherry, and pig out until you’ve had too much, maybe on the edge of ill, and you’ll never ever forget that taste again, but, don’t get so obsessive about it that you puke or get the point where anything Major will cause your stomach to rumble in unpleasant ways.

Next, go for minor… But be careful, too much bitter sweet chocolate can bring you down. Those are the first two to get to grips with.

Next go for Dorian, nuts and chews are a favourite in this house. I can’t imagine getting fed up with any of them, but better, in the long run, in a mixed box, a sampler. You can then go get just that, a mixed box.

Mixolydian and other hidden treasures you can play with later, but even a little exposure and you’ll get a feel for them. It is all about playing the music, and feeling it, or ‘tasting’ it.

A good accompanist is like a good outside coating, the melody being the heart of the thing. Bad accompaniment is like something really wrong, either it isn’t really chocolate, or it has gone off. Best to spit it out and get a laugh out of it…

So, as some wise folks have already said, and more than once ~ play, listen, play, listen, play, listen ~ & get a feel for it all, in context, in the act of making it and bringing it to life… Give it time, and don’t rush or push it. Be at ease in your understaning, not uptight… ;-)

Re: How to determine the Key?

8-) I’ve not tried those ‘XOX Truffles’ button, not yet…
Have you experienced ‘Euphoria’?

Re: How to determine the Key?

Also, there are all those subleties of the dark chocolate, depending on geographic origins, if it has a pronounced tobacco nose and taste to it, well, that probably ‘harmonic minor’… ;-)

Re: How to determine the Key?

Leave it to ceolachan to take a sidetrack, blend it in with the main topic, and produce a tasty blend of information!!!!!! ;-)

Re: How to determine the Key?

I think bay is looking for something more basic. Sadly it’s basic but not simple. All the posts seem to be trying to explain the shorthand.

Bay. Try this link. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musical_mode

It is not a 25 words or less answer. It will at least give you a start on the relationship of modalities and keys. When I started learning PA a million years ago, my teacher started me on whatthey called ‘Harmony’ once I knew how to hold the accordion in the proper upright configuration.

Also, the significance didn’t kick in for about 10 years-I think MBC and Ilig had part of the right advice.

Learn the tunes…But get a sense of what this is about. It will help as you get better and need learn tunes by ear (I am told the only way even though spots are nice when you live miles from anyone who you can learn from) and need to transpose in a session ‘on the fly’ when the leader goes "Hup! Hup" and you otherwise would wonder what in the world is going on!

Re: How to determine the Key?

I’m amazed how many people will post their advice without reading the previous comments. I have to wownder…is this how they "contribute" musically to their sessions too?
:-/

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Re: How to determine the Key?

cpt

I did. That’s why I put out the post and link. Alot of very good advice but not tied together with alot of experienced shorthand. Understanding this does not happen right away. It’s probably more than most ITM players need to know. But if they know it they play better.

here are two more sites that may be helpful if the first article did not cause people’s eyes to glaze over.

http://www.answers.com/topic/properties-of-musical-modes

http://chrisbrockbank.com/theory/musical_modes_in_abc_notation.htm

I love being a pain in the arse. And btw if there weren’t people who tried to better understand what they are doing and find interesting things forgotten, lost, or just ignored by narrower minds…their sessions would get pretty boring playing variations on ‘County Down’ interminably!

Re: How to determine the Key?

I’m Bob and I’m a chocolohic.

Sometimes, I try to cut back to a reasonable indulgence by skipping a few days … and what happens? Two hours into my fast, some kind, well-meaning person pops by my cubicle and slips me a piece of the fine dark stuff. It happens enough to feel spooky.

So now, just after swearing off for the rest of the day, I drop by the Mustard Board Pub and the whole crowd’s singing hymns of praise to chocolate!

I give up!

Re: How to determine the Key?

Actually, I think I am with Bob. It sounds like on thing I do that Herself might get into. Irish and doesn’t drink beer. But she lovers Her chocolate!

Re: How to determine the Key?

Zippy, I wasn’t pointing my comment at you in particular. And if you followed the link I provided way above, you’d see some of us went beyond quickie advice (e.g., the key/mode tables and how to use them, one of which I assembled and shared on Zina’s site just for people who play Irish trad music).

We’re on the same page regarding knowledge being a good thing….

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Actually I’ve been playing for a very long time, and consider myself somewhat of a pennywhistle expert. And it’s true you don’t need to know this stuff to be good on a pennywhistle. But I think it will help and is interesting. I was serious saying that Dmaj could cover everything that had F# & C#, because I never thought the "home note" was important (although I can certainly hear the difference) - but now I understand it helps to know. This has been a very educational thread!!! Thanks guys!!!

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Re: How to determine the Key?

That raises an interesting point. The reason the tonic or "home note" is important is because we hear all the other intervals in the scale ***in relation to the home note.***

Knowing this makes it easier to transpose while playing on the fly. It also shows us not just which notes might be in a tune, but what function and significance they have in that tune.

Another way to think of this is that even when the same scale works for several keys/modes, the notes of that scale play different roles depending on which key/mode you’re in. A clear example of this is that in D major, the C# is the 7th tone of the scale, the note that most strongly wants to resolve to the tonic D (in part because it’s only a half step away). But in B minor, the C# is the second tone of the scale, a whole step above the B tonic. Yes it still wants to resolve to the tonic, but not as strongly as in D major. And it’s "tension" is matched by A, the flatted 7th of the Bm scale.

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Re: How to determine the Key?

CPT

No harm, no foul. :-)

I get sensitive because as I used to relate here in the past much to the boredom of many posters, I often played with some faux irish who were stuck in the ‘Tommy Makem Music’ rut. Great music for twentysomething drunks on Western Avenue.

Whenever something slightly more challenging or interesting was suggested…or God forbid you wanted to tweak one of ‘their’ arrangements, got alot gumpy remarks and they went back to banging out C-F-G. or D-G-A if they were using capos.

So I tend to react a bit since the ITM people I have been working with more of late are very interested in broader and better ITM and I am alot less willing to put up with my old grumpy freinds.

Re: How to determine the Key?

Understood. I don’t mind someone’s pride in being able to play music well whether or not they have any understanding of music theory. But it does get tiresome when they imply that having an understanding of music theory or being able to hear music from the dots somehow makes you less of a musician. Weird, really.

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Re: How to determine the Key?

In other words, understanding music theory is a supplement to playing music. Not a detriment.

As if that needs to be said. But then we have so many begrudgers posting on a thread such as this….

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Re: How to determine the Key?

Would it be a sin to want to know a key because you wanted to practice a scale or two?

Re: How to determine the Key?

So…….anyway, I read through all of ceolachan’s blog/biog, and I still can’t tell where/what/who he’s at, and certainly not either from his first couple of postings on this question - man, I thought I could be off the wall on occasion, but he obviously has this synasthaesia for tune modes and chocolate, interesting, eh ? and the G major has masses and masses of fruit, and there’s burning car tyres, and a hint of old leather from bookbindings or concertina bellows, with a subtle touch of peach blossom……

Well, to get back to the original question, if you play a scale starting from the defined note for the mode, using the sharps or flats as defined in the key signature, then you have the scale the tune will be played in……..
It’s all more relevant to accompanists than tune players, although if you are the sort of person who likes to harmonise it may help a little. For an accompanist, they might think like;
D maj; likeliest chords in order of precedence D, A, G, Em, poss B min.
A mix; A, G, D,
E dor; Em, D, G, poss Bm.
B Aolian; Bm, A, D, G, poss Em.
And, for an accompanying player, even though he/she might know the theory, on the night and at the moment of decision it’s an ear thing, what sounds right.

Do you know that old song "The Alamo" ?
"A hundred and eighty were challenged by Travis to die…
"By a line that he drew with his sword when the battle was nigh…"
How would you accompany it ? Do you change from the tonic to the dominant and back again, or the tonic to the flattened seventh chord ? That defines whether you hear the tune as a Major, or a Mixolydian.

Re: How to determine the Key?

"if you play a scale starting from the defined note for the mode, using the sharps or flats as defined in the key signature, then you have the scale the tune will be played inve the scale the tune will be played in", that’s what I was saying, maybe not so straighforward way, ah well, I’ll go play with mesel’, a tune I mean, wonder should I use both hands?

Re: How to determine the Key?

Homeys ~ Bros & :-/ ~ how’s it doin?

Are you ready for this? I say, are you ready for this? 8-)

Tabby? :-/ ~ begrudgers posting on this thread???
Have you been spraying again? Phew!!! ;-)

What a miserable world it would be if all you could get were just those vegetable fat faux chocolate buttons or Mars bars…

Hey GP, is that you smelling of old boots?

No accidentals, sharps (#) or flats (b) ~
Pattern recognition ~
^ = a half-step / - = a whole-step
"starting from the defined note for the mode"

C - D - E ^ F - G - A - B ^ c = Major
- - ^ - - - ^
A, - B, ^ C - D - E ^ F - G - A = minor
- ^ - - ^ - -
D - E ^ F - G - A - B ^ c - d = Dorian
- ^ - - - ^ -
G, - A, - B, ^ C - D - E ^ F - G = Mixolydian
- - ^ - - ^ -

1 sharp (#) ~

G - A - B ^ c - d - e - f# ^ g = Major
- - ^ - - - ^
E - F# - G - A - B ^ c - d - e = minor
- ^ - - ^ - -
A - B ^ c - d - e - f# ^ g - a = Dorian
- ^ - - - ^ -
D - E - F# ^ G - A - B ^ c - d = Mixolydian
- - ^ - - ^ -

2 sharps (##) ~
D - E - F# ^ G - A - B - c# ^ d = Major
- - ^ - - - ^
B, - C# ^ D - E - F# ^ G - A - B = minor
- ^ - - ^ - -
E - F# ^ G - A - B - c# ^ d - e = Dorian
- ^ - - - ^ -
A, - B, - C# ^ D - E - F# ^ G - A = Mixolydian
- - ^ - - ^ -

Other minor considerations ~ & the ups and downs of a chocolate-sugar rush ~
A, - B, - C - D - E - F - G - A = natural minor
A, - B, - C - D - E - F - G# - A ~ A - =G - F - E - D - C - B, - A, = minor harmonic
A, - B, - C - D - E - F# - G# - A ~ A - =G - =F - E - D - C - B, - A, = melodic minor

Dorian is also sometimes referred to as ‘Dorian minor’…
D - E - F - G - A - B - c - d

http://cnx.org/content/m10856/latest/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minor_scale
http://www.jazclass.aust.com/
http://www.jazclass.aust.com/contents.htm#3
http://www.jazclass.aust.com/scales/scanatm.htm
http://www.jazclass.aust.com/scales/scahar.htm
http://www.jazclass.aust.com/scales/scamelm.htm

A, - B, - C - D - E - F - G - A = minor inharmonic

And then there’s ‘enharmonic’ ~
Major enharmonic: C#/Db, F#/Gb, and B/Cb
minor enharmonic: A#/Bb, D#/Eb, G#/Ab

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enharmonic

There’s more, but that really is quite enough… Start small, get familiar with the lovely differences between Major, minor to start, and then enjoy the nuts and chews…

Re: How to determine the Key?

Oops! ~ I forgot to delete that little bit at the end ~
"A, - B, - C - D - E - F - G - A = minor inharmonic" ~ that shouldn’t have survived the cut-and-paste… It must have been eating that box of liquor centers…

Re: How to determine the Key?

As a theorist, I was taught DIPLoMA as a bit of an innacurate mnemonic.

One I have seen on the net is "I Do F(ph)ollow Lonely Men And Laugh"

Anyone got any better mnemonics for the modes?

(And yes, I do know the mnemonic for resistor colours which made me laugh as an apprentice but couldn’t possibly be repeated in mixed company.)

Re: How to determine the Key?

Resistor colours, damn, are they still in use? :-D

Re: How to determine the Key?

Hey, that’s a damned funny degree you’ve got Geoff, music & Electrical Engineering? Mind you, it does sound a useful combination if you want to be a musical roady…

Re: How to determine the Key?

That’s the Bad Boys etc mnemonic? I used to hear my brother laughing about Violet. Do you do any work with amplification, not enough proper engineers in that area.

Re: How to determine the Key?

Haven’t been following this thread but couldn’t help notice the "bad boys .." bit which took me back many a year to communications engineering work. The resistor codes were Black, Brown, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Violet, G..?, White - after all the these years the "very un-PC" mnemonic almost worked for me but I just can’t figure out that other "G" colour!

Re: How to determine the Key?

Gold

Re: How to determine the Key?

:-D I love it. I used to love all those colourful stripes on resistors. I haven’t worked with one or soldered one in ages…

But ~ I never learned a ‘rude’ mneumonic, but I do know an old acquaintance i can ask…

Re: How to determine the Key?

The second G in resistor colors is not Gold, but rather Grey (Gray). The gold strip is a tolerance/accuracy figure (5%) or it may be silver (10%) if circuit precision isn’t so much of an issue.

Unless, of course you are in Phrygian mode, where all colors are shifted 3 to the left. Um.

As for why folks who play melody instruments might want to know modes: those instruments that are diatonic (whistles, diatonic accordions, etc.) might chose a different instrument for G mixolydian than they might for G major in order to get the appropriate accidentals without having to half-hole all the blasted time, which on a diatonic accordian is quite difficult, I’m told. :)

Sure, learn the tunes, but why get 3/4 of the way through training your digits to mangle a tune and get to the C# and find it’s actually supposed to be a natural, when if you know up front the tune is DMix rather than DMaj and you could have just started on the G whistle rather than the D whistle and had all the right notes under your fingers to begin with.

Sure, us fiddlers can just plunk our finger down in that spot between the C sharp and the C natch, and know that the root-mean-square of the epsilon between our note and the proper note for the current mode is within tolerance (10% because of the silver stripe) but not necessarily optimal.

Time is beer/chocolate-money, and any knowledge that can cut down on the time to get from "not knowing how to play a tune" to "knowing how to play a tune" is good knowledge in my book. Debugging sharps/flats isn’t the best use of limited time.