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Being "In Key"

Lesson 10 from: Music Theory for Electronic Musicians

J. Anthony Allen

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Lesson Info

10. Being "In Key"

Lesson Info

Being "In Key"

Okay, let's talk about what it means to be in a key, and then we're gonna look at some examples and ways of finding out what key were in. So we like to use this word home. Ah, lot when we're talking about keys. So by home, we mean where things are most comfortable where it feels like they land, right? So when you're listening to a piece of music you might be playing through, you know, they and the song might have a bunch of cords might be moving around between chords. And one of those chords feels like what we would say is home. It feels like, um, you could end the song on that key. That's the biggest kind of way to tell is where the song ends and sometimes where the song starts, Um, that idea of home in that that chord that makes it feel like, Oh, I could stop there. That's the end of the song. That's what key you're in whenever you hear that chord or if you're just looking at a melody, that single note, then you can tell out that's what key Hyman, right? So let's look at an example o...

f that. So I'm just gonna make a random melody here. Uh oh. It's make these a little bit longer. Okay, let's hear my little random melody. No hoops. Let's slow that down. Ah, OK, so when I get to this last note, it feels like a comfortable place for the melody toe end. Right. Um, I know this is very subjective and very hard to kind of wrap your head around it first. So let me do it incorrectly and see if that makes sense. Let's do this. Now, I'm gonna move this note this last note to be not the key, not a comfortable place for us to end. So let's hear what it sounds like now, right? It doesn't feel like this is the end. It actually feels like this wants to go down to their right. It feels like it is, Um um, and that's one very obvious way to tell. What key you're in is to figure out what feels like the thing could end their, um So what else do keys tell us once we figure out our key? What it's the biggest thing are key is going to tell us is what are all the notes I can play, you know, if I know I'm in C Major. If I know that's my key, which it is here in this example that tells me every possible note that I can play that's going to sound good and see Major, that's the most important thing you can get out of. A key is what are all my notes I can do. You know what are my possibilities? Um, that's why we've been sticking toe white notes because white notes are all in C major. And I know that no matter what I do in C major, it's going to sound good. Um, if I just stick the white notes because they're all the notes and C major. So the biggest thing about being in key is just to remember that once you figure out what key you're in, it kind of opens all the doors and says, Oh, I can use all these different notes. So when you're writing a track when you say Okay, I've got this melody. I don't really know what to do next. You can just think, Well, what key my in and where can I go with it? Because once I know what key I'm in. I can look at all the possible notes that will work. And then I can start to explore moving my melody or my harmony or whatever to those notes and might find some new possibilities. So that's what it means to be in a key. It basically means we're locked into a set of notes that all sound good together.

Ratings and Reviews


this is great and very helpfull class, i make and wirte music for more than 2 decades and never gave much about theory, i trusted my feelings to what sound good and what not. Bu t recently i became interested but it all seemed very difficult to me and i didnt got the points behind music theory and how everyhing works together. This class was a game changer for me.. music theory is so simple if you have somebody to explain it in words so that you finally can understand it, and thats Anthony, he is a brilliant guy and he explains it in a simple way that you can easily understand whats going on. This is perfectly the case with this course, the sections are short and to the point, not much talking around and leaving the path, you can make fast progress end learn how music theory works, this is a 5 Star ***** course and hopefully there is more to come

Emane Filali

Fabulous course. As a person with dyslexia, trying to remember the notes and chords as letters only is impossible. I love the visual way the chords are demonstrated and explained. I was originally put off by the "electronic" aspect, thinking it was only for learning how to use piano edit roller. However, as a beginner in playing the piano, this course is applicable to all who want to learn and understand music theory in an interesting visual way. Looking forward to next lesson. Will definately be purchasing the course after. Fantastic tutor and course.

Giulio Lazaretti

Very good class!! Makes it much easier to understand and apply the rules of theory. Anthony is also very wise to suggest to trust your ears, even if what you've written doesn't fit into those same rules. I am so very grateful for you putting this together, Anthony, and for making it available for the general public, Creative Live. I am also very glad I was given the opportunity to learn english in my home country (Brazil), in which many barely know how to read and write in our own native language (portuguese) due to our public education being so bad (which, by its turn, has to do with the myriad of vile creatures that inhabit our representative chambers). Tks XoXo!

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