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Minor or Major??

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Minor or Major??

Post by Phi on Sat May 24, 2008 11:53 pm

I'm finding it difficult understanding the difference between minor and major keys.

For example, if I've got a song with the following chord progression: Dmin|Fmaj|Cmajor|Gmaj
how do you tell that its written in Dminor, and not Fmajor?

Is it possible to determine if a piece is in a Minor key just by looking at the key signature?

Any help will be appreciated; as its really driving me nuts Mad .

Thanks.


Last edited by Phi on Mon May 26, 2008 1:21 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Minor or Major??

Post by pianohama on Sun May 25, 2008 12:03 am

Well, if it sounds like its "finished" when you play Dmin, then your playing in d minor. Do I make any sence? :p
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Re: Minor or Major??

Post by Admin Andrew on Sun May 25, 2008 12:08 am

Well, here's a few ways to tell if the piece is minor.

The most obvious is...does it SOUND minor? lol i'm sure you already know that one though.

Another one is look at the key signature and then the last chord of the piece. Usually most pieces end on the tonic. So say, you've got a key signature of F#, so that would normally be G major, or E minor..now look at the last chord of the piece. Is it an E chord? or G? If it's E that's a strong indication that it's minor.

Also, look for accidentals in the piece. If you're seeing D# throughout the piece, then that's a DEAD give away that it's in E minor, as they're raising the 7th note.

Other than that, you can't really tell if it's minor unless you "feel" it as the tonal center of the piece.

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Re: Minor or Major??

Post by CripKilla on Sun May 25, 2008 12:38 am

Yeah..
Look in this page for key signature..(go down a little bit)
http://www.empire.k12.ca.us/CAPISTRANO/Mike/capmusic/Key%20Signatures/key_signatures.htm

Ok for example if it's only one sharp in the key signature, it's a G major and E minor but what's the difference between the two?
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Re: Minor or Major??

Post by VictorCS on Sun May 25, 2008 1:10 am

Quote from link:

"Did you notice that every key signature had two different names? Every major key has a relative minor key.

Music written in minor keys are often thought to sound sad or scary. Music written in a major key usually sounds happier than music in a minor key. But this is not always true.

Music in a minor key can also sound happy and music in a major key can sound sad or scary.

It takes practice to tell if the music you hear is written in a major or minor key. The more you listen to music, the better you will become at identifying major and minor keys."
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Re: Minor or Major??

Post by Phi on Sun May 25, 2008 1:15 am

CripKilla wrote:Yeah..
Look in this page for key signature..(go down a little bit)
http://www.empire.k12.ca.us/CAPISTRANO/Mike/capmusic/Key%20Signatures/key_signatures.htm

Thanks for the link. I listened to the pieces but couldn't tell when "Scherzo" changed to a major key Crying or Very sad


Another one is look at the key signature and then the last chord of the piece. Usually most pieces end on the tonic. So say, you've got a key signature of F#, so that would normally be G major, or E minor..now look at the last chord of the piece. Is it an E chord? or G? If it's E that's a strong indication that it's minor.

Also, look for accidentals in the piece. If you're seeing D# throughout the piece, then that's a DEAD give away that it's in E minor, as they're raising the 7th note.

Other than that, you can't really tell if it's minor unless you "feel" it as the tonal center of the piece.

Is it possible for a piece written in a Major key to end with a minor chord? If so, wouldn't the last chord confuse me???


Well, if it sounds like its "finished" when you play Dmin, then your playing in d minor.
how do you tell if it sounds "finished"??

I'm really confused here Crying or Very sad

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Re: Minor or Major??

Post by Phi on Sun May 25, 2008 1:17 am

VictorCS wrote:Quote from link:

"Did you notice that every key signature had two different names? Every major key has a relative minor key.

Music written in minor keys are often thought to sound sad or scary. Music written in a major key usually sounds happier than music in a minor key. But this is not always true.

Music in a minor key can also sound happy and music in a major key can sound sad or scary.

It takes practice to tell if the music you hear is written in a major or minor key. The more you listen to music, the better you will become at identifying major and minor keys."

I guess it comes with practice then, as there's no fool-proof way of distinguishing...

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Re: Minor or Major??

Post by pianohama on Sun May 25, 2008 2:31 pm

Phi wrote:
CripKilla wrote:Yeah..
Look in this page for key signature..(go down a little bit)
http://www.empire.k12.ca.us/CAPISTRANO/Mike/capmusic/Key%20Signatures/key_signatures.htm

Thanks for the link. I listened to the pieces but couldn't tell when "Scherzo" changed to a major key Crying or Very sad


Another one is look at the key signature and then the last chord of the piece. Usually most pieces end on the tonic. So say, you've got a key signature of F#, so that would normally be G major, or E minor..now look at the last chord of the piece. Is it an E chord? or G? If it's E that's a strong indication that it's minor.

Also, look for accidentals in the piece. If you're seeing D# throughout the piece, then that's a DEAD give away that it's in E minor, as they're raising the 7th note.

Other than that, you can't really tell if it's minor unless you "feel" it as the tonal center of the piece.

Is it possible for a piece written in a Major key to end with a minor chord? If so, wouldn't the last chord confuse me???


Well, if it sounds like its "finished" when you play Dmin, then your playing in d minor.
how do you tell if it sounds "finished"??

I'm really confused here Crying or Very sad


Lets say you play in the scale of E Minor. There are seven chords in this scale, from number 1(E minor) to 7. Whatever chord you play, the song "wants" to go back to the original chord, e minor. So when you finally play the e minor the "phrase" sounds finished. Kind of like you end a sentence with a dot always, you know? Smile
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Re: Minor or Major??

Post by Phi on Mon May 26, 2008 1:02 am

Thanks a lot.

Perhaps you could help me further Very Happy

I've been training my ear to pick out minor keys; so I'll post songs with repeated chord progressions, and state why I think they are in a major or minor key.
Obviously, you'll tell me if I'm right or wrong!

Cheers.

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Re: Minor or Major??

Post by Phi on Mon May 26, 2008 1:42 am



A Minor. The song begins, and ends with the A minor chord.



B Minor. Again, the song begins and ends with the B minor chord



E minor. I'm not really sure, but it "sounded" minor to me.

I hope I've got all three right...

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Re: Minor or Major??

Post by pianohama on Mon May 26, 2008 10:11 am

Hmm I really dont know Smile I don't have absolute pitch but I'll listen to it when I get home, since I think I'm pretty good picking out minor and major atleast hehe ^^
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Re: Minor or Major??

Post by Phi on Wed May 28, 2008 1:02 pm

Thanks guys!!

I perfectly understand Minor and Major keys now. Very Happy
If anyone was interested, the last song in my previous post is in a major key.

Once again, Thanks.

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