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Author Topic: What key/time signature is this song in?  (Read 60626 times)

Deku Trombonist

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What key/time signature is this song in?
« on: March 24, 2013, 11:27:01 PM »

Post here if you want help working out what key or time signature is used in an arrangement you're working on  ;)
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FireArrow

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Re: What key/time signature is this song in?
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2013, 04:42:27 AM »

I don't know if I should post this here, but I use this to figure out the key signature of a song.

It's a mp3 to midi converter, but the conversion is horrible, so it's useless for picking up notes. However, it does tell you what key signature it's in (I don't know how accurate it is, considering I don't have perfect pitch.)

Oh, and the free trial only lasts 30 days, but it still has enough features after the free trial to be able to use it for key signatures.
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JDMEK5

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Re: What key/time signature is this song in?
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2013, 01:45:31 PM »

My technique is to just match what I hear as the tonic pitch. (The base note of the scale/key)
It doesn't take nearly as long as running the whole thing through a program, and it's always 100% accurate.
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Jompa

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Re: What key/time signature is this song in?
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2013, 03:35:36 PM »

You basically just need something pitched, like any instrument, or transcribing program like Finale.
Then: you just guess, until you get the right tonic.
You should be able to hear if it is in major or minor, and ta-da - you have the key signature!
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JDMEK5

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Re: What key/time signature is this song in?
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2013, 10:38:43 PM »

You basically just need something pitched, like any instrument, or transcribing program like Finale.
Then: you just guess, until you get the right tonic.
With practice it comes quicker.
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Jompa

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Re: What key/time signature is this song in?
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2013, 10:44:07 PM »

sorry, what do you mean?
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JDMEK5

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Re: What key/time signature is this song in?
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2013, 11:00:25 PM »

It wasn't anything important. I was just commenting on how when you practice enough, you can pick out the tonic note quicker because you will already almost if not already know what it is.
Your "guesses" become more and more accurate.
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Jompa

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Re: What key/time signature is this song in?
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2013, 11:06:03 PM »

Well, you wouldn't really get a right guess if you got a wrong guess (duh), so what you what you are saying is obviously true, but if you have something pitched, guessing the tonic wouldn't really take too long anyways though :P
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FireArrow

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Re: What key/time signature is this song in?
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2013, 02:37:22 AM »

That sounds a lot easier, however, I don't know if I trust my ear enough.
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Deku Trombonist

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Re: What key/time signature is this song in?
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2013, 02:53:30 AM »

Hmmm that's interesting. I always worked out the key of the song after I transcribed at least a position of the song.
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Brassman388

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Re: What key/time signature is this song in?
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2013, 04:58:33 AM »

It wasn't anything important. I was just commenting on how when you practice enough, you can pick out the tonic note quicker because you will already almost if not already know what it is.
Your "guesses" become more and more accurate.

Pretty soon, they don't become guesses. You eventually get good enough where you can literally hear key changes and modulations. It just takes time and a focused ear and I promise you, you will get there. You just got to keep it up.
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Jompa

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Re: What key/time signature is this song in?
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2013, 10:36:01 AM »

But brassman, we aren't talking about key changes and modulations.
We are talking about key signatures, and unless you have absolute pitch, you cannot hear those unless you guess your way to the right tonic.
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Olimar12345

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Re: What key/time signature is this song in?
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2013, 03:47:48 PM »

Even without recognizing pitches it is possible to hear the scale or mode a song can be in by hearing the pattern of half steps and whole steps. (I tend to relate modes and scale qualities with emotions. Go figure.)

And jompa, a similar technique can be obtained through practice called "relative pitch". Once you get that down, you won't even need the external reference(I'm usually fairly accurate down to the half-step)
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Jompa

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Re: What key/time signature is this song in?
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2013, 03:51:52 PM »

But you shouldn't count on it too much.
Absolute pitch is the only way to be sure.
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Olimar12345

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Re: What key/time signature is this song in?
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2013, 04:22:26 PM »

Shouldn't count on it? Nonsense! You should use it as much as you can! Trusting your instincts is an important part of being a musician. It's hard to describe, but you feel this sort of uneasy feeling in your gut when you're not 100% on pitch. Its like a sharp pain. (At least that's what it's like for me)

But we're getting off topic here. It's perfectly normal to use an outside reference, such as a piano, if you can't recognize pitch classes. However, it is a crutch that we as musicians should ween ourselves from. There won't always be a perfectly tuned reference at our disposal.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2013, 04:44:04 PM by Olimar12345 »
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