Composers use sharps (#) and flats (b) at the beginning of a line of music to tell us which key we are in. The key tells us which note is home base.
Instructions: Watch the videos, then click here for a game based on what you learned!
Key Signatures are placed at the beginning of a line of music and sometimes change throughout the work. They help our ear determine which notes are most important.
Watch the video for an explanation by Columbus Symphony Principal Trombonist Andy Millat.
Circle of Fifths
Most pieces of music are either in a major key or a minor key. There are 12 major keys and 12 minor keys as shown in the Circle of Fifths.
Watch the video for an explanation by Columbus Symphony Principal Violist Karl Pedersen.