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FireRed92
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Can a key signature have sharps and flats?

Fri Dec 14, 2018 12:51 pm

Can a key signature have sharps and flats?

I have been researching for weeks and I can't seem to find an answer to this question. My music teacher told me that for homework to write a song using the C Major scale. Here's a snippet:

1. CEGC EGCbE GCEG
2. GC#CE EGGC CbEEG
3. EGCE GC#EG ECEG
4. C#ECE GEEG GCGCb
5. GCEG EGCbE CEGC EECC

I know that this is only my first draft but I really need help. I am seconds from shaving my hair and going balder than a bald eagle! Please help!!!!!!!!
FireRed92
 
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Eriksimon
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Re: Can a key signature have sharps and flats?

Sat Dec 15, 2018 2:13 am

The C major scale doesn't have flats or sharps. There are no key signatures that have both flats and sharps. A flat or sharp in C is called an accidental, on a stave it would need its presign every time it happened in a new bar. And in C it doesn't make sense to write a Cb, because enharmonically that is a B and you can write it down as a B. The C# is an accidental. (Assuming here that what you wrote are notes).
Why did the chicken cross the Mobius ring?

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FireRed92
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Re: Can a key signature have sharps and flats?

Sat Dec 15, 2018 7:57 am

Those are the music chords for the song. Should I change them?
FireRed92
 
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Eriksimon
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Re: Can a key signature have sharps and flats?

Sat Dec 15, 2018 8:18 am

I do not understand what it is you are doing, I see 5 lines of letters, with no clear indication which is what and how long and what they are supposed to represent, what melody they support, why certain progressions are where they are and why. If you are writing a pop- or rock- or folksong, those chords look rather random to me, especially the Cb and C# chords do not make much sense, and especially especially de Cb doesnt make any sense since that is enharmonically the same as B, but a major B chord is not present in the standard C scale anyway.
"Write a song in C" is a rather limited assignment. Playing 6 bars of C chord, one of F, one of G and voila: you have a (blues) song in C. Or play C-Am-F-G and you have the template for a plethora of pop-, folk- and rocksongs (from the fifties). Or C-G-Am-F-C-G-F/C/Dm/C and you have... Let It Be.
In fact, the only two chords in your "list of letters" that are part of the c scale are C and G.
If you want to write a simple song in C, then use these chords: C, Dm, Em, F, G and Am. However, there is not law prohibiting you from using more exaticx chords, as long ass your song is based on C.
To illustrate: all these songs use four chords, they all can be played in C: (C-G-Am-F)
here they use E-B-C#m-A
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pidokakU4I
Why did the chicken cross the Mobius ring?

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FireRed92
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Re: Can a key signature have sharps and flats?

Sat Dec 15, 2018 8:52 am

Um I see I wasn't very clear when I posted earlier. I'm sorry. Here is my draft along with my teacher's instructions:

Homework: Write a song using only the C Major Scale. Your song should start and end on C, be 5 measures long, and needs to include a key signature. Do not worry about style or speed.

4/4 C Major Scale Draft 1
Instrument: 4 string Bass guitar
1. CEGC EGCbE GCEG
2. GC#CE EGGC CbEEG
3. EGCE GC#EG ECEG
4. C#ECE GEEG GCGCb
5. GCEG EGCbE CEGC EECC

I would ask my teacher but they're on Christmas vacation and my assignment is due next year. Basically, I'm in a pickle.
FireRed92
 
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Eriksimon
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Re: Can a key signature have sharps and flats?

Sat Dec 15, 2018 9:02 am

A song that is 5 measures long? And why are you putting 12 to 16 chords in one measure? Or are those notes after all? And still I don't get why you keep calling a B a Cb (whether it's a note or a chord) - if it is for a fretted bass, that again makes no sense.
And if they are notes, then why do the first 4 measures have 12 notes, but the 5th has 16? And what is the duration of these notes? Are they all semiquavers?
The good news: You start with a C and you end with a C, so it is in C. I still don't get what the C#'s are doing in there, but it is not prohibited.
Call it the Pickle Song.
Why did the chicken cross the Mobius ring?

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FireRed92
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Re: Can a key signature have sharps and flats?

Sat Dec 15, 2018 9:26 am

Oh okay. I get it now. LOL! Thank you for your help. Yeah, he wanted us to write a 5 measure long song. I'm assuming next year, he's going to tell us to add more measures to it, as well as tell us what style and speed to use (which will be SUPER helpful!). Forgive me if I frustrated you any. I was looking at it and was concern that I might've accidentally changed key signatures. That's why I posted. I appreciate you for helping me out. Thank you!
FireRed92
 
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FireRed92
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Re: Can a key signature have sharps and flats?

Sat Dec 15, 2018 10:01 am

The Pickle Song? Hmm, that has a nice ring to it and sounds way better than what I was going to call it. Thanks again!
FireRed92
 
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skijumptoes
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Re: Can a key signature have sharps and flats?

Sat Dec 15, 2018 7:23 pm

The key of C major only has the notes: CDEFGAB

So you can’t have any sharps or flats in there so that means no sharp or flat chords either, but you could have Am and Em, for example, as they can be made using the notes available within the scale. So don’t be confused thinking that a major key only has major chords. It doesn’t work like that.

You should lookup the circle of fifths, it’s a well designed diagram for supporting chord progressions. https://randscullard.com/CircleOfFifths/

If you play the chords it guides you to, you can soon make a basic chord progression.
 
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FireRed92
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Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Re: Can a key signature have sharps and flats?

Sun Dec 16, 2018 7:12 am

Thank you so much skijumptoes! This interactive guide is very helpful. And thank you unto everyone. Your advice are helping me. I am editing my assignment.
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MikeRobinson
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Re: Can a key signature have sharps and flats?

Fri Dec 21, 2018 8:04 pm

Now, let me give you a little heads-up about those "key signatures." 8-)

Play the C-major scale, which of course is "all white keys, beginning and ending with C." But, as you do so, notice the black keys. Notice how they lie in-between each of the notes except two: there is no black key between E and F, and there is no black key between B and the C of the next octave.

When a black key does lie between two notes, we call this a whole step. When it does not, it is a half step. So our scale consists of five whole-steps and two half-steps. And what I'd like you to notice, now, is that there is a pattern here: W-W-H-W-W-W-H.

Well, this "pattern" is(!) a "major scale!" :idea:

Now, start with any note other than C and figure out what notes you must play in order to create the same pattern of whole and half steps. You will immediately realize that you are now playing one or more of the black keys, and skipping-over one or more of the white keys. And, this is how and why we have "key signatures." These are the notes that need to be "flattened" or "sharped" in order to produce the same pattern of whole and half steps if you want to start and end your scale on that particular note. This pattern is the reason why "it sounds like a major scale."

(You also can't help but notice, as you look at the various key-signatures, that there is also a pattern to the way that the sharps or flats are added as we go from one key to the next. Welcome to the "Circle of Fifths!")

Western Music theory is heavily based on [higher ...] mathematics, and that means patterns.

I could go on – for instance to say that "modes" consist of a circular rotation of that same pattern. For instance, start playing "all white notes" but this time begin and end with A. Presto! You have a minor scale. But what happened to the pattern of sharps and flats? It rotated to become: W-H-W-W-H-W-W. And this is why it "sounds like a minor scale." (Technically, one of three such scales in practical use.) Like all modes, it has a funny pig-Latin name that students are forced to memorize, but that working musicians commonly call "mode #6."

But, that's enough music theory for one post. :D
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