Other Lessons

Tonality; Key Signature; Major/Minor Relationship (Accidentals)



  1. Tonality
  2. Key Signature
  3. Major/Minor Relationship (Accidentals)



Tonality in music is the principle of organizing musical compositions around a central note which is the tonic. Tonality is a system/language of music in which specific hierarchical pitch relationships are based on a key “center” – the tonic triad. More specifically, tonality refers to the particular system of relationships between notes, chords, and keys (sets of notes and chords).


Key Signature

In musical notation, a key signature is a set of sharp or flat symbols placed together on the staff. Key signatures are symbols that indicate the key of the piece of music and these symbols are sharps and flats. Key signatures are generally written immediately after the clef at the beginning of a line of musical notation.

A key signature designates notes that are to be played higher or lower than the corresponding natural notes and applies through to the end of the piece or up to the next key signature. A sharp symbol on a line or space in the key signature raises the notes on that line or space one semitone above the natural, and a flat lowers such notes one semitone.

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