Music Theory 101: Major Sharp Keys | Jason Rivera | Skillshare

Music Theory 101: Major Sharp Keys

Jason Rivera, Composer

Music Theory 101: Major Sharp Keys

Jason Rivera, Composer

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3 Lessons (19m)
    • 1. Introduction

      2:03
    • 2. Major Scales & Major Sharp Keys

      8:16
    • 3. Class Assignment

      8:39
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About This Class

Gain an understanding of major sharp keys with composer Jason Rivera. This class focuses on how to use major scales to build major sharp keys.

The class features detailed explanations and demonstrations on the piano. You will learn techniques and concepts that can be applied to writing music in practically any genre.

The main topics covered in this class are:

  1. How major sharp keys and major scales are interconnected.
  2. The order of sharps in the treble and bass clef staffs.
  3. Defining a key signature and the order of sharps.
  4. A technique to figure out a major sharp key in your head, without looking at written sheet music.
  5. How to figure out a major sharp key by looking at a music staff.

For your class assignment you will complete a short series of written exercises designed to help solidify your new knowledge of major sharp keys.

This class is designed for beginners, however it assumes that you are familiar with the musical alphabet, how to read the treble and bass clef staffs and how to construct the major scale.

The class is for musicians, songwriters and composers who want to expand their knowledge of music theory so that they can master their craft.

Learning the major sharp keys deepens your understanding of music and you can build upon what you learn in this class to construct intervals and chords. So learning major sharp keys is really opening up a doorway to your musical creativity.

By the end of this class you will have a solid understanding of major sharp keys and how to identify and notate them.

I’d love to hear your feedback and I encourage you to leave a review for this class. And don’t forget to follow me to make sure that you receive all of my updates and resources.

If you want to continue your music education I have many other courses available. I have other classes on songwriting, scales, melodies, and writing chord progressions. I invite you to check out those other classes.

Meet Your Teacher

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Jason Rivera

Composer

Teacher


Hi!

I'm Jason Rivera. I compose music and teach from my studio in Los Angeles, CA. You can check out my music on my website and you can join my email list for updates.


“Excellent class!!! He made concepts that have been difficult to understand previously so clear and concise. Really got a lot out of this class. This is foundational to becoming a good composer. Can't wait to try doing the assignments!!!”

- Mona Lisa P, Skillshare Student


“Things I have been confused about for years finally made sense to me through Jason's instructions. I can't thank you enough, Jason.”

- Ronja B, Skillshare Student


“Great work, with engaging visuals and great audio and video... See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: Hello. I'm Jason Rivera, a composer and multi instrumentalist. I have written and played on many professional recordings, have composed music for and conducted live orchestras have toward the U. S. As a performer and have worked as a producer on music projects. It's really master playing and writing music. We need to have a practical understanding of music theory. This is why I've created this music theory. 101 Siris, of course, is. And these classes I cover the essential tools that you need to be able to better express yourself as a musician and songwriter or composer. In this class, we're going to cover the subject of Major Sharpe Keys. My goal with this class is to provide you with the basics of understanding how Major Sharpe Keys are created and how to quickly identify them. Specifically, we will cover how Major Sharpe Keys and major scales are interconnected. The order of sharps and the trouble based clubs be finding a key signature on the order of Sharps, a technique to figure out a major Sharpe key in your head without looking at Britain sheep music and how to figure out a major Sharpe key by looking at a music staff. This class is designed for beginners. However, it assumes that you're familiar with the musical alphabet, how to read the trouble and bass clef staffs and how to construct the major scale. The classes for musicians, songwriters and composers want to expand their knowledge of music theory so that they can master their craft. Learning the Major Sharpe Keys deepens your understanding of music, and you can build upon what you learn in this class to construct intervals courts. So learning Major Sharpe Keys is really opening up a doorway to a musical creativity. By the end of this class, you will have a solid understanding of Major Sharpe keys on how to identify and rotate them . Okay, let's get started with our class. Are you? 2. Major Scales & Major Sharp Keys: welcome. This is meant to be a bite size class, so let's jump right in. Hopefully you understand that the major scale is made up of a series of whole steps and half steps. If you're not sure about how to construct major scales or you need a refresher, please check out my other class music theory one a one major scales, which is another bite size class where I dive into how to build major scales and my mind. You really can't separate scales from keys, so we're always going to be thinking of keys. In this context, if you're writing music in the C major scale, then you don't have to worry about sharps or flats. And if you're playing in the C major scale on piano, then you're not using any black keys. But if you want to expand your musical palette and write music using other scales, and you're gonna have to add sharps or flats, this class is focused specifically on the major keys that you sharps like I mentioned, the best way to comprehend Keys is don't understand how they're into connected to scales. The major scale is built of two whole steps, 1/2 step, three whole steps and then 1/2 step. In this next series of slides, you'll see that in each major scale, I'm adding in one or more sharps to maintain the major scale pattern off whole steps and half steps. The G major skill has one sharp F. Sure, the D major scale has two Sharps half sharp and C sharp. The A major scale has three Sharps F sharp, C, Sharp and G sharp. The E major scale has four Sharps F sharp, C, sharp, G, Sharp and D sharp. The B major scale has five Sharps f sharp, C sharp, G sharp D sharp and a sharp. The F sharp major scale has six Sharps f sharp c sharp, G sharp, D sharp, a sharp and you sharp. And finally, the C sharp major scale has seven sharps f sharp c sharp g sharp d sharp, a sharp e sharp and be sharp. You can see that these major scales use from one to several sharps. If we were to write a notated melody or court progression, for example, in B major, we wind up having to use a lot of sharps throughout our shape. Music and things would look cluttered. Lucky for us, there is a convenient way to designate consistent sharps within a piece of music. What we do is collect the sharp's at the beginning of a peace next to the cliff symbol. This is what's called a key signature. When you see a key signature written at the beginning of a piece or in a section of a larger work, it's telling you that those sharps are automatically applied throughout the peace and in every active Sharps and a key signature are written in a specific octave and order. Take a look at these two slides, which show the order of sharps and the trouble and bass clef staffs. This is the key of C Sharp Major, which has seven sharps. It's important to be able to quickly name key signatures. You'll see the notes that are sharp, R F C, G, D, A, B and B. That's the order of sharps for sharp keys, and it never changes. Please take my word for it. You'll want to memorize this order of Sharps. It will make this whole process of understanding key signatures so much easier for you if we look here There are seven major Sharpe keys. As we look at the chart from top to bottom, think of it as an additive process you're adding and sharps to maintain the step pattern of the major scale. Remember, the C major scale has no sharps or flats, and the key of C major has no sharps or flats in it. So starting at the top of this chart, the G major scale and the key of G major has one sharp have sure the D major scale and the key of D major has two. Sharps have Sharp and C sharp. The A major scale and the key of a major has three sharps F sharp, C sharp and G sharp. The e major scale and the key of E major has four Sharps F sharp, C, sharp, G, Sharp and D sharp. The B major skill and the key of B major has five sharps f sharp, C sharp, G sharp D sharp and a sharp. You have sharp major scale and the key of F Sharp Major has six sharps f sharp c sharp, G sharp de sharp, a sharp and e sharp, and finally, the C sharp major scale and the key of C Sharp major has seven sharps f sharp c sharp G sharp d sharp, a shark e sharp and be sharp one way that you can figure out how maney Sharps, a major Sharpe key signature, has in your head without looking at Britain. Cheap music is think of the musical alphabet and the order of notes in it, and combined that with your new knowledge of the order of Sharps, F, C, G, D, A, E and B. For example, if I were to ask you how Maney Sharps is the key of D major half to figure this out, think about the notes of the musical alphabet and ask yourself what is one step below the note D That would be see? And what are the 1st 2 notes in the order of Sharps? FNC. Combining those two fax tells you that there are two Sharps and d major have sharp and c sharp. Another example. If I were to ask you how Maney Sharps does the key of a major have again to figure this out , think about the notes of the musical alphabet and ask yourself what is one step below the note A that would be G and what are the 1st 3 notes in the order of Sharps, F, C and G. Combining those two fax tells you that there are three Sharps and a major f sharp c sharp and G sharp. Another example. If I were to ask you how Maney Sharps is the key of e. Major, have again to figure this out, think about the notes of the musical alphabet and ask yourself what is one step below the note? E. That would be D. And what of the 1st 4 notes in the order of Sharps, F, C, G, and the combining Those two fax tells you that there are four sharps and e major f sharp, C sharp, G sharp and D sharp. I hope you're beginning to see the pattern here. Just remember that the order of Sharps never changes F c g, d A and B. Now, the other way to figure out a key is if you're looking at a key signature on a music staff to help you identify a key quickly in this way, I know that the key is the note 1/2 step above the last sharp on the right. For example, in this slide, the last sharp to the right is e sharp. 1/2 step above e sharp is f sharp. So the key is f sharp major. Another example. And this slide, the last sharp to the right is D sharp. 1/2 step above the sharp is E. So the key is a major. So this is the method by which you figure out a key by looking at a key signature on the music staff. So now you know how major scales air connected to Major Sharpe keys. You know what a key signature is? You know the order of sharps, and you have a technique to figure out a sharp key in your head. And you know how to figure out a Major Sharpe key by looking at a music staff. I'll see you in the next video lesson. Brandman explained the assignment for this class 3. Class Assignment: Okay, so that completes our class on Major Sharpe Keys. I hope that this class deepened your understanding of this topic. Now, let's take a look at our assignment, your assignment for this classes to complete a short series of written exercises that I've created to help solidify the knowledge you've gained in the class. I've uploaded any notes that I think will help you understand the concepts we've covered along with the exercise is to the attached file section of this class. Please download those materials and print out the sheets with the exercises on it and grab a pencil. I want you to work on these exercises by hand so that you gained the added benefit of improving your hand written music notation skills for exercise one. I've listed the seven major scales that you sharps. I've created a trouble clef staff and bass clef stab for each scale your exercises to write out each scale, adding sharps were needed and both the travel and bass clef staffs. I've written out the pattern of whole steps and half steps for the major scale up at the top of the page. This is the formula that each scale will need to adhere to in this exercise. For this exercise, you'll probably want to work on it at the piano. This way you can hear the major scale pattern and it will keep you on track. I'll demonstrate by working on G major you would start on the nog and the trouble cleft staff and fill in the notes of the scale from G up to the guillotine Next octave. So you have G I A. B, C D E yes and G. So now I have to decide where to add any Sharps. A major scale pattern tells me that from the six scale degree, the note E to the seven skilled agreed the note f There should be a whole step and there should be 1/2 step between the seven scale degree F and G uh, the active. So I know that I need to raise that half buy half step to a naff sharp. So I had a sharp symbol in front of the note F, and now I have a G major scale, and now I moved to the bass clef staff and add in my notes from G to G at the next active and I know from working on the G major scale in the trouble cliff that I need to raise that half. Buy half steptoe, half shark. So I go ahead and add a sharp symbol in front of F. At this point, I would recommend playing each scale out to double check your work for example, G major on the trouble Cliff staff and G major on the bass clef staff. So I'm done with this scale and that would then move on to the d major from there. Your exercise here is to go through this process with each of the seven scales listed, this particular exercises warming you up to understand which major scales require short symbols and on what notes on to exercise, too, this exercise builds directly off of exercise one. Here you're writing in the key signatures. For each of the sharp keys, reach key. You'll add Sharps in both the trouble clef staff and the bass clef staff. I can't stress how important it is to practice writing key signatures in both staffs. For example, if you want to write music for piano and you're using a key signature, you'll need to add the Sharps and Order and the correct octave for both the trouble and the bass clef staffs. So what's worth putting in the time to learn this skill? All demonstrate completing the first key signature here, G major. So we know from our work on exercise one that G major has one sharp f sharp. So I had a sharp symbol on the F line and the trouble Cliff staff and then on the bass clef staff and I'm done with G major to help with this exercise. Remember the order of Sharps, F C, G D, A, e and B and also commit this slide to memory again. This is the key of C Sharp Major which contains all seven sharps. This live shows where to place the sharps on both the trouble cliff staff and bass clef staff. So you want a reference this slide as you work on exercise too? Just remember that it's a process of adding sharps from left to right on the staff and remember that the Order of Sharps never changes. Now on to exercise three for exercise three, you're gonna identify and write in the name of the key signatures that are listed on either their trouble or based class staffs. Let me run through a couple of examples. Okay, so here I see your trouble clef staff, and there are three Sharps listed f sharp, C sharp and G sharp. Remember, when you're looking at Sharps on the cleft, the name of the key is the note 1/2 step above the last sharp on the right. In this example, the last sharp to the right is G sharp. 1/2 step above G sharp is a so this is the key of a major. So I write in a major in the space provided Let's go through an example on the bass clef staff. So here we have an f sharp in a c sharp again when you're looking at Sharps on a cleft, the name of the key is the no. 1/2 step above the last sharp to the right. In this instance, the last sharp to the right iss c sharp and 1/2 step above sea shop is D. So the key signature is D major on my right de major and the space provided I hope that all of the work we're doing here with key signatures. It's starting to sink in with this subject. The more that you practice, the quicker you'll get at identifying key signatures. It's really a matter of repetition and memorization. After a while, you'll see sharks listed on the staff, and you'll be so familiar with this that you'll be able to identify the key quickly. As you're working on these exercises, I recommend going back and reviewing the previous video lessons in this class. For me. Personally, I learn best through repetition of information and then applying what I've learned. Also, I would recommend working on these exercises at the keyboard or piano. Often, this is really helpful for working on music theory problems. For the time being, I'm not gonna upload an answer key to these exercises because I don't want you to be tempted to look at that and just plug the answers in. I want you to sit and take your time with these exercises and really think through them. I'm more than happy to check your work and to give you notes on your assignment. Once you've completed all of the exercises, either scan or take a high resolution photo of your exercise sheet and upload the file to Dropbox or Google Drive, and then post a link to your file in the project gallery. Be sure to read the project description on the class page, where I've listed out the specific steps for your assignment. And be sure to download the materials and the attached file section. Remember, the goal of these exercises is to start building your practical know how in regards to Major Sharpe keys and then sharing your work and your questions with your classmates so that we can learn together as a community. Also, I'd love to hear your feedback, and I encourage you to leave a review for this class. And don't forget to follow me to make sure that you receive all of my updates. And resource is lastly, I want to mention that if you want to continue your music education, I have many other courses available. I have other classes on song, writing scales, melodies and writing core progressions. I invite you to check out those other classes as well. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions that you might have by posting them to the community section on the class page. I'll do my best to answer your questions as quickly as I can. Thank you so much for taking this class. And I'm looking forward to reviewing your work.