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Key Signatures


Understanding key signatures is the last crucial step before reading actual music.

Goal: Name which notes are affected a key signature.

Practice Speed: N/A.


  1. A key signature is a group of sharps or flats beside the treble clef that apply to the whole piece of music.
  2. Example: If there were a sharp on the
  3. It is common to have a key signature and accidentals in the same piece of music.
  4. Key signatures affect the entire piece of music. Accidentals only affect specific notes in the piece.


  • Lesson 1: Tell which notes are sharp or flat in a piece of music according to each key signature.
  • Lesson 2: Watch the video to check your work.
  • Lesson 3: Memorize the order of sharps: F♯ C♯ G♯ D♯ A♯ E♯ B♯.
  • Lesson 4: Memorize the order of flats: B♭ E♭ A♭ D♭ G♭ C♭ F♭.

Final Thoughts

Notice that sharps and flats are not random in the key signature, but are always in order. One sharp is always F#, two sharps will be F# and C#, three sharps will be F#, C# and G# and so on. The same is true of flats.

Frequently Asked Questions



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