Key Signatures & Scales

Key Signatures, Sharps, and Flats

*See bottom of page for useful web links to HELP SITES for learning key signatures

Notate Major Scales Quiz


In the creating a Major and minor scale lesson we learned that if we use the formula W W H W W W H we can create a Major scales starting on each of the pitches on a piano.

And is we use the formula W H W W H W W we can create a minor scales starting on each of the pitches on a piano.



This formula had us using some of the black keys or sharps and flats in order to make Major scale sound correctly (using the WWHWWWH formula). In other words it creates the DOE, RA, ME, FA, SO, LA, TI, DOE scale we are so use to hearing.

We can put these sharps and flats on the music at the beginning of the piece and call it a key signature. 

If we know our key signatures we can perform music in any key (starting on any pitch on the keyboard).  This is useful if you want to make the music higher or lower sounding (changes the starting Doe to a higher or lower pitch).

When we put all 7 of the sharps on the staff using treble and bass clefs they look like this:

Notice there is a helpful phrase to help you remember the order of the sharps and flats as you put them on the staff. You will need to remember the exact placing of all 7 sharps and flats as their positions are always the same.

We discovered that there are a total of 15 Major keys and 15 minor keys.  





CLICK HERE for TRICKS to help you REMEMBER  Key Signatures at Music Theory Fundamentals – WHILE on the site TAKE THE QUIZ for practice.



Step One: – Learning about key signatures

Step Two: Key Signature Online QUIZ – multiple choice

Step Three: Key Signature Identifying on the Grand Staff Quiz by



Circle of Fifths – good for learning and remembering the Major key signatures as well as the minor key signatures

Major Scales Tones/Semitone, Half/Whole Steps