You have been hearing about the music theory key signature during your first piano lesson but do you know what they are made of? Key signatures are actually one of the basic foundations of playing the piano. These music fundamentals guide you in “tuning” the music pieces you are playing.
Music theory key signature can be found at the beginning of every music sheet, other times they can be found in other parts of the music sheet, which all depends on the composer of the music piece. Key signatures are composed of either sharps or flats. At first you might think that they are similar to accidentals but they are totally different.
Accidentals only require you to play a key in its sharp or flat tune if you see the symbol right before the key. But key signatures require you to play the sharp or flat tune of every key they are embedded on, all throughout the music sheet except when you see the natural symbol before the key. You can see the difference of accidentals and key signatures at the figure below.
Another thing you should know about the music theory key signature is the enharmonic equivalents of all the orders of sharps and flats. The orders of sharps and the orders of flats may be written in a different manner and corresponds to different keys but they are all played the same way in the piano.
The easiest way to learn the music theory key signature is to memorize the C sharp and the C flat key signatures. C sharp has seven sharps all in all, when you remove the last sharp, you’ll get the next key signature which is F sharp that has only six sharps as its key signature. Keep on doing this until you reach C major, which doesn’t have any sharp in its key signature.
You can also apply this basic knowledge to the order of flats key signature. When you remove the seventh flat symbol of the C flat key signature, you will get the G flat key signature. The process goes on until you reach the C major which doesn’t have any flats.