Definition of Key signature

1. Noun. The sharps or flats that follow the clef and indicate the key.

Exact synonyms: Signature
Generic synonyms: Musical Notation

Definition of Key signature

1. Noun. (music) An indication of the key of a composition, giving the number of sharps or flats in the corresponding scale. ¹

¹ Source:

Key Signature Pictures

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Lexicographical Neighbors of Key Signature

key log
key logger
key loggers
key off
key out
key palm
key pattern
key performance indicator
key press
key presses
key ridge
key ring
key server
key set identifier
key set identifiers
key signature (current term)
key signatures
key to the midway
key vein
key word
keyboard buffer
keyboard shortcut

Literary usage of Key signature

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. Music Notation and Terminology by Karl Wilson Gehrkens (1914)
"They are called collectively the key- signature. 23. The same key-signature may stand for either one of two keys, the major key, or its relative minor, ..."

2. Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians by George Grove (1908)
"M. SIGNALS. The drum and bugle calls or 'sounds'of the army. [See vol. iii. p. 204 if.] o. SIGNATURE. I. KEY - SIGNATURE (Fr. Signes accidentales ; Ger. ..."

3. Music in the Public Schools: A Manual of Suggestions for Teachers by Elbridge Ward Newton (1909)
"key signature Tell the class that a key signature is the sign at the beginning of a staff, consisting of one or more sharps or flats, and that it shows ..."

4. The World Book: Organized Knowledge in Story and Picture edited by Michael Vincent O'Shea, Ellsworth D. Foster, George Herbert Locke (1917)
"Sometimes the composer wishes to indicate that a note within the composition which was not indicated in the key signature is to be sharped or flatted, ..."

5. Winston's Cumulative Loose-leaf Encyclopedia: A Comprehensive Reference Workedited by Thomas Edward Finegan edited by Thomas Edward Finegan (1922)
"They are of two kinds, the time signature and the key signature. The key signature, including the clefs, is usually written on every stave; and the sharps ..."

6. The American History and Encyclopedia of Music by Janet M. Green, Josephine Thrall (1908)
"The sharps and flats called the chromatic signs, and the clefs constitute the key signature, which is usually repeated at the beginning of each staff. ..."

7. Music Reader by Frederic Herbert Ripley, Thomas Tapper (1895)
"Thus a scale beginning on g, .. fl, is known as the scale of G. The key signature is used to show the position of the key note. ..."

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