Following on from the last article on finding out the key of a tune or song, this post will present a couple of more challenging examples.

Most tunes stay in the same key throughout, but there are examples that have parts in different keys, and then there are tunes that stay in the same key, but maybe one part starts on a different chord, making it sound like a change of key.  As usual, use the last note of each part to determine the key note, then look at the amount of sharps or flats to determine the key.  Here are a few examples from well-known tunes.

Harvest Home stays in D major throughout, but the shift at the start of the second part (B) sounds like a change of key – the second part still ends on a D note, though, so it’s not.

Jig of Slurs. The first two parts (A and B) are in D major, second two (C and D) in G major.  This is an unusual example – to me it sounds very much like two separate tunes put together.  There isn’t much of a clue in the last notes of each part in this tune either.  You’d need to play each part separately (and round it off as if finishing it) to know that D is the “home” note of the first two parts and G for the second two parts.

Jenny Lind. This is another unusual tune – at least the version I know – there seem to be quite a few versions around.  The first part is in a straightforward D major.  Then the B part makes a change to G major, as can been seen by the final G note/single sharp in the key signature.  This is easy to miss, as the second part sounds like it might be in C major at the start.


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