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300 Albert Street, Port Moody, BC, V3H 2M5| Phone: 604-939-6656| Contact Us
Port Moody Secondary School
School District No. 43 (Coquitlam)
Concert Band 9/10

Next performance: Tuesday, Feb 28 at 7 pm in the PMSS gym. See you there!

As usual, students are encouraged to help with gym set-up at 3 pm before the concert, and join us for soup & drink (and bun!) at 5 pm for $5. For Feb 28 concert, students are also encouraged to attend the 4 pm dress rehearsal with Moody Middle School students ('dress rehearsal' for musicians does not mean you have to wear your concert dress uniform during the rehearsal, to be clear).

And, as usual, there is no Concert Band 9/10 class on the morning after the concert (Wed morning) - so sleep in a little longer! If you'd like to come in and practice or get extra help, however, the Band Room will be open.

Key Signature Quiz Study Guide:

To help you with our daily key signature procedure, here are some steps for determining your key from a given key signature.  For example, a typical question might be: "If you're in a key signature with three sharps, what major key are you in?"

The steps to follow in answering are:

1. Find the key signature using the 'Charles' phrase

2. Using the key signature you just found, find the key using the flat system (second-to-last) or sharp system(just-above-last).

The steps in detail: To find the key signature using the 'Charles' phrase, first remember the phrase: "Father Charles Goes Down And Ends Battle" (for sharps), or the same sentence in reverse: "Battle Ends And Down Goes Charles' Father" (for flats). If, for example, you're asked to find the key with five sharps, use the first letter of each of the first five words from the phrase 'Father Charles Goes Down And", or F,C,G,D,A. You now know that the key with five sharps has the key signature F,C,G,D,A.

Test yourself, Round 1: what is your key signature if you have: 1 sharp? 6 sharps? 3 sharps? (see answers below)

For flats, use 'Battle Ends And Down Goes Charles' Father". So if I asked you for the key signature with four flats, you'd answer: B,E,A,D.

Test yourself, Round 2: what is your key signature if you have 2 flats? 5 flats? 7 flats?

Step 2: Finding the key once you know the key signature:

In a nutshell: if you're dealing with a key signature with flats, use the 'second-to-last' method; if your key signature has sharps, use the 'just-above-last' method.

In detail: If your key signature has, for example, four flats, you've figured out  in step one that the four flats will be B,E,A, D. You will be in the key of the SECOND-TO-LAST FLAT IN THE KEY SIGNATURE. What's the second-to-last flat in the series of flats B,E,A,D? A-flat, of course; you are therefore in the key of A-flat (also written as Ab).

Test yourself Round 3: what key are you in if your key signature contains the flats B and E? B,E,A,D,G? B,E, A? 

If your key signature has, for example, five sharps, you've figured out in step 1 that the sharps will be F,C,G,D, A. You will be in the key that is ONE SEMI-TONE ABOVE THE LAST SHARP IN THE KEY SIGNATURE. In the key signature F,C,G,D,A, therefore, the key is one semi-tone above A-sharp, which is B (if you play piano, imagining a piano keyboard can be helpful).

Test yourself Round 4: what key are you in if your key signature contains the sharps F,C,G? F? F,C,G,D?

INCLUDING YOUR RELATIVES: Okay, now you're good at figuring out what key you're in just by knowing the number of sharps of flats in your key signature. That's wonderful - if you're in a major key. If you're in a minor (or sad-sounding) key, you have one more step to take.

Let's say the quiz question is: what minor key has three sharps? We go through the steps listed above: Using Father Charles Goes, we know our key signature is the sharps F, C, G. We figure out our major key by finding the note one semi-tone above the last sharp in the series: a semi-tone above G-sharp is A. Now we just find the Relative Minor scale. You have your choice of three different methods to do this:

1. Go to the sixth note in the major scale (in this case, A major)

2. Go 3 semi-tones down from the key (in this case, A)

3. Imagine the key note on the staff; if the note is in a space, go to the space below that space; if the key note is through a line, go to the line below that line.

All these methods should give you F# as your answer to the relative minor of A major.

Test yourself Round 5: What is the relative minor of: D major; B major; Ab major?

Test yourself Round 6: What minor key has: 3 sharps? 2 flats? 5 flats?

Test Yourself Answers:

Round 1: F#;     F#,C#,G#,D#,A#,E#;      F#,C#,G#

Round 2: Bb,Eb;    Bb,Eb,Ab,Db,Gb;   Bb,Eb,Ab,Db,Gb,Cb,Fb

Round 3: Bb;    Db     Eb

Round 4: A;  G;  E

Round 5: B minor; G# minor; F minor

Round 6: F# minor; G minor; Eb minor

Port Moody Secondary School

300 Albert Street, Port Moody BC
V3H 2M5
604-939-6656 604-937-8057
8:30 am - 3:30 pm
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