Is music theory hard? Although some aspects of Music Theory are fairly complex, there isn’t anything inherently difficult or hard to understand. Having experience with singing or playing an instrument is certainly helpful to learning and understanding how Music Theory works.
Western music typically uses 12 notes – C, D, E, F, G, A and B, plus five flats and equivalent sharps in between, which are: C sharp/D flat (they’re the same note, just named differently depending on what key signature is being used), D sharp/E flat, F sharp/G flat, G sharp/A flat and A sharp/B flat.
For example, basic music theory defines the elements that form harmony, melody, and rhythm. It identifies compositional elements such as song form, tempo, notes, chords, key signatures, intervals, scales, and more. It also recognizes musical qualities such as pitch, tone, timbre, texture, dynamics, and others.
The key signature reminds the performer which sharps or flats are in the scale (or key) of the piece and prevents the composer or arranger from writing every sharp or flat from the scale every time it occurs. There are 15 major key signatures.
In total, there are 24 keys and 30 ways to spell them. In the next few lessons covering the circle of 5ths, I will show you how you can start memorizing all 30 key spellings. It sounds far scarier than it is, but it will take some effort.
The first sharp key signature is the key of G, or its relative minor, which is E minor (Em). 1. These keys have a single sharp note: F#. The other six pitches are natural.