key signature


key signature

noun

Definition of KEY SIGNATURE

:  the sharps or flats placed after a clef in music to indicate the key

First Known Use of KEY SIGNATURE

1875

key signature

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

In music, the sharps or flats placed on the staff to indicate the key for a composition or a section. Placement of the symbols on lines and spaces indicates which notes are to be altered by the sharps or flats; for example, a sharp on the top line of the treble clef governs every F on the staff and indicates the key of G major or E minor. Each set of major and minor keys is designated with a particular grouping of sharps or flats.

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