key signature

noun

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

Examples of key signature in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web What would a piece of music look like that doesn’t have a key signature? Leila Sloman, Quanta Magazine, 12 Jan. 2024 Here, just enough information is shared in advance — often just a key signature and tempo — to harmonize collaboration, sometimes accommodating guests. Steve Smith, New York Times, 25 Sep. 2023 Most of the songs were sung a half-step down from their original key signature. Katie Reul, Variety, 18 Oct. 2022 Once the saxophone riff was added, the song was completely reworked around that, and nothing else but the tempo and key signature was retained. Katie Bain, Billboard, 1 July 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'key signature.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1843, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of key signature was in 1843

Dictionary Entries Near key signature

Cite this Entry

“Key signature.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/key%20signature. Accessed 25 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

key signature

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