A Conversation for Mnemonics and Other Learning Devices

Musical Key Signatures

Post 1

The Researcher formally known as Dr St Justin

Every piece of music is in a given 'key' - this basically defines which notes can be used in the music. But in every key except C major (and A minor) some of the notes will be a semitone higher or lower than normal - sharps are higher, flats are lower.

At the start of each line of music (although some pieces just have it on the first line) is the 'key signature'. This tells the player what notes are sharps or flats. However, there is a musically correct order to write the sharps/flats.

So for sharp key signatures, remember: 'Father Charles Goes Down And Ends Battle', and for flat signatures: 'Battle Ends And Down Goes Charles' Father'

The initial letters spell the order to write the sharps/flats. (note that very few key sigs use 7 sharps/flats - in fact, there is no real reason to use more than 5)

Musical Key Signatures

Post 2


An then there's "Every Good Boy Deserves Apples" for the lines on a Treble clef, and FACE foe the spaces.

I can't remember if there's one for the Bass, but I can remember GBDAC and ACEG without one for some reason.

Musical Key Signatures

Post 3


The strings on my cello were CGDA
Camels Go Dancing Alone

Musical Key Signatures

Post 4

Monsignore Pizzafunghi Bosselese

As to the keys, the following works in German [if I may...]

The b-sequence is G-D-A-E-H-F which can be remembered by
'Geh du alter Esel Heu fressen' (literally: Ye olde donkey, go and eat hay)

The #-keys are F-B-E-A-D-G:
'Frische Brötchen essen alte Damen gern' (literally: old ladies like to eat fresh rolls)

Um.. or did I just mess up the 'b' and '#' ? smiley - yikes

Musical Key Signatures

Post 5

Demon Drawer


The lines on the treble clef are EGBDF

So it is 'Every Good Boy Deserves Food'

As for the Bass clef I learnt

Good Boys Don't Frighten Animals

and tying in with the animal theme

All Cats Enjoy Games

Musical Key Signatures

Post 6

Monsignore Pizzafunghi Bosselese

Oh, p#4 hidden?

That was me, and obviously it's the monoglotts mods shift smiley - cross

Musical Key Signatures

Post 7

Demon Drawer

Or was it

All Cows Eat Grass for the spaces on the bass clef.

Both work but this one brings more memories.

Musical Key Signatures

Post 8

Demon Drawer

But also to remember the progression of the sharps as you add them]

Father Charles goes down and ends battle.

And the flats is reveresed

Battle ends and down goes Charle's father.

Musical Key Signatures

Post 9

Shanana the cannibalistic banana

See, I remember my choir teacher going on about how
Birds Eaten After Dinner Give Cats Fit for the order of sharps in key signatures
and flats were
Fat College Girls Don't Always Eat Bacon

not exactly PC, now it is?

Bass Clef spaces are All Cows Eat Grass and lines I can't fully remember.

Oh, and to learn the rivers in texas east to west minus the Canadian, Rio Grande and Sabine is

Never Try Buying Cheap Golden Spurs From Northern People.
(Neches, Trinity, Brazos, Colorado, Guadalupe, San Antonio, Frio, Nueces, and Pecos)

Whew, it's been 4 years since I've even thought about that mnemonic...


Musical Key Signatures

Post 10

Sho - employed again!

all this Charles' father stuff is giving me the shakes like I used to have in music classes more than 20 years ago!

We had Every Good Boy Deserves Favours (as in the Moody Blues album of the same name) instead of Food for the F

Musical Key Signatures

Post 11

Demon Drawer

Hey I was a fat kid maybe the teacher was being mean, but I was only 6 and didn't realise.

Musical Key Signatures

Post 12

Peter aka Krans

I see someone beat me to it. Oh well... smiley - winkeye

Musical Key Signatures

Post 13

The Researcher formally known as Dr St Justin

Hey DD! smiley - ok

Before you wrote post #8, did you read my first post...? smiley - tongueout

Musical Key Signatures

Post 14

Demon Drawer

Must have missed it Justin. Ah well great minds and all. smiley - winkeye

Musical Key Signatures

Post 15

The Researcher formally known as Dr St Justin

smiley - laughsmiley - ok

Truly great minsd smiley - winkeye

Musical Key Signatures

Post 16

Chitinid the Chaotic

Nice pnemonic, except you have it backwards. F major has a b flat key signature, and g major has an f sharp key signature.

Musical Key Signatures

Post 17

The Groob

A good mnemonic for FCGDAEB is :

Fat Cats Go Down Alleys Eating Birds

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