Chords and Scales
Does the root note of the first chord you play determine the scale of the piece?
No. A piece can start with any chord. But a tonal piece (that is a piece in either major or minor) will usually end with a chord that has as a root the root of the scale the piece is said to be in the "key" of.
To determine the key of a piece, you have to do two things:
- First look at the key signature in the beginning of the staff,
- An then see in what key the piece ends with.
For each key signature there are two options; it can be either one major or one relative minor key.
For example, let's say there are three sharps in the key signature- this means the piece could be in either A major or
To find out which one, you need to look at the last note or the root of the last chord, this should be the "Tonic" in most music. If it is F#, the piece is in F# minor, and if it finishes with an A major chord, the piece is in A major.
You can read more about key signatures here: Learn about Key Signatures.
I hope this helped!