Violin Key Signatures

Updated: May 14, 2019

Violin Key Signatures

Many of the most frequently asked questions we get asked by first-time violin learners are about Music Theory, or 'note-reading'. And some of the most confusing topics are around musical KEYS.

So what is a key signature? This 'Explainer' from our new Online Beginner Violin Course will tell you...

Key Signature - ViolinSchool - 1
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A key signature is the group of sharp or flat signs written at the beginning of each stave.

The positions of the sharp (#) or flat (b) signs tell us which notes need to be sharpened (raised by a semitone) or flattened (lowered by a semitone).

So, if there's an F# in the key signature, then all Fs are made into F#s! ... if there's a Bb in the signature, then all Bs are made into Bbs!

It's the key signature that tells us which 'key' the music is in ... ... and also saves a helluva lot of ink!

Which key am I in?

Depending on the number of sharps and flats in the key signature, you can work out which key you are in, and therefore which notes you need to play.

Here's a useful list of key signatures, to help you work out which key you're playing in!

THE KEYS - ViolinSchool - 1
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Would you like to download and print all our 'explainers'?

Become a member of ViolinSchool today and access thousands of learning resources, including our online courses and video instructionals, and a library of sheet music, technical exercises, explainers, checklists, practice tools, and much much more!


In our new Online Course A for Beginner Violinists, we've integrated music theory tuition into the course, so as you pass through the sequence of lessons about how to play violin, you'll learn music theory too.

Or if you already read music, you'll find the music theory modules a really useful and fun way to revise your existing music-reading knowledge... and translate it to the violin!

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