Ask Us a Music Theory Question!


Ask A Question at has been quiet for a while. We’ve had lots of interesting questions, but not many that are not too simple (e.g. “Can you please write out G major Bass clef for me?”) or too advanced (“What’s the next step after grade 8?”) for the main Ask page on the site.

We try to answer all questions by email so please fire away if something is niggling you. Please check the site search first though, as often the answers are right there in the first place!

Here’s the latest question sent to

When a song is written in a specific key signature e.g. C Major with no sharps or flats, what rule in music theory allows the piece of music to contain sharps and flats?

When those sharps or flats appear in the piece of music doesn’t that indicate the use of a different key other than what’s shown? Thank you. Steve. (19th December 2009)

Well Steve, there are 3 main reasons for using accidentals:

1) Chromaticism
2) Modulation &
3) Minor Keys

To read the FULL answer to this question, complete with musical examples in score and audio, visit

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