House Keys and Musical Keys

RDP Monday: KEY

Meaning: “instrument for opening locks,” Middle English keie, from Old English cæg “metal piece that works a lock, key” literal and… See more definitions.


My sister and I were latchkey kids long before that was a thing. We wore our house keys on strings around our necks, and used them to get into the house before Mom and Dad came home from work. We never felt anything was unusual about that. It’s just the way it was. This picture is very similar to the key I remember using:

Image result for key

There are so many different usages of the word key  that   it would take way too long to mention them all. But the first thing I think of when I see the word is musical keys. The key for a piece of music determines which scale is used to compose it; each key has its own number of sharps or flats; and you can compose it a major key or a minor key. What’s the difference? The easiest way to describe it is that a minor key has a somewhat sad feeling about it. That, of course, way over-simplified, but it will do for my purposes.

I used a couple of beginner piano books to teach myself to read music, and I was always fascinated by the difference one single note made in a scale if you played it, for instance, as E Flat instead of E.

I just took a quick cruise through You Tube, where you can learn to do almost anything you can think of. Sure enough, there are lessons on scales and chords and all sorts of other musical things.

Too bad no one had invented in the internet back when I was a kid. Where was Al Gore when I needed him? 🙂

RDP: Key