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In this soulful oldie we venture into the key of E Minor and learn how to interpret the 6/8 time signature.
The Sheet Music:
"Greensleeves" is written in the key of E minor and has the key signature of F#. This means that whenever we come across an F note in the song, we need to play the F# instead. The key signature of G major is also F# making these two keys related to each other. In fact, the key of E minor is called the relative minor of the key of G major.
Minor scales also have other notes within the scale that are raised by a semitone or a half step. These are the 7th and sometimes the 6th notes of the scale. This makes the notes of the E (melodic) minor scale: E F# G A B C# and D#. You can see that there are a few D# and C# notes in "Greensleeves". These sharps are not included in the key signature but appear as accidentals in the song.
The 6/8 time signature means that we need to count 6 beats in a bar (the top number of the time signature). Each of these beats will have the value of a quaver or eighth note (the lower number).
The following are the style and settings choices that I used in the video demonstration. As always, let your own creativity be your guide and develop an interpretation of this song that feels right for you.
Style: Arpeggio Ballad
Accompaniment: Piano Arpeggio
Tone/Instruments: Flute/Flute and strings
Keyboard Intro: 4 bars
Verse 1: as written with flute
Verse 2: as written with flute and strings
Ending: keyboard ending
The story so far:
You can now add the key of E minor and the 6/8 time signature to the list of features that could be included in sheet music of your favourite songs.
Your favourites could also include the following features covered in previous tutorials:
Time signatures: 3/4, 4/4, 6/8
Note range: B below middle C to upper A
Key: C major F major G major E minor
Additional notation: ties, sharps, flats, repeat dots, first and second time bars
Left hand chords:
Major - A B Bb C D E F G
Minor – Dm Em
Dominant 7th – C7 D7 G7 A7
Minor 7th - Am7 Dm7 Em7
Major 7th - CM7 FM7
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OK – I’ve done my playing – now over to you.