A key is a specific part of a musical instrument. The purpose and function of the part in question depend on the instrument. On instruments equipped with tuning machines such as guitars or mandolins, a key is part of a tuning machine. It is a worm gear with a key shaped end used to turn a cog, which, in turn, is attached to a post which winds the string. The key is used to make pitch adjustments to a string. With other instruments, zithers and drums, for example, a key is essentially a small wrench used to turn a tuning machine or lug.
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