Radio 4 daily about "Keys"

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vernon
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Radio 4 daily about "Keys"

Post by vernon » 03 Feb 2010, 23:09

Anybody listening to this series daily about the importance of various works being in the special key?
Is this man potty or not?
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Re: Radio 4 daily about "Keys"

Post by markymark » 04 Feb 2010, 00:09

No - is there a special key?

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Re: Radio 4 daily about "Keys"

Post by vernon » 04 Feb 2010, 10:23

this chap seems to think that different keys "sound" different and that some famous works sound different in different keys. Something which I think is totally subjective.

This leaves aside the fact that mozart's C is probably today's C sharp
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Re: Radio 4 daily about "Keys"

Post by NewAge » 04 Feb 2010, 11:38

I didn't hear the program so can't really comment.
However for interest, I short while back using Sibelius I transposed Tchaikovsky's The Dolls Burial to another 'happier' sounding key. The OH who was nearby, looked up and said, "That's nice!" Now she wasn't complimenting me on my playing (she never does), but on the generally satisfying sound of the piece!

Always rather dangerous to generalise though, and I would say that music in a minor key can also sound happy and music in a major key can sound sad.
I was playing the piano in a zoo, when the elephant burst into tears. I said, "Don't you recognize the tune?" He replied, "No, I recognize the ivories!"

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Re: Radio 4 daily about "Keys"

Post by markymark » 04 Feb 2010, 18:36

Always rather dangerous to generalise though, and I would say that music in a minor key can also sound happy and music in a major key can sound sad.
Don't you mean that the other way around: major making music sound happier and minor keys making music sound sadder?

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Re: Radio 4 daily about "Keys"

Post by crispin » 04 Feb 2010, 23:04

markymark wrote:
Always rather dangerous to generalise though, and I would say that music in a minor key can also sound happy and music in a major key can sound sad.
Don't you mean that the other way around: major making music sound happier and minor keys making music sound sadder?
I think NewAge means exactly what he says : he believes a song in a minor key can be made to sound happy... however I think NewAge should give an example of a happy sounding piece written in a minor key...

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Re: Radio 4 daily about "Keys"

Post by markymark » 04 Feb 2010, 23:22

I think NewAge means exactly what he says
Does he? I take it you agree then too by this pointy defence of NewAge's comment?

I do enjoy a good debate but let's take the piece here-mentioned: I'm not sure how anyone could fit "The Dolls Burial" into a repertoire at a signing of the register, no matter how highly anyone raised the key. Raising the key (if that is what was done) will make the music sound more delicate because of the higher notes, but I don't think that changing the key could make it sound "happier". To quote NewAge by saying that the piece may sound "satisfying" may be true but that is not the same as happy-sounding.

Minor keys can make music sound relaxing, pensive, ominous, menacing, mysterious... any emotion that is open-ended or even unresolved; that's not to say that minor keys can not have a horrible finality - just to mention that before someone jumps in! Minors could perhaps even sound exciting. Personally, I would not associate anything with a minor flavour to be happy in the sense of joyful or even humourous....

I do however agree that major-keyed pieces can sound sad. But back to NewAge's point, while I'm not entirely convinced by a minor key sounding happy by either transposition, rearranging, sltering tempo, rhythms or whatever, I too would genuinely love to hear an example of what you mean by a happy, jolly, merry, felice, etc. piece of music written in a minor key - without modulation into a major key of course! :wink:

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Re: Radio 4 daily about "Keys"

Post by crispin » 05 Feb 2010, 07:42

No... I was not defending anything contained in the comment of NewAge... except that my understanding of English leads me to suspect that NewAge did mean exactly what he wrote... otherwise his sentence is really just stating the obvious - I believe he did not want to state the obvious.
I agree with your statements - and look forward to hearing a happy sounding piece written in a minor key....

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Re: Radio 4 daily about "Keys"

Post by vernon » 05 Feb 2010, 10:12

I really understand Newage's observation about major and minor but would repeat that it is totally subjective.
My original concern was the dogmatic assertion on the Radio 4 " Key Matters" washat different keys were imbued with different qualities eg "brightness " in one,"melancholy "in another etc. It's implied that composers pick a certain key for a certain effect.
I speak as not much of a musician but as a tuner and considering that there has been no "standard" pitch for hundreds of years and it's still being fiddled about with I repeat that one mans C is anothers B .....or worse.
If Schickelgruber wrote a sonata in C in 1800,his great vgrandson might play it today in a "different" key by name tho' in reality,the same.
Surely, keys are merely higher or lower so we can leave out the imagined moods. Now, inversions....
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Re: Radio 4 daily about "Keys"

Post by markymark » 05 Feb 2010, 20:56

crispin wrote:wrote... otherwise his sentence is really just stating the obvious - I believe he did not want to state the obvious....
His comment was so profound and based on experience of music, possibly mistaken which is why I wanted NewAge to clarify that...

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Re: Radio 4 daily about "Keys"

Post by NewAge » 05 Feb 2010, 21:18

NewAge wrote:....always rather dangerous to generalise though, and I would say that music in a minor key can also sound happy and music in a major key can sound sad.
Apologies if I’ve confused. Perhaps I should have said that music in a minor key may sometimes sound happy or a major key may sometimes sound sad.
Of course this is very subjective, and I agree with MarkyMark that my changing the key may have made the piece more 'satisfying'.

Perhaps my wife’s "That's nice" comment on my playing (presumably meaning ‘satisfying’) may make more sense when I tell you she’s tone deaf......... :wink:

For possible further discussion here’s an interesting article:-
http://guitar.about.com/od/writingthemu ... or_key.htm
I was playing the piano in a zoo, when the elephant burst into tears. I said, "Don't you recognize the tune?" He replied, "No, I recognize the ivories!"

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