After about the 1950’s, key characteristics (writing in which key) are being considered "subjective"

Discussion in 'Education' started by foster911, Jul 11, 2016.

  1. foster911

    foster911 Rock Star

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    The affective properties of keys in instrumental music from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries
    http://scholarworks.umass.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1561&context=theses
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    Summary and Conclusion
    Finally by the mid-twentieth century, no acoustical discoveries had been done to support the argument that keys themselves possessed unique characteristics. From studies on human minds and psychology, the phenomena of effective properties of keys are results of personal interpretations. Discussions of the idea of key characteristics no longer searched for the proof of the validity of the phenomenon. Instead, it was up to individuals whether to take the idea as a meaningful and intellectual one or foolish one. As the number of articles on the topic became more scarce after the 1950’s, the rare findings speak on the topic as one of the historical aspects of musical art, instead of continuously used musical elements for successful compositions and a living tradition.

    1- Is everything subjective?:bleh:

    2- Do you like more to experiment the musical concepts by yourself or read the other ones' beliefs and follow them?
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2016
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  3. Backtired

    Backtired Producer

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    I don't have perfect pitch or anything like that, so when I listen to music I mostly hear it "vertically". Sure, you change the key, everybody can hear it, but I can't really hear any "characteristics" to a specific key.

    A song in G may give different feelings from another always in G.
    Maybe people that can recognize notes on the fly have a better grasp on this, but for me, I'm pretty sure they have no meaningful characteristics. They have different sounds of course, obviously, but nothing that can be attribute to emotions or anything like that.

    So is everything subjective? I'd say yes.

    PS: Oh and we are talking only western culture I guess. I don't even know what other culture with different notation and understanding of music may think. So yeah this topic is out of my reach, PEACE
     
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  4. almightyshux

    almightyshux Ultrasonic

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    I work in D minor which is the saddest of all keys, I find. People weep instantly when they hear it, and I don't know why.

    :dunno:
     
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  5. DoubleSharp

    DoubleSharp Producer

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    Might find this interesting.

    http://m.pss.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/06/11/0956797612473310

    Basically it's a study suggesting that people with perfect pitch can be fooled. It ain't so perfect. Something to do with playing popular songs and then pitch shifting it.

    Some would say that relative pitch is more advantageous than perfect pitch.

    These are kind of indirectly related to your first question.

    You should get a book on psycho-acoustics...
     
  6. The Teknomage

    The Teknomage Rock Star

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    Keys. Yeah. Use them a lot. black and white ones.:rofl:

    Hey Foster911. still making excuses for not starting that track?
     
  7. Kwissbeats

    Kwissbeats Rock Star

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    but how does it practically differ from F major?

    Edit:
    don't get me wrong, throw all kinds of terminology to me like tonic, root keys and accidentals
    it's still basically the same set of notes, in practice it means I can switch all off the sudden when adding a instrument to an arrangement without even knowing.

    I can compose an uplifting song in D minor
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2016
  8. Backtired

    Backtired Producer

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    Use of chords and root note (My guess).
     
  9. stevitch

    stevitch Rock Star

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    The choice of key (in the 12-tone diatonic A=440 realm) has always been apparent to me since I was a kid, when I discovered it myself as I sang songs in different keys to see how differently each made me feel, the emotional implications rendered by the key in which a song were sung. Switching from a major key to its relative minor (no, not my 16-year-old niece - stop ogling) is another interesting experiment in affective effect. This is something to which composers pay primary attention, even determining from the outset of a composition in which key(s) to set it.
     
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  10. ovalf

    ovalf Platinum Record

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    Its just a cultural thing, its no related to date because its dynamic and in some cases personal.
    There are a lot of differences how the music is heard in different locations of Asia. microtonal for start.
    I have erudition (university degrees, not classical or random course in) atonal, counterpoint and also full serial music.
    Well, it really changes how you hear things... if you go deep in something you stay away from pop (an unwanted thing from amateurs wannabe from here).
    Things like this post end like a bad hit song because no ane really study deep.
    Everyone should start to change mind and music and really listening different things, understand how the composer do things.
    Real good music defies your status quo, its hard in the beginning.... if people likes shit anyone can like full serial music and understand that counterpoint is no just shit chat ( a wrong believe extensively repeated here)
    Good musicians need to be heard... please?
     
  11. Zenarcist

    Zenarcist Audiosexual

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    Sometimes I play around with ChordPulse and I make some progressions in C major or A minor, and then I scroll through the various transformations until something catches my ear. They all sound different though.

    I use C major and A minor as the base chords, as I always think in relative terms I ii iii IV V vi etc., and I know all the chords, extensions and inversions backwards. Using this method I can usually find the foundation for a new song in just a few minutes.

    So yeah, I recommend listening carefully to the different keys.
     
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  12. foster911

    foster911 Rock Star

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    I made this improvisation in the key of F Major (or D minor or its other modes or their combination). The saddest one I've created.

    After listening for more than 5 times, having effect of lost opportunities on me for not being more kind and affectionate to my friends and family.:sad:

    What's your feeling?
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2016

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  13. NYCGRIFF

    NYCGRIFF Audiosexual

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    Actually, depending on the music style or genre, just about any key you're playing can be made to sound like any mood you want. As I play Jazz piano and some bass, I usually find myself wading around in the pool of D minor (unconsciously). More philosophically, music in general, can definitely act as a catalyst for the listener. Sometimes (believe it or not) there are people who 'want' to be melancholy, and they to hear sad music. A woman said to me one day while I was playing a "lively" tune, "please play something more 'downbeat', because I'm really not in the mood for having a good time." Sounded crazy to me at the time, until I later learned that she had a recent death in her family. On the music side, I love changing keys in mid-stream (A minor to G# minor) etc. Once the process stops being fun, I'm done.
     
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  14. Utada Hikaru

    Utada Hikaru Ultrasonic

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    One day I tried to find the key of OXYGENE IV and I never could find it for myself, it was like C minor but he always altered the vi note, and I thought that maybe this is why this song sounds very good (adding of course the sounds, rhythm and stuff) until I searched and found the answer of one person in one forum. It was C Dorian, a scale I never heard of and probably is very little used in popular music, and that would explain among other things why this song sounded "different".

    So I do believe the key really matters, is not a surprise that most of the music today uses C major and A minor, being just the white keys of a piano and sounding familiar to all we have heard so naturally one would like to compose in those keys.
     
  15. NYCGRIFF

    NYCGRIFF Audiosexual

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    Another reason for keyboard composers to try and envelop the "entire' keyboard and not get into the very bad (and quite restrictive) habit of favoring just one part of the keyboard. I have an older brother who only plays the black keys. The arguments we have had about that was legendary in our home growing up.
     
  16. superliquidsunshine

    superliquidsunshine Audiosexual

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    Different voicings when playing the same chords on the guitar sound different to me and affect the way I hear things, the way I play against those voicings. A Gmajor chord in the 1st position is totally different to me than a G played on the 7th fret like a Dmajor chord figure. This is probably not what you are talking about, however....
     
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  17. Zenarcist

    Zenarcist Audiosexual

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    Maybe he likes pentatonic sounds :)
     
  18. The Teknomage

    The Teknomage Rock Star

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    Now might be a time to start that track then!
     
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  19. The Teknomage

    The Teknomage Rock Star

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    Funny you should bring that up. One of my earlier tracks was done on just black keys.
     
  20. almightyshux

    almightyshux Ultrasonic

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    that's because the black keys are the pentatonic scale. and it makes no difference if you play the pentatonic on the "black" or "white" keys since the intervals are the same. It's just easier on the black keys because well, there they are. It's just easier.

    #ALL KEYS MATTER :)
     
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  21. NYCGRIFF

    NYCGRIFF Audiosexual

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    Ha, ha. No doubt. Though I always use ALL the keys, this afternoon, I was messing around and played some Jazz improv stuff (riffs, runs and a smattering of chords ) using black keys only. I guess it might sound fairly decent to some, but for me, it sounded 'incomplete'. Felt as though my fingers on both hands had been cut in half. Well, maybe it's just me. <lol> I'll just stick to what I do best.
     
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