#1
Basically, my question is if all key signatures sound the same. I'm not looking for technical answers, like the key of C resolves to C, and the tonic and stuff like that, and I'm not talking about how they sound compared to each other, I'm wondering if, standing alone, are there any real differences in how each key sounds?

I was horrible at describing that, but if you can figure out what I'm asking, and can answer that, thanks!
#2
In general, yes, they are the same. Many with perfect pitch claim to hear differences. For the average person though, there's no significant difference.
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#4
Well I think the average person can hear the difference between major and minor key signatures. Even if one could not say that a song is in major or minor, or even different to eachother, most people can tell when a chord or note is played that is not commonly associated with the key that the song is written in.
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#5
yup there's no real reason why you should use the key of F instead of the key of C, unless you're 1 of those insanely brilliant artists who makes every detail and difference in sound worth the world. and then there's key changes, but if you have just 1 key throughout the entire song/piece, and ur not gonna go like all bheetoven on that shiz, just dont worry about it, keys of C and G, always the easiest.
#6
Some people claim to be able to hear the differences even without perfect pitch but I level that up to nothing more than old wives tales and self-fulfilling prophecies. The key you choose should be based on the instruments in question. Consider open strings and the range of vocalists.
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#7
most people wont know or care what key your in if you just stay in one
#8
Quote by TMVATDI
yup there's no real reason why you should use the key of F instead of the key of C, unless you're 1 of those insanely brilliant artists who makes every detail and difference in sound worth the world. and then there's key changes, but if you have just 1 key throughout the entire song/piece, and ur not gonna go like all bheetoven on that shiz, just dont worry about it, keys of C and G, always the easiest.

Different parts/progressions sound better in different keys.
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#9
Quote by Eastwinn
Some people claim to be able to hear the differences even without perfect pitch but I level that up to nothing more than old wives tales and self-fulfilling prophecies. The key you choose should be based on the instruments in question. Consider open strings and the range of vocalists.

I don't think instruments (barring vocalist) should dictate the key, honestly. When I think of a melody, I play it on my guitar exactly how it sounds. I have no reason to transpose it, even if I can't use any of my open strings. If need be, i'll just detune my guitar. I think key should be more determined by what you hear in your head than anything else.

I usually hear things in some sort of D, and some sort of Eb I've noticed. If I change it one bit I usually lose the melody (assuming I haven't memorized it already).

That's just me though.
#10
A minor is the saddest of all keys.

EDIT: D minor is the saddest of all keys.
Last edited by hildesaw at Jul 31, 2010,
#11
Quote by Alter-Bridge
Different parts/progressions sound better in different keys.

im pretty sure 1-4-5 sounds the same in any key, and 2-5-1 will sound the same in any key, and 3-6-2-5-1, and those are the only really common ionian progressions i know of? wel they wont sound exactly the same but it wont sound any better or worse. different keys are preferred for easier use on different instruments, like Bb on a trombone, or G on a guitar, but they dont make things sound very different, the unique qualities of every song in existence has to do with the conditions the notes are under and the way keys are manipulated, not really the keys themselves.
edit: hildesaw, did you just play every natural minor key looking for which 1 was the saddest sounding?
Last edited by TMVATDI at Jul 31, 2010,
#12
Quote by TMVATDI

edit: hildesaw, did you just play every natural minor key looking for which 1 was the saddest sounding?


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#13
Quote by hildesaw
No, its a line from Spinal Tap. I just got it wrong at first

oh i saw spinal tap once but it was a hella long time ago, i dont remember it
#14
Quote by hildesaw
A minor is the saddest of all keys.

EDIT: D minor is the saddest of all keys.

This is totally going in my sig.
Oh yeah.

Quote by hildesaw
A minor is the saddest of all keys.

EDIT: D minor is the saddest of all keys.
#15
I can sorta hear a difference, but more when I'm composing than when I'm listening.
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#16
I believe there are differences. It's like a texture but to the sound. I play a lot of songs with a capo on first fret, and a lot of musicians ask me why I ever bother. There's just something about shifting a pitch even a semitone that change the world. The keys of F and F# minor sounds smooth to my ears and strike home, while Em doesn't really do anything for me. The low frequency tones just seem to clash and not have the same effect.

As I've written in one of my lessons in the cochlea (inner ear) we perceive sound along the basicilar membrane which has receptors lined up basically liked a piano or a single string of a guitar. The sound is organized in pitch from lowest to highest, however the low frequencies are closer together (think opposite of a guitar fretboard now). The closer they are the more chance there is of the critical bands overlapping and sounding unpleasant to your ears. So I think this is why transposing the a key higher can give it more pleasant atmosphere while lowering a key (say drop D, or Eb standard) works with music that already uses tones that are separated by greater intervals (ie. powerchords).
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Last edited by Wiegenlied at Jul 31, 2010,
#17
Quote by Wiegenlied
I believe there are differences. It's like a texture but to the sound. I play a lot of songs with a capo on first fret, and a lot of musicians ask me why I ever bother. There's just something about shifting a pitch even a semitone that change the world. The keys of F and F# minor sounds smooth to my ears and strike home, while Em doesn't really do anything for me. The low frequency tones just seem to clash and not have the same effect.

As I've written in one of my lessons in the cochlea (inner ear) we perceive sound along the basicilar membrane which has receptors lined up basically liked a piano or a single string of a guitar. The sound is organized in pitch from lowest to highest, however the low frequencies are closer together (think opposite of a guitar fretboard now). The closer they are the more chance there is of the critical bands overlapping and sounding unpleasant to your ears. So I think this is why transposing the a key higher can give it more pleasant atmosphere while lowering a key (say drop D, or Eb standard) works with music that already uses tones that are separated by greater intervals (ie. powerchords).

i guess i get that. i wrote a song once i didnt really like, then when i got a capo i put it on the 4th fret and it sounded great.
#18
I can very much hear the differences between keys, although its more of a curse than a blessing.
#19
It makes much more of a difference on a piano than it does a guitar. On a guitar, changing key is literally just sliding up x number of frets, while on a piano you really have to change the way your hands are moving.
#20
^ that depends entirely on the arrangement for the guitar. if somethings originally in C minor and it needs to be transposed to F minor then you'll need to rework a bit of the song.
#21
Quote by sadistic_monkey
It makes much more of a difference on a piano than it does a guitar. On a guitar, changing key is literally just sliding up x number of frets, while on a piano you really have to change the way your hands are moving.

Yeah, but if something uses the 24th fret of your high E string and you want to transpose it up, you can't. The guitar is not infinite or perfect so there will inevitably be differences in keys.
Oh yeah.

Quote by hildesaw
A minor is the saddest of all keys.

EDIT: D minor is the saddest of all keys.