#1
False title, sort of. If you had to compose a piece in a certain style, what key would you use? Just go with what you're given. No noodling on instruments and no thinking. Respond instinctively.


E.g.
Film trailer music - Cm. Got that heroic feel to it, like Beethoven said.
Woffelz

Twitter
Youtube
Tumblr

Ibanez RG2550Z/SRX430
Alesis Core 1
BIAS FX


I'm a student. I've got no time or space for an amp!
#3
umm... shit... umm... Dm!
Understand nothing, in order to learn everything.

Quote by liampje
I can write a coherent tune ... But 3/4? I play rock, not polka.
#4
But Eroica is in Eb major...

I'll use whichever key gives the best timbral color needed. Also, keys don't really matter.

...modes and scales are still useless.


Quote by PhoenixGRM
Hey guys could you spare a minute to Vote for my band. Go to the site Search our band Listana with CTRL+F for quick and vote Thank you .
Quote by sam b
Voted for Patron Çıldırdı.

Thanks
Quote by PhoenixGRM
But our Band is Listana
#6
Quote by Xiaoxi
Also, keys don't really matter.

Since just intonation, keys all sound the same, just higher or lower, unfortunately.
I still much prefer to write in flat keys than sharp keys though, not too sure why.
#7
Quote by Xiaoxi
But Eroica is in Eb major...



The theme of heroism in Beethoven isn't limited to the Eroica symphony (Coriolan Overture, Fidelio, etc. are, or have in them "heroic" writing in C minor). And the Funeral March, which is really the heart of the work, is in C minor.

Quote by Xiaoxi

I'll use whichever key gives the best timbral color needed. Also, keys don't really matter.


O_o
Contradiction?
Last edited by National_Anthem at Jan 5, 2012,
#8
Quote by theknuckster
Since just intonation, keys all sound the same, just higher or lower, unfortunately.
I still much prefer to write in flat keys than sharp keys though, not too sure why.

That's only true for modern pianos. All other instruments still have a degree of natural temperament. But that's not really the issue.

The issue is that keys affect the colors of the instruments you're writing for. But keys, by themselves, have no inherent coloristic/mood properties. Furthermore, there are crazy, distant modulations in contemporary writing, which further undermines the significance of keys. (why do you think Schoenberg got rid of them altogether?)

...modes and scales are still useless.


Quote by PhoenixGRM
Hey guys could you spare a minute to Vote for my band. Go to the site Search our band Listana with CTRL+F for quick and vote Thank you .
Quote by sam b
Voted for Patron Çıldırdı.

Thanks
Quote by PhoenixGRM
But our Band is Listana
Last edited by Xiaoxi at Jan 5, 2012,
#9
Quote by National_Anthem
The theme of heroism in Beethoven isn't limited to the Eroica symphony (Coriolan Overture, Fidelio, etc. are, or have in them "heroic" writing in C minor). And the Funeral March, which is really the heart of the work, is in C minor

I'm just saying, Beethoven is a psycho and we don't need to latch onto his every word.

...modes and scales are still useless.


Quote by PhoenixGRM
Hey guys could you spare a minute to Vote for my band. Go to the site Search our band Listana with CTRL+F for quick and vote Thank you .
Quote by sam b
Voted for Patron Çıldırdı.

Thanks
Quote by PhoenixGRM
But our Band is Listana
#10
i think it depends how you write music, I like to let the music flow naturally and write whatever comes out. Deciding a Key isnt my kind of approach.

However, my favourites are Eb and F# and B
#11
F minor.
Current gear:
Carvin CT6M
TC Electronics Dark Matter distortion
Harley Benton 2x12, with Celestion V30s
Laney Ironheart 60w tube amp
#12
G is always awesome just because you can bash away at open chords all day Oh god I have so little talent
My Soundcloud
Always up for some C4C, been compared to Frank Turner, The Cure's Robert Smith and Bruce Springsteen so check out my stuff if you like the sound of that
#13
Quote by Woffelz
Respond instinctively.


Any and all of them. If playing in a certain key enhances or limits your abilities to use it for a specific genre/purpose, that's your problem, not the keys.

We've had enough of these key/feeling threads to know where this one goes.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#14
Quote by Xiaoxi
Furthermore, there are crazy, distant modulations in contemporary writing, which further undermines the significance of keys.


I don't understand how that logic at all. Distant tonal relations are still tonal relations.

Quote by Xiaoxi
(why do you think Schoenberg got rid of them altogether?)


Not at all true. Quite apart from the fact that Schoenberg abhorred the idea of "atonality" (his preferred terminology was pantonality), he spent the last part of his life rearranging his early tonal works and writing brass band pieces which all seem to be in G minor
#15
Quote by National_Anthem
I don't understand how that logic at all. Distant tonal relations are still tonal relations.
My point is that the significance of a single key is less and less relevant today. Keys shift constantly, so to say C minor brings a sense of heroism is completely arbitrary.


Not at all true. Quite apart from the fact that Schoenberg abhorred the idea of "atonality" (his preferred terminology was pantonality), he spent the last part of his life rearranging his early tonal works and writing brass band pieces which all seem to be in G minor
You are right, especially with his emphasis on pantonality. But the end result is that a single key holds no significance.

...modes and scales are still useless.


Quote by PhoenixGRM
Hey guys could you spare a minute to Vote for my band. Go to the site Search our band Listana with CTRL+F for quick and vote Thank you .
Quote by sam b
Voted for Patron Çıldırdı.

Thanks
Quote by PhoenixGRM
But our Band is Listana
#16
i would use piano keys
Quote by Kevätuhri
Hail isn't too edgy for posts, posts are not edgy enough for Hail.


Quote by UseYourThumb
You win. I'm done here.
#18
Quote by Xiaoxi
My point is that the significance of a single key is less and less relevant today. Keys shift constantly, so to say C minor brings a sense of heroism is completely arbitrary.


I agree, the label itself is totally arbitrary, and the idea that a key can only convey a single character/emotion/effect is totally against everything I believe in. But to say that someone with perfect pitch can't perceive key characters (which Beethoven did, and there is firm evidence to back up the fact that he strongly believed in key characters, in the form of his conversation books) seems a bit trite. Because we know that people like Beethoven believed in key characters (to such a degree that he almost chucked Czerny out of his house for arguing to the contrary!), then I think that when we examine their pieces, we should at least take into account that the keys that they choose had a significance to them beyond being convenient for the instrumentation, and consider their choice of key, even if one cannot perceive the characters that they do, especially when patterns begin to emerge (such as Beethoven and C minor).

Quote by Xiaoxi

You are right, especially with his emphasis on pantonality. But the end result is that a single key holds no significance.


Indeed, and to imply that Schoenberg's use of tonality in his middle period is analogous to keys in the conventional sense is absurd. I think that is intellectually what his goal was, whether he actually achieved it is another question altogether.
#19
Quote by National_Anthem
I agree, the label itself is totally arbitrary, and the idea that a key can only convey a single character/emotion/effect is totally against everything I believe in. But to say that someone with perfect pitch can't perceive key characters (which Beethoven did, and there is firm evidence to back up the fact that he strongly believed in key characters, in the form of his conversation books) seems a bit trite. Because we know that people like Beethoven believed in key characters (to such a degree that he almost chucked Czerny out of his house for arguing to the contrary!), then I think that when we examine their pieces, we should at least take into account that the keys that they choose had a significance to them beyond being convenient for the instrumentation, and consider their choice of key, even if one cannot perceive the characters that they do, especially when patterns begin to emerge (such as Beethoven and C minor).


Indeed, and to imply that Schoenberg's use of tonality in his middle period is analogous to keys in the conventional sense is absurd. I think that is intellectually what his goal was, whether he actually achieved it is another question altogether.


Does everyone with perfect pitch perceive the same 'key characters'? Or is it more like synesthesia, in which different subjects perceive uniquely personal sense associations? In which case any attributes one may assign a key have that meaning for exactly one person - the composer. In other words, the effect is indistinguishable from a delusion.
#20
Quote by Jehannum
Does everyone with perfect pitch perceive the same 'key characters'?


I wouldn't be able to tell you. In fact, I doubt anyone could tell you for sure. I find the idea that a piece of music has the same emotional effect on everyone is absurd, so the idea that any element of music would have the same effect on everyone is equally absurd.
If you read Deryk Cooke's "Language of Music", however, then you'll find that he argues the opposite, that certain patterns in music can be analysed to form a musical vocabulary that is universal and constant, and it is the way that people react to this vocabulary, rather than their interpretation to what they are hearing that makes people react in a different way to music emotionally. In other words, he thinks that music means the same thing to everyone, it is what they make of the meaning that sets them apart. And he also points out that some people are simply wrong
I don't think the analogy of meaning in music and language are comparable, though.

tl;dr: I doubt it.

Quote by Jehannum
Or is it more like synesthesia, in which different subjects perceive uniquely personal sense associations?


I would say that synaesthesia creates far more personal associations. From what I make out, for people with perfect pitch, though individual keys may have slightly different associations from person to person, going round the circle of fifths tends to have the same connotations to them (flat keys are generally described as warm, mellow, whereas with sharp keys are bright). Interestingly enough, the same is said of keys that are enharmonic with each other (Db major is warm, C# major is bright). Whether this is a genuine perception or an imagined one is disputable

Quote by Jehannum

In which case any attributes one may assign a key have that meaning for exactly one person - the composer. In other words, the effect is indistinguishable from a delusion.


Sure, but that doesn't mean you can disregard it in considering its interpretation. If a painter suffers from jaundice and then sees everything as being slightly yellow, it's almost impossible to tell whether the tonality in their painting (talking colour here ) is the one that they wanted, or whether it was a result of their incorrect visual perception. Whichever conclusion you reach, their individual perception is vital to understanding the work properly.
#21
If I were you I'd focus more on how modulations to different keys sound. For example modulating from C major to-G major, or G major to Eb major (bVI is one of my personal favorites).
#24
Quote by griffRG7321
No, I meant modulating from I - bVI, or I- IV etc

I meant to answer OP. :p
But I also didn't get your post but now I do. :p
#27
Really though, there is virtually no basis for associating styles with keys. Except perhaps the cliche that (not-so-musically-sophistocated) Metal is in E, D, or maybe A minor, simply because of the tendency to default to open power chords; or the fact that many country and folk tunes seem to tend to be in G, D, or C major. But there's no real rythm or reason behind those things, and they don't hold too well as generalizations, and are mostly limited to conveniences of the guitar as an instrument.