You need to be logged in to post
Options
Index
#615290 - 09/16/20 03:11 PM [Off-Topic] A question about key signature
Registered: 07/10/15
Posts: 771
Loc: Miami, Florida
Planobilly Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 07/10/15
Posts: 771
Loc: Miami, Florida
Why would a song be considered to be written in F# when no other chords in the song are in that key?

Example, White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane. F# G F# G A C D A is the chord progression. The guitar solo is out of a F# minor scale more or less. That scale contains at least F# A and D.

It is pretty obvious what key something is in if it mostly stays in key. It is not so obvious when most of the notes are out of key.

Is this just a question of ease of writing in standard notation or first notes defines the key?

Thanks,

Billy

Top
#615292 - 09/16/20 03:16 PM [Off-Topic] Re: A question about key signature [Re: Planobilly]
Registered: 10/27/07
Posts: 3799
Loc: WV, USA
bobcflatpicker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/27/07
Posts: 3799
Loc: WV, USA
More knowledgeable folks will answer but I would say the beginning chord defines the key.
_________________________
Bob
................................
http://soundcloud.com/bobcflatpicke/music-in-the-mountains

Top
#615294 - 09/16/20 03:20 PM [Off-Topic] Re: A question about key signature [Re: Planobilly]
Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 20524
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
Matt Finley Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 20524
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
It can be all over.

Readability is my overriding goal.

Sometimes jazz composers write in C because it's too difficult to figure out what key is best overall when it modulates frequently. Just write with lots of accidentals in the notation.

Other composers change the key signature for the bridge etc. and back in the last verse.

But if I had to pick a key signature that would work best overall, I surely would not choose F# unless I had to.

Bob is right, sometimes the first chord of a song is the correct key signature. Unfortunately, this fails as often as it works.
_________________________
BIAB 2020 Win Audiophile & 2020 Mac UltraPak. Software: Cakewalk, Adobe Audition CC, Notion; Win 10 64 Pro. Hardware: custom i7 16 Gb; Roland Integra-7, Focusrite 18i20(2), TCE Finalizer, Behringer X-Touch, Adam sub & monitors.

Top
#615295 - 09/16/20 03:32 PM [Off-Topic] Re: A question about key signature [Re: Planobilly]
Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 5017
Loc: Akron, Oh
eddie1261 Online   content
Veteran

Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 5017
Loc: Akron, Oh
F# minor with a modulation to the 3, which in an F minor scale is an A natural. Because when it comes back to the verse it reverts back to the F# minor that is the home key.

If you want a study in modulation, listen to Sergio Mendez' Never Gonna Let You Go. It changes key 22 times.
_________________________
This signature left intentionally blank.

Top
#615299 - 09/16/20 04:30 PM [Off-Topic] Re: A question about key signature [Re: Planobilly]
Registered: 05/30/00
Posts: 20044
Loc: Mi., USA
rharv Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/30/00
Posts: 20044
Loc: Mi., USA
Like Eddie said, it works because of relative minors.
It changes from major to minor throughout the song.

The mysterious part is obviously the minor (F#)
Then when it goes to A it is an old classical move; go from relative minor to the major (adds mood like triumph, success etc)
Then revert back to the relative minor for the mystery effect again (or sad or however you perceive it in a given piece).

Point is it could be in either the key of F#(m) or A.
My training says instead of where it starts, in this situation look at where it ends.
One instructor told me in this particular minor/major situation to simply hit the right bass note when it ends.
In this case it would be the A .. but since it does technically start in F#m I wouldn't challenge it.
The chords want you to feel the minor/major change (the effect).

What makes this one interesting is the C and G chords, as these don't fit the basic scale and are a more unique change than the F#m to A in my opinion.

However neither is new
1-b3-4-1 is a common progression (A-C-D-A section; play that alone a few times and it becomes familiar) much like A-C-D-E ..

The half step modulation from F# to G isn't new either, but used in an unfamiliar way.
Combining the two creates a mood.
I actually wrote a song using F#m-G-F#m-Em (I added the Em at the end, but same effect basically).

As far as key, I can picture either being correct, but it would be F#m and not F# (implying major).

I like how this guy puts it -

Quote:
I often hear people discussing music theory as if it were a bunch of rules to be followed or broken. But to me this misses the point.

I like to compare music theory to gravity, and to ask people, “have you ever broken the law of gravity?” It’s a silly question and often gets silly answers, but I hope my point is clear: the law of gravity is not a rule to be followed or broken; it just is.

Like music theory, the law of gravity doesn’t tell you what to do, it merely tells you about cause and effect. Gravity doesn’t care whether or not you drop a rock you are holding; it just tells that *if* you let go of that rock, it will fall. You can choose whether or not to let go based on whether or not you want that rock to fall. Similarly, music theory doesn’t care whether or not you resolve a dominant chord to the tonic or not; if just tells you that *if* you resolve it that way, the result is satisfying in a particular way. You can choose whether or not to resolve it based on whether or not you want that particular sense of satisfaction.

Keep this in mind as you study music theory. No “rule” of music theory ever tells you what you must do; it merely helps you understand the effect of various different things you might try.


source - https://outsideshore.com/category/music-theory/


/just my thoughts on it
_________________________
Make your sound your own!

Top
#615303 - 09/16/20 04:48 PM [Off-Topic] Re: A question about key signature [Re: Planobilly]
Registered: 10/27/07
Posts: 3799
Loc: WV, USA
bobcflatpicker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 10/27/07
Posts: 3799
Loc: WV, USA
A good example of a song not necessarily being in the key of the first chord is "Sweet Georgia Brown".
_________________________
Bob
................................
http://soundcloud.com/bobcflatpicke/music-in-the-mountains

Top
#615304 - 09/16/20 04:50 PM [Off-Topic] Re: A question about key signature [Re: Planobilly]
Registered: 07/10/15
Posts: 771
Loc: Miami, Florida
Planobilly Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 07/10/15
Posts: 771
Loc: Miami, Florida
Hey Matt...this may have been written in F# for no better reason than that was the first chord.

When the original demo was made none of these people played well enough and Sly Stone had to play all the instruments. Grace Slick did teach Jefferson Airplane how to play the song. She was married to the drummer.

The half step up or down is pretty common in any key. F# to G in this case. It is easy to hear and recognize.

The A C D A by it could be in the key of A but there is no C major in the key of A.

This song became very popular for a number of reasons, not the least of which was the fact that the singer/songwriter was a very good looking fashion model. Looking back it was a prototypical vision for the Haight Ashbury LSD drug culture.

It is still being used in 2020 in TV commercials and film.

Billy

Top
#615306 - 09/16/20 05:02 PM [Off-Topic] Re: A question about key signature [Re: Planobilly]
Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 5017
Loc: Akron, Oh
eddie1261 Online   content
Veteran

Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 5017
Loc: Akron, Oh
Originally Posted By: Planobilly
The A C D A by it could be in the key of A but there is no C major in the key of A.


Billy, pick up your guitar and play this progression.

C for 4 beats
Eb for 4 beats
F for 4 beats
Ab for 2 beats
Bb for 2 beats

Repeat a few times.

You are playing major chords with the notes of a C Aeolian (minor) scale as the roots.

There is no C in the key of A MAJOR. The keys of A have 7 modes. 4 of the A modes have a C natural in it. They just aren't the major flavor scales. Here's a chart. With an A as the root, 2,3,6 and 7 have a C natural.



Edited by eddie1261 (09/16/20 05:30 PM)
_________________________
This signature left intentionally blank.

Top
#615331 - 09/16/20 09:18 PM [Off-Topic] Re: A question about key signature [Re: Planobilly]
Registered: 07/10/15
Posts: 771
Loc: Miami, Florida
Planobilly Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 07/10/15
Posts: 771
Loc: Miami, Florida
Thanks Eddie, I get what you are saying.

What I am saying is if you tell me we are playing in F# major and F# is the only triad used in the whole song, the key does not give me any useful information. Then if I have to sight read it everything becomes an accidental except the F#.

Top
#615365 - 09/17/20 05:43 AM [Off-Topic] Re: A question about key signature [Re: Planobilly]
Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 5017
Loc: Akron, Oh
eddie1261 Online   content
Veteran

Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 5017
Loc: Akron, Oh
Originally Posted By: Planobilly
Thanks Eddie, I get what you are saying.

What I am saying is if you tell me we are playing in F# major and F# is the only triad used in the whole song, the key does not give me any useful information.


Sure it does, and that's where a basis in theory comes into play. There are logical places to go from the root. Picking C for the easiest example, if your root chord is C, the logical next steps on that scale are the 4th (F), the 5th (G), the minor 2nd (Dm), the minor 6th (Am), and the major 3rd (E).

I wrote a song once as an exercise, in C, where the intervals of the notes never changed. So the chord progression was C, Dm, Em, F, G, Am, G7 (with no G, just B-D-F) and then back to C.

But there's where it gets sticky. Those notes that I said made up the G7 are also the top 3 notes of a G#dim. So the theory purists would refer to that walk up a major scale as M m m M M m Dim M (octave).

So your starting chord really does give you a road map. Of course really interesting writing doesn't follow a formula. If it did every song would be so similar it would be boring. Just think of how many songs use that 1-5-6m-4 thing that Pachelbel wrote. These guys show this very well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pidokakU4I&ab_channel=random804
_________________________
This signature left intentionally blank.

Top


PG Music News
The Guitar & Piano Chord Dictionary Programs

Happy National Dictionary Day!*

Head to our Other Windows Software page to find programs like PowerTracks, GuitarStar: Brent Mason Country, Video Guitar Lessons, and more!

Scroll down and you'll find our Guitar Chord Dictionary & Piano Chord Dictionary programs. Each Chord Dictionary allows you to choose a root note to select the chord you want to learn, and it will be displayed on-screen with either the piano keyboard or the guitar fretboard!

In the Guitar Chord Dictionary & Piano Chord Dictionary you can change the sounds within the Settings window, whether it be the Root note or the Chord, and it doesn't even have to be a guitar or piano! Looking through the options, there's various piano choices, guitar choices, organ, etc. - but you can also choose more unique sounds like the tuba, saxophone, trumpet, clarinet, and more!

*October 16th

Band-in-a-Box® Video Testimonial by C. Dan Roberts

Our latest Video Testimonial comes from C. Dan Roberts, and his enthusiasm for Band-in-a-Box® is inspiring!

Watch the video...

Do you have a video testimonial that you would like to share? Contact us at marketing@pgmusic.com.

Visit C. Dan Roberts testimonial page here.

Train Your Brain with Band-in-a-Box®

Today* is National Train Your Brain Day!

You can definitely do that with Band-in-a-Box®

Open your Band-in-a-Box® program, and you'll find the [Practice] button in the toolbar - it's a GREAT resource!
Minimized your toolbar? Head to Window | Practice Window or ALT SHIFT L to access.

In this window, you'll find many options to help you practice, including Ear Training games (Pitch Invasion is my favorite!), access to the Chord Builder and Chord Subs, some helpful tools within the Playalong Features menu (like Trade 4s, woodshed tempo, etc.), and more!

Train Your Brain with Band-in-a-Box® today!

Resources:
Windows Online Manual: Practice Window
Mac Online Manual: Tools, Wizards, Tutors, and Fun

*October 13

Band-in-a-Box® 2020 Updates for Windows & Mac!

We've just released FREE Updates for both Band-in-a-Box® 2020 for Windows & Mac program users!

With the latest update for Band-in-a-Box® 2020 for Windows, you can now choose the "Save Exact Chord Text" checkbox to the Save XML dialog, there are VST feature updates, Audio Chord Wizard enhancements, updated program messages, we've applied fixes to an assortment of user-reported issues, and the DAW Plugin 2.12.15 Update has been added too!

Review the complete list of updates for build 734 and download it here.

The newest Band-in-a-Box® 2020 for Mac update also includes VST feature updates, as well as RealTracks & RealDrums Picker enhancements, smoother 'tabbing' between dialog windows, and additional fixes applied to an assortment of user-reported issues. If you missed adding the DAW Plugin 2.12.15 update from September, it will be added with this update too!

Review the complete list of updates for build 420 and download it here.

Video - How to Transpose a Region of a Band-in-a-Box® Song

Want to learn how to transpose just one chorus of your Band-in-a-Box® song?

Check out our latest video, shared to the I want a video that shows me how to... forum: https://youtu.be/XiMrgtQ7u14

Band-in-a-Box® - What People Are Saying...

Wow, check out the latest feedback from Band-in-a-Box® users!

"I have one song I've been torturing over to get the sound right for quite some time and I merely keyed in the chords and what BB generated is awesome. Just what I hoped that song would sound like. What had taken me months to get right (and couldn't), the program could do in about an hour - AMAZING!"

"Great Ear Training Exercises! And I love that that you can set the tempo to whatever you choose. It's great for learning a tune!"

"A very good and easy to use musical program!"

"It's amazingly easy to use! Write a song? No problem! Add background sound track to a video? No problem! Put notes on a staff and have BB make up a chord progression and tell what key you are in? No problem! Start with a chord progression and have BB make a melody line? No problem!"

"Still the best practice tool I have found, great for running lines, improvising over and really helpful for working on song writing ideas as well! Good for beginners, and the more musical skill and knowledge you have the more you will get out of the software."

"I create demo songs with Band-in-a-Box, it helps me to get my ideas across to my engineer!"

"Been using Band-in-a-Box for years. Outstanding product from a great company!"

"It's like buying a Musical History Jukebox. It comes with probably 3000 styles and is like hiring session musicians to play rhythm with you, they even have soloists! It introduces you to so many types of rhythms that you other wise would know nothing about. "

"Paul McCartney said you gotta have a great band behind you. Well, Band-in-a-Box is my band."

"It's as easy as typing in the chords, choosing your style, instruments, etc., and off you go! Learning the tune? You can slow it down while you work on it then speed it up. My favorite analogy is a good chess program, which will play at your speed and level and is eternally patient!"

"I love my Band in a box, it does so much! Besides all the RealTracks and song ideas, it's a great tool to stay sharp with your licks. Social distancing got you down? Can't jam with friends? Pick out any song and go to the mixer button, there you can mute any instrument that's playing so you can jump right in and play along!"

"I love it. I'm a drummer, and Band-in-a-Box really keeps me on my toes!"

"The DAW plugin is really great. Trust me on this. I use it with Studio One.

"This is how I've been able to gig solo for the past 20 years. Band-in-a-Box is the great equalizer for us none rhythm players."

"Wouldn't want to be without it! One of the best things I bought in my life. Simple as that."

"As a songwriter I really love to work with Band-in-a-Box. The only limitation is your own creativity."

"I've used Band-in-a-Box for 25 years and thanks to this program and the advice of PG Music staff I've written over 100 songs. It's great software and amazing help to me as a musician. CONGRATS!!!"

Thank you for all the amazing feedback!

Band-in-a-Box® - A Teaching Tool!

Did you know that we offer Band-in-a-Box® LabPAK and Site License purchase options for schools? This is an ideal option for any educational institution looking to add Band-in-a-Box® to their curriculum.

Learn more about the LabPAK purchase options here: Windows | Mac.

How would a teacher use Band-in-a-Box® in a school setting?

A few ideas:
-practice sight reading with the students by following the on-screen notation
-display the Guitar Fretboard or Big Piano Window to watch the notes being played
-Trading fours! (etc.)
-generate a song for accompaniment during practice sessions
-create a practice song and save it as an audio file to send home with the student for additional practice!

...and more!

Wondering how to add a Band-in-a-Box LabPAK to your school? Feel free to contact us directly with any questions you might have! Click here to send us an email.

Forum Stats
33029 Members
68 Forums
66493 Topics
565245 Posts

Max Online: 2537 @ 01/19/20 07:09 AM
Newest Members
Holly Williams, nibo, Deeplomatic PR, Stephane2901, WeiWei Ding

33028 Registered Users
Top Posters (30 Days)
CaptainMoto 146
Janice & Bud 134
VideoTrack 127
eddie1261 114
Al-David 113
Pipeline 99
Planobilly 98
Dero13 88
floyd jane 84
rayc 78
Today's Birthdays
wade lillico