All in the Key

Scott made a mention about me pointing out some musical geekery in a Head Automatica song. I’ve done it before on this site, and I’ll do it again. Here’s a post with popular music samples that have key changes. Audio samples were created with Audacity

Wikipedia gets a little hairy on their definition of what’s happening. Speaking in the most basic terms I can, a key change is when the pitch “base” that a song uses changes somehow, rises or falls. A mode change is when the mood of the song changes from happy to sad. I don’t really know too much more about modes of songs… so I’ll leave that to the professionals.

For the guitar players out there… think about it like this: playing Smells Like Teen Spirit (the easiest song ever) —- then slapping a capo onto the 4th fret and playing Smells like Teen spirit again. The notes are the same distance apart, but you’re using a higher pitched “base” with the capo.

There’s something I miss about Murray—not being around the musical geniuses.

The key changes:


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2 Responses to All in the Key

  1. Ben DeFore says:

    Hey. I’m Ben… I googled up looking for the spiral graph for Lateralus, and I came across your thing here… I read the thing about the key changes and the way they do is called Diatonic-thirds… its the intervals that are between the notes that can be alternated to still fit the original melody, but be in a different key… you can also use the Diatonic rules for finding harmonies ( which I fuckin love )… good to see someone out there is actually interested in song structure and music theory besides myself though… none of my friends care about it and think I read way too much into music, so i guess “thanks” for making me feel like I’m not some overanalytical nerd… later

  2. Ben DeFore says:

    oh yeah, and check out “Thank God It’s Monday” from NOFX… the even say “gimme another key” right when the change comes… its pretty fresh

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