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Guest Stripey

key change

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When you are writing, do you change key during the song to express a different mood, or do you change the scale you are using, or both, or neither?

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Changing the key of the whole piece (modulating, to be posh) is a good way of changing the mood. Best way of doing it is to use dominant 7th chords, as these really sound like they want to resolve to the key a fourth above. For example if you drop in a bar of C7 chords (a C chord with the seventh note of the scale Bflat added) to your tune, it will sound like the next chord just has to be an F. Your whole piece will now be in the key of F. Try playing a chord of C, E, G and Bflat, then a chord of F, A and C to hear it. Any 7th chord you use will want to go four up D7 to G, E7 to A etc.

Best to avoid just changing the key of a piece up a tone, as this can sound really cheesy, like when Westlife stand up off their stools.

Changing from a minor key to a major key or vice versa can really change the mood, and you can get away with doing it quite suddenly too.

Hopefully Dan Atom/Weapon will be along shortly with far better knowledge than me, but thats basically right I think.

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Yeh he is right, I've just been doing a bit of reading on the matter. I didn't think music theory was too important, playing by ear etc, but I've changed my mind now.

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Yeah, with a bit of knowledge, or just sitting down with a book for a few minutes its possible to create really cool sounding, perfectly in key (and not cheesy!) chord progressions.

However its not totally neccesary to know a lot of theory to be able to play in key. I was using modes and scales last year I didnt know existed until recently. Thus they were just a way of organising or co-ordinating my playing - bit more structure.

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Staying in key isn't entirely necessary either Stripey, especially if it's a connecting passage.

I know the basics, which makes it easy to figure out what SHOULD work but not what COULD work.

Use the rules as a framework to hang things on but let your ears be the judge.

EDIT: Sorry, just noticed Bryn said pretty much the same thing.

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Thanks for your tips,

If anyone else is interested in theory, his is the website I've been reading : http://www.dolmetsch.com/theoryintro.htm it covers just about everything. It also links to this site : http://www.dolmetsch.com/musictheory41.htm which is a bloody good introduction to the theory behind orchestral composition and how humans interpret and respond to music. Some of it is kinda obvious but it's really the kind of thing I've been after for a long long time, found it very enlightening.

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Thanks for your tips' date='

and how humans interpret and respond to music. .[/quote']

This is my new hobby at work, I'll have to check the site when I'm a tad more sober.

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This is my new hobby at work' date=' I'll have to check the site when I'm a tad more sober.[/quote']

The 2nd link is the best one, I think you will enjoy it.

Here's an excerpt:

It is conventional to speak of unity and variety as the cornerstones of artistic structure. However, these concepts can be formulated in a more useful way for composers. Unity is a difficult notion to define in music because it relies on memory. Unlike the spatial arts, music takes place in time. In particular, the temporal nature of music does not permit perception of the whole except in retrospect; or, perhaps more accurately, as an experience spread out over time. Music depends on a web of memories and associations that gets richer as the piece progresses. Unity is therefore required on (at least) two levels: local flow - the convincing connection of one event to the next - and long range association and overall balance.

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The 2nd link is the best one' date=' I think you will enjoy it.

Here's an excerpt:[/quote']

I pretty much agree with that. A basic lynchpin of my theories at the moment, if my sozzled old head is understanding all the big words properly.

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I pretty much agree with that. A basic lynchpin of my theories at the moment' date=' if my sozzled old head is understanding all the big words properly.[/quote']

The theory and philosophy behind classical composition is fascinating me, that link is the best definition of "music" as a whole that I've found.

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The theory and philosophy behind classical composition is fascinating me' date=' that link is the best definition of "music" as a whole that I've found.[/quote']

I'd maybe add a few caveats but it's a good starting point.

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coz everyone loves to hear the sweet sound of I V IV V in the same key!!

Its beautiful........

In fact dont even ever change chord. Ive written stuff lately all based on the same chord! :up:

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