[Dixielandjazz] Keys?

David Richoux tubaman at tubatoast.com
Tue Oct 3 18:08:36 PDT 2006

Hope I am not being to obvious here, but in my experience playing  
tuba in Country Western and Rock n Roll bands (more than once!) it  
seems like the guitar/fiddle folk have a preference for sharp keys  
(just as brass band/jazz bands have a preference for flat keys.) It  
has to be something more than music education - I think it is more  
related to the basic tuning of the instruments in the various groups.

Yes, we could learn to play comfortably in sharp (or flat) keys, and  
I think a song that was written in a sharp key might sound slightly  
different in some flat key (but not much.)  However, for an  
experiment - try modulating a song the "wrong way" and see what happens!

I think the bigger "psychomusical" difference is between things like  
Major and Minor scales. Blues Scales are a whole 'nother story...

Dave Richoux

On Oct 3, 2006, at 5:49 PM, Bill Gunter wrote:

> Hello troops,
> Mike wrote (regarding keys):
>> I like the timbre of the sharp keys.
> I've heard of this notion before but I never have quite understood it.
> As I understand it, timbre (pronounced "TAM brughhh" or TOM  
> brugghhh" or
> maybe "TOM burr" of something in an unpronouncable French accent) has
> nothing to do with the pitch or volume of a note, but rather it's  
> "color" or
> tone quality.
> Are there those among you who can distinguish the difference in  
> "tone color"
> between, say, E and F?  Does a piano solo played in the key of E (4  
> sharps)
> sound (color wise) different than the same piano solo played in F  
> (1 flat)?

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