[Dixielandjazz] Keys?

Bill Gunter jazzboard at hotmail.com
Tue Oct 3 18:31:50 PDT 2006

Hi Cees and all,

You wrote (regarding keys):

>I will always remember a quote by Wild Bil Davison. "F,,," the original 
>keys, play it in the key
>that you can play your heart out! "It's not the key, it's the music that 

I just guessing here, but F has got to be one of the easiest keys to play on 
the trumpet. Of course F concert on a trumpet has the trumpeter actually 
playing in G (I think) which is one sharp. But that's neither here nor 

I think Wild Bill's admonition to play in the key in which you can play your 
heart out had to do with playing in a familiar scale rather than one in 
which one had to play lots of odd notes requiring concentration on the 
intonation rather than the flow of the melodic line.

But still . . . my question about the "tambre" of sharp keys as somehow 
being different that the tambre of "natural" or "flat" keys  eludes me.

I can't grasp the concept that a sharp key somehow has a different "tone 
color" than some other key played on the same ax.


Bill "seeking enlightenment" Gunter
jazzboard at hotmail.com

>From: "Cees van den Heuvel" <heu at bart.nl>
>To: "Bill Gunter" <jazzboard at hotmail.com>,<mike at railroadstjazzwest.com>, 
><dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
>Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] Keys?
>Date: Wed, 4 Oct 2006 03:07:25 +0200
>In the seventies I played with a lot of the American giants in a jazz
>club in Scheveningen (try to pronounce that!) . We were trying
>to play all titles in the so called original keys. I will always remember
>a quote by Wild Bil Davison. "F,,," the original keys, play it in the key
>that you can play your heart out!" It's not the key, it's the music that 
>Cees van den Heuvel
>----- Original Message ----- From: "Bill Gunter" <jazzboard at hotmail.com>
>To: <mike at railroadstjazzwest.com>; <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
>Sent: Wednesday, October 04, 2006 2:49 AM
>Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] Keys?
>>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" 
>>tone quality.
>>Are there those among you who can distinguish the difference in "tone 
>>between, say, E and F?  Does a piano solo played in the key of E (4 
>>sound (color wise) different than the same piano solo played in F (1 
>>I'm not saying that such things as "tone color" don't exist. For example I
>>can certainly tell the difference between an oboe playing A and a trumpet
>>playing A. That, to me, is what I would recognize as distinctive timbres.
>>But if I hear an oboe playing a tonic scale in E and then repeating the 
>>thing in F . . . to tell you the truth I can hear no significant 
>>in tone color. It still sounds like a freakin' oboe.
>>Oh sure . . . I can tell the F scale is a half step HIGHER (not LOWER) 
>>the E scale when rendered on an oboe - but that's a difference in pitch. 
>>me, the tone color is the same.
>>Please tell me what I'm missing here.
>>Respectfully requested,
>>Bill "tin ear" Gunter
>>jazzboard at hotmail.com
>>Dixielandjazz mailing list
>>Dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com
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