[Dixielandjazz] Keys?

Bill Gunter jazzboard at hotmail.com
Wed Oct 4 10:29:51 PDT 2006

Hi Bob and all,


That's the first reply I've received yet that addresses the notion I'm 
talking about. You have a good point.

There are those composers like Scriabin and Tschaikowski who have spoken 
about this in the area of orchestration. They note that each key has its own 
nature and color and has an impact on the particular key in which they will 
score the opus.

That implies that Rachmaninoff's Prelude in C#minor would somehow have a 
distinct and essential difference than the same composition played 
transposed down a half step and that difference does not involve pitch. What 
is that difference?

That is a concept far beyond my ability to grasp.



>From: "Robert Smith" <robert.smith at tele2.no>
>To: <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
>Subject: [Dixielandjazz] Keys?
>Date: Wed, 4 Oct 2006 13:59:13 +0200
>Now, Bill, I agree with you. I think the so-called "key timbre" harks back
>to the days when music was completely mathematical in the sense that Bb is 
>higher note than A#, because when computing the intervals one computes down
>from B to Bb and up from A to A#. This meant that there were originally 22
>keys which meant two keyboards for all the keyboard instruments - one tuned
>to the sharp keys, and one tuned to the flat keys. Then a certain Mr J.S.
>Bach came along and squashed this silly separation by producing the "well
>tempered piano" where the black notes are tuned somewhere between the flat
>note of the white note to the right and the sharp note of the white key to
>the left.
>So today it's only players of stringed instruments with no frets and
>trombonists (and, of course, singers) who can hear any difference between 
>and A#.
>It's something akin to we washboard players who can hear the difference
>between a dotted quaver followed by a semi-quaver and a quaver triplet with
>a crotchet and a quaver. Something which some melody instrument players
>don't regard as important.
>Bob Smith
>Dixielandjazz mailing list
>Dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com

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