[Dixielandjazz] What a difference a key makes

David Richoux tubaman at tubatoast.com
Thu Oct 5 17:44:38 PDT 2006

For "And That's Jazz" we tend to pick the key for a song (if  
different from the original or as arranged in most fake books)  on  
two things: Can the singer handle the range and can the lead (usually  
trumpet) handle the range. We usually figure this out in rehearsal.

Sometimes we conclude that a song we have been playing in Bb for 15  
years all of a sudden sounds much better in F (or whatever key.)

Sometimes we start out on the "wrong" note and do the whole song in  
another key (but rarely a sharp key ;-) or modulate back to what we  
usually do it in.
It can get interesting...  but I can only think of one or two times  
when we actually stop the song and start over in the "correct" key.  
Since we mostly work from an outline chart (not the written notes or  
chord charts) we can be a bit more flexible. We usually "cheat" a bit  
by having the banjo strum the opening chord just before we start a song.

Dave Richoux
On Oct 5, 2006, at 5:09 PM, Steve Barbone wrote:

> There is an interesting discussion about whether or not the choice  
> of keys
> makes a difference in music, in the perception of the listener, at  
> the below
> website.
> There are both pros and cons listed. SCROLL DOWN ABOUT HALFWAY TO  
> PITCH". Given the differing views, perhaps it may spark more  
> questions than
> answers, however you can take your choice.
> One thing they seem to agree on is that on a piano, (or a  
> washboard) all
> keys should be the same. But there are other arguments to the  
> contrary on
> wind and stringed instruments. If valid, then orchestral or even  
> jazz band
> sound might be influenced by choice of key.
> http://www.fortunecity.com/emachines/e11/86/rightnote.html
> Cheers,
> Steve Barbone

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