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#2913859 - 03/09/18 03:41 AM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: MathOfInsects]
stillearning Offline
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Maybe the bar was in a basement?
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#2913874 - 03/09/18 04:59 AM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: stillearning]
kelp Offline
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It's not the term I remembered (which I debunked by checking old e-mails), but it looks like Paul has found it! Albeit on some obscure website in the farthest reaches of the net!
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#2913878 - 03/09/18 05:21 AM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: kelp]
Raymb1 Offline
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Look at 'Trane's "Giant Steps". Key signature is C. Tune is not in C though. When playing this song, no one gives a thought to what the key is.
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#2914062 - 03/10/18 04:04 AM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: Raymb1]
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#2914068 - 03/10/18 05:32 AM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: xKnuckles]
analogika Offline
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Two sharps is obviously E minor. Soul, right? So Dorian, of course. ;-)

I tend to think about (and teach) key signatures as defining the topography of the keyboard — where there’s valleys and plains and ridges — and not necessarily as establishing tonal centers.

Also, Gb Major/Eb Minor is a great key to play in.

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#2914130 - 03/10/18 11:40 AM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: MathOfInsects]
I-missRichardTee Offline
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Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
Originally Posted By: richforman
As a composer couldn't I (in theory, no pun intended) write a song with a tonal center of C, and yet come up with a melody that has no C naturals in it, and a C# here and there? I say of course I could.


With no IV chords either? And no 7 on the V to push back to a I? Not to mention, with no I to push back to, since all C's, bass notes included, are sharp, making the supposed "tonal center" actually a diminished version of the VI chord?

I am going to go ahead and say no. The tonic is the key the rest of the scale tones collectively suggest, and that the harmony responds to and pushes toward. In this case, they collectively suggest a tonic different from C (a chord and note that does not occur anywhere in the song).

If you can write a piece that suggests C, but where all C's (and F's) are sharp, including bass notes, it will be the most delighted my ears and brain have ever been, being wrong.

But I am going to boldly suggest that you cannot.


Some of you may say this is not relevant to topic.. but it comes up for me as distantly related .
A song that clearly is in the key of Bb major yet not once has a Bb chord in it. Neither Bbm nor Bb dim.. No Bb bass tones anywhere to be found, yet the chord progressions are clearly in Bb.



Edited by I-missRichardTee (03/10/18 03:27 PM)
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#2914141 - 03/10/18 12:48 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: I-missRichardTee]
AnotherScott Offline
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Originally Posted By: I-missRichardTee
A song that clearly is in the key of Bb major yet not once has a Bb chord in it.

To me, the chorus, at least, is in the key of C.

But yeah, there have been similar discussions here. Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams" hits the tonic once, during the guitar lead, though Stevie Nicks' dance remake doesn't even have that, the whole song never goes to the tonic.
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#2914154 - 03/10/18 02:37 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: analogika]
Al Coda Offline
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Originally Posted By: analogika
Two sharps is obviously E minor.


grin

Which is relative minor of G which comes w/ only 1 sharp.

Originally Posted By: analogika

... Dorian, of course. ;-)


Yes, but in the key of D ... and you know that ! cop hitt

It keeps what it is, 2 sharps = D major.

And when there´s a key signature of C (no accidentals at all) followed by accidentals all over the place througout the tune, it´s simply not written correctly because someone was too stupid, too lazy or both.

A.C.

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#2914161 - 03/10/18 03:31 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: AnotherScott]
I-missRichardTee Offline
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Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
Originally Posted By: I-missRichardTee
A song that clearly is in the key of Bb major yet not once has a Bb chord in it.

To me, the chorus, at least, is in the key of C.


OT
That long Eb7 or 9, intro suggests C major to you? And those long F11's suggest C to you?
And the bridge D7 ( D7 being an extremely common first chord in Rhythm changes )
?

You don't see one cohesive Bb bluesy tone center for the whole song?


Edited by I-missRichardTee (03/10/18 03:32 PM)
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#2914221 - 03/10/18 11:55 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: I-missRichardTee]
MathOfInsects Online   content
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Originally Posted By: I-missRichardTee

A song that clearly is in the key of Bb major yet not once has a Bb chord in it. Neither Bbm nor Bb dim.. No Bb bass tones anywhere to be found, yet the chord progressions are clearly in Bb.



I have no trouble at all hearing this song in C (Mixo). I do not hear it as being in Bb. That Eb in the intro is a slight red herring, but makes complete sense as a bIII in subsequent verses. And for reference, the very first time it landed on C, right at the beginning in V1, I said to myself, "That's our key."

I agree the C to the F11 is, in isolation, a II-V, but when it lands on C afterward, it sounds completely resolved (to my ear).

And yes, it's OT to the thread.
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#2914320 - 03/11/18 01:57 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: MathOfInsects]
AnotherScott Offline
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Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
I have no trouble at all hearing this song in C (Mixo). I do not hear it as being in Bb. That Eb in the intro is a slight red herring, but makes complete sense as a bIII in subsequent verses. And for reference, the very first time it landed on C, right at the beginning in V1, I said to myself, "That's our key."

I agree the C to the F11 is, in isolation, a II-V, but when it lands on C afterward, it sounds completely resolved (to my ear).

Thanks for the support. Yes, I'd put the song in C. But if someone wanted to say that the song modulated between sections of Bb and sections of C, I could let that go. But hearing the whole song as being in Bb? Nah.
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#2914344 - 03/11/18 03:44 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: AnotherScott]
I-missRichardTee Offline
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So you two, hear it as C. Fine. But you go further, and cannot hear it as Bb?


Edited by I-missRichardTee (03/11/18 03:45 PM)
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#2914347 - 03/11/18 03:50 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: I-missRichardTee]
AnotherScott Offline
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Originally Posted By: I-missRichardTee
So you two, hear it as C. Fine. But you go further, and cannot hear it as Bb?

Start listening at 2:56 and go from there to the end. If that's all you heard of the song, are you saying you *can* hear that in Bb?

(It may take me a while to reply, I'll be off listening to Sweet Home Alabama.)
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#2914351 - 03/11/18 04:34 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: AnotherScott]
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I’m not sophisticated enough to play compositions with such complex signatures vs key that you guys seem to live in. It is quite possible the OP’s first song isn’t actually in D, though if it is a major key that is obviously the most likely. But with a given C# and F#, the odds are beyond long the key is actually C. So despite the valiant gymnastics of some contributors wth advanced theory degrees to hypothesize possible extricating circumstances, i’m gonna just go with ... No.

when asking bass players, i dumb it down to “do you play the same tuning as the original studio track?”. From there i’ll get a useful “yes”, “no we play a half step down”, or maybe even the infrequent “we play it a step up”. I’ve never played with a bass player that could decipher anything discussed in this thread but then again I don’t exactly hang out with Julliard grads ... lol
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#2914354 - 03/11/18 04:56 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: I-missRichardTee]
Morrisseysixman Offline
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Originally Posted By: I-missRichardTee


You don't see one cohesive Bb bluesy tone center for the whole song?



+1 on this Bb "center." I don't have the same impressive theory cred as many other forumites, but I get the Bb.

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#2914363 - 03/11/18 06:58 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: I-missRichardTee]
MathOfInsects Online   content
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Originally Posted By: I-missRichardTee
So you two, hear it as C. Fine. But you go further, and cannot hear it as Bb?


The closest I can come is to say that the A Section is cleverly written in a way that makes the tonic unclear, and I can see how one of the keys that someone might hear *at first* is Bb. But the chorus sits unambiguously in C (to me), as evidenced by the C chord seeming completely resolved at the end of the chorus. Having heard the chorus in C, I am easily able to make harmonic sense of the verses in C as well, and can’t make a good argument for Bb anymore.
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#2914394 - 03/12/18 12:17 AM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: Morrisseysixman]
I-missRichardTee Offline
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Originally Posted By: Morrisseysixman
Originally Posted By: I-missRichardTee


You don't see one cohesive Bb bluesy tone center for the whole song?



+1 on this Bb "center." I don't have the same impressive theory red as many other forumites, but I get the Bb.


A few hours ago, I asked my music teacher/ mentor, his opinion... He came back with "G Aeolian Blues"

I still hear Bb Blues... but a relative minor Blues ( G ) is worthy of my attention.
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#2914396 - 03/12/18 12:41 AM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: MathOfInsects]
I-missRichardTee Offline
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Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
Originally Posted By: I-missRichardTee
So you two, hear it as C. Fine. But you go further, and cannot hear it as Bb?


The closest I can come is to say that the A Section is cleverly written in a way that makes the tonic unclear, and I can see how one of the keys that someone might hear *at first* is Bb. But the chorus sits unambiguously in C (to me), as evidenced by the C chord seeming completely resolved at the end of the chorus. Having heard the chorus in C, I am easily able to make harmonic sense of the verses in C as well, and can’t make a good argument for Bb anymore.


"natural man" in undetermined key

Intro
Long Eb9

A section
Eb9/// //// //// //// C9/// //// //// //// F11/// //// //// //// //// //// //// ////

C7/// //// F7 ( 11) /// //// repeat

B section "Bridge"
D7/// //// Eb9/// //// C9/// //// F/// //// //// ////

Last A section
------------------------------------------------
Ok ambiguous A section... maybe.
But D7 suggests C... hmmm? What about that over used D7 G7 C7 F7 we heard so much in the music of the 40's? ...The Rhythm changes at the Bridge.

To me the D7 immediately suggests Bb, because of that well worn rhythm changes bridge association. But then composer surprises me, and instead of moving to G7 he goes to Eb7.... For me the Eb7 is IV .. kind of a gospel sound. I associate The IV to I progression ( though there is no One!! ) to a Plagal or Amen cadence.. in Bb Blues. Anyway, this is fun to look at the same thing, but through different lenses. C, Bb Blues and G aeolian.

Edit There are the chord progressions . but then there is the Duration of a particular chord within a progression. That F11 , is very prominent and the fact that it is heard twice ( Duration, and emphasis ) as long as the previous C7 and Eb7. strongly suggests Bb


The other thing that we forget is the melodic influences. Since it is Chicago Blues drenched, I hear melodic ideas as all part of Blues.. and Blues in Bb seems most obvious.. Later I will try to hear it as C and G minor!

Relating to Key signature : One of the main distinctions, as I understand it, with deciding whether a song is in this or that mode ( Aeolian, Dorian etc ) is the duration, and emphasis of the degrees within a key center.
How do I know if a song is in C major, or Dm modal, or Em modal ? Often it is emphasis of certain chords... not merely the chords themselves... because the chords can be from the same family !

So chordal placement within a phrase,
duration of certain chords, and
emphasis are decisive factors. And this last point partly addresses OP's issue of whether 2 sharps is D or E or F# etc.


Edited by I-missRichardTee (03/12/18 01:57 AM)
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#2914402 - 03/12/18 02:42 AM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: Morrisseysixman]
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Originally Posted By: Morrisseysixman
Originally Posted By: I-missRichardTee


You don't see one cohesive Bb bluesy tone center for the whole song?



+1 on this Bb "center." I don't have the same impressive theory cred as many other forumites, but I get the Bb.


+1 for Bb for me also. To my ears, the whole song is one big tease.... I feel continually pushed towards Bb....find myself longing for it....but it never quite happens. The ultimate interrupted cadence. Very clever bit of writing. smile
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#2914416 - 03/12/18 05:15 AM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: xKnuckles]
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This is not only fun , but instructive to learn different pov on a key center.
xKnuckles Well said... the pull of the Bb but a permanently avoided consummation.

Voting

2 for C
1 for Gmin
3 for Bb
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#2914417 - 03/12/18 05:17 AM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: I-missRichardTee]
AnotherScott Offline
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Originally Posted By: I-missRichardTee
[The other thing that we forget is the melodic influences. Since it is Chicago Blues drenched, I hear melodic ideas as all part of Blues.. and Blues in Bb seems most obvious.. Later I will try to hear it as C and G minor!

...and again, I don't think we *must* decide on one key for the entire song. You could hear it in Bb/Gm for the verses, with it going to C for the choruses, too. And yes, the notes of the melody and the durations of the chords can also influence what key you hear it in, i.e. not merely the chords themselves.
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#2914421 - 03/12/18 05:25 AM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: AnotherScott]
I-missRichardTee Offline
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AnotherScott Not in my experience of Blues based music..only one key center. Can you give examples of multi key centers for older ( 1971 ) Blues based Music?
(Even though the chords are not Blues Progressions, the feeling is quite Blues tinged.)

I just thought of Joe Samples group- Put it Where You Want It... there is a bridge that temporarily ( briefly ) goes to the relative Minor... but I do not consider that a change of key center. eg Whether Bb major or Gm... the Bb resonates throughout.

Chorus is D7 Eb7 C7 and a long F (11 or 7 ) - How is that key of C??


Edited by I-missRichardTee (03/12/18 05:34 AM)
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#2914428 - 03/12/18 06:06 AM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: I-missRichardTee]
AnotherScott Offline
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Originally Posted By: I-missRichardTee
AnotherScott Not in my experience of Blues based music..only one key center. Can you give examples of multi key centers for older ( 1971 ) Blues based Music?
(Even though the chords are not Blues Progressions, the feeling is quite Blues tinged.)

There is no need for an example of someone else who did it. All it takes is one. Composers don't have to stick to convention. The composition is what it is, even if it does something unusual/unique for its genre or time.

Or to flip it around, can you give examples for other older (1971) blues based music that never includes the tonic chord, i.e. the way you describe this one? Would your inability to find other such songs alter your perception of this one?



Edited by AnotherScott (03/12/18 06:10 AM)
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#2914432 - 03/12/18 06:48 AM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: AnotherScott]
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IMRT, you’ve made it pretty clear that you think the song is in Bb. Isn’t that enough? Does everyone else have to think it too?

This is OT to the thread, and you’ve already posted about this song multiple times in other threads. You asked a question and got an answer. It’s time to move on.
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#2914439 - 03/12/18 07:17 AM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: xKnuckles]
analogika Offline
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Originally Posted By: xKnuckles
Originally Posted By: Morrisseysixman
Originally Posted By: I-missRichardTee


You don't see one cohesive Bb bluesy tone center for the whole song?



+1 on this Bb "center." I don't have the same impressive theory cred as many other forumites, but I get the Bb.


+1 for Bb for me also. To my ears, the whole song is one big tease.... I feel continually pushed towards Bb....find myself longing for it....but it never quite happens. The ultimate interrupted cadence. Very clever bit of writing. smile


I get that too, but that Bb will just as easily then resolve to an F and back to a C via multiple plagal cadences — granted, that F isn't there at that point, but: neither is the Bb.

I love the ambiguity here.

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#2914444 - 03/12/18 07:56 AM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: analogika]
Raymb1 Offline
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Too much is being made of this tune. The sound of the C7 is a II7 in Bb. The F7sus has the sound of a V7sus in Bb. The Eb7 has the sound of a IV7 chord in Bb. As soon as he starts singing you should be able to tell that chord is an IV7.


Edited by Raymb1 (03/12/18 08:08 AM)
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#2914499 - 03/12/18 11:25 AM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: kelp]
I-missRichardTee Offline
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Originally Posted By: kelp
It's not the term I remembered (which I debunked by checking old e-mails), but it looks like Paul has found it! Albeit on some obscure website in the farthest reaches of the net!


I think I do! Song starts on B and has a cadence on F# ( C#m F#7 )
I hope the OP can appreciate these threads of conversation that have spawned off his original question !
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#2914507 - 03/12/18 12:00 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: Raymb1]
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On a somewhat related note, I just opened my Webster's dictionary, and next to the word "pedantic" was a picture of what I can only assume is a number of the people in this thread! shocked

snax
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#2914515 - 03/12/18 12:30 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: I-missRichardTee]
Dave Ferris Offline
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The Lou Rawls tune is ambiguous for sure.

There's the Eb7 vamp at the top while he's talking.

The verse is: Eb7 for 4 | C7 for 4 | and 8 on the F11 ||

The section between verses is : C7 for 2 | F7 for 2 ||

Repeat verse ||

Bridge is : D7 for 2 | Eb7 for 2| C7 for 2 | F11 for 4 | then back to the verse.

The vamp out is C7 for 2 | Eb7 for 2 |

If I was blowing a solo or playing fills, I'm definitely treating each chord as separate Blues keys - the Eb7, the C7 and then the 8 bar F11 is its own key as well.

Playing along with the track and keeping in character with the tune, I can hear a hint of Bb blues over the Eb7 but not any of those other chords.

And on the C7 for 2 | F7 for | between verses -- C Blues works there obviously.

I agree that logically looking at it, it looks like the key of Bb though.

I subbed with him a few times, I might have played this.


Edited by Dave Ferris (03/12/18 12:51 PM)
Edit Reason: added thought
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#2914531 - 03/12/18 01:44 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: Dave Ferris]
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A song like this causes me to think deeply about one of my favorite parts of music... the Blues; but in a broader context.. the environment of multiple ( Key Bb: C7 Eb7 and D7 ) Secondary Dominant chords.

I come from a school of thinking ( and this is related to the OP issue, beyond the merely pedantic question, 'what is the technical term for no key signature' ) I learned called Monotonality, a case where multiple tonalities vie for dominance , but ultimately, one Key Center presides.

I am well aware of the option to treat every Dominant chord as its own little tone center... in other words to play any number of blues ideas based on each Dominant chord. As Dave Ferris says "If I was blowing a solo or playing fills, I'm definitely treating each chord as separate Blues keys - the Eb7, the C7 and then the 8 bar F11 is its own key as well.'

But at the same time.. there is almost always one over riding key that holds all those smaller regions together; at least in Blues music. And I believe Dave said, Bb is that overriding key center!
I think this struggle for dominance is analogous to the Blues itself. The relationship, tension, between the minor third, major third, and points in between.
I find this kind of thinking, borrowed from smarter musicians than myself, invigorating.
But we see the world, and this proposal, as we are.


Edited by I-missRichardTee (03/12/18 07:18 PM)
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