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#2913615 - 03/07/18 07:31 PM What's it called when the key signature is always C...?
kelp Offline
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But accidentals are used throughout the piece, which imply a different key. So, the staff shows key of C. But all my C's and F's are indicated sharp throughout.

I feel like there's a proper term for this (other than "confusing"). Ring a bell for anyone?

As a side note, I exported a score from Cubase once and gave it to a friend. I didn't indicate the key sig and just let Cubase do the accidentals. He yelled at me. I had it comin'.
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#2913616 - 03/07/18 07:36 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: kelp]
ElmerJFudd Offline
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Modulation?
But that's typically temporary, comes and goes and returns to C.
If your tune is really in a different scale for its entirety, let the player know.
And save yourself and others a lot of time reading/writing accidentals.
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#2913617 - 03/07/18 07:53 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: kelp]
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Originally Posted By: kelp
But all my C's and F's are indicated sharp throughout.

I feel like there's a proper term for this (other than "confusing"). Ring a bell for anyone?


D major? <ducks> wink
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#2913619 - 03/07/18 08:29 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: mate stubb]
yamoho Offline
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...or C double sharp...

sorry

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#2913623 - 03/07/18 08:54 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: mate stubb]
MathOfInsects Online   content
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Right, it's just in D, and your file was set up to the default key of C so had to compensate.

I told this story here once before, but...I was hired for a wedding gig. The guy MDing the night was the bass player. He sent over all the song titles and the keys they were in. The group had already rehearsed, so I trusted the keys. But it was odd: Probably 70% of them, maybe more, were in C, with a couple of additional ones in Cm, and in many cases this involved large transposition intervals from the original key. I kinda figured that maybe that was just where the singers were comfortable singing, but of course the melody was in different places in the scale on each tune, so it still seemed odd.

I wrote him to confirm. "Yes, I double-checked, all keys are correct as listed."

OK. I show up. Song after song, they are not in C. They are in whatever the original key was (which of course, I don't necessarily know any more, since I learned them in C and don't necessarily remember where I transposed them from). I start every song waiting to hear what key the band is actually going to play in, since being "that guy" and asking what key it's in at the beginning of EVERY song, for 40 songs, like I didn't do my homework, is the less attractive option to me than fading in after a bar or two when I'm on familiar ground.

I pulled MD over during break and said, "Hey, none of these songs are in the keys you sent over. Maybe one or two. What's up?"

He checks his ipad and says, "no, these are right. Look."

And he shows me his iRealpro index. They are all in C. I click on a chart. It is obviously charted in Gb (or whatever). It's a lead sheet, so it's just chords and rhythm. Not uncommon for some guys to let the chord names themselves do the heavy lifting and not worry about key sig. But because he didn't change the default key in the file, and just charted it using the correct chords, iReal listed each song as being in C.

So that's how he sent them to me. And then confirmed them the same way.

This is a working bass player, who probably plays more than me.

That's in the key of SMDH.
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#2913625 - 03/07/18 09:12 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: MathOfInsects]
linwood Offline
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I've told this one here too, but it still cracks me up so here goes:

I'm doing a gig where the drummer is the bandleader and this is back in the cassette days. He gives me a cassette of tunes to learn and it was playing in the cracks so I called him up and asked what key is the first song in. He goes and gets his song list and tells me "I don't know what key it is. The only thing written next to the title is Ehh Bum". It was in Ebm.

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#2913626 - 03/07/18 09:23 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: kelp]
zephonic Offline
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Originally Posted By: kelp
But accidentals are used throughout the piece, which imply a different key. So, the staff shows key of C. But all my C's and F's are indicated sharp throughout.

I feel like there's a proper term for this (other than "confusing"). Ring a bell for anyone?

As a side note, I exported a score from Cubase once and gave it to a friend. I didn't indicate the key sig and just let Cubase do the accidentals. He yelled at me. I had it comin'.


Yeah, it has become kind of the norm to not indicate key sigs on the staff, especially in more involved jazz or fusion tunes that are tonally ambiguous or have a lot of key changes.

I first noticed it in Bob Mintzer’s book, on most excercises he wouldn’t put in the key sig, instead just raising or lowering individual notes.

I guess it makes sense for certain things, for example, if a tune is in Ab and it has like Emaj7 or B7 chords in there, it makes sense to not assign a key signature on the staff and just deal with each individual chord/note on an as needed basis.

What's more, technically those chords would be Fbmaj7 and Cb7, but if you notate it that way everybody will hate you.

So with the way modern harmony works, no key sig is often less hassle.
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#2913705 - 03/08/18 10:21 AM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: zephonic]
GovernorSilver Offline
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No key signature on the staff and lots of accidentals is typical of atonal music (Schoenberg, Webern, Babbitt, etc.)
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#2913706 - 03/08/18 10:23 AM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: GovernorSilver]
MathOfInsects Online   content
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Humans of earth: A song where all C's and F's are sharp, is simply in the key of D.
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#2913707 - 03/08/18 10:33 AM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: MathOfInsects]
richforman Offline
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Not necessarily! The key signature at the top tells what key the song is in, but isn't at all a contract that all the notes in the piece will be in the I major scale for that key. Or most of them. It just denotes the key. I am sure in this case it's just an omission as discussed in the thread (where they didn't even bother to attempt to correctly identify the key on the lead sheet), but it is entirely conceivable (not common, certainly) that a piece of music could be in the key of C, and yet have all the C's and F's sharped.
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#2913708 - 03/08/18 10:38 AM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: MathOfInsects]
Raymb1 Offline
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Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
Right, it's just in D, and your file was set up to the default key of C so had to compensate.

I told this story here once before, but...I was hired for a wedding gig. The guy MDing the night was the bass player. He sent over all the song titles and the keys they were in. The group had already rehearsed, so I trusted the keys. But it was odd: Probably 70% of them, maybe more, were in C, with a couple of additional ones in Cm, and in many cases this involved large transposition intervals from the original key. I kinda figured that maybe that was just where the singers were comfortable singing, but of course the melody was in different places in the scale on each tune, so it still seemed odd.

I wrote him to confirm. "Yes, I double-checked, all keys are correct as listed."

OK. I show up. Song after song, they are not in C. They are in whatever the original key was (which of course, I don't necessarily know any more, since I learned them in C and don't necessarily remember where I transposed them from). I start every song waiting to hear what key the band is actually going to play in, since being "that guy" and asking what key it's in at the beginning of EVERY song, for 40 songs, like I didn't do my homework, is the less attractive option to me than fading in after a bar or two when I'm on familiar ground.

I pulled MD over during break and said, "Hey, none of these songs are in the keys you sent over. Maybe one or two. What's up?"

He checks his ipad and says, "no, these are right. Look."

And he shows me his iRealpro index. They are all in C. I click on a chart. It is obviously charted in Gb (or whatever). It's a lead sheet, so it's just chords and rhythm. Not uncommon for some guys to let the chord names themselves do the heavy lifting and not worry about key sig. But because he didn't change the default key in the file, and just charted it using the correct chords, iReal listed each song as being in C.

So that's how he sent them to me. And then confirmed them the same way.

This is a working bass player, who probably plays more than me.



That's in the key of SMDH.



The leader should have sent you the charts instead of just the key signatures. There are too many songs out there that have different key centers and the key signature of C is convenient.
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#2913709 - 03/08/18 10:39 AM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: MathOfInsects]
Morrisseysixman Offline
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Kelp: I don't think I am recalling the exact vocabulary term you're seeking, but I'll brainstorm with some terms arguably in the same ballpark: twelve-tone technique / dodecaphony / Second Viennese School are all associated with compositions that strive to have no no key signature. If I recall correctly, these compositions are usually done on sheet music which the composer would argue indicates the absence of a key signature but which many would assume is in the Key of C because it doesn't indicate any sharps or flats.

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#2913710 - 03/08/18 10:41 AM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: MathOfInsects]
AnotherScott Online   content
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Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
Humans of earth: A song where all C's and F's are sharp, is simply in the key of D.

Or it could be in the key of A, if it were Norwegian Wood.
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#2913711 - 03/08/18 10:43 AM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: Morrisseysixman]
Morrisseysixman Offline
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Another concept which isn't exactly what you're describing but is in the same ballpark: pedal point / pedal tone / pedal note

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#2913718 - 03/08/18 10:57 AM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: Morrisseysixman]
kelp Offline
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Maybe there isn't a term. I searched through old e-mails and found where my buddy called me out on this and he referred to it as enharmonic spelling. Nerp. That's obviously different. So this whole thread has served, um, an alternate purpose!
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#2913723 - 03/08/18 11:19 AM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: MathOfInsects]
Dave Ferris Offline
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Originally Posted By: MathOfInsects
Humans of earth: A song where all C's and F's are sharp, is simply in the key of D.


Yes. Or Bm.

Originally Posted By: richforman
..... but it is entirely conceivable (not common, certainly) that a piece of music could be in the key of C, and yet have all the C's and F's sharped.


It's not written correctly then. And of course in all my years and all the charts I've read, I've never come across something not logical or written right.... smirk cry facepalm

You could have one sharp (F#) and still think of it as the key of C with a Lydian thing going on. But not C#.

Or a D7 or D7 sus., C/D, Am7/D type chord with no key sig. Depending on context, I could be thinking of/treating that as the ii chord of C. But once that C# is in the sig, my brain shifts to two sharps D/Bm mode.

Originally Posted By: zephonic
I first noticed it in Bob Mintzer’s book, on most excercises he wouldn’t put in the key sig, instead just raising or lowering individual notes.

I guess it makes sense for certain things, for example, if a tune is in Ab and it has like Emaj7 or B7 chords in there, it makes sense to not assign a key signature on the staff and just deal with each individual chord/note on an as needed basis.
So with the way modern harmony works, no key sig is often less hassle.


Yes, in Jazz with shifting tonal centers, it's not at all uncommon to not attempt to notate a key sig. I've played more sophisticated pop stuff when that route would apply to as well.


Edited by Dave Ferris (03/08/18 11:52 AM)
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#2913732 - 03/08/18 11:34 AM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: kelp]
emenelton Offline
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Originally Posted By: kelp
But accidentals are used throughout the piece, which imply a different key. So, the staff shows key of C. But all my C's and F's are indicated sharp throughout.

I feel like there's a proper term for this (other than "confusing"). Ring a bell for anyone?



It does ring a bell. I think you're correct, I cant recall the term though.

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#2913738 - 03/08/18 11:49 AM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: emenelton]
ProfD Offline
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It is called a capo or common not to be confused with the rapper when the key signature is always C. laugh

Otherwise, I would be playing in D major if I saw two sharps too. cool
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#2913740 - 03/08/18 11:53 AM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: ProfD]
Dave Ferris Offline
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Just thinking of an old Michael Franks tune as an example- the lady wants to know. I put it up a Minor third from the original for my vocal range. On my chart I wrote no sharps or flats. It starts on F Maj7 (what I consider the iV chord) and goes to C Maj 7. But it has an Eb Maj 7 & Bb Maj7 in the verses and a cycle of 2/5s descending in whole steps for the chorus. If you tried to assign a key sig to all that you'd go nuts !
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#2913746 - 03/08/18 12:08 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: Dave Ferris]
CEB Offline
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I don't know when but I think somewhere I had an instructor teach that empty key signatures relying on just accidentals used to be the general practice. Longtime ago .... like before I was born ..... pre Baroque .... 15th, 16th century or so. Can't rembemer if it was my classical guitar professor or music history ......probably Theory I was usually only half awake in that class. My guitar teacher had me doing a bunch of old English stuff like John Dowland maybe it was that stuff.


Edited by CEB (03/08/18 12:27 PM)
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#2913755 - 03/08/18 12:24 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: CEB]
richforman Offline
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>> ..... but it is entirely conceivable (not common,
>> certainly) that a piece of music could be in the key of C, >> and yet have all the C's and F's sharped.


> It's not written correctly then. And of course in all my
> years and all the charts I've read, I've never come across
> something not logical or written right.... smirk cry
> facepalm

> You could have one sharp (F#) and still think of it as the
> key of C with a Lydian thing going on. But not C#.

Again I respectfully disagree, maybe in a strictly theoretical sense, but it seems to me that there are no rules like that, declaring that C# or F# notes can't be in a piece in C. 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.

(Of course there are sometimes disagreeing opinions or ambiguity about what key a song is in fact in, and in that case you may sometimes conclude that I am "wrong," and my piece isn't really in C at all.....but again I don't think you could come to that conclusion based solely on C# showing up in the melody or elsewhere. I certainly remember incidents during childhood piano lessons where I'd complain about a piece that, say, that even though an accidental is part of the key signature, in fact that note is "naturalled" every time it appears, and ask my teacher why this was. Turns out that's perfectly legitimate - that the key signature at the top is not really meant as a helpful, convenient warning that every time you see that note on the staff in this piece, you'll sharp or flat it. (Although it often works out that way.) The key signature simply tells you what key you're in, and then within that framework (I argue, anyway), there are no hard rules or guarantees about what individual notes or exceptions to the key signature may or may not appear.

I could be wrong!


Edited by richforman (03/08/18 12:25 PM)
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#2913757 - 03/08/18 12:28 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: CEB]
zephonic Offline
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Originally Posted By: Dave Ferris
Just thinking of an old Michael Franks tune as an example- the lady wants to know. I put it up a Minor third from the original for my vocal range. On my chart I wrote no sharps or flats. It starts on F Maj7 (what I consider the iV chord) and goes to C Maj 7. But it has an Eb Maj 7 & Bb Maj7 in the verses and a cycle of 2/5s descending in whole steps for the chorus. If you tried to assign a key sig to all that you'd go nuts !


Exactly. With the Classical dogma firmly instilled in me by my parents, I used to change key sigs on the staff for just about everything, and "correctly" notate Cb/Fb/E#/B#. For Classical music that makes sense. For modern music not so much.

My parents would abhor my modern charts, but for most stuff it works better. At the end of the day, it's just really about communicating. If everybody gets confused by your "correct" notation, what's the point?
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#2913761 - 03/08/18 12:58 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: richforman]
MathOfInsects Online   content
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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.
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#2913763 - 03/08/18 01:03 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: richforman]
Dave Ferris Offline
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Originally Posted By: richforman
Again I respectfully disagree, maybe in a strictly theoretical sense, but it seems to me that there are no rules like that, declaring that C# or F# notes can't be in a piece in C. 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.


And I agree, you could play a C# melody note on say on a Bm7 to E7 passing chord in the key of C. Or just a modulation kind of thing for one bar.

I was speaking more about seeing a chord chart (modern music) in which all indicators pointed to an obvious key of D and it was notated as C - no sharps or flats. Which again, I've seen plenty of those.

Say a singer hands me a chart with no melody, just chords, where the first 8 looks something like this:

D(add 2)| G Maj7 | Bm | F#m | Em7 Em7/A | D Maj7 A/C# Bm Bm/A | G add2 | A add2 |.......

Even if there's no key sig, my brain instantly and automatically thinks 2 sharps. Could an Eb melody note be part of a passing chord in the bridge or a separate chord sequence in another part of the tune ? And everything in mind still be thought of as two sharps ? Of course. smile
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#2913766 - 03/08/18 01:15 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: Dave Ferris]
emenelton Offline
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just because it's written with no key signature doesn't mean it's in the key of 'C'
If all 'C's and 'F's are notated sharp but there is not a key signature, it's in 'D' but the arranger wrote it out with each accidental notated instead of a key sig.

Is there a term for that arrangement technique, to me, is the question.


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#2913777 - 03/08/18 03:22 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: zephonic]
Reezekeys Offline
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Originally Posted By: zephonic
Originally Posted By: Dave Ferris
Just thinking of an old Michael Franks tune as an example- the lady wants to know. I put it up a Minor third from the original for my vocal range. On my chart I wrote no sharps or flats. It starts on F Maj7 (what I consider the iV chord) and goes to C Maj 7. But it has an Eb Maj 7 & Bb Maj7 in the verses and a cycle of 2/5s descending in whole steps for the chorus. If you tried to assign a key sig to all that you'd go nuts !


Exactly. With the Classical dogma firmly instilled in me by my parents, I used to change key sigs on the staff for just about everything, and "correctly" notate Cb/Fb/E#/B#. For Classical music that makes sense. For modern music not so much.

My parents would abhor my modern charts, but for most stuff it works better. At the end of the day, it's just really about communicating. If everybody gets confused by your "correct" notation, what's the point?

Nail meet head. Whatever conveys the composition in the easiest-to-manage way is best. What's "theoretically" correct is fine for a college music class, maybe not so good for a working musician showing up on a gig and having to breathe life into a bunch of dots on a page. IMHO of course.

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#2913803 - 03/08/18 06:16 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: emenelton]
Paul Harrison Offline
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Originally Posted By: emenelton
just because it's written with no key signature doesn't mean it's in the key of 'C'
If all 'C's and 'F's are notated sharp but there is not a key signature, it's in 'D' but the arranger wrote it out with each accidental notated instead of a key sig.

Is there a term for that arrangement technique, to me, is the question.


Using accidentals for each note instead of a key signature for the whole piece can be referred to as using a neutral key signature.

"Key signatures define the prevailing key of the music that follows, thus avoiding the use of accidentals for many notes. If no key signature appears, the key is assumed to be C major/A minor but can also signify a neutral key, employing individual accidentals as required for each note."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_musical_symbols#Key_signatures

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#2913812 - 03/08/18 07:38 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: Paul Harrison]
Tom Williams Offline
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Ex-horn major here. Some horn parts are written with no key signature and all accidentals, even when other instruments get clues about a piece's tonality.
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#2913819 - 03/08/18 08:05 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: Tom Williams]
moj Online   content
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I usually call it "actual pitch" instead of a specific key signature. As mentioned, contemporary jazz compositions with heavy use of tonal pitches and modulations avoid keys signatures. I think it's easier to sight-read a chart this way.

Just completed a transcription of "My Shot" (Hamilton) from YouTube performed by Jaime Cordoba for a student. I've included all accidentals, even though it's in G minor. Less to think about if you see Bb's and Eb's in the notation.

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#2913823 - 03/08/18 09:09 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: moj]
MathOfInsects Online   content
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Which reminds me...I was at a rehearsal last year, and the bass player--it's always the bass player--said, "This is in A, down a whole step" and didn't know if he meant, down a whole step from the original, or that they tune down a whole step, so I said, "So Concert A, or Concert G?" and he said....wait for it...

...I am not making this up...

..."No, it's just a bar show."
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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]
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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]
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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]
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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]
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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]
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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]
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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]
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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]
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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]
xKnuckles 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 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]
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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]
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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]
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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]
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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]
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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]
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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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#2914702 - 03/13/18 01:10 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: I-missRichardTee]
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Originally Posted By: I-missRichardTee
I am well aware of the option to treat every Dominant chord as its own little tone center...
...
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 won't attempt to speak for Dave, but let's say that you choose not to use each dominant chord as its own little tone center, and instead look for a single key you could solo in that would work through almost the entire song, what would you play? Try this:

Here is a simple C blues riff: Start on high C, work down down to the Eb, then go back up. Keeping it simple, these are all eighth notes. Here are the notes...

C Bb G F# F Eb F G

Just keep playing it over and over, from the beginning of the song to the end... that C blues almost always works. (Basically, it sounds pretty good over everything except the F11, and the D7 that opens the bridge.) Can you find a Bb blues riff that works as well?

(BTW, I am bugged by the reference to an F11. I'd say Cm9/F but I could be hearing notes that aren't there so if you wanted to say it was a Cm7 or Cm or Ebmaj7 over that F, fine, I could go with it, they would all work, but there's definitely no A in it, and if you try to add one, it sounds awful, so it's not an F11 in my book.)

ETA: p.s. I'm not suggesting that, for a song to be in a given key, you need to be able to solo in that key for the bulk of the song; but I think if you *can* solo in a given key for most of the song, odds are good that the song is in that key.


Edited by AnotherScott (03/13/18 01:15 PM)
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#2914704 - 03/13/18 01:14 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: AnotherScott]
Reezekeys Offline
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Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
(BTW, I am bugged by the reference to an F11. I'd say Cm9/F but I could be hearing notes that aren't there so if you wanted to say it was a Cm7 or Cm or Ebmaj7 over that F, fine, I could go with it, they would all work, but there's definitely no A in it, and if you try to add one, it sounds awful, so it's not an F11 in my book.)

By definition there's no A in an F11 chord.

I always write the "11" spelling, i.e., F11 rather than Eb/F. Why? It's simpler and gets the message across.

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#2914708 - 03/13/18 01:29 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: Reezekeys]
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Originally Posted By: Reezekeys

By definition there's no A in an F11 chord.

I always write the "11" spelling, i.e., F11 rather than Eb/F. Why? It's simpler and gets the message across.


I guess if that's convention in the jazz world, okay, though that leaves you without a way to describe such a chord if you do want the A.

(BTW, I could also see F7sus4 working here...)
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#2914711 - 03/13/18 01:38 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: Reezekeys]
zephonic Offline
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Originally Posted By: Reezekeys

By definition there's no A in an F11 chord.

I always write the "11" spelling, i.e., F11 rather than Eb/F. Why? It's simpler and gets the message across.



That's not how I learned it. I have come to understand since that things here in the USA are a little different from what we learned back in Holland, but the way I was taught was that if it has a third, it's an 11, if the 4 replaces the third, it's a sus4.

I've seen charts here with F11 where the audio clearly indicates it is a sus4 chord, so I guess it is whatever works, but to this day I can't bring myself to calling something an 11 chord when there is no third present.
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#2914718 - 03/13/18 02:03 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: AnotherScott]
Dave Ferris Offline
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Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
Originally Posted By: I-missRichardTee
I am well aware of the option to treat every Dominant chord as its own little tone center...
...
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 won't attempt to speak for Dave, but let's say that you choose not to use each dominant chord as its own little tone center, and instead look for a single key you could solo in that would work through almost the entire song, what would you play? Try this:

Here is a simple C blues riff: Start on high C, work down down to the Eb, then go back up. Keeping it simple, these are all eighth notes. Here are the notes...

C Bb G F# F Eb F G

Just keep playing it over and over, from the beginning of the song to the end... that C blues almost always works. (Basically, it sounds pretty good over everything except the F11, and the D7 that opens the bridge.) Can you find a Bb blues riff that works as well?


That certainly works too. But like you said, not over the F11.

The reason I like to treat each chord has a separate tonal center on a tune like this, is you can play the Db on the Eb7 and make it even more bluesy sounding. Actually if phrased right and depending on the line, it could carry over the C7 as part of a b9 kinda thing.

This somewhat reminds me how I would treat a solo on the chorus of Boogie on reggae woman fwiw.

Regarding the third on 11th chords- On pop/RnB tunes like Rob said, I'll play (or think) an Eb/F but that doesn't mean I wouldn't play an A somewhere in a fill or solo.

In a Jazz context, let's just take the interlude Ab13 vamp on "in your own sweet way" for example - I'm certainly thinking extended 11th or 13th chords -Gb/Ab, GbMaj7/Ab - but I do use thirds in the voicing. It's gets more into modal territory in that type of context.


Edited by Dave Ferris (03/13/18 02:45 PM)
Edit Reason: added thought
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#2914719 - 03/13/18 02:08 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: Dave Ferris]
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To me it's just notational shorthand. "F11" = Eb/F, the "maiden voyage" chord, etc. Sure you can squeeze the 3rd in there somewhere. But when I see an "11" chord on a chart I will generally not play the 3rd because I assume the composer wants that nice open sound with the 4th/11th.

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#2914723 - 03/13/18 02:21 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: Reezekeys]
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What we have here is not a chord dominance problem. It's a forum member dominance problem. shocked
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#2914729 - 03/13/18 02:48 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: Reezekeys]
Dave Ferris Offline
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Originally Posted By: Reezekeys
To me it's just notational shorthand. "F11" = Eb/F, the "maiden voyage" chord, etc. Sure you can squeeze the 3rd in there somewhere. But when I see an "11" chord on a chart I will generally not play the 3rd because I assume the composer wants that nice open sound with the 4th/11th.


Yes, definitely on the head and early blowing choruses, I'd play triad over bass note. It's such a distinct sound associated with that tune.
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#2914731 - 03/13/18 03:04 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: Dave Ferris]
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Originally Posted By: Dave Ferris
That certainly works too. But like you said, not over the F11.

The reason I like to treat each chord has a separate tonal center on a tune like this

Yes, I was not suggesting that this was the best possible solo one could play by any means, just that a solo in C basically works, and better than a solo in Bb.


Originally Posted By: Dave Ferris
Originally Posted By: Reezekeys
To me it's just notational shorthand. "F11" = Eb/F, the "maiden voyage" chord, etc. Sure you can squeeze the 3rd in there somewhere. But when I see an "11" chord on a chart I will generally not play the 3rd because I assume the composer wants that nice open sound with the 4th/11th.


Yes, definitely on the head and early blowing choruses, I'd play triad over bass note. It's such a distinct sound associated with that tune.

I can understand notating an F11 and making the third optional. But in the tune in question, where playing the third would sound terrible, I would prefer to note it unambiguously. It's not a matter of it being optional, in this case the third simply does not belong. To me, you're not communicating that by calling it an F11 whereas you are by calling it a Cm7/F.
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#2914741 - 03/13/18 03:42 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: AnotherScott]
Dave Ferris Offline
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Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
Originally Posted By: Dave Ferris
Originally Posted By: Reezekeys
To me it's just notational shorthand. "F11" = Eb/F, the "maiden voyage" chord, etc. Sure you can squeeze the 3rd in there somewhere. But when I see an "11" chord on a chart I will generally not play the 3rd because I assume the composer wants that nice open sound with the 4th/11th.


Yes, definitely on the head and early blowing choruses, I'd play triad over bass note. It's such a distinct sound associated with that tune.

I can understand notating an F11 and making the third optional. But in the tune in question, where playing the third would sound terrible, I would prefer to note in unambiguously. It's not a matter of it being optional, in this case the third simply does not belong. To me, you're not communicating that by calling it an F11 whereas you are by calling it a Cm7/F.


If you are talking about Maiden Voyage in particular. Most people that play it are very familiar with that triad over bass note sound and don't usually need anything more then that. Often that and maybe A Train or Satin Doll might be the first "jazz tune" someone might learn it's so common.

But yes I agree in other instances a Cm7/F is not the same sound as Eb/F. And might need to be noted like F11 no3rd. Similar in the way you see pop music noted D add2 --, which I normally initially leave out the 3rd until I hear the vibe of the tune and then I make a choice of whether to play the F# or not based on my discretion.
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#2914742 - 03/13/18 03:48 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: Dave Ferris]
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Originally Posted By: Dave Ferris
If you are talking about Maiden Voyage in particular

No, I was talking about using F11 to describe the chord in the Lou Rawls song, or in general, any time you absolutely do not want the 3rd to be played, regardless of whether the player has any familiarity with the song.
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#2914747 - 03/13/18 04:03 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: AnotherScott]
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Regarding the polarity between playing each secondary dominant ( if you accept the theory that Dominant refers to Fifth degree) in much of 20th century blues, r&b , jazz..
versus treating your solo as one key only.

My response is BOTH at the same time.

I find I am continually at odds with most , because I see both sides of something.. and can see how both ideas, whatever they may be, can operate at the same time.

David D Burns in his "Feeling Good" the new mood therapy ( Cognitive Therapy ) identifies all or nothing kind of thinking or dichotomous thinking . Like it's either feeling or thinking.. one or the other. Duh, no, not at all.

I am amazed and disheartened that more people do not quite get, that it's like the Tao
It is BOTH - several little momentary flirtations with secondary key centers but ALWAYS the essential key too.
Blues, has always been essentially a One key deal. But in its evolution, these little divergences into related keys can occur, but never ever, to the point of usurping the home key.

I will try the C major solo idea, AnotherScott

But I have an affection and awe about Blues. For instance , A C blues scale ( which ever one you choose ) fits over all 12 dominant thirteenth chords ( C E G Bb D A = C13 )

That fact amazes me. So if this is true.. perhaps there are multiple keys that would work. I am still biased towards that Eb9 as a IV chord, and the D7 as first chord in Rhythm Changes , but I will give C a try. My mind is open.



Edited by I-missRichardTee (03/13/18 04:13 PM)
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#2914751 - 03/13/18 04:12 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: AnotherScott]
Reezekeys Offline
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Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
It's not a matter of it being optional, in this case the third simply does not belong. To me, you're not communicating that by calling it an F11 whereas you are by calling it a Cm7/F.

Interesting, I guess it all boils down to context but I've always felt that calling a chord an "11" is a pretty unambigous way to say "no third please."

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#2914752 - 03/13/18 04:14 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: Reezekeys]
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Originally Posted By: Reezekeys
Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
It's not a matter of it being optional, in this case the third simply does not belong. To me, you're not communicating that by calling it an F11 whereas you are by calling it a Cm7/F.

Interesting, I guess it all boils down to context but I've always felt that calling a chord an "11" is a pretty unambiguous way to say "no third please."


like and 100% agree.
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#2914755 - 03/13/18 04:17 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: I-missRichardTee]
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Originally Posted By: I-missRichardTee
Originally Posted By: Reezekeys
Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
It's not a matter of it being optional, in this case the third simply does not belong. To me, you're not communicating that by calling it an F11 whereas you are by calling it a Cm7/F.

Interesting, I guess it all boils down to context but I've always felt that calling a chord an "11" is a pretty unambiguous way to say "no third please."


like and 100% agree.

Then how would you notate that chord if you wanted to indicate that a third would be perfectly acceptable if the player would like to include it?
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#2914758 - 03/13/18 04:29 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: AnotherScott]
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I was taught F11 is without third. My learning coincides perfectly with my experience reading music in real world bandstands.
F11 with 3 would be one way.
But by the time we get to that level of dissonance ( A sound I like, by the way ) I am guessing major 3 plus natural 4 ( F 11 add 3 = an A and a Bb ) voicing might require spelling out the voicing using staff.
Chord symbols are handy, but are imperfect when music starts getting more advanced.. and like "classical" music, requires note for note representation... a staff.


Edited by I-missRichardTee (03/13/18 04:30 PM)
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#2914760 - 03/13/18 04:39 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: I-missRichardTee]
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I also interpret F11 to be Eb/F, and I can tell you that as a chart-maker, I have tried lots of "shorthands" for that particular chord (one chord's harmony over the bass note a whole step higher) and have decided the most helpful way to write it is simply "Eb/F."
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#2914761 - 03/13/18 04:45 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: AnotherScott]
Reezekeys Offline
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Originally Posted By: AnotherScott
Then how would you notate that chord if you wanted to indicate that a third would be perfectly acceptable if the player would like to include it?

You mean how would I write the chord symbol? You got me there, I've never written a chart with a chord symbol where I needed to communicate that the chord could be voiced differently if the player "would like to." With a typical chart I write, I assume that whoever will be reading it is familiar reading lead sheets with chord symbols. I trust the person to play a voicing of their choice that works. In cases where I anticipate that a "typical" voicing might include a note I know I don't want, I spell that out, e.g., "Cmin9 omit 5th." If it's a chord whose specific voicing is important to the sound – I write out the notes. That's not often the case.

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#2914762 - 03/13/18 04:46 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: I-missRichardTee]
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Originally Posted By: I-missRichardTee
I was taught F11 is without third. My learning coincides perfectly with my experience reading music in real world bandstands.
F11 with 3 would be one way.
But by the time we get to that level of dissonance ( A sound I like, by the way ) I am guessing major 3 plus natural 4 ( F 11 add 3 = an A and a Bb ) voicing might require spelling out the voicing using staff.
Chord symbols are handy, but are imperfect when music starts getting more advanced.. and like "classical" music, requires note for note representation... a staff.

This is not so complicated as to need a staff, if F11 includes (or at least permits) a third, and Cm7/F indicates no third, which is what basic music theory would seem to teach, as far as I recall it. So I'd say we already have perfectly good, easy ways to distinguish these things when reading a lead sheet, without getting into staff notation or odd shorthand. But if the jazz world doesn't see it that way, I'm sure I'm not gonna change it.

As I've said, I'm not a jazz guy. I'd never heard of Maiden Voyage until this thread. Though yeah, I've played A Train and Satin Doll, and In the Mood, and Well You Needn't, and probably a coupla' dozen others. Put a sheet in front of me, and I'll fake my way through it if I need to, and have actually gotten some compliments from jazz players in the process. But maybe the fact that I'll toss a third into an eleventh chord is how they know I'm a poser. ;-)
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#2914765 - 03/13/18 04:55 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: AnotherScott]
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AnotherScott.. I have consistently without exception enjoyed and profited from your threads.
This one is no exception.

What I and many of my generation were taught

Fm11 has a 3rd and an 11th because they are not overly dissonant

F 11+ ( I am not sure how to notate it here - but, "F augmented eleven " )
has a Third and an Eleventh , but and Augmented eleventh.
An A and a B

The F A C Eb G Bb however is a conflict with traditional music from previous centuries
a conflict with the dissonance and its resolution.
In previous century the Bb in the F chord, had to resolve ( resolution ) down a step to
A or Ab .
In the case of both Bb and A present at the same time.. it was not well viewed .
But of course rules were made to guide not force. So little by little F11 could be found with both A and Bb present.
But frankly, aside from the Music of jazz, I do not know of pop music that uses the A and the Bb at the same time = F A C Eb G Bb

Can you identify some tunes that use F11 this way?


Edited by I-missRichardTee (03/13/18 05:05 PM)
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#2914768 - 03/13/18 05:10 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: I-missRichardTee]
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Scott,

Jazz pianists read chord charts their whole lives. I kinda wish it wasn't the case. Put a grand staff arrangement in front of me and I'll start sweating. Not having a real piano where I lived meant not having any impetus to play classical music and keep any reading chops I had. I was always a bad reader but used to memorize 15-page Beethoven sonatas when I was a kid. In hindsight, my teacher should have discouraged this.

Anyway, as you probably know by now, Maiden Voyage is a famous song by Herbie Hancock that is almost all "11" chords. And is played by every jazzer on any instrument. That was a big record for Herbie pretty early in his career. And it came along when jazz players were moving away from the typical II-V-I cadences of GASB tunes. Having said that, many of the tunes we play are standards with pretty conventional harmony. 99% of the time you can spell them out simply and an experienced player will voice them as they see fit, maybe add a few extra chord tones, or even substitute a different chord. I've been playing a lot of the same songs for more years than I want to admit, so at this point I sometimes don't care what a chart has on it as far as what's "notated." It might say F11, and I could very well put the 3rd in. Sometimes even on purpose! smile

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#2914772 - 03/13/18 05:44 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: Reezekeys]
linwood Offline
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Here ya go T...I used 3 and 4 in a pop tune just today. bar 3 beat 1. it's my wife's b'day and I made brownie points by playin' happy birthday on her FB page. Went something like:

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#2914775 - 03/13/18 06:46 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: linwood]
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^
And you guys thought I was out on those major thirds relating to the Augmented scale.. cry Music to my ears ! thu Happy Birthday to Linda !

Scott, I just saw the two quotes in reference to Maiden Voyage in your post, so I thought you were talking about that tune in particular.
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#2914777 - 03/13/18 07:15 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: Reezekeys]
Dave Ferris Offline
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Originally Posted By: Reezekeys
Scott,

Jazz pianists read chord charts their whole lives. I kinda wish it wasn't the case. Put a grand staff arrangement in front of me and I'll start sweating. smile


Maybe to force an even further derail of the OP since I think we've about covered it all at this point. wink

There are some tunes I still need to read, or at least glance at for a chorus or two. Even after playing it for a long time.

Could be my brain is just too cluttered with stuff at this age. It doesn't help that I'm not playing 4-5 nights a week like in the past where everything seemed easier to store in the memory banks and then have instant recall.

I was a better sight reader even 5 years ago until the cataracts started interfering. Hope to get that rectified this year with the surgery.

But yeah ideally, you want to have a tune internalized. I read somewhere that Sonny Rollins used to set a timer and blow on the same tune for an hour straight. I've never gotten to 60 minutes on one tune, maybe 20.

Sightreading originals and arrangements are pretty much expected standard fare for the 21st century Jazz/improvising musician though. Arrangements can be more complex and often chords aren't spelled out 2 stave. So you as a pianist have to make that instant decision on chord choices, voicings and approach to the written harmony.

There's always the route of playing the same tunes. Miles, Joe Henderson, and to less extent, Bill Evans went that way.

Hank Jones had three notebooks, that were as thick as the NYC phonebook, that he played out of up until the end in his 90s. I'd sure like to have a gander at those notebooks. I wonder who the lucky player was who was bequeathed those pages of treasures.
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#2914795 - 03/13/18 08:47 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: Dave Ferris]
linwood Offline
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Thanks Dave! I'll be sure to pass it on to her. Man, am I stuffed. 4 generations over here tonight for a feast!

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#2914796 - 03/13/18 08:52 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: linwood]
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Originally Posted By: linwood
4 generations over here tonight for a feast!

OT now but wishing you and your family the best, Linwood. 4 generations. Wow. twothumbs cheers
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#2914797 - 03/13/18 08:53 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: davedoerfler]
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Yeah, the bad news is I'm second from the top these days. lol Thanks brother!

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#2914799 - 03/13/18 09:10 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: linwood]
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Originally Posted By: linwood
Here ya go T...I used 3 and 4 in a pop tune just today. bar 3 beat 1. it's my wife's b'day and I made brownie points by playin' happy birthday on her FB page. Went something like:


Took me a sec to get oriented... thanks
Question on measure 3 beat 1... how would I know which the root was?
Serious question.

I reached a point some years back where I started to see structures ( stacks of notes )
in multiple ways... as having potential for many different roots.
Frankly, at my age, and with work as slow as it it, and with emphasis on commerciality, the idea of pursuing this at the same time scary and exhilarating multi dimensional view point on chord structures, was abandoned by me..
As you may recall I started a thread about voicings ... but that was purely about a series of gigs.
It just blows me away that structures I normally associate one way, can go many other ways.

So, what IS the Root of third measure , first beat?

By definition in Major, 3 4 resolution involves two tones a half step ( E1 wave ) apart.
In your structure the intervals that meet that
are F and E ...... and Bb and A.
If Bb and A, then the root is F.
and if F and E the root is C.

Since the C is well above the F... I can assume F is the Root!!

That questionable conclusion about F as Root and not C, is based on reading a half understood book by Hindemith "The Craft of Musical Composition".

Edit
Just took a stab at playing Happy Birthday for Aliens grin

Very nice sounds... Even though I just railed against individual chords, versus a series of chords in a progression... I must say the 3rd measure 1st beat chord with the 3 and 4 is very beautiful. An airy other worldly sound. You must write for movies. love

One other point ( you just elaborated on.. thank you ) about the old taboo re 3 and 4 in the same structure ( I am sure there are places in the classical or baroque where 3 and 4 occur together )
You smartly separated the dissonance and weird resolution collision by putting the A above the Bb. Still dissonant, but in an ethereal way.

Writing this about 3- 4 in major... caused me to think "there are 3 ways to stack an A and a Bb, not 2 ways.... Minor 2nd Minor 9th and Major 7."
I hope someone here is appreciating this.. for the rest, thanks for your patience.






Edited by I-missRichardTee (03/13/18 09:37 PM)
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#2914800 - 03/13/18 09:28 PM Re: What's it called when the key signature is always C...? [Re: I-missRichardTee]
linwood Offline
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Registered: 09/11/00
Posts: 5198
Loc: Las Vegas,NV,UNITED STATES
C is root. It's voiced with 4ths in the bass and 5ths up top. The C is up an oct. You could play it C F Bb if you wanted. I just went with that shape to get the contrary motion thing...still 4ths. So in that voicing on bar 3 beat 1, 4 is on the bottom and 3 is on top.

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