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The Key Of "Unforgettable"


Nicky

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Question/Puzzle for the day

Nat Cole sang this song with the 1st chord being Fmaj7. Most people would say the song's in the key of "F".....but the end of the song eventually cadences to Bb maj7....so it sounds like it's in Bb at the end.

The 1st 4 bars of the song (2 bars of Fmaj7, 2 bars of Abdim7) sound like the key of F. Once you get to the 5th bar (Bbmaj7 or G-7), the rest of the song could be analyzed as the key of "Bb".

So is the song in "F", "Bb",....or does it start in "F" and modulate to "Bb"?

No prize awarded since I don't think there's a right answer.

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It's been a while since I've played that tune. There are a handful of tunes where you have to add additional information when calling it out - the first melody note, the first chord, whatever.

 

Take a look at We've Only Just Begun (Roger Nichols). The composer worked under the illusion that the first chord defined the tonality.

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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I always felt that the SCALE that the melody follows is the key of a song. There "could" be a lot of different chords in a song, and maybe some "accidentals" in a melody line, but a song should have some pattern of notes that the melody follows.

 

 

Mike T.

Yamaha Motif ES8, Alesis Ion, Prophet 5 Rev 3.2, 1979 Rhodes Mark 1 Suitcase 73 Piano, Arp Odyssey Md III, Roland R-70 Drum Machine, Digitech Vocalist Live Pro. Roland Boss Chorus Ensemble CE-1.

 

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I always felt that the SCALE that the melody follows is the key of a song.

Mike T.

Agreed. To expand on that a bit, the scale of the song is defined by the number of sharps or flats.

 

Stan

Gig Rig: Yamaha S90 XS; Hammond SK-1; Rehearsal: Yamaha MOX8 Korg Triton Le61, Yamaha S90, Hammond XK-1

Retired: Hammond M2/Leslie 145, Wurly 200, Ensoniq VFX

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Yeah, Nicky! That is a funny tune, whenever I played it I always thought that was slick how it seems to start in one key (we often played it in C so ultimately ending on F) but end in another. I'm not sure I even have an opinion but it's fun to think about different reasons why it would be one or the other.
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just to clarify....this is not a tune that "starts on the 2 chord, or starts on the 4"....but it seems to be in 2 different keys....that's why I posed the original question-"what key is it in?

Try transposing it....it's a hard one to hear

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When it's called on a gig out here, it's "Unforgettable in F" or G. Most of the time in the original key F though. I sing it in Ab just to mess with people (just kidding) but if they make a negative facial expression when I call out Ab, I have a chart standing by.

 

Yeah it is tricky, ya gots to know the tune for sure. I've seen a lot of bass players stumble around setting up a turnarond from Bb back to F.

 

The tune would end in the key of Bb.

 

 

https://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

 

2005 NY Steinway D

Yamaha AvantGrand N3X, P-515

 

 

 

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Yeah it is tricky, ya gots to know the tune for sure. I've seen a lot of bass players stumble around setting up the turnarond from Bb back to F..

 

Fwiw, I do something like :

 

Bbmaj7 2 beats to Ab13+11 or Eb7 +11 2 beats/ Gm9 2 beats to C11 2beats// back to home base of Fmaj7.

https://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

 

2005 NY Steinway D

Yamaha AvantGrand N3X, P-515

 

 

 

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About 10 years back I was playing in a trio and the singer/sax man called "Unforgettable" and wanted "just the last 4 bars" as an intro. So, I played the last 4 bars, and he started singing in the key he "heard", which was the end, not the beginning.

He was off by a 4th (or 5th, depending on which way you look at it) and was PISSED that he had been made to look/sound bad. Reamed me at the next break, to which I said "I quit. I'm sure there are plenty of guys in Bangor-Freaking-Maine who can play chords, pedals, AND take a solo when you decide to go shmooze with the clientele."

Muzikteechur is Lonnie, in Kittery, Maine.

 

HS music teacher: Concert Band, Marching Band, Jazz Band, Chorus, Music Theory, AP Music Theory, History of Rock, Musical Theatre, Piano, Guitar, Drama.

 

 

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I'm sure there are plenty of guys in Bangor-Freaking-Maine who can play chords, pedals, AND take a solo when you decide to go shmooze with the clientele."

 

Haha, too funny. I was just looking at real-estate prices the other night in Portland, man not has cheap has I would have thought. My wife would have a hard time with the cold there after all these years in S. Cal. Me, I'd love it. Clean air, no fires, lots of green, less beautiful people and probably no traffic comparatively speaking.

 

I don't do pedals or schmooze too well either. I do sing though...haha.

https://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

 

2005 NY Steinway D

Yamaha AvantGrand N3X, P-515

 

 

 

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My wife would have a hard time with the...less beautiful people...

 

Now if you came right out and said that people in Portland Maine are just down-right butt-ugly, it would be a lot clearer. :)

 

But I liked the way you slid that in - you Devil....

 

Devil Dave.

 

Kinda has a ring to it, methinks. :evil::laugh:

 

 

:snax:

 

 

"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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In other words then, going by Dave's post, the OP is right. It starts in F and ends in Bb.

 

That's the way I view it. Starts in one key, ends in another.

 

So, what other pop tunes/standards do that? I can't think of one off the top of my head, but I'm sure there must be a couple out there (relative minor/major doesn't count)

 

 

 

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Isn't everything in the key of C? I thought that's what the transpose button was for.

 

It is.

 

The question is, how the hell did you install one on your B3? :freak::D

Trust me, there's one on Jim's XK-3. Jim and I watched a guy using the XK-3's transpose to its "fullest" a few weeks ago....
A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
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"One For the Road" starts in Eb and ends in G. It's an AABA tune where the first A is in Eb and the rest of the tune is in G.

 

"Limehouse Blues" starts on the 4th IIRC.

Instrumentation is meaningless - a song either stands on its own merit, or it requires bells and whistles to cover its lack of adequacy, much less quality. - kanker
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A different type of oddity in a tune I'd almost forgotten about - "Good Morning Heartache", going from a minor key feel to a major key in 2 bars.

Yes, that's a lovely bit of musical trickery in that tune, one of my favourites.

 

Speaking of musical trickery, there's Giant Steps - what key is that in, B or Eb? But, then again, it's a musical universe unto itself, unlike any other tune - it's like there's no key centre, or maybe there's three - B, Eb, and G, and constantly moving from one to another.

 

 

 

 

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"One For the Road" starts in Eb and ends in G. It's an AABA tune where the first A is in Eb and the rest of the tune is in G.

 

"Limehouse Blues" starts on the 4th IIRC.

Yes, One for the Road. Nice tune.

 

Limehouse Blues doesn't count - the key signature doesn't actually change, it just starts on the IV chord.

 

 

 

 

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Lots of tunes have temporary tonics. Star Eyes is full of them, Like Someone in Love, I Love You, Just You Just Me, and on and on. Stella uses the V as a temporary tonic. Whispering Pines by The Band is another great example. I think Unforgettable is just an extreme example of the power of a temporary tonic.
A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
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Speaking of musical trickery, there's Giant Steps - what key is that in, B or Eb? But, then again, it's a musical universe unto itself, unlike any other tune - it's like there's no key centre, or maybe there's three - B, Eb, and G, and constantly moving from one to another.

Yep, GS is considered in those 3 key centers. :thu:

 

In order to break down that "musical universe unto itself", the best thing to do is play GS as a funky jam. :laugh::cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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Lots of tunes have temporary tonics. Star Eyes is full of them, Like Someone in Love, I Love You, Just You Just Me, and on and on. Stella uses the V as a temporary tonic. Whispering Pines by The Band is another great example. I think Unforgettable is just an extreme example of the power of a temporary tonic.

 

I think temporary tonics is a different subject. That's where a song temporarily modulates to a different key. As you say, there are tons of examples of that. But most of them end in the same key they started (that is not to say that they necessarily started on the 1 chord).

 

Unforgettable is a different kind of thing - it starts in one key, and cleverly ends in a different one. I didn't think I'd have to explain this.

 

 

 

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Do you guys play " Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most" ?

 

That is a great example, ingenious imo the way the last A section coming out of the bridge goes to the V Maj7, ( Key of C) G Maj 7 to F Maj7 for just the one bar and then reverts back to the C Ma7 BbMaj7 of the original A section.

 

That is one of the coolest movements in any standard or even Jazz tune that I've come across. Leave it to a former St. Louisan, Tommy Wolf, to write something like that.

https://soundcloud.com/dave-ferris

 

2005 NY Steinway D

Yamaha AvantGrand N3X, P-515

 

 

 

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