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The "Magic Key" - E Flat???


can-o-phish
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Thought I'd share this with any or all of you "theory geeks"...

For years I've been playing harmonica along with guitar for songs by Dylan, Neil Young, Blue Rodeo. Recently I've started playing Blues which is a different style of harp playing known as "Crossed Harp" method...very cool and besides playing in a different key, there's more sucking instead of blowing...yep, I'll admit it, I suck... ;)

To continue this saga...I recently watched "Elizabethtown", a film by Cameron Crowe who also combines amazing soundtracks with his well-written and directed films...I hear Ryan Adams singing the absolutely stunning and heart wrenching tune "Come Pick Me Up" and hear the harp on it and this is a tune I immediately have to learn...

It's in the key of B Flat...so to play it "crossed harp" I have to use an E Flat harp...and during some of my google-research I stumble upon this which I found interesting...

E Flat Theory

Here's Ryan on Letterman performing this tune...he even dropped the F**K and S**T from the tune but it still shines...

Come Pick Me Up

Is it proof behind the biggest hits for artists such as Ryan, Crowded House, David Gray and others??? :confused:

You be the judge...I'll just suck on my E Flat ;)

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I like the way the guy starts off. He describes the way I listen to music:

I should point out at this early stage that I don't do lyrics in songs - usually. Take any of my favourite songs, and they could well be singing "The green fish eat tea on thursday, would you like to play with my wheelbarrow and butter my scones", or similar, and I'd bet I'd still really like it.

I love this idea:

in fact, I've got smart playlists in iTunes now of five keys that a lot of my songs are in. A flat major, B flat major, E flat major , F major and G major . And it's quite a cool thing to do - set iTunes with a healthy crossfade (5 seconds or so), and play them through - as you do, you notice that the tunes tend to seemlessly 'blend' into one another because they're all in the same key, it sounds most fluent.
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Interesting, I'll read up on e flat. I love this kinda stuff. Here is some crazy shit about intonation which blew my mind when i first read it:

http://www.kylegann.com/tuning.html

I have to say though, elizabethtown is the worst movie I've ever seen. However it is kind of funny due to how hilariously AWFUL it is. You kinda should watch it just so that you can appreciate reviews like this:

http://efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=12837&reviewer=1

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Isn't there an application of the golden ratio to harmony?

Fibonacci Sequence

0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13

There are 13 notes in the span of any note through its octave.

A scale is comprised of 8 notes, of which the

5th and 3rd notes create the basic foundation of all chords, and are based on whole tone which is

2 steps from the root tone, that is the

1st note of the scale.

cool stuff

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Isn't there an application of the golden ratio to harmony?

Fibonacci Sequence

0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13

There are 13 notes in the span of any note through its octave.

A scale is comprised of 8 notes, of which the

5th and 3rd notes create the basic foundation of all chords, and are based on whole tone which is

2 steps from the root tone, that is the

1st note of the scale.

cool stuff

Absolutely and jazz harmony is in a large way based on this concept.

Jazz guitar and piano players play with those relationships to provide different textures and tone colours to illicit specific moods or feels.

Often as a guitarist, when playing a chord, I will not play the 1st note (or root) or the 5th. In a four note chord all you need is the 3rd and the 7th. The third delineates if the chord is major or minor and the 7th adds colour and establishes what parent scale the chord originates from.

You don't have to play the 5th as you ear will automatically "fill it in" in your mind. This happens because of the overtones (ghost notes that can be heard around the target pitch as a string vibrates when plucked) heard from the root note up.

Basically if you know how to manipulate these relationships you can play any chord almost anywhere with the proper substitutions...

Instead I can substitute other notes like the 6th, 4th, flat13

Bill Evans is largely credited for this type of playing,,,

Edited by Guest
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Hey.. just got around to reading the Eb thing -- interesting article. He kind of equates favourite key to favourite colours... it's an interesting comparison, but I think it's more powerful than that. For example, I think that when people say "favourite colour", they are referring to a conscious decision, or a general whim. It's less about true feeling.

I was thinking that this whole favourite key thing might be much more akin to scent. In my mind, the act of listening is like the act of smelling. You can activate that sense in order to detect and recognize specific things (smells or sounds). But the "deeper side" of each sense is more subconscious. Like when you smell a certain thing, maybe you can't even pinpoint WHAT it smells like but you get this wash of reminiscence come through you. Maybe the same could be said for music, especially a particular key.

So, perhaps when you are very young, you build a subconscious appreciation for a certain scent due to pleasant memories (even as a baby) -- the same thing could have happened if your parents listened to their favourite song over and over while giving you affection as a toddler... your brain never forgets that.

Anyway, I think that scent is a very feral sense, and that's pretty well recognized. But there's also something definitely "magical" about the brain's ability to appreciate music. Hearing is more than just an ability to recognize a growling wolf so that you don't get eaten. The math behind it is very intriguing to me, but this idea of a subconscious feral layer to music appreciation is pretty cool.

I'm gonna have to start tagging my mp3s accordingly now :-)

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