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4

Yes, and one can go a little bit further. The traditional qualities associated with common keys in the 18th century can be correlated with orchestration, in that different instruments sounded better (or, sometimes, could only really play well) in certain keys. Examples: A and E major had the reputation of being "fiery" -- probably because both keys would ...


0

No, without a pitch reference you can't tell. But there are many ways to find a pitch reference, including "perfect pitch". And, once you have that reference, "guessing" doesn't come into it. You know for sure!


1

Strings are tuned in perfect fifths, brass uses the overtone series and valving compromises in its scales. While instruments with per-note strings, keyholes, tines or whatever can be tuned in equal temperament, quite a bit of the characteristic substance of an orchestra does not belong in that class. This also affects orchestration, further adding to the ...


0

The way I do this is by choosing a note at the bottom of my vocal range as my reference point. It is a very recognizable place in my vocal range because if I try to go lower, the sound quality suffers dramatically. So you're going for the feeling and the timbre, not just recognition of the note. If there's a string instrument in your vicinity, that could ...


6

Maybe somewhat controversial. There is definitely some serious hokum going on here, you're right. BUT, I think you're underestimating the color differences a number of keys have on some instruments. The string section is the most dramatic—they generally have three strings that are free to vibrate sympathetically when they are playing a single pitch on the ...


1

What key signatures are "easier" can depend on what instrument you're playing and on whether you mean "easy to read" or "easy to sound the notes". It may also depend on what you're used to. On the piano, I like pieces with a few sharps or flats in the key signature because it is easier to pass the thumb under when you are going from a black key to a white ...


0

You can achieve a certain paradigm shift when you realise that scales are just a series of notes a set amount of semitones / intervals from the root note. The Major scale for instance has it semitones between the 3/4 and 7/8 scale degrees. So if you have 8 notes starting and ending on the same letter name with semitones at these places then you have a Major ...


3

Yes, I think it's generally true for a simple reason: we all (well just about all) learn to read the notes of the staff initially in their default, natural position. We learned our "Every Good Boy Does Fine" and so forth before we learned our sharps and flats. When we do learn about sharps and flats, they're presented as exceptions to what happens ...


0

I believe this is very subjective and varies from musician to musician. To give you an example, I play the trombone (Bb key) and while learning the instrument flats where more common than sharps, so that's what I grew more used to it. In fact, I wouldn't even say it's hard to play the sharps. What is hard is reading when there are a lot of sharps in there, ...


3

I can definitely understand why some keys appear to be more intimidating than others, but this intimidation is most likely caused by a lack of familiarity. For example, consider the sentence "I adumbrated a plan so vague that my fellow politicians slapped my back in approbation." This sentence seems fairly intimidating, especially if you aren't familiar ...


7

Every instrument has keys that are easy to play and and keys that are not very easy to play in. There are even transposing instruments that are built to play in a certaint key natrually that isn't in the key of C so for some instruments playing in the key of C, which has no sharps or flats, is actually harder. For example the first instrument I learned was ...


3

Yes, you can absolutely memorize a pitch an use that as a reference. I only have a passable sense of relative pitch but I've been able to memorize A440. Like anything else, memorizing a pitch requires practising and testing. When I started out I'd listen to a recording of an A440 sine wave, then grab my (out of tune) guitar and try to tune the A string to ...


0

Tim's answer is a great explanation, looked at from the perspective of the melody. Depending on how you learn and understand music it will be easier for some people to see it from the perspective of the chords. This will expand on the correct observations of Michael and Bananach. I use uppercase roman numerals, remember minus (-) means minor. We have 5 ...



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