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I have this issue where the C major I'm playing wants to become D major and I'm trying to figure out why. I'm basically playing a descending C major scale. I play it note by note, from high to low in the following way:

G F E D C
F E D C B
E D C B A
D C B A G

now you'd think the next would be:

C B A G F

but it wants to go:

C B A G F#

And if I keep going it makes out the D major scale. Read from top to bottom, left to right, and press each note on the piano.
G F E D C
F E D C B
E D C B A
D C B A G
C B A G F#
B A G F# E
A G F# E D
G F# E D C#
F# E D C# B

But I was originally on C major so why does it want to do that?

closed as primarily opinion-based by user19146, Dom Jun 16 '18 at 14:34

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    So you want us to tell you how your sense of key works? The only thing I can say is "well, your sense of key is not the same as mine, so I can't help much." – user19146 Jun 16 '18 at 14:12
  • You may find this illuminating - or amusing, or bemusing, depending on your sense of key: youtube.com/watch?v=nP6B7i7ar0g – user19146 Jun 16 '18 at 16:23
  • I think this is a valid question, though not fully understandable. I don't know why you think this would make a D major scale if you continue? Continue to where? So far you only have the F#. In the above listed notes, this makes a little sense since you started on a G. That announced to your ear that maybe G was the tonic. So when you head down to the F again, you might be hearing the desire to return to G with an F# becoming the leading tone. But not everyone hears it that way. However, talking about how notes may seem to "automatically" go in a direction is worthy of discussion. – Heather S. Jun 17 '18 at 10:44
  • thanks @HeatherS. I updated the question to show the full pattern and why I thought it was D major. – foreyez Jun 17 '18 at 14:24
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    OK, I have a guess. This is not about what it "wants" to do, but maybe an explanation to what your ear is hearing. When your 5-note pattern starts with a whole step, you end on a whole step. When your 5-note pattern is starting with a half-step, you are wanting to end with another half-step. If you kept the pattern going, you'd leave D major as well. (D C# B A G#) – Heather S. Jun 17 '18 at 18:27
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You seem to believe that there's some compelling melodic or harmonic reason that almost forces you to modulate to D major ("... why does it want to do that?"). There isn't. You might as well go to F instead of F#, it sounds as convincing or unconvincing. You might as well have ended up at G# one phrase before, same thing. No reason. Isn't that a nice feature of music?

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I don't know why you feel it WANTS to. But it's a perfectly reasonable, 'theory'-approved thing to do. Enough of this meandering! Let's get back home to C major with a nice strong dominant-of-the-dominant (thats D) leading to a dominant and then a tonic!

But other continuations would have been just as valid. There isn't always a 'right' place to go in music.

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