Condisering Key Changes : Does Key changes of different intervals produce different effects on the Audience similar to intervals? Does Key changes have different quality to them and if so what are they called

  • For me any key change has an effect for two bars maximum, after which there's no real difference. Except when reading, when my brain is still in the previous key. – Tim Oct 25 '19 at 16:48
  • interesting, however the question is, does a key change from C to D have the same effect as C to D# or any other note. for example is there any such thing as a Tritone Key change – DavidPotatoes Oct 25 '19 at 16:49
  • If you really need an answer - not for me, and often, except when witnessed by musicians, key changes aren't even noticed. – Tim Oct 25 '19 at 17:28
  • @Tim - Don't laymen recognize truck driver's gear changes when they hear them, though? – Dekkadeci Oct 25 '19 at 18:30
  • @Dekkadeci - sometimes, not always. – Tim Oct 25 '19 at 18:31

Yes, they do have different effects.

Often the difference is one of distance, or smoothness. A modulation from C to G will sound very smooth, because there's only one pitch that is different between C and G major. A modulation from C to F♯, though, will sound rather distant, because there's only one pitch in common between the two keys (there are sort of two pitches in common, but technically they're different: F and E♯).

But defining exactly what these qualities are is much more difficult and opinion-based. With that said, there are some modulations (or chord changes) that have been used with some consistency throughout history for particular effects. A common one is discussed by Richard Cohn in this famous article; he shows that motion between two "hexatonic poles," like C major and A♭ minor, is often used to express an "uncanny" effect in music by Wagner.

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