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How to use each key (in case anyone needs help!)


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from Christian Schubart's Ideen zu einer Aesthetik der Tonkunst (1806)

C Major

Completely Pure. Its character is: innocence, simplicity, na�vety, children's talk.

C Minor

Declaration of love and at the same time the lament of unhappy love. All languishing, longing, sighing of the love-sick soul lies in this key.

Db Major

A leering key, degenerating into grief and rapture. It cannot laugh, but it can smile; it cannot howl, but it can at least grimace its crying.--Consequently only unusual characters and feelings can be brought out in this key.

C# Minor

Penitential lamentation, intimate conversation with God, the friend and help-meet of life; sighs of disappointed friendship and love lie in its radius.

D Major

The key of triumph, of Hallejuahs, of war-cries, of victory-rejoicing. Thus, the inviting symphonies, the marches, holiday songs and heaven-rejoicing choruses are set in this key.

D Minor

Melancholy womanliness, the spleen and humours brood.

Eb Major

The key of love, of devotion, of intimate conversation with God.

D# Minor

Feelings of the anxiety of the soul's deepest distress, of brooding despair, of blackest depresssion, of the most gloomy condition of the soul. Every fear, every hesitation of the shuddering heart, breathes out of horrible D# minor. If ghosts could speak, their speech would approximate this key.

E Major

Noisy shouts of joy, laughing pleasure and not yet complete, full delight lies in E Major.

E minor

Na�ve, womanly innocent declaration of love, lament without grumbling; sighs accompanied by few tears; this key speaks of the imminent hope of resolving in the pure happiness of C major.

F Major

Complaisance & Calm.

F Minor

Deep depression, funereal lament, groans of misery and longing for the grave.

F# Major

Triumph over difficulty, free sigh of relief utered when hurdles are surmounted; echo of a soul which has fiercely struggled and finally conquered lies in all uses of this key.

F# Minor

A gloomy key: it tugs at passion as a dog biting a dress. Resentment and discontent are its language.

G Major

Everything rustic, idyllic and lyrical, every calm and satisfied passion, every tender gratitude for true friendship and faithful love,--in a word every gentle and peaceful emotion of the heart is correctly expressed by this key.

G Minor

Discontent, uneasiness, worry about a failed scheme; bad-tempered gnashing of teeth; in a word: resentment and dislike.

Ab Major

Key of the grave. Death, grave, putrefaction, judgment, eternity lie in its radius.

Ab Minor

Grumbler, heart squeezed until it suffocates; wailing lament, difficult struggle; in a word, the color of this key is everything struggling with difficulty.

A Major

This key includes declarations of innocent love, satisfaction with one's state of affairs; hope of seeing one's beloved again when parting; youthful cheerfulness and trust in God.

A minor

Pious womanliness and tenderness of character.

Bb Major

Cheerful love, clear conscience, hope aspiration for a better world.

Bb minor

A quaint creature, often dressed in the garment of night. It is somewhat surly and very seldom takes on a pleasant countenance. Mocking God and the world; discontented with itself and with everything; preparation for suicide sounds in this key.

B Major

Strongly coloured, announcing wild passions, composed from the most glaring coulors. Anger, rage, jealousy, fury, despair and every burden of the heart lies in its sphere.

B Minor

This is as it were the key of patience, of calm awaiting ones's fate and of submission to divine dispensation.

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A few of these made me lul even though I've already seen them.

"Eb Major

The key of love, of devotion, of intimate conversation with God."

"F# Minor

A gloomy key: it tugs at passion as a dog biting a dress. Resentment and discontent are its language."

I don't agree or think the concept is valid except for C major being "naive" or the allusion of it. Only for the performer that is.

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Isn't this completely obsolete since the invention of modern even temperament tuning, since now the only difference between each key is that it is higher or lower in frequency?

lmao

Emotions/ feelings/ programs assigned to keys irregardless?

lmao

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Hmmm...colors. I see keys in colors sometimes. :)

I agree, this is a bit dated, but if you want to compose in an older style, then this is a must have.

LMAO.

No, I don't think it is. I'm pretty sure 18th century theory and harmony have EVERYTHING to do with colors.

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Look harder. :huh:

@johnoeth: I knew Mozart wrote his horn concertos in several different coloured inks, but that was just to annoy his friend Leutgeb, who played them. But I've never heard of him using a paintbrush, where did you hear that?

Hmmm...colors. I see keys in colors sometimes. :)

I agree, this is a bit dated, but if you want to compose in an older style, then this is a must have.

I think there is a joy in thinking in line with older times, such as associating certain colours or emotions with keys. Today it's not as serious a matter as it may have been in the past, but in the past there were usually reasons for these things. For instance, D major being a key of triumph, victory, because at one time it was well suited for trumpets. I think these connections, while obsolete in modern technology, still linger with the heart of some composers as sort of a recreational meandering of the past, while other composers insist entirely that it is not worth the effort to carry on like this, that it is silly. Well, it is silly. But damn it, it can be fun sometimes!

Ugh... COLOR.

WE ARE AMERICAN. My god...

So you're going to yell at every Brit that walks onto this forum and spells something unAmerican? "WE" are not American, this forum consists of more than Americans, why do you take such issue with my decision of preference towards a British aesthetic in spelling habits? If anything, it's really none of your business, whether I'm American or not.

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So you're going to yell at every Brit that walks onto this forum and spells something unAmerican? "WE" are not American, this forum consists of more than Americans, why do you take such issue with my decision of preference towards a British aesthetic in spelling habits? If anything, it's really none of your business, whether I'm American or not.

They can do it because they are are British.

You are American. I am American. WE, LITERALLY, are American.

I woudn't know that if you didn't plaser your location all over the internet with a personal webpage, or how you used to have it in your signature. My god, my English simply means what it says.

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