Is any professional music out of key?

Chords, scales, harmony, melody, etc.
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KVRist
152 posts since 11 Jan, 2013

Post Tue Aug 03, 2021 8:07 pm

Or is everything you’ve ever listened to in your entire life perfectly in key?

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KVRAF
13036 posts since 8 Mar, 2005 from Utrecht, Holland

Post Tue Aug 03, 2021 11:03 pm

To anyone used to "just" intonation everything in Equal Temperament tuning is off.

No, but sure... Astrud Gilberto was so bad at singing in key that her husband João wrote a song about it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EJIyxPheOA

And this one annoys me so much:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yaVq86-ZrQI

It's like the vocals were recorded over | Fm | Cm7 | and later they changed the arrangement to | Cm | Gm7 | but kept the vocals with the Ab sticking out as a sore thumb.
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KVRAF
1790 posts since 2 Jul, 2010

Post Wed Aug 04, 2021 1:43 am

ARNK wrote:
Tue Aug 03, 2021 8:07 pm
Or is everything you’ve ever listened to in your entire life perfectly in key?
Do you mean "perfectly intonated" (i.e. pitch always exactly matches theoretical value in Hz for a named note)? Or do you mean "completely diatonic" (i.e. only use notes from a restricted scale, with no chromatic alterations)?

Either way the answer is "no". Singers bend into notes. Unaccompanied singers deviate from equal temperament to make better-sounding chords. Chromatic passing-notes have been used in serious compositions since at least the Renaissance; surely before then too.

KVRAF
2031 posts since 15 Apr, 2004 from Capital City, UK

Post Wed Aug 04, 2021 3:03 am

BertKoor wrote:
Tue Aug 03, 2021 11:03 pm

And this one annoys me so much:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yaVq86-ZrQI

It's like the vocals were recorded over | Fm | Cm7 | and later they changed the arrangement to | Cm | Gm7 | but kept the vocals with the Ab sticking out as a sore thumb.
I think you might like this hot-off-the-press 'fixed' version
https://youtu.be/yQTSXvH8_Og

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KVRAF
13036 posts since 8 Mar, 2005 from Utrecht, Holland

Post Wed Aug 04, 2021 3:23 am

CinningBao wrote:
Wed Aug 04, 2021 3:03 am
I think you might like this hot-off-the-press 'fixed' version
https://youtu.be/yQTSXvH8_Og
:hyper: :clap: :lol:
Actually even less listenable, but ★★★★ for the effort.

Another classic, the vocals slowly creeping up in pitch, not paying attention to the accompanyment:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbyjaUJWWmk
(skip to 2:00)
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KVRAF
2031 posts since 15 Apr, 2004 from Capital City, UK

Post Wed Aug 04, 2021 3:48 am

Haha, thanks. Wow yeah, I never really got on with that Club Nouveau track when it was released.. the reason becomes clear. Can't be bothered to fix that.

To the OP, I'd say listen to some New Order; Bernard Sumner _kind of_ tried to hit notes but they rarely felt settled. I'll probably get shot for saying something as blasphemous as "Bob Dylan sort of aimed towards notes but never really hit them". I've corrected Marc Almond and Tears for Fears over the years as well, people are easily offended so I'll probably keep them to myself.

KVRAF
22778 posts since 20 Oct, 2007 from not here

Post Wed Aug 04, 2021 6:48 am

"perfectly in key?" what does that mean?
You may want 'perfectly intoned'... and in the end few things are. There are classical singers who do intone pretty much perfectly. A top orchestra is probably not going to be frequently noticed as particularly 'out'. Morgan James is an R&B singer who does (Julliard, tho, big training).

Perfect intonation measure by 12tET is a faulty premise, because the simpler concords other than the 2:1 etc are gone. "Perfect fifth" is 2¢ imperfect, its inverse P4 is as well, in the other direction. An ET M3 is 13.69¢ sharp to 5/4. Sometimes it's desirable, sometimes 5/4 will seem 'dull'; there is music that uses more than is available on a piano, and a *good* piano utilizes stretch tuning anyway. Our ears are better than a robot's, we may know from stuff that can't be so facilely sussed.
Last edited by jancivil on Thu Aug 05, 2021 6:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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KVRist

Topic Starter

152 posts since 11 Jan, 2013

Post Wed Aug 04, 2021 10:36 am

I don’t mean about vocals, I mean all of the instruments including the drums.

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KVRAF
13036 posts since 8 Mar, 2005 from Utrecht, Holland

Post Thu Aug 05, 2021 12:46 am

Oh, you wanted a Tuning Drums thread? We had plenty of them before...
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KVRAF
4012 posts since 21 Mar, 2020 from Gothenburg, Sweden

Post Thu Aug 05, 2021 1:07 am

Hmm, depends where you draw the lines. Do you include, accidentals, discords and juxtapositions such as Holst's "Mercury, the winged messenger" which was written in two different keys, separated by a tritone so that they have no note in common?
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KVRAF
1790 posts since 2 Jul, 2010

Post Thu Aug 05, 2021 1:25 am

ARNK wrote:
Wed Aug 04, 2021 10:36 am
I don’t mean about vocals, I mean all of the instruments including the drums.
This doesn't clarify what you meant by "in key".

KVRAF
13047 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Post Thu Aug 05, 2021 1:44 am

Backup singers are a little pitchy in this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvLsncrJokI

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KVRAF
34058 posts since 11 Aug, 2008 from another dimension

Post Thu Aug 05, 2021 2:11 am

A lot of Jazz is out of Key. Don't believe your lying ears they say ... there are no wrong notes. PATHETIC!!!
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KVRAF
2370 posts since 2 Jun, 2016

Post Thu Aug 05, 2021 4:40 am

Top bloke and frontman for a great band, but in fairness Ian Brown of the Stone Roses was well renowned for his out-of-key lazy singing style.
(Now I come to think of it, Shaun Ryder of the Happy Mondays wasn't exactly too bothered about singing in key either).
Ultimately, it didn't matter too much to the youth of the day (or indeed now).

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KVRAF
2264 posts since 12 Jan, 2019

Post Thu Aug 05, 2021 4:50 am

...
Last edited by Dirtgrain on Thu Aug 05, 2021 4:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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