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matakazer
06-01-2015, 06:50 PM
Is key of D always higher than a key of C?

As I know that there is an octave higher of the same particular note. So in this case how do we know the key of C is not higher than the D?

Also if I may ask what the the lowest key, if there is any?

k0k0peli
06-01-2015, 07:24 PM
No key is inherently lower or higher than another. Notes in various octaves can be lower or higher, yes. But a piece in D could be transposed to C an octave or more lower or higher, depending on the range of the voice or instrument. Any voice or instrument will have its own lowest note, but that note could be used in almost any key.

acmespaceship
06-02-2015, 01:04 PM
Is a green bicycle always faster than a blue one? Color has nothing to do with a bike's speed. And the key does not tell you anything about what octave you're playing in.

Somebody says "let's play this song in C" and you play in whatever octave works best for you on your instrument. High or low, your choice. A bass, a uke and a piccolo can all play together in C but they won't be in the same octave.

There is no lowest key. The ukulele has a lowest note. Pianos have a lowest note. Humans have a lowest note that they can hear (it varies by individual). Whales and elephants, among other animals, can hear lower notes than we can.

There's a black hole in the Perseus Cluster vibrating on the same frequency as B-flat 57 octaves below middle C.
http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2003/09sep_blackholesounds/
No living thing we know of can hear a note that low in pitch. So it's a philosophical question, like trees falling alone in the forest, whether it makes a sound.

CeeJay
06-02-2015, 02:20 PM
Yeh ...sorry, I beg to differ ...but nicely :D.....I accept that what you say about different instruments is right ........and octaves ........But ...generally speaking .....on the same instrument then the keys will go up or down because they start in different places ...or start Higher and finish higher .....

If you get a bag of harmoicas then there are slight variations in the sizes ...my *G and C harps feel different to the D E and A which seem a tad smaller...penny whistles are also C largest / lowest up to B the tiniest.............unless Bb is the biggest ...well ,whatever ..you get the drift ?

So on the same instrument to play in say C ...you are arguably playing lower than in A... it doesn't seem to matter so much for the playing ...but if you are singing ...ah then there is a glitch . The singer (?) Leader /dictator in our group cannot sing in anything but C ....so we have everything arranged in C .....Sorry that is a rant , illustrating that yes there is a difference in high low within a two octave span ....which I think up and down is what the soprano uke covers, chord wise anyway ...


CDEFGABC key of C

DEF#GABC#D key of D starts higher and finishes higher and you may not have trouble in the first octave scale ,but you might in the second ..especially when you get to the As and Bs.



*My G harp is a Big River ..the rest are Marine Band so that's maybe why is it is bigger than the C.

kissing
06-02-2015, 05:03 PM
This is how keys work:

... C D E F G A B C D E F G A B C D E F G A B C D E F G A B C ... etc

You can play in the same key, but in different octaves.

You can be playing in the key of C either higher or lower than the key of D depending on where you are/what range the instrument covers.

k0k0peli
06-02-2015, 08:04 PM
Yeh ...sorry, I beg to differ ...but nicely :D.....I accept that what you say about different instruments is right ........and octaves ........But ...generally speaking .....on the same instrument then the keys will go up or down because they start in different places ...or start Higher and finish higher .....

If you get a bag of harmoicas then there are slight variations in the sizes ...my *G and C harps feel different to the D E and A which seem a tad smaller...penny whistles are also C largest / lowest up to B the tiniest.............unless Bb is the biggest ...well ,whatever ..you get the drift ?

So on the same instrument to play in say C ...you are arguably playing lower than in A... it doesn't seem to matter so much for the playing ...but if you are singing ...ah then there is a glitch . The singer (?) Leader /dictator in our group cannot sing in anything but C ....so we have everything arranged in C .....Sorry that is a rant , illustrating that yes there is a difference in high low within a two octave span ....which I think up and down is what the soprano uke covers, chord wise anyway ...

You can also buy harps in Low and High octaves, and if you go Lee Oskar, in varied scales too (inverted major, and harmonic and natural minor). But each harp (or tremolo / octave / orchestral mouth organ) is a separate instrument with its own limits. And even with blues harps you can cross into different keys - same instrument, different choice of notes. If you go modal you can play eight keys on one harp. Which key is higher? Sorry, that's an invalid question, like dividing by zero.

CeeJay
06-02-2015, 09:55 PM
You can also buy harps in Low and High octaves, and if you go Lee Oskar, in varied scales too (inverted major, and harmonic and natural minor). But each harp (or tremolo / octave / orchestral mouth organ) is a separate instrument with its own limits. And even with blues harps you can cross into different keys - same instrument, different choice of notes. If you go modal you can play eight keys on one harp. Which key is higher? Sorry, that's an invalid question, like dividing by zero.


No ....I am sorry ....if you play one instrument then the question is valid for that instrument ...because it is that instrument that you are talking about ....and that includes your voice .

Generically because the octaves are infinite ..then yes there is no higher or lower key. But on a specific instrument that has possibly only a two or three octave range or a voice then the question is valid.

If not so then when why do individuals find it easier to sing in one key than another ?
Without getting into Bass, Tenor ,Soprano of the classic choir or singing brigade . We are talking about your average Joe and Josephines here;)
And even for the defined areas . The key is relative to the range or Octave that person is singing in .

Otherwise you may as well say that D3 on the piano is no higher in pitch than D1. Which it clearly is .


So surely a key that starts further up the scale of that instrument is to be playing in a higher key.

By definition it has to be ....otherwise it would be pointless having them. CAVEAT On the same instrument ...


So a song in D started at D3 is higher than C3 by virtue of the fact that it is the next note UP on the keyboard/fretboard/whatever and is higher than a song in D started at D 1. So "IN THIS CASE" (emphasis, not shouting) D is the higher key than C.


Cross harping is limited to from one to another . Yes I can cross harp a C to G ...I leave out the F# because I have not got one on a C harmonica....unless it is a bendable note ....which not all are...and not having one to hand,so you can only swap or cross harp certain harps..

But I cannot cross a C to an E or D or a to many # and bs...well technically if you just play the naturals that remain but it would only be an accompaniement.

The actual Key name is just a name for a set of notes that fall in a certain order and generically they have no particular value for being higher or lower as that will be defined by the instrument that they are played on .


A key played on a bassoon will sound lower than on a flute.

But a person sat with a ukulele who says this key is too high for me to sing in is correct as well, because that key is taking them into notes on that they may not be able to reach vocally .

And as I can now feel the usual "meh" ;) reactions coming from the conservatory crowd I'm off to me shed.

Louis0815
06-04-2015, 10:16 PM
The actual Key name is just a name for a set of notes that fall in a certain order and generically they have no particular value for being higher or lower as that will be defined by the instrument that they are played on.You're getting to the point here. The musical key defines the root note of a specific scale and the subsequent notes belonging to that scale (e.g. f# in a G major scale instead of f). And consequently it has a serious impact on the corresponding chords as these are (basically) just groups of notes from that scale.
But the key as such does not give any indication about high or low pitch. Nor does it keep you from starting playing the respective notes on the lowest note available on your specific instrument.


A key played on a bassoon will sound lower than on a flute. Yes, but no. The scale you play sounds lower, but this is related to the instrument, not to the key.


But a person sat with a ukulele who says this key is too high for me to sing in is correct as well, because that key is taking them into notes on that they may not be able to reach vocally.Which brings us directly from key to scale. A song is just a sequence of individual notes in certain defined intervals - regardless of key or instrument. Any song has a lowest and a highest note; the interval ("distance") between these two is always the same. Agreed so far?
Any individual has a limited vocal range - and if the lowest or highest note of the song are outside this range you're in trouble: either you enhance your vocal range or you transpose (=change the key of) your song until it fits in your range. Or both.

CeeJay
06-05-2015, 06:51 AM
My meaning of this is that I have an instrument in front of me ....say for arguements sake a ukulele.....the lowest note is C (say a *soprano re-entrant tuned to C6),open C.

If I play a scale in the Key of C I will most likely start at the open C and finish on the third fret 1st string.

So that is the scale of C in the key of C.

Any other scale or key will subsequently have to be "higher" because it starts ..further up the instruments fretboard / keys/ fiddly things.

My meaning is to be specific to the instrument that you are holding in your hands at the time .

(If you are sat at a piano ,then no the key becomes in definable as you have eight (?) octaves or so to choose from .....

But to be fair ...even in the normal playing area of the keyboard which is generally around two above and two below middle C ( the second
of these two are getting pretty shrill and boomy.) and the odd foray into third above and below for popular and "normal" music . I am not going classical here. )


I think the question to all practical purposes is valid when considering normal and everday usage of your instrument .

Yes we can say that the academic and theoretical answer is no key is technically higher or lower . But in a practical application ...on a uke *if played in A it is going to be a higher pitch /scale /key to C....and given that Middle C is usually seen by us non classically trained plebs (I speke for myself here I assure you)as the dividing line between treble and bass clef, and the one next to the lock then that is where I start to think in terms of the keys starting from . So , C is the lowest key and B will be the highest in the *treble....

* I know that you can write bass notes below the C line ...but are they not a bugger to read on the fly ....good job I only play Blues and Boogie Woogie)


Of course , theses are only my own musings ... Personally, I think that for "Practical" and readily understandable purposes the question of higher or lower pitch of the key relative to the instrument that you are playing is a valid one . So to repeat

Academically and scholarly the question is a whole different thing . Ubulele's very full and scholarly reply has given me a nosebleed and a desire for a lie down ....he's right of course ....

As ever I have banged on for 200 lines when one would have done ...oops.

k0k0peli
06-05-2015, 11:09 AM
Again, KEY is not the same as SCALE or PITCH. I may find that a song in C major does not suit my voice or instrument and I can shift to G major… but that shift could be up or down. No key is higher or lower than another. Only the pitches are relative.

k0k0peli
06-05-2015, 02:59 PM
In a purist world that may be correct, but when someone tells me, "Can you put that in a higher key?" I know exactly what they mean, and it's a useful direction, however "incorrect" it may appear to you. And if the current key is C and the comfortable key is G, which *key* is higher?

Let's go back to the OP question: Is key of D always higher than a key of C? The answer is a definite NO. Yes, we can bump-up a song one or two keys, and we know what that means. But that's not what was asked. The up/down issue is ambiguous. Transposing from C to D can be either two semitones up or ten semitones down. Neither *key* is inherently higher or lower. What matters is how we treat them.

franky,b
06-05-2015, 10:24 PM
I found this interesting from a learning point of view ,but slowly reading through it completely lost me , one statement I got it , then the next ,i lost it . But gave me something to think about :confused:

franky,b
06-06-2015, 07:21 AM
Go on,:confused: confuse me more ,sorry I'm repleying without any thought.......

Louis0815
06-06-2015, 12:19 PM
when someone tells me, "Can you put that in a higher key?" I know exactly what they mean, and it's a useful direction, however "incorrect" it may appear to you.
Well, actually the wording of the question is just plain wrong. Fortunately we all tend to use wrong terminology every now and then, so we know what is meant: "Can you play the whole song a few semitones higher?"
Preserving the intervals between the individual notes of the song we usually end up in another key.