Db key - Nice!

Edited: February 15, 2019, 12:48 AM · In this video, the violinist is playing a medley of 3 love songs, originally sung in Chinese.

What is interesting is that these songs were originally sung in key of F. This is a reasonably violin-friendly key.

Yet she chooses to transpose to Db key.

I played the songs myself in Db key and they sound sweeter and mellower than F key.

I wonder if this is because, in Db key, none of the 'resonant notes' i.e. G, D, E, A were used? Thus a mellower sound. What do you think?

Replies (9)

February 15, 2019, 6:13 AM · No open strings, higher fingerings... She's bowing very lightly, too.
Edited: February 15, 2019, 6:30 AM · That's possible. I'd also consider the possibility that some people find it easier to play in keys with flats. I do, because of short fingers, and my bias toward flats is so great that I actually find playing in G-flat and C-flat major (6 and 7 flats) easier than playing in E major (4 sharps).
February 15, 2019, 9:32 AM · Just think of it as F flat major ;)
Edited: February 15, 2019, 11:36 AM · I think an absence of resonant notes is also a reason why some composers of choral works accompanied by strings prefer keys with a lot of flats (John Rutter is a prime example). Also, in orchestral works of late-19th century German romanticism we have, for example, Anton Bruckner with symphonies replete with multiple flats, including double flats, and the occasional enharmonic change into a corresponding sharp key to keep everyone on their toes.

Currently, we're working on Bruckner 4 for a performance next month, and my working hypothesis is that his choice of keys and complex harmonic structures in this symphony (and others) is because he was an outstanding organist of his era who liked playing on the black keys and was a friend of Wagner :)

Incidentally, a good scale to practice is A-flat minor (7 flats), in its harmonic and melodic minor versions. Over 3 octaves, naturally. But do this in your warm-up before rehearsal when everyone else is tuning and you're guaranteed some funny looks, at the very least!

Edited: February 16, 2019, 12:57 AM · I have often suspected that pianist-composers, who are in the majority, prefer playing on the black keys because they are easier to feel, so they write in those higher number flats and sharps keys out of their convenience. On the well-tempered keyboard all the tonalities sound the same. They are either unaware or unconcerned about the extra technical difficulties they are creating for the strings. I am thinking mainly about the pianist-composers after Beethoven, before Mahler.
February 15, 2019, 3:05 PM · Joel certainly that is true of Chopin.
February 20, 2019, 8:10 PM · And Gb Key also does not have the ‘resonant notes' i.e. G, D, E, A.
Edited: February 21, 2019, 1:12 PM · @joel. Irving Berlin could only play in F# because of the black keys.

Edited: February 24, 2019, 12:58 PM · Trevor, please do not do any scale exercises while "everybody is tuning". It is a very annoying habit to those who still want to tune! If your instrument is tuned be silent!

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