#socs Musical Confusion

In Western music, there are 12 major keys: C, C# (D flat), D, D# (E flat), E, F, F# (G flat), G, G# (A flat), A, A# (B flat), and B. The most common key is C, which takes the notes with no sharps (#) or flats after them: C, D, E, F, G, A, B. Using the letter names is most common today, but occasionally you’ll see these written in the sol-fa degrees: do, re, mi, fa, so (or sol), la, ti (or si).

The first time I played with a group of Spanish musicians, their music denoted their chords using the sol-fa method. I was unfamiliar with it, but I had seen The Sound Of Music and figured that do-re-mi depended on the key you were in. Thus, if the song was in the key of C, do was C, re was D, mi was E etc., and if the song was in F, do was F, re was G, mi was A etc.

The first song we play together is in the key of F, and the first chord is re minor, so we all start, with them playing D minor and me playing G minor. They stop and look at me like “what the hell are you doing?” and I look at them like “what the hell are you doing?” After some discussion, we got it all straightened out, and I learned a new trick.

Linda runs Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Now a word about Pet evaporated milk.

22 thoughts on “#socs Musical Confusion

  1. Very interesting! Not that I understand it all. I learned how to sing listening to The Sound of Music soundtrack and put my fingers where the dots are on the chord charts, tho sometimes I cheat. You have a # mind, John.

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    1. There’s a lot of Greek in music, as it happens: Pythagorean tuning, the modes of the major scale (Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, Locrian), and I’m sure I could find more.

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