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#46090 - 01/15/04 11:03 AM Song ending in a different key than the beginning!
Ted Rose Offline
Member

Registered: 01/16/02
Posts: 515
Loc: United States
I have written a song that starts out in the key of F. No problem there, but I smoothly (I think) move into the key of Eb for the middle part. However, I have discovered that when I get to play the final few bars to end the song, I am still in the key of Eb. I have tried to modulate back to F, but the chords to get back don't match the melody line and just don't sound right to me unless they are in Eb (you all may remember I am an "ear player," so music theory books don't help me at all!). Anyway, my question is: is it musically acceptable to start a song in one key and end it in another, or should (must) it return to the original key to conclude? I hope this isn't a dumb question, but then I have been known to ask dumber ones in the past! Thanks for any sort of response or clarification for me. If you need further clarification, just let me know!

Ted

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#46091 - 01/15/04 11:57 AM Re: Song ending in a different key than the beginning!
tony mads usa Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/16/02
Posts: 12924
Loc: East Greenwich RI USA
Ted ... I have seen songs that begin on one key and end in another, although no names come to mind right now.... Regardless, you are the composer, so if it sounds as you want it to, who is to say it's wrong?!? ..
t.
_________________________
t. cool

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#46092 - 01/15/04 12:21 PM Re: Song ending in a different key than the beginning!
Tony Lawton Offline
Member

Registered: 04/19/03
Posts: 33
Loc: England
It is quite normal for a song to change key several times and finish in a different key to that in which it started. 'Can't smile without you' springs to mind where it changes key 3 times. Starts in G then A flat then A and finishes in B flat.

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#46093 - 01/15/04 12:35 PM Re: Song ending in a different key than the beginning!
Chuck Piper Offline
Member

Registered: 01/17/02
Posts: 403
Loc: United Kingdom
Hi Ted,

There are many ways to modulate among keys. The two most common methods are moving from the current key through the dominant of the new key, then continuing the melody in the new key; or, using a diminished chord common to the current key and the new key.

In the first instance you would move from an Eb chord through a C7 chord to an F chord. In the second instance you would move from an Eb chord to a F# diminished chord and then to an F chord. Which method you use will depend on the melody notes.

Finally, there is nothing wrong with a song beginning in F and ending in Eb. It may not be common but it isn't wrong. The only guide is how the music sounds to you. If it sounds good as is, then don't modulate back to F. However, you are asking the modulation question and that leads me to think you feel your song needs to return to the key of F.

If I can help you further, don't hesitate to ask.

Chuck

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#46094 - 01/15/04 03:07 PM Re: Song ending in a different key than the beginning!
Bill Norrie Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/16/02
Posts: 2296
Loc: North Yorkshire
Hi Ted, try 'Unforgettable' - it starts in one key and finishes in another. If you start in 'C' it finishes in 'F'

------------------
Willum
_________________________
Willum

After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is Music.
Aldous Huxley
( especially when the music is played on a KN7000....)

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#46095 - 01/15/04 04:53 PM Re: Song ending in a different key than the beginning!
Mark And Michelle Offline
Member

Registered: 12/26/03
Posts: 83
Loc: Mersea Island, Essex, U K
Hi,

I'm no great composer but I've just sat down and listened to two versions of Beethoven's Fifth. The first was the original; it sticks to one key,C, throughout ,I think. The second is a modern 'Disco' version entitled 'A Fifth Of Beethoven'; I don't know why, but it has more key jumps than I've ever come across before.

As with the previous replies, if it sounds right to you, for want of a better phrase, publish and be pround of your work.

Regards,

Lucy

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#46096 - 01/16/04 02:58 AM Re: Song ending in a different key than the beginning!
waterschip Offline
Member

Registered: 03/15/02
Posts: 118
Loc: Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Hi Chuck,
I don't quite understand you.

Quote:

The two most common methods are moving from the current key through the dominant of the new key, then continuing the melody in the new key;
]QOUTE]
In the first instance you would move from an Eb chord through a C7 chord to an F chord.

Didn't have to be F7 to an F chord see yor qoute??

rgds.
Willem
In the second instance you would move from an Eb chord to a F# diminished chord and then to an F chord. Which method you use will depend on the melody notes.

Finally, there is nothing wrong with a song beginning in F and ending in Eb. It may not be common but it isn't wrong. The only guide is how the music sounds to you. If it sounds good as is, then don't modulate back to F. However, you are asking the modulation question and that leads me to think you feel your song needs to return to the key of F.

If I can help you further, don't hesitate to ask.

Chuck[/B]

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#46097 - 01/16/04 04:56 AM Re: Song ending in a different key than the beginning!
Ted Rose Offline
Member

Registered: 01/16/02
Posts: 515
Loc: United States
Hey, my dear Forum friends!

I KNEW I would get answers here, and the ones I have received are great! I have worked on my little creative work several times, and I like what I hear (in all modesty). So, on your advice, I may just leave it as it is, starting in one key, ending in another, or, if the muse inspires me, I may add another line to the lyric and end up back in F again. Who knows what today (or tomorrow) may bring?!

Thanks all of you for taking the time to respond; you have no idea how much I appreciate it and how much I enjoy chatting with you all on this Forum. May it live for a long, long time, Technics decisions notwithstanding!

Cheers and joy to you all!

Ted

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#46098 - 01/16/04 07:49 AM Re: Song ending in a different key than the beginning!
Chuck Piper Offline
Member

Registered: 01/17/02
Posts: 403
Loc: United Kingdom
Hi Willem,

I'm not sure I understand your question and I want to give you a proper answer, so I am going to assume your question is: shouldn't you move from F7 to F rather than C7 to F?

More often than not a chord progression follows the generally accepted rules of harmony. There are always exceptions of course. A popular chord progression (sequence)is C to F to G7 and back to C, or 1 to 4 to 5 to 1. In the case of the Key of F, the same 1-4-5-1 progression would be F to Bb to C7 and back to F.

Ted's song moves from the key of F to the key of Eb. He wants to return to the key of F when leaving the key of Eb. The smoothest and simplest way to do that is to move to the dominant note of the new key, in this case from Eb to C7 (the dominant of F), then to F. The melody note or notes would necessarily be those notes within the chord being played. The notes Bb and G are common to Eb and C7 so you could sustain a Bb note or G note while playing the two chords (Eb and C7) and that would give a smooth transition into the new key of F.

Hope this helps.

Goeden Middag Vriend,

Chuck

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