Archive | 2021

The Character of the Keys in the Music of the Classical and Romantic Period



To discuss the character of keys in tonal music is a task between speculation and science based on facts. The purpose of this essay is to identify empirical facts on which individual traits of a given key are based. At the same time, I was keen on leaving room for the imagination, which plays an essential role in this context. On the one hand, it was my aim to conduct research which yields concrete results; on the other, I wanted to maintain an open-minded approach so as not to lose or narrow down the great range of feelings associated with individual keys. I also discuss a number of varying and contradictory approaches to the subject. In addition, I have included some thoughts on the much-disputed interconnectedness of key and colour. I examined a limited number of examples - by Joseph Haydn, Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann and others - because I was primarily interested in pointing out relatable reasons for a given key’s perceived character and not necessarily in comparing a maximum number of compositions.

Volume 1
Pages 66-84
DOI 10.26262/SMB.V1I2.7934
Language English
Journal None

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