PDA

View Full Version : DISLIKE OF G AND E MAJOR?


PDG
11-24-2000, 11:44 PM
Thinking about the Opus 31 sonatas, it occurs to me that up to this point, Beethoven was evidently keen on the key of G major; however, after this point, his only significant works in this key were the 4th piano concerto and the last violin sonata. E major fares even less well with Beethoven. I can only think of the two sonatas - Opuses 14/1 and 109 - among his entire important output, written in this key. I know that E flat (with its related C minor) was Beethoven`s favourite key, but did he ever express dissatisfaction with any other, or is it just coincidence with G and E?
Do you agree with me that Beethoven`s balance of works between the major and the minor keys generally was probably ideal, whereas Mozart did not utilize minor as much as he could have (although when he did, it was usually special), thus our general perception of his music is that it is sunny and optimistic?
Compare Chopin. Could it be that because most of his works are in minor keys, our general perception of him is that his was the ultimate, tortured, romantic soul?

[This message has been edited by PDG (edited 11-25-2000).]

Peter
11-25-2000, 11:56 AM
The subject of keys is really quite interesting - I think B was quite fascinated by it himself - 18th century composers were of course more limited in their choice of keys owing to the nature of the instruments they were writing for - Trumpets for example were only suited to a few keys, so there is a predominance of symphonies in C/G and D majors.
B minor is another rare key in Beethoven.Haydn was actually more adventurous with his choice of keys than Mozart, although Mozart is harmonically more daring within the chosen key. Also with Mozart there is an ambiguous quality, often his music combines pathos with joy, so that even when the music appears happy there is frequently an underlying current of sadness

------------------
'Man know thyself'

Michael
11-26-2000, 07:33 PM
It's interesting that the earliest surviving work by B is in the minor key, a set of variations in C minor. I believe this was rare at the time of their publication as most variation sets were in major keys.
B had some fixed notions about keys, as well.
Was B minor the key he referred to as "barbarous"?

Michael

Peter
11-27-2000, 04:10 PM
The Ancient Greeks linked music with colours, Scriabin and Rimsky-Korsakov both believed each musical key had a specific colour, and Beethoven once described B minor as black.
Rimsky-Korsakov's list predicts that a piece in G major will sound Gold ,but according to his theory, the same tune played in A would sound pink. He was heavily influenced by theosophy, a contemporary philosophical movement headed by Elena Blavatsky, which links emotions with colours (red/anger; yellow/intellect; black/hatred, etc.). Scriabin went further, looking for links between colour, aroma, key and mood. His last completed work, Prometheus: the poem of fire of 1908-10 attempts this. Scriabin links keys (arranged in fifths) very nearly with the colours of the rainbow and with moods: C/red/human will; G/creative play/orange; D/yellow/joy; A/matter/green; E/dreams/ blue, and so on. The work requires among other instruments a tastiera per luce - a "light keyboard" with "music" notated on two staffs, one of which changes hue from time to time, the other indicating a hue corresponding to the harmonic centre of the music.
The idea of different moods for different keys of orchestral music was very strong in the 17th &18th centuries . Because of their construction, instruments sounded very different according to the key they played in; the valveless brass instruments of the time could only play in keys such as C or D, so composers wanting a stirring, bright, brassy sound had to write in these keys. String instruments sounded resonant and bright in keys such as D or A because the A and D strings on the instrument would resonate even when not being played; in keys like B flat or E flat there was no such resonance, so those keys sounded muffled. Woodwind instruments played fine in keys like B flat or E flat, but would be slightly out of tune in B or E, so composers would have to write woodwind music in flat keys.

Isaac Newton observed that the spectrum consists of seven colours and thought there might be a link with the seven notes in a scale.

PDG
11-28-2000, 04:57 AM
Thank you, Peter and Michael.

Peter, your explanation linking keys to colours/moods/etc. is very interesting, and is substantiated by the excellent accompanying notes by Egon Voss for `FIDELIO` (Norman/Goldberg/Moll/HAITINK), on Philips (1989). In these notes, Schindler quotes Beethoven: `You have claimed that it is all the same whether a song is in F minor, E minor or G minor; i call that as nonsensical as the claim that twice two is five.` Voss further exerts that `the ear has a personality of its own...and it is impossible for a musician who has grown up with the conviction that each key has its own distinctive character...to separate objectively his impression of what he hears from what he believes.`

Voss`s final paragragh is extremely thought-provoking:

`In Beethoven`s music, harmony is of enormous significance, both as a medium of expression and as a means of creating tension. Today, however, harmonic senitivity and perception seem to be thwarted rather than cultivated, in an age when harmony in `classical` music is largely resolved purely in terms of sound...This loss of harmonic sensitivity must not be allowed to continue. To lose it would mean...stunting the imagination and sensitivity of man; it would mean a loss of humanity.`

If Voss is right, then I think that when Beethoven described a grubby shirt collar as being `as dirty as D flat` (the key), we have to assume that tonality was always crucial in Beethoven`s thinking. But I am, nevertheless, still perplexed. As you say, for Beethoven, B minor was `black`, and yet its related key is D major, the key of the wonderful 2ND SYMPHONY, the VIOLIN CONCERTO and the `ODE TO JOY` finale of Op. 125 - I can`t quite wrap my mind around this (as I see it) glaring discrepancy i.e. black and negative related to brilliant and positive.

And I am still surprised at how Beethoven`s interest in the reliably solid key of G major (especially) apparently tapered off after Opp. 30 and 31.

Any further comments would be appreciated.

Peter
11-28-2000, 11:29 AM
What complicates matters here is the difference in pitch today - It was as much as a semitone out - yet the strange thing is that the moods associated with the keys don't seem to change - I mean D and A major still sound very bright keys and yes Beethoven, B minor sounds dark (just listen to Schubert's unfinished or Tchaikovsky's Pathetique !).
Tonality was crucial in B's thinking, but that applies to all classical composers using Sonata form - I just think B was the greatest master of it, maybe because he had such an understanding of the moods of different keys.

------------------
'Man know thyself'

Peter
11-28-2000, 11:53 AM
Originally posted by PDG:
As you say, for Beethoven, B minor was `black`, and yet its related key is D major, the key of the wonderful 2ND SYMPHONY, the VIOLIN CONCERTO and the `ODE TO JOY` finale of Op. 125 - I can`t quite wrap my mind around this (as I see it) glaring discrepancy i.e. black and negative related to brilliant and positive.

And I am still surprised at how Beethoven`s interest in the reliably solid key of G major (especially) apparently tapered off after Opp. 30 and 31.

Any further comments would be appreciated.

I don't see it as a discrepancy - everything has its opposite including black and white ! Natural that D major as one of the brightest keys should have B minor (one of the darkest) as its twin .

For G major don't forget Op.58 /79 and 96. - you didn't in your thread starter !

------------------
'Man know thyself'

[This message has been edited by Peter (edited 11-28-2000).]

PDG
11-28-2000, 02:32 PM
Thanks again, Peter, but...er...I did refer to Opp. 58 and 96 (I wouldn`t call Op. 79 a truly significant work)!

On reflection, I think I misread you - that I had overlooked these works - oops!

[This message has been edited by PDG (edited 11-28-2000).]

Rod
11-28-2000, 04:18 PM
Originally posted by Peter:

What complicates matters here is the difference in pitch today - It was as much as a semitone out - yet the strange thing is that the moods associated with the keys don't seem to change - I mean D and A major still sound very bright keys and yes Beethoven, B minor sounds dark (just listen to Schubert's unfinished or Tchaikovsky's Pathetique !).
Tonality was crucial in B's thinking, but that applies to all classical composers using Sonata form - I just think B was the greatest master of it, maybe because he had such an understanding of the moods of different keys.


Tonality is abolutely important, and I for one have always thought the pitch too high today, at least for Beethoven and earlier. When you here period performances where the pitch of A varies from between 415 to 430 the difference is very perceptible when you switch back to the modern sound of the same works, in the minor key especially. I do not go along with the idea that if the pitch is risen, the emotional impression is still the same because the relative effect is maintained across the scale (if you get my meaning). Once you have experienced the lower pitch, you don't want to go back as, for me at least, it then induces an slight element of 'triviality' (for want of a better word) to the whole experience that I cannot get rid of in my mind even after repeated hearing.

Rod

------------------
"If I were but of noble birth..." - Rod Corkin

Peter
11-28-2000, 08:26 PM
Originally posted by Rod:
Tonality is abolutely important, and I for one have always thought the pitch too high today, at least for Beethoven and earlier. When you here period performances where the pitch of A varies from between 415 to 430 the difference is very perceptible when you switch back to the modern sound of the same works, in the minor key especially. I do not go along with the idea that if the pitch is risen, the emotional impression is still the same because the relative effect is maintained across the scale (if you get my meaning).
Rod



I don't know about the pitch being too high - the thing is that in B's day you could travel from one city to another and be in a different key - something had to be done. To Mozart (who had perfect pitch to such a degree that he could detect differences of 1/8 of a tone), it must have been particularly unnerving.
From what I gather pitch reached its highest point in the 1880's where Erard and Broadwood tuned A at around 455 - It's interesting to note that in 1812, the Paris conservatoire had A at 440 - the same as today.
------------------
'Man know thyself'

[This message has been edited by Peter (edited 11-28-2000).]

Chris
11-28-2000, 08:43 PM
For some reason, I have never been able to match sounds to colors. Looks like I'm really missing out!

PDG
10-23-2007, 12:27 AM
Thought I'd resurrect this again as I feel it's an interesting and under-developed topic. Also, it's good to read some of Rod's views again! Any newer members have any opinions? :)

Gurn Blanston
10-23-2007, 01:17 AM
I have a couple of things to add, although they may be of interest only to me. It concerns selection of keys. The first involves Beethoven, the second, Mozart.

When Beethoven rescored his piano sonata #9, Op 14 #1, for string quartet, he changed the key from E major to F major. Why would he do that? Strings can play any key, most of them quite comfortably. Well, there is a Bb in the bass which is a prominent note in the sonata, and he wants it to go to the cello, of course. The lowest note a cello can play is the open C string. So to get this, without tuning the cello in scordatura, is to raise the whole thing a semitone. So he did. Key choice is made from limitation of the instrument(s).

The Mozart one involves me lifting a quote from another forum I frequent, a post I saved a long time ago because of its interest and pertinence:

(A picture of) Mozart's own Walter Fortepiano. It's resolution is not as great as I'd like, but if you look close it does show the entire keyboard. The top note is F and the bottom note is F. Then I got out my book of the piano Sonatas and Fantasies. When you mentally play the music on the picture of the Fortepiano you see that these Sonatas just barely fit on that instrument.

For example...

K279 in C comes within 1/2 step of the top and 1/2 step of the bottom notes on that Walter keyboard.

K280 in F uses the very top and the very bottom notes of that keyboard.

K281 in Bb uses the very top and comes within a fourth of the bottom.

K282 in Eb has the most leeway in that it comes within 1/2 step of the top
and has an available octave at the bottom. This one Sonata could have been written in any key.

K283 in G uses the very top note and comes within 1/2 step of the bottom.

K284 in D comes within 1/2 step on top and a third on the bottom.

K309 in C uses the very top and comes within a full step of the bottom.

K311 in D comes within a second of the top and uses the very bottom note.

K310 in a uses the very top note and comes within a 1/2 step of bottom.

K396 The Fantasy in c minor uses the very top and very bottom notes of Mozart's piano. There is no other key but c minor for this music on this piano, this was not an emotional decision

At any rate, you get the picture I think. Mozart used his entire keyboard in several pieces and came darn close in the others. There are very few options for writing any of these Sonatas in other keys. To want K310 in a minor to carry the "emotion" of e minor would be impossible. It had to be a or a flat minor, or wait for invention of larger keyboards.


I think this is quite revealing, and also speaks to key choice being based on limitations of the instrument. This is not to say, of course, that there weren't some great philosophical reasons for key choice too, but sometimes the reasoning is a lot more mundane and practical than we give it credit for. :)

:cool:

----------------
Now playing: Kraus String Quartets - Lysell Quartet - Kraus Quartet #4 in D for Strings 3rd mvmt

PDG
10-23-2007, 09:54 AM
I have a couple of things to add, although they may be of interest only to me. It concerns selection of keys. The first involves Beethoven, the second, Mozart.

When Beethoven rescored his piano sonata #9, Op 14 #1, for string quartet, he changed the key from E major to F major. Why would he do that? Strings can play any key, most of them quite comfortably. Well, there is a Bb in the bass which is a prominent note in the sonata, and he wants it to go to the cello, of course. The lowest note a cello can play is the open C string. So to get this, without tuning the cello in scordatura, is to raise the whole thing a semitone. So he did. Key choice is made from limitation of the instrument(s).

The Mozart one involves me lifting a quote from another forum I frequent...

...K396 The Fantasy in c minor uses the very top and very bottom notes of Mozart's piano. There is no other key but c minor for this music on this piano, this was not an emotional decision

At any rate, you get the picture I think. Mozart used his entire keyboard in several pieces and came darn close in the others. There are very few options for writing any of these Sonatas in other keys. To want K310 in a minor to carry the "emotion" of e minor would be impossible. It had to be a or a flat minor, or wait for invention of larger keyboards.
[/COLOR]

I think this is quite revealing, and also speaks to key choice being based on limitations of the instrument. This is not to say, of course, that there weren't some great philosophical reasons for key choice too, but sometimes the reasoning is a lot more mundane and practical than we give it credit for. :)

:cool:



All very interesting, Gurn, although surely the key of op.14/1 would have had to be raised two semi-tones to lift that B flat to C. And, without having studied the scores to work out why particularly, Beethoven still wrote two out of three numbered symphonies in the same key of F (6 & 8). LvB was often drawn to E flat major & C minor, so we know that LvB favoured certain keys. My original post was about his lack of works in either E major or G major - two big keys.

The Mozart examples are more fascinating since they indicate that M's creative expression on the whole was controlled by the reach of his instrument. Much has been discussed here about the sounds, timbre, power, etc of instruments of the time, but it is surely more interesting to discuss what some of M's keyboard works could have been had there been a few extra keys to play with. In his mind he may have had certain pieces stretching beyond the practical but then had to reign himself in for the sake of performance. And yet I don't recall him (unlike Beethoven) ever expressing dissatisfaction with fortepianos of his time. He did say though that he didn't like the flute!

Gurn Blanston
10-23-2007, 11:31 PM
All very interesting, Gurn, although surely the key of op.14/1 would have had to be raised two semi-tones to lift that B flat to C. And, without having studied the scores to work out why particularly, Beethoven still wrote two out of three numbered symphonies in the same key of F (6 & 8). LvB was often drawn to E flat major & C minor, so we know that LvB favoured certain keys. My original post was about his lack of works in either E major or G major - two big keys.

The Mozart examples are more fascinating since they indicate that M's creative expression on the whole was controlled by the reach of his instrument. Much has been discussed here about the sounds, timbre, power, etc of instruments of the time, but it is surely more interesting to discuss what some of M's keyboard works could have been had there been a few extra keys to play with. In his mind he may have had certain pieces stretching beyond the practical but then had to reign himself in for the sake of performance. And yet I don't recall him (unlike Beethoven) ever expressing dissatisfaction with fortepianos of his time. He did say though that he didn't like the flute!


Well, I didn't have anything to add to your original premise, so I went with some of the other things that were discussed. And key choice in general.

But your last sentence does bring up a point that I have wondered about. B is frequently quoted to have been "dissatisfied" with the pianos of his time, but exactly what he might have been dissatisfied WITH is not made clear. Many anti-fortepiano people automatically assume that it is the sound quality, since that fits their preconception that modern pianos sound better than period pianos. But of course, Beethoven wouldn't know that, so that can't really be the direct focus of his complaint. I am rather more of the opinion that it is things like compass that he is concerned with, since it directly limits his creative efforts. Which comes round to the Mozart bit. There is certainly convincing circumstantial evidence that Mozart used what he had and couldn't have done more. I'm sure that Beethoven was constrained similarly.

As for the Beethoven quartet thing, I went back and rechecked on that. The low C on the cello is the dominant of the home key (F major), while if it had remained in E major, it would have needed a B (not Bb, sorry) which was not available. Sometimes I type faster than I think... :o

:cool:

----------------
Now playing: Cherubini Piano - Mario Patuzzi - Cherubini Capriccio ou Etude for Piano 1789 3rd mvmt - Andantino

PDG
10-24-2007, 10:07 PM
Yes, Gurn, I thought you must have meant B rather than B flat...

Fascinating stuff, though. If Mozart had had a melody in his head which stretched beyond his keyboard, it would appear as though he would have had to change his melodic aspiration completely, thus he would have been compromising his creativity. This is a big subject....wonder why it's never come up before?.....:confused:

Gurn Blanston
10-24-2007, 11:19 PM
Yes, Gurn, I thought you must have meant B rather than B flat...

Fascinating stuff, though. If Mozart had had a melody in his head which stretched beyond his keyboard, it would appear as though he would have had to change his melodic aspiration completely, thus he would have been compromising his creativity. This is a big subject....wonder why it's never come up before?.....:confused:

Well, it came up in my head about 5 years ago when I first became interested in fortepianos. I have never raised it in discussion (even though I moderate a quite large forum myself, and take part in 6 fora in all). I think the reason that I haven't brought it up is that I am basically quite ignorant. But why people who know things haven't brought it up is a mystery for the ages, IMO. Even that post I quoted on Mozart was only talking about key choices, not creative potential. The door was open, no one walked through. I would truly enjoy such a discussion. :)

:cool:


----------------
Now playing: Schubert: Winterreise - Martiti Talvela / Ralf Gothoni - Der Lindenbaum ('Am Brunnen vor dem Tore'), songs for voice & piano (Winterreise), D. 911/5 (Op. 89/5)

Peter
10-25-2007, 08:37 AM
Yes, Gurn, I thought you must have meant B rather than B flat...

Fascinating stuff, though. If Mozart had had a melody in his head which stretched beyond his keyboard, it would appear as though he would have had to change his melodic aspiration completely, thus he would have been compromising his creativity. This is a big subject....wonder why it's never come up before?.....:confused:

It has come up before! In at least one famous example instead of compromising creative ability it stimulated it - Beethoven's D minor sonata (Tempest) where in the opening movement exposition a passage rises up in octaves but in the recapitulation this isn't possible due to the range, so Beethoven instead has just the bottom note rising against a continuous top d producing wonderfully inspired dissonances that probably wouldn't have occured to him had he simply been able to repeat the original passage transposed.

Sorrano
10-25-2007, 02:21 PM
Look at the Missa Solemnis, too. It's scored in D and at that time there were D trumpets, yet the final section employs the B-flat trumpets for the war-like fanfare. The key of D Major had to have more importance than mere convenience for instrumentation in this case.

Quijote
11-03-2007, 01:10 AM
Look at the Missa Solemnis, too. It's scored in D and at that time there were D trumpets, yet the final section employs the B-flat trumpets for the war-like fanfare. The key of D Major had to have more importance than mere convenience for instrumentation in this case.

Interesting point by Sorrano. The D / B-flat relationship is also important in the Ninth symphony (as Nicholas Cook has pointed out). This is an aspect worth developing, and if others do not I would like to return to it at a later point when I have time.

To return to PDG's original question about E / G : at the risk of repeating what others have already posted, it is true that LvB held particular feelings about keys (B minor being "a dark key", for example). Many musicans do, by the way, and it is not necessarily just a question for those who have perfect pitch. Personally, I equate D minor with tragedy (for personal emotive reasons that I need not go into here), A major with "brightness", E-flat with "richness" and so on. I'm afraid that I cannot "see" colour-codes with keys as Schoenberg / Kandinsky posited, but so what? Each to their own.

Others have also posted about keys being suited to certain instruments. This is certainly the case, but is only a part answer. We must not forget the context in which much 18th and early 19th-century music was played : it was essentially what we would call today an "amateur" milieu, and the term 'amateur' at that time did not necessarily mean 'technical incompetence'. That said, the level of technical proficiency was far behind what we would expect of professionals, but it is surely the case that the choice of key reflected the 'amateur' consumption of the printed score.

This question is equally interesting if we look at Beethoven's string quartets. The early set (Op. 18) were (and are) eminently playable by reasonably 'competent' string players. The keys they are composed in (and the keys that they 'visit' in the development of each work) hardly pose great technical challenges. This all changes with the 'Razumovsky' quartets, both in terms of technical proficency (reflecting the increasing 'professionalisation' of the quartet instigated by Schuppanzigh and Beethoven) and use of keys (or modulations to extreme keys). And this aspect (use and choice of key) radically alters in the late quartets.

To address PDG's question about E and G in particular : the prevalence of G in B's oeuvre is not perhaps so scarse as PDG imagines, as others have mentioned. The use of E (major), or rather its relative 'unuse' is worthy of comment. I must reserve comment at this juncture prior to further research. What I would like to point out, however, is the relationship between the two keys PDG asks about : E and G = a third. We all know the importance of this interval in B's oeuvre (I can give examples later if you wish; I'm sure you can all come up with the same anyway!). The 4th piano concerto springs to mind, as does the Hammerklavier, and parts of the late quartets.

I think there is much more to be said about keys. Well done to PDG for raising this important point.

PDG
11-03-2007, 01:27 AM
I think there is much more to be said about keys. Well done to PDG for raising this important point.
Yes, well done to me. My original post was from 7 years ago: that's the same length of time The Beatles were in the spotlight!! :D

Quijote
11-03-2007, 01:40 AM
Yes, well done to me. My original post was from 7 years ago: that's the same length of time The Beatles were in the spotlight!! :D

Yes PDG, 7 years ago. But it was Peter who chose to 'resurrect' the thread. Well done to him and you, then!

PDG
11-03-2007, 02:15 AM
Er...no, that was me, too!

Quijote
11-03-2007, 02:17 AM
Er...no, that was me, too!

Er ... well done to me then for responding so effectively to ... er ...

Junggai
09-02-2008, 07:17 PM
Hello all, new member here.

This topic is of great interest to me, such interest that my dissertation is being written over the same topic, key characteristics in Beethoven.

In my research, I have found a few things which might be interesting to this discussion:

In response to the original thread, Beethoven hardly ignored G Major and E Major if you look within works. For example, E Major appears often in second movements, especially works in C major or minor. It's also famously the key of the second theme group in the first movement of Waldstein, Op. 53. G Major also makes an appearance in Op. 110 and Op. 130.

B's employment of various keys, from what I have found, appears more or less consistent from beginning to end of his output, and in the late works their use within works seems to call up references to other works in that key.

To reply to another comment about the variability of tuning in B's day, I also found two other interesting anecdotes. One is that Beethoven was to play his first concerto, and discovered that the piano was a half step flat. His solution? Play the solo part in C-Sharp to match the orchestra. There's also a second anecdote, more revealing for B's belief in the importance of keys. He wanted to play through his horn sonata on one occasion, and once again, the piano was half a step flat; the hornist offered to add a crook to play flatter, but Beethoven wouldn't hear of it. He opted to transpose in this case as well.

Hofrat
09-02-2008, 08:08 PM
I am sorry I missed this thread. I wanted to bring up the fact that the brilliance of a symphony or a chamber work with strings also depends on the open strings that the strings play. More open strings, more brilliance. Less open strings, less brilliance. More sharps and flats in the key signature, less open strings.

A great example of this is Paganini's 1st violin concerto in D-major. The solo violin is tuned a half tone higher. The solo violin plays in a brilliant D-major (doubly brilliant because of the high tuning) while the orchestra plays in a solemn E-flat major on normally tuned instruments. This allowed Paganini to stand out when he performed.

Hofrat
09-02-2008, 08:29 PM
Look at the Missa Solemnis, too. It's scored in D and at that time there were D trumpets, yet the final section employs the B-flat trumpets for the war-like fanfare. The key of D Major had to have more importance than mere convenience for instrumentation in this case.

You must remember that the trumpet came to the symphonic orchestra by way of the army. And the concert pitch of military bands was B-flat major at that time. In the Leonore overtures 2 and 3, Beethoven scores for C-major trumpets until the time is ripe for the redeeming trumpet calls. For these, Beethoven calls upon a B-flat trumpet, most definitely for the martial effect.

Chris
09-02-2008, 08:40 PM
I am sorry I missed this thread. I wanted to bring up the fact that the brilliance of a symphony or a chamber work with strings also depends on the open strings that the strings play. More open strings, more brilliance. Less open strings, less brilliance. More sharps and flats in the key signature, less open strings.

It seems most string players avoid use of open strings these days. I always liked the sound, myself, plus the nice break it gives my fingers!

Hofrat
09-02-2008, 09:01 PM
I don't know about the pitch being too high - the thing is that in B's day you could travel from one city to another and be in a different key - something had to be done. To Mozart (who had perfect pitch to such a degree that he could detect differences of 1/8 of a tone), it must have been particularly unnerving.
From what I gather pitch reached its highest point in the 1880's where Erard and Broadwood tuned A at around 455 - It's interesting to note that in 1812, the Paris conservatoire had A at 440 - the same as today.
------------------
'Man know thyself'

[This message has been edited by Peter (edited 11-28-2000).]

Salzburg and Vienna, although within the same state, were often worlds apart. It is a tribute to Mozart that he could navigate both worlds with such ease.

The recording industry caused the tuning to rise again. Brilliant music sold well and the easiest way to brilliantize your music performance was to tune higher. The tuning rose and rose until the pianos started to collapse, since the recording executives did not realize how many extra tons of tension the piano must bear when tuning it only one half tone higher.

Hofrat
09-02-2008, 10:07 PM
E-major has 4 sharps in its key signature. C#-minor has the same 4 sharps in its key signature. Beethoven only wrote 2 works in C#-minor: a sonata opus 27/2 and a string quartet opus 131. That is about even with his E-major output and half of his G-major output. With regards to the sonata, Beethoven was sharply criticized for writing it in "that terrible key!"

Apparently, C#-minor was not an easy key. Only two symphonies were written in that key in the whole 18th century, one of which was by Joseph Martin Kraus (1756-1792) and he later rewrote it in a more managible C-minor. Even Brahms had trouble with C#-minor when he was composing his 3rd piano quartet.