All profit supporting special needs music education and Help Musicians
SYOS

Sheet Music can i just pick one

eb424

Member
Messages
608

Hi all happy Saturday to you all. I wanted to play the above tune and like having the words. The original key is a minor but its for the piano and goes lower than a Bb. If I'm playing on my own can i just pick a higher key that doesnt go lower than the Bb. I think someone on here said take it up 2 so does that mean it would be c minor...
 

thomsax

Well-Known Member
Messages
3,909
Are you going to play with a piano or just to play the melody/vocal lines on your own. Then I think Am (C) is fine. If the piano is in Am then the tenor is in Bm (D) and the alto is in F#m (A). In Am you can play it one octave up. But then I think you must play some plam keys tones!?!?!? I don't remember.
 

eb424

Member
Messages
608
Thanks Thomsax..i'd like to play it all the way through as a song. Trouble is in AM lowest note is a Low A i.e lower than the lowest note on the sax... Soo frustrating this music thing..
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
Subscriber
Messages
6,344
If you are playing on your own than you can choose any key you like. But you need to check how high the highest note in the piece is going to be. Saxophone D minor and E minor are fairly easy keys.
 

eb424

Member
Messages
608
silly question if I may... I got a copy of the song in F# which started with a b.. Looking back at the website the version F# minor starts with a low c.. but the e minor starts with a b.. is Eb minor the same as an F# major,,...
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
8,098
If I were playing this tune I would transpose it up 7 to the key of E minor with 1 sharp. This puts it in a comfortable range for the saxophone. If you want to play along with the piano part which is just a bass line, that could be easily transposed to work with the sax.

If you put it in F# minor you are going lower which is even more outside the range of the sax. Going up is the better direction which makes E minor the best choice.
 
Last edited:

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
Subscriber
Messages
6,344
silly question if I may... I got a copy of the song in F# which started with a b.. Looking back at the website the version F# minor starts with a low c.. but the e minor starts with a b.. is Eb minor the same as an F# major,,...

Eb minor is the same key signature as Gb major (6 flats)
D# minor is the same key signature as F# major (6 sharps)
 

eb424

Member
Messages
608
Thanks Nigeld can you point me in the direction of a diagram, having a spot of trouble understanding..:old:..
 

nigeld

I don't need another mouthpiece; but . . .
Subscriber
Messages
6,344
Thanks Nigeld can you point me in the direction of a diagram, having a spot of trouble understanding..:old:..


 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
8,098
This illustration called the "Circle of 5ths" may help to better see the relationships between keys. Notice the key of C major at the top with no sharps or flats. To find the minor key with the same key signature (no sharps or flats) you go around the circle clockwise to the 3rd key which is A minor. On the "flat side" find Eb major with 3 flats and go clockwise 3 and you find that C minor has the same key signature of 3 flats. A minor is the relative minor of C major being related by the fact that they share the same key signature.

Not to make it confusing, but an other easy way to find the "relative minor" key is to go down the major scale to the 6th step: Do - Ti - La which in the key of C is C - B - A giving A minor as the relative minor to C major.

1589045565475.png

Nigeld beat me to it and posted while I was still typing. Hopefully the written description will provide a more complete explanation as to how the "circle" works.
 

eb424

Member
Messages
608
Well thanks for trying... time to dedicate some time to it... is the internal no the amount of #s or bs in the key...
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
Subscriber
Messages
5,987
For every major key, there is a minor key that uses the same key signature, which is referred to as the 'relative minor' of the major key.

Equally, for every minor key, there is a major key which uses the same key signature, which is referred to as the 'relative major' of the minor key.

@nigeld's diagram of the circle of fifths has the major keys on the outer circle; the key signature with the number of sharps/flats is in the middle circle; ad the inner circle shows the relative minor of the major key in the outer circle which shares the same key signature.

@jbtsax's circle of fifths is another way of representing things. If you imagine the key of C major, the notes of the scale go CDEFGAB and back to C, but an octave higher. Each note of the scale can also be called a degree of the scale . Using the notes of the key of C, you can build a scale on each degree of the scale, e.g. starting on d, you woudl get DEFGABCD, E would be EFGABCDE. These are all different "scales". Because each of these scales has a different pattern of tones and semi-tones (whole tones and half tones) to the major scale they sound different.

The one we are interested is what happens when you build the scale on the 6th degree - the A. It turns out that the pattern of tones and semi-tones in the sequence ABCDEFGA, which is only using the notes found in C major, is the natural minor scale.

So, the important thing here is that another way of working out which minor key is related to a given major key is go to the 6th degree of the scale. So, if you were in D major (2 sharps) DEFGABCD the 6th degree is B and B minor is the relative minor of D major.
 

Tenor Viol

Full of frets in North Shropshire
Subscriber
Messages
5,987
I deliberately avoided one word in my post as I didn't want to complicate matters further... and that is 'modes'.

Each of the scales I mentioned above, so C==>C, D==>D etc all the way to B==>B but each using only the notes of the key of C are called modes. The patterns of tones and semi-tones that we call a major scale is also known as the Ionian mode, and the pattern of tones and semi-tones that forms the natural minor scale is also known as the Aeolian mode.

The notes D==>D are the Dorian mode (which is sometimes referred to as D Dorian i.e. Dorian mode starting on the note D), E==>E is Phrygian etc.

And, it's the same in every key. So, if we were in G major, the notes in the key of G so GABCDEF#G are the Ionian mode, which we now know is the same as the major scale. The note E is our 6th degree, so E is our relative minor aka Aeolian mode, and if we were to play the scale starting on A the 2nd degree of the scale, we would be playing A Dorian.

Hope that helps. It's a messy area.
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom