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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000286.txt from 2003/06

From: "Brash, Alexander" <>
Subj: RE: [kl] Keys and their character-AAAAAHHHHHHH!
Date: Tue, 10 Jun 2003 12:51:13 -0400

I'm going to give up on arguing with Mr. Leeson, and not because I
shrink from arguing, but because of his extremely arrogant and disrespectful
manner. Who the hell do you think you are, the "Messiah" of music out to
"kill all the bad ideas." There are scholars of music far more learned than
you and, and performers of a far higher caliber, as well as EVERYONE I know
with perfect pitch (including me), who will insist that different keys MEAN
different things to them. You can't tell them they're wrong just because
they can't prove it. You accuse me of not providing facts, but then provide
none of your own, all the while ignoring all the technical information I
suggested about the nature of string playing in period practice, and how
this could literally make things sound "lighter" or "darker." Maybe I'm
wrong, and these ideas certainly aren't mine, but it makes sense to me,
because THAT'S HOW I HEAR IT! Do you suggest that Mozart and Beethoven chose
their tonic keys by chance, and chained the other keys together in a manner
to avoid boredom? First of all, the relative chaining of keys is A LOT more
complicated than "avoiding boredom," and second of all, I reject the fact
that a genius like Mozart or Mendelsohn, when they sat down and started
writing a piece, just picked a key at random and went from there. Play me
the opening cello theme from the Brahms B major trio in Db major, and it's
going to FEEL different.

Alexander Michael Brash
Education Dept, New York Philharmonic
10 Lincoln Center Plaza, 5th Floor

phone (212) 875 - 5735
cell (646) 284 - 0439

-----Original Message-----
From: Dan Leeson []
Subject: Re: [kl] Keys and their character-AAAAAHHHHHHH!

Of course we will talk about it again, ... and again and again until it
is dead. Bad ideas take a lot of killing and this one is particularly bad.

Next comes "dark sound." Feel free to gnash your teeth.


Gil Guerrero wrote:
> AAAAAHHHHHHH!!!! (with appropriate sound of rending of shirt and
> gnashing teeth.)
> Not the Key personality argument AAGGGAAAAAIIIIINNNNN!!
> "Step into my parlor," said the Spider to the Fly...
> Can't we just talk about how many angels can fit on the head of a pin?
> The answer being, of course, three.
>> The idea that each key had its own personality (with A and E being
>> bright) and D-flat, G-flat being serious (or whatever), is another
>> romantic assertion that doesn't have a leg to stand on.

**Dan Leeson **
** **

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