2017 was our 20th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.9 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad)
Petrof Pianos
Petrof Pianos
(ad)
Pianoteq
PianoTeq Karsten Collection
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Who's Online Now
37 members (clothearednincompo, Brahms4, Doug M., CyberGene, Chrispy, David B, BachToTheFuture, Frédéric L, 7 invisible), 317 guests, and 385 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 1 of 2 1 2
Fustrated with sheet music
#2892238 09/20/19 07:48 AM
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 2
D
duanef Offline OP
Junior Member
OP Offline
Junior Member
D
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 2
I play Beethoven and almost all the sheets for sale are in the PROPER KEY.
So frustrating to try to find jazz or pop in the right key.

I'm done wondering what these music majors who produce the sheets are thinking: who cares.

What I want to know is where can I get Donald Fagan's work in the original key.

It does make a difference...maybe not as much as it does to guitar, but everything matters.

Any tips on a good Steely Dan book?
Other jazz/pop transcribers/publishers that are always reliable?

Thanks.
My first post here!


I play a 88 Casio Grand simulation piano
Re: Fustrated with sheet music
duanef #2892244 09/20/19 08:38 AM
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 2,218
T
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
T
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 2,218
I'm not sure that pop and jazz is intimately tied to a particular key. Or to how it appears on sheet music. I've never expected that kind of music to have a rigorously accurate paper form, and, indeed, the playing of it often changes depending on a variety of factors. I thought that was part of the fun of jazz and pop.

Welcome to the forums!

Re: Fustrated with sheet music
duanef #2892247 09/20/19 08:48 AM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 13,500
B
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 13,500
Originally Posted by duanef
I play Beethoven and almost all the sheets for sale are in the PROPER KEY.
So frustrating to try to find jazz or pop in the right key.

I'm done wondering what these music majors who produce the sheets are thinking: who cares.

What I want to know is where can I get Donald Fagan's work in the original key.

I'm puzzled by your question.

Non-classical music is not set in stone. There is no 'proper key', unlike a Beethoven sonata. In fact, when a pop singer ages, he often sings the same song in a different, lower key, as well as a different arrangement. The same when others sing the same song in their own cover versions.

When I sing a pop song and accompany myself on the guitar, I use a key that suits my vocal range, which may or may not be the key that I heard the song in.

I don't know who Donald Fagan is, but if you already have his piano arrangements that you're playing from and want to play them in the keys you heard him sing in, just transpose the songs to that key. To do that of course, you need to know the basics of key signatures and transposition......


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Fustrated with sheet music
bennevis #2892295 09/20/19 10:53 AM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 3,487
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 3,487
Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by duanef
I play Beethoven and almost all the sheets for sale are in the PROPER KEY.
So frustrating to try to find jazz or pop in the right key.

I'm done wondering what these music majors who produce the sheets are thinking: who cares.

What I want to know is where can I get Donald Fagan's work in the original key.

I'm puzzled by your question.

Non-classical music is not set in stone. There is no 'proper key', unlike a Beethoven sonata. In fact, when a pop singer ages, he often sings the same song in a different, lower key, as well as a different arrangement. The same when others sing the same song in their own cover versions.

When I sing a pop song and accompany myself on the guitar, I use a key that suits my vocal range, which may or may not be the key that I heard the song in.

I don't know who Donald Fagan is, but if you already have his piano arrangements that you're playing from and want to play them in the keys you heard him sing in, just transpose the songs to that key. To do that of course, you need to know the basics of key signatures and transposition......



+1. Agree 100%.



[Linked Image]
Re: Fustrated with sheet music
duanef #2892551 09/21/19 04:52 AM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 541
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 541
I agree to 100% with duanef and would like to add that most piano arrangements of jazz and pop music are oversimplified and sound awful as long as you play them as written. E.g. I made my own piano arrangement of the Abba song "The Winner Takes It All" to be submitted to the Nordic Themed Recital next month when I discovered the sheet music available is either in F major or in G major but not in the original key Gb major. Those arrangers seem to underestimate their customers, like "Gb major is so difficult, the pianists interested will never be able to play something with so many flats..." The only way out is to make one's own arrangement.

Each key signature has its specific character, in classical music as well as in non-classical music. I will always want to hear "Bridge over troubled water" in E-flat major and not in D or C major. If an artist thinks he can convince me that some piece sounds better or as good in another key he is free to do so and maybe I will discover something new in that song but until then I want the initial, original key signature.

No idea who Donald Fagan is.

Re: Fustrated with sheet music
bennevis #2892576 09/21/19 07:37 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 27,623
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 27,623
Originally Posted by bennevis
I don't know who Donald Fagan is, but if you already have his piano arrangements that you're playing from and want to play them in the keys you heard him sing in, just transpose the songs to that key.
But if the OP could do that he wouldn't have asked his original question.

Re: Fustrated with sheet music
duanef #2892578 09/21/19 07:38 AM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 27,623
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 27,623
When playing solo excellent jazz pianists usually play a piece in the key it was originally written in so, unlike others on this thread, I think the OP's request makes sense.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 09/21/19 07:40 AM.
Re: Fustrated with sheet music
duanef #2892679 09/21/19 12:53 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 24,135
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 24,135
When it comes to popular music, whether recent or from the last century, we don't always know what the "original" key was unless we have access to the composer's manuscript. In some cases, songs were written for specific singers with their vocal range in mind which may not have been a key in which the general public would find the published version.

Even a recorded version may not be in the "original" key, but, rather, in the key that best suits the particular performer's voice.

Make the best you can with the scores you find or, if it suits you better, transpose the song in the key that you think is the appropriate one.

It is documented that Irving Berlin, one of the greatest American songwriters to compose in the 20th century, wrote almost all of his songs in the "original" key of F-sharp major (6 sharps), yet I doubt that any publisher has published any of them in that key, and they may well not have been played in that key when they premiered - as so many of them did - in the Broadway shows for which Berlin penned so many numbers. His brilliance at composer music and lyrics notwithstanding, Berlin owned three transposing pianos which enabled him, when he wanted to, to transpose a song to another key by simply pressing a lever.

I think that the idea of searching out a popular song in its original key is a somewhat pointless effort.

Regards,


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Re: Fustrated with sheet music
Pianist685 #2892685 09/21/19 01:01 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 13,500
B
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 13,500
Originally Posted by Pianist685

Each key signature has its specific character, in classical music as well as in non-classical music. I will always want to hear "Bridge over troubled water" in E-flat major and not in D or C major. If an artist thinks he can convince me that some piece sounds better or as good in another key he is free to do so and maybe I will discover something new in that song but until then I want the initial, original key signature.

Do you really believe that pop singers are wedded to the specific keys for songs?

Have a listen to these two versions of Bridge over Troubled Water: Art Garfunkel has aged somewhat between the two videos (from 1981 to 2009) - and read what I said earlier about ageing pop stars wink :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrcwRt6J32o
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVDg8fVC4EQ

What keys are they in?
In case you think one of the videos was slowed down, watch the keyboard player.....


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Fustrated with sheet music
pianoloverus #2892694 09/21/19 01:11 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 13,500
B
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 13,500

Originally Posted by pianoloverus
When playing solo excellent jazz pianists usually play a piece in the key it was originally written in so, unlike others on this thread, I think the OP's request makes sense.

Jazz piano solo is an entirely different kettle of fish, because some pieces are easier to play in specific keys, and there is no (vocal) tessitura to worry about.

Just like D899/3 is obviously easiest in G flat major. On the other hand, when baritones sing Die schöne Müllerin, they transpose the songs down - a precedent established by Franzie himself. He too wasn't wedded to specific keys for his songs.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Fustrated with sheet music
bennevis #2892737 09/21/19 02:41 PM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 3,487
3000 Post Club Member
Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 3,487
Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by Pianist685

Each key signature has its specific character, in classical music as well as in non-classical music. I will always want to hear "Bridge over troubled water" in E-flat major and not in D or C major. If an artist thinks he can convince me that some piece sounds better or as good in another key he is free to do so and maybe I will discover something new in that song but until then I want the initial, original key signature.

Do you really believe that pop singers are wedded to the specific keys for songs?

Have a listen to these two versions of Bridge over Troubled Water: Art Garfunkel has aged somewhat between the two videos (from 1981 to 2009) - and read what I said earlier about ageing pop stars wink :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrcwRt6J32o
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVDg8fVC4EQ

What keys are they in?
In case you think one of the videos was slowed down, watch the keyboard player.....



Both versions were very good, but the second is transposed down a tad. Who cares!



[Linked Image]
Re: Fustrated with sheet music
BruceD #2892812 09/21/19 06:42 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 24,135
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Gold Subscriber
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 24,135
Correction to my previous post in this thread:

Originally Posted by BruceD
[...]It is documented that Irving Berlin, one of the greatest American songwriters to compose in the 20th century, wrote played almost all of his songs in the key of F-sharp major (6 sharps), yet I doubt that any publisher has published any of them in that key, and they may well not have been played in that key when they premiered - as so many of them did - in the Broadway shows for which Berlin penned so many numbers. His brilliance at composer music and lyrics notwithstanding, Berlin owned three transposing pianos which enabled him, when he wanted to, to transpose a song to another key by simply pressing a lever.
[...]
Regards,


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Re: Fustrated with sheet music
bennevis #2892824 09/21/19 07:31 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 27,623
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 27,623
Originally Posted by bennevis

Originally Posted by pianoloverus
When playing solo excellent jazz pianists usually play a piece in the key it was originally written in so, unlike others on this thread, I think the OP's request makes sense.

Jazz piano solo is an entirely different kettle of fish, because some pieces are easier to play in specific keys, and there is no (vocal) tessitura to worry about.
I know a terrific stride pianist who told me he always plays a song in the key it was composed in, and my impression is that this is a very common if not exclusive practice. I think the original version of most songs is a pretty bare bones arrangement so it's difficulty or ease in any key would not be a major consideration in choosing the key.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 09/21/19 07:33 PM.
Re: Fustrated with sheet music
BruceD #2892832 09/21/19 08:10 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 13,500
B
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 13,500
Originally Posted by BruceD
Correction to my previous post in this thread:

Originally Posted by BruceD
[...]It is documented that Irving Berlin, one of the greatest American songwriters to compose in the 20th century, wrote played almost all of his songs in the key of F-sharp major (6 sharps), yet I doubt that any publisher has published any of them in that key, and they may well not have been played in that key when they premiered - as so many of them did - in the Broadway shows for which Berlin penned so many numbers. His brilliance at composer music and lyrics notwithstanding, Berlin owned three transposing pianos which enabled him, when he wanted to, to transpose a song to another key by simply pressing a lever.
[...]
Regards,


I just remembered that I took part in a performance of Berlin's song "You're Just In Love" last year, and the vocal score we used was in F major.

I've just looked up a couple of YT videos of it, and one was also performed in F major; the other was in E flat:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6yqAw0MJng
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sqVbYGQymY

Hmmmm........


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Fustrated with sheet music
bennevis #2893629 09/24/19 09:08 AM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 541
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 541
Originally Posted by bennevis
Originally Posted by Pianist685

Each key signature has its specific character, in classical music as well as in non-classical music. I will always want to hear "Bridge over troubled water" in E-flat major and not in D or C major. If an artist thinks he can convince me that some piece sounds better or as good in another key he is free to do so and maybe I will discover something new in that song but until then I want the initial, original key signature.

Do you really believe that pop singers are wedded to the specific keys for songs?

Have a listen to these two versions of Bridge over Troubled Water: Art Garfunkel has aged somewhat between the two videos (from 1981 to 2009) - and read what I said earlier about ageing pop stars wink :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrcwRt6J32o
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVDg8fVC4EQ

What keys are they in?
In case you think one of the videos was slowed down, watch the keyboard player.....


I have the perfect pitch, I don't have to look at the keyboard to recognize the first version is in E-flat, I prefer, the second is in D major. D changes the character of the song, it becomes softer, more "mellow". If you say that fits a consolation better than a somewhat "metallic" E-flat, I am with you - and you should read what I wrote about convincing me the song sounds better in another key and I could find something new in it. Half a note down is not that much, I doubt Art did that because of his age, I think he tried to make the song sound more contemplative. Still, to my ears the D major underlines the contemplative character a little too much, I like it less.

Interestingly, this seems to be another of those threads where the OP raises an issue, goes away and lets the rest of the PW community end up in more or less useless discussions and cantankerousness.

Re: Fustrated with sheet music
Pianist685 #2893651 09/24/19 10:52 AM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 986
S
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
S
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 986
Originally Posted by Pianist685


I have the perfect pitch, I don't have to look at the keyboard to recognize the first version is in E-flat, I prefer, the second is in D major. D changes the character of the song, it becomes softer, more "mellow". If you say that fits a consolation better than a somewhat "metallic" E-flat, I am with you - and you should read what I wrote about convincing me the song sounds better in another key and I could find something new in it. Half a note down is not that much, I doubt Art did that because of his age, I think he tried to make the song sound more contemplative. Still, to my ears the D major underlines the contemplative character a little too much, I like it less.



If, The second version is more softer it has to do with the interpretation and arrangement and not because of the key (as long at it is strictly transposed). Most singers tend to become softer and mellower when aging. The venue, acoustic, recording have their impact too. There is no doubt though that between the 2 versions, he has lost quite a bit of his extension in the treble, so he had to lower the key and he is still struggling with the high notes.

Re: Fustrated with sheet music
Sidokar #2893673 09/24/19 12:04 PM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 541
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 541
Originally Posted by Sidokar

If, The second version is more softer it has to do with the interpretation and arrangement and not because of the key (as long at it is strictly transposed). Most singers tend to become softer and mellower when aging. The venue, acoustic, recording have their impact too. There is no doubt though that between the 2 versions, he has lost quite a bit of his extension in the treble, so he had to lower the key and he is still struggling with the high notes.
Yes, he is still struggling with the high notes, so why did he not transpose to Bb major or A major? We should ask him. Yes, his voice has a mellower sound as well and his interpretation is different, but here I am referring to the characteristics of D major with sharps in comparison to E-flat with flats, and that is a huge difference to me. Some information about the character of keys can be found here

http://biteyourownelbow.com/keychar.htm

Certainly not the best source of information, but I do not have time to waste to find some better article by a renowned author.

Just in case another cantankerous user jumps in here and tries to prove I am wrong because none of the authors in this article says D major is soft and E-flat sounds metallic: I am leaving this thread and will not answer.

Re: Fustrated with sheet music
duanef #2893680 09/24/19 12:36 PM
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 875
N
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
N
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 875
I have already left this thread in case no one has noticed


Liszt Piano Concerto No. 1
Wieniawski Legende Op.17 (piano)
Re: Fustrated with sheet music
Pianist685 #2893681 09/24/19 12:43 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 13,500
B
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 13,500
Originally Posted by Pianist685
Just in case another cantankerous user jumps in here and tries to prove I am wrong because none of the authors in this article says D major is soft and E-flat sounds metallic: I am leaving this thread and will not answer.

So, in your esteemed estimation, anyone who dares to prove you wrong is "cantankerous"? grin

Think about this - it's not just ageing pop singers who transpose down. Opera singers do it too. Usually just by a semitone, sometimes a tone, because they have difficulty reaching the highest notes with advanced years. Never by a 4th or 5th - that would be plain silly, because the voice would sound completely different in such a low register, not to mention problems then with the low notes.

Listen to these:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ty3JUkRLxc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxxHvW0oNpU

No, there's no need to reply........


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Fustrated with sheet music
duanef #2893682 09/24/19 12:46 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 9,809
9000 Post Club Member
Offline
9000 Post Club Member
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 9,809
I was never in this thread, in case no one has noticed


[Linked Image]
across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Page 1 of 2 1 2

Moderated by  Brendan, Kreisler 

Link Copied to Clipboard
What's Hot!!
News from the Piano World
Where Did The Buttons Go?!
----------------------
Our April 2020 Newsletter Available Online Now...
The Piano World During the Pandemic!
----------------------
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums RULES & HELP
-------------------
ADVERTISE on Piano World
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Etude played by computer
by GHN - 08/05/20 01:54 AM
Questions on selling my Baldwin L 6'3" Grand Piano
by ivorytux - 08/04/20 11:18 PM
1980s Baldwin Factory Question
by bensbaldwin - 08/04/20 10:21 PM
Forum Statistics
Forums41
Topics200,722
Posts2,988,293
Members98,024
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers


Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |


copyright 1997 - 2020 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.4