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C major: The Final Key

posted by Paolo Pietropaolo on Oct 21, 2013

Here it is, the grand finale of the Signature Series.

The premise of the series is simple. The key signatures of music are kind of like the signs of the zodiac. If you take all the music in a given key, you'll discover certain characteristics — characteristics that can define your personality.

So far, I've explored 23 different personalities, featuring all of the 24 keys of Western music except for one: C major, the final key.

When I first started working on the Signature Series, I knew that eventually I'd have to get around to C major. It's the most basic key. It's the first key kids learn about. It has no sharps, and no flats, and it uses only the white keys on a piano keyboard.

So who is C major? To find out, you'll have to listen to the audio:

Don't forget to check out the photo gallery above, featuring images for all 24 keys, beautifully designed by Ben Didier of CBC Music. The gallery includes links to each key, so you can explore them and find out what your "musical sign" is.

The Signature Series was honoured recently with a Prix Italia, one of the biggest international awards in broadcasting.

One of the most wonderful aspects of working on the Signature Series with my co-producer Denise Ball has been to discover that people have been responding to musical keys in this way for centuries.

Each time, after sketching out the character, we'd peek into Rita Steblin's book, A History of Key Characteristics in the 18th and Early 19th Centuries, and we'd be amazed at how closely our impressions matched those of the composers and musicians of that time.

It's confirmed: each key does have its own timeless personality.

Which key are you?

posted by Paolo Pietropaolo on Oct 21, 2013
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