Fantasy Novel

Fantasy Novel
Read a fantasy novel written by me and my brother!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Unlocking the Secret

Key Changes 

The world of composition really opens up when you begin to expand your horizons from simply playing in one key the entire piece to switching keys. Whether briefly, or lasting the rest of the song, key changes have a dramatic effect on your music. A carefully placed key change can bring your piece up to the next level. Do not overlook this composition secret!

1. Key Change (+1)

Changing the key up 1 half step (or 1 note) is a powerful technique to use. It's usually a dramatic change, because the new notes you'll be playing will mostly be completely different from the ones in the previous key. This key change is very useful for giving your piece of music that extra touch at the end.

For an example of this, go to this link to a musical piece I composed called Two Moons Inn. Go to about 2:08 and listen for the majestic key change. 

2. Key Change (+2)

By far the most common, the whole step transition gives your music a beautiful, epic sound. Works great in almost any case. The only problem with this could arise if your instruments or voices cannot reach the new notes because they're so high. Be careful of this. Otherwise, use this key change to add more power to a final chorus, bridge, or ending of your song.

3. Key Change (+3)

Think Lord of the Rings when you think of this key change. This is the key change used in the beginning of the song called the The Fellowship Theme. If you want to make your musical piece way more epic and triumphant sounding, use this key change. 

4. Key Change (+5)

Chronicles of Narnia uses this chord progression masterfully. Go to the following link and listen to this song called The Battle at about 37 seconds in. See if you can catch the key change. It's hard to catch due to the fact that this new key uses many of the same notes as the previous key. 

This key change which, like the previous one, is great for making great soundtrack music, is particularly powerful and effective when going from major to minor. Start with major and then, once you key change up, go to minor. See the amazing results!

5. Key Change (-2)

Very interesting key change. May have the effect of making your music feel like its sinking and that you're traveling deeper underground. Also, can have the effect of giving your piece a Celtic feel due to the fact that it's similar to using the Mixolydian mode. 

6. Key Change (-4)

The one word to describe this key change is eerie. Listen to this music piece I composed called Snow Queen's Palace and you'll see what I mean. Near the very beginning the key changes. See if you can spot it.

If you love to scare people with your music or if you just like composing music for horror films, this key change is certainly one for you to add to your repertoire. 

I know this didn't cover nearly all of the key changes, but, to be honest, I really am not sure what some of the other ones are good for and what they do. I hope to find out more so that I can post a follow up to this. Anyway, thanks for reading. Hope to catch you later with another post!


  1. Wow!! your post is really nice and awesome to read ..Good writing about music and I am really impressed after reading your post .I wanna read more similar post .I have also found some similar post at online about songwriting jobs and music jobs that also fine but you have posted nice .Please keep it ...

  2. Thanks a lot, Errol! I'm glad you enjoyed reading it.