Key Signature ≠ Key

It’s the 21st Century. We’ve had modulations and chromaticisms, bitonalities and even atonlities, and you’d think that in 2011 we’d have a modicum of sophistication regarding the tonal centres and key relationships we discover in the music we play. But no, an insistence that the key signature tells us the tonal centre of a piece of music has gone from being an example of anachronism to being a deplorable trend in most major Australian cities (!). To be fair, we do call those congregations of accidentals at the beginning of each line of music a key signature; that is, this term implies that the accidentals signify a key rather than simply the notes required to be played a tone or semitone higher than the straight note name pitch. But in a post-atonal, neo-modal world it defies experience to assume that an absence of key signature signifies the C Major/A minor duopoly. Imagine my horror/bemusement/outrage/despair some 10 years ago on seeing a

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P Plate Update: meeting with examiners.

P Plate Piano (and its various launch and discussion events) have kept me outrageously busy of late, and I’m ashamed to note that it’s been close to a month since I last posted anything to this blog – a record time without new contributions.  All the more shameful as I’ve set myself the task of discussing a scale every week, and that’s looking a bit like a failed New Year’s Resolution at present. But back to the topic of today’s post: an update on P Plate Piano. The website is increasingly functional, and the forum for teachers has been up and running for a week or so. Not many posts as of yet, but 19 members, which (by Australian piano teaching demographic standards) is not a bad start! The last two weekends of February saw me tearing around southern Victoria doing my final launches for teachers in that state. Ballarat, Bendigo, Traralgon (I had to look that one up on

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