On Mon, Oct 21, 2002 at 12:59:59PM +0100, Jan van Steenbergen wrote:
> No, you are definitely right. What I meant to say, is that you will rarely
> encounter A flat minor as a "primary key" (this expression is probably my
> programmer's background) of a piece. However, it can easily appear in a piece
> that modulates to A flat minor (most likely from E flat minor) and could even
> stay there for a while before modulating back. Another possibility is that it
> alternates with A flat major.
> I don't think you will easily find the phenomenon in Bach's works. You might
> have a better chance in the works of such composers like Shostakovich and
> Richard Strauss.

I don't think you have to look at such modern composers. I'm sure Chopin
has this in some of his pieces (although I'm hard-pressed to say which).
With more modern composers like Shostakovich, you're probably more likely
to find a lot of music written without any key signature -- not C major,
but highly-chromatic music that's best left unencumbered with key
signatures. Of course, Shosty is still quite tonal in many ways, but he
often doesn't stick around the same key long enough to make it worthwhile
to change key signatures.

But back to Matthew's original comment, I'd think most composers would
prefer G# minor instead (just like how the 2nd movement of Beethoven's
"moonlight" sonata is D-flat, not C# as it is "supposed" to be, since the
outer movements are C# minor). It's a lot of trouble keeping track of
things when any flats would come out as double-flats, and annoys the
performer to no end. It's usually a bad idea to annoy (esp. unnecessarily)
would-be performers of one's work. :-)


There are four kinds of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics.