Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Het rijk van Nijmegen, the Netherlands
Re: what does in mean when someone says " this lick is in the key of C"
I think there are a couple of things you need to take into account:
1 lick implies a chord (arpeggio/broken, rolled chord)
2 lick has it's own natural tonal center:
a. tonal center is traditional major or minor,
b. but could also be modal, blues/jazz, exotic, augmented etc.
c. leading notes or chromaticism is used to establish the tonic.
3 lick has multiple tonal centers:
a. lick contains a traditional movement/mimics a progression,
b. turnaround or smilar, ex.: tonal center starts at ii moves via V in natural progression to I
c. subsequent arpreggios
4. lick works over a chord
a. change the underlying chord, keep the pitches of the lick the same: completely different feel (tonal center changes)
b. diatonic shift allows you to play it over another chord in the same scale, pitches change but more importantly relative intervals within the lick change,
c. parallel shift over the same chord means it takes on a completely different feel (pitches change but relative intervals within the lick remain the same)
d. pedal point, lick moves diatonic (b) or parallel (c).
There must be more ways to look at it (I'm sure someone with more background in music theory could expand), but one thing is for sure: it's not as simple as "this lick is in C".
1. Emphasises the feel, atmosphere or colour of the chord.
2. Mostly melody,
-could imply feel (especially with modal or exotic licks)
-could imply a circular progression.
3. Emphasises melody.
4. Emphasis on harmonies.