Whenever I get writers block, I make a lot of MIDIS of Deadmau5 songs, and it has me asking the question, what exactly is a 'Key'? I always thought a key was a group of 7/8 notes that sound good together, no? In two of his songs, '537' and 'Creep2k13', the Mau5 doesn't follow this rule. For example, in '537', which I think is in B major, he hits the 'F' note, which is not in the key, and in 'Creep2k13' he his ALL the sharps, C,F, and B. Music theory-wise, what is going on here?
Sorry if this question is worded kinda badly or seems kinda stupid, but I have no musical background prior to messing around on a DAW for a couple years and am really confused by this.
You can write mostly within a certain key and still hit notes that aren't in that key, these are known as accidentals. It's not overly common in dance music, or many style of pop music for that matter, but you see it a lot in styles of music that focus on more technicality and theory, like jazz. There's sometimes a little more to it than that, and there are lots of reasons to play outside the scale you're working in, but things start to get a little complicated after a certain point. Basically, all this means is that, while it's helpful to keep within a certain key, ultimately, it's about what sounds good in the context of the song, and what properly conveys what you're trying to convey, not about being "in key".
Thanks for the reply! Do you mind explaining some of the basic reasons behind, 'playing outside the scale you're working in'? Does it effect the mood of the song in a certain way or anything like that?