Interesting findings about the most popular key of house music
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Old 27-06-2012, 08:32 PM   #1
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Interesting findings about the most popular key of house music

I'm aware their are no 'rules' when making dance music, but I'm positive their is some science to getting a track, and more specifically a bassline to translate well on everything from headphones to club systems.

I'v been trying to accomplish those booming and rhythmic tech-house basslines for a while and figured it was time to supplement my trial and error with some knowledge. This guy pretty well nailed what I was looking for.


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Old 27-06-2012, 09:04 PM   #2
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Re: Interesting findings about the most popular key of house music

This is very useful, and incredibly interesting. I need more of this kind of info.
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Old 27-06-2012, 09:28 PM   #3
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Re: Interesting findings about the most popular key of house music

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This is very useful, and incredibly interesting. I need more of this kind of info.
Its out there, just gotta dig deep. Like music, the good stuff is hidden amongst a bunch of terrible misinformed stuff
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Old 27-06-2012, 09:29 PM   #4
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Re: Interesting findings about the most popular key of house music

Wow, nice find! very usefull...

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Old 28-06-2012, 01:16 AM   #5
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Re: Interesting findings about the most popular key of house music

now I know why Cmaj basslines never translate lol - i really wish i had a classical music background.

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Old 28-06-2012, 02:33 AM   #6
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Re: Interesting findings about the most popular key of house music

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Originally Posted by motox2121 View Post
now I know why Cmaj basslines never translate lol - i really wish i had a classical music background.

Actually, since most tunes are in A minor (according to the article), C major is the relative major so it should translate well over an A minor progression.

Also, I wouldn't be surprised if most guitar driven rock songs are in E minor because it is the easist key for guitar players.

What gets even more confusing is when some instruments aren't tuned to concert C (like some brass instruments). An A minor for us is not an A minor for them.
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Old 28-06-2012, 02:39 AM   #7
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Re: Interesting findings about the most popular key of house music

Well fuck, 80% of the crap I write is G minor.

Then again, I don't really care too much about getting my stuff played by DJs.
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Old 28-06-2012, 07:51 AM   #8
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Re: Interesting findings about the most popular key of house music

"All the white keys"

*cries*

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Old 28-06-2012, 08:16 AM   #9
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Re: Interesting findings about the most popular key of house music

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Originally Posted by Broton42 View Post
"All the white keys"

*cries*
Let's invent a genre where you are only allowed to hit the black notes.
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Old 28-06-2012, 08:19 AM   #10
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Re: Interesting findings about the most popular key of house music

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Originally Posted by Mindsweeper View Post
Let's invent a genre where you are only allowed to hit the black notes.
Yes and lets paint pictures only with Mauve and Taupe.

I call it, House Painting.

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Old 28-06-2012, 08:30 AM   #11
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Re: Interesting findings about the most popular key of house music

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Originally Posted by Broton42 View Post
Yes and lets paint pictures only with Mauve and Taupe.

I call it, House Painting.
Yeah and let's make the music in the houses we painted and call it House Music.
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Old 28-06-2012, 08:51 AM   #12
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Re: Interesting findings about the most popular key of house music

I'm sorry Broton, WILL YOU EVER BE ABLE TO FORGIVE ME? ( TДT)
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Old 28-06-2012, 10:36 AM   #13
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Re: Interesting findings about the most popular key of house music

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Originally Posted by Mindsweeper View Post
Let's invent a genre where you are only allowed to hit the black notes.
Pentatonic House.

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Old 28-06-2012, 12:39 PM   #14
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Re: Interesting findings about the most popular key of house music

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Originally Posted by sharksounds View Post
E or F as a root note is the actual answer, if you care about your omgbass sounding awesome when dj's play it so that you get sex j's from girls who only listen to music using youtube. Knobheads.

B or C if you have a pretty haircut, play guitar and use fl studio to add arpeggios behind your one-string breakdowns.

You can read up on it all you want - it won't actually help you.
I beg to differ, as do many others, including producers who are far more successful than you could ever dream to be. I also have made tracks in many different keys, and I have noticed when the bassline seems underpowered or does not translate well. So lets put it this way, if you want to produce in your bedroom and don't ever care to have your tracks played on a dancefloor, then yes none of this will matter to you. For the rest of us, knowing what frequency range hits that bass sweet spot, that we ALL know the power of, is indeed helpful to understand. Not rules to live by, but something it certainly doesn't hurt to know.

For the record, its not just "girls who listen to music on youtube" who like a solid, hard hitting bassline on the dancefloor. "Knobhead"

And by the way Sharksounds, I'm starting to notice a pattern of trolling with you. If you aren't interested in the article, and you have nothing but ignorant things to say toward others who are, then why the fuck are you in this thread to begin with? Do us all a favour and take your rudeness to a thread you are interested in and can actually contribute something meaningful to. Perhaps the off topic section would be more suitable for you pal.

Last edited by Deep Dose; 28-06-2012 at 12:59 PM..
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Old 28-06-2012, 12:46 PM   #15
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Re: Interesting findings about the most popular key of house music

It's certainly a thought-provoking article, and the writer starts to get at some good points, in particular the point about positive-frequency dependence when you start to think about the potential for harmonic mixing.

However, with my scientist hat on there are a few flaws in the analysis. The first is that the author is only looking at their own collection, meaning that the conclusion that could be drawn is that they are consciously or subconsciously drawn to songs in Am. When they describe that they looked at 'random subsets', are these random subsets of their own collection?

There is also no statistical analysis to give us confidence that the differences aren't random chance. Yes, there is quite a big difference in the number of songs in Am compared to Abm, but if you look at the draw history for the Euromillions, you find that the number 50 has been drawn 70 times since the draw began, while the number 32 has been drawn 38 times, in what should be a random system.

The other thing to consider is the question that is actually being asked. If we are taking about using a correct key to make the song more likely to be popular/successful (I'll accept that's incredibly subjective), then we need to compare the frequencies of the keys used between two groups that we define as successful and unsuccessful, then run appropriate tests to calculate the probability that this difference is due to chance.

There have been a number of studies using machine-learning approaches to try to define what criteria make a song likely to be a 'hit': key, length, tempo, frequency analysis/psychoacoustics, patterns/features in lyrics.

The author does make a good point about picking notes that work in that nice bottom end of a club system. However, this might not always be the root note of the scale. Say, for example, that I'm writing in A minor, then I might have a bassline that spends a good amount of time on notes below it, such as the D, E or G. There have been a few times where, after writing the bassline, I'll end up transposing the whole song until it ends up in a key that just seems to feel right.

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Old 28-06-2012, 12:52 PM   #16
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Re: Interesting findings about the most popular key of house music

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Originally Posted by MeshNation View Post
It's certainly a thought-provoking article, and the writer starts to get at some good points, in particular the point about positive-frequency dependence when you start to think about the potential for harmonic mixing.

However, with my scientist hat on there are a few flaws in the analysis. The first is that the author is only looking at their own collection, meaning that the conclusion that could be drawn is that they are consciously or subconsciously drawn to songs in Am. When they describe that they looked at 'random subsets', are these random subsets of their own collection?

There is also no statistical analysis to give us confidence that the differences aren't random chance. Yes, there is quite a big difference in the number of songs in Am compared to Abm, but if you look at the draw history for the Euromillions, you find that the number 50 has been drawn 70 times since the draw began, while the number 32 has been drawn 38 times, in what should be a random system.

The other thing to consider is the question that is actually being asked. If we are taking about using a correct key to make the song more likely to be popular/successful (I'll accept that's incredibly subjective), then we need to compare the frequencies of the keys used between two groups that we define as successful and unsuccessful, then run appropriate tests to calculate the probability that this difference is due to chance.

There have been a number of studies using machine-learning approaches to try to define what criteria make a song likely to be a 'hit': key, length, tempo, frequency analysis/psychoacoustics, patterns/features in lyrics.

The author does make a good point about picking notes that work in that nice bottom end of a club system. However, this might not always be the root note of the scale. Say, for example, that I'm writing in A minor, then I might have a bassline that spends a good amount of time on notes below it, such as the D, E or G. There have been a few times where, after writing the bassline, I'll end up transposing the whole song until it ends up in a key that just seems to feel right.
Good points Meshnation. And yeah some of it is probably bogus, which is not surprising any time stats come in to play. I'm focusing more on what translates well frequency wise, especially like you say, on a club system. I think their is probably some science to that. As for whats most popular, I'm not too concerned with that anyway. Getting to formulaic in that respect starts to kill off creativity, hence the entire mainstream music industry hah.

Last edited by Deep Dose; 28-06-2012 at 12:57 PM..
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Old 28-06-2012, 01:00 PM   #17
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Re: Interesting findings about the most popular key of house music

Quote:
Originally Posted by MeshNation View Post
It's certainly a thought-provoking article, and the writer starts to get at some good points, in particular the point about positive-frequency dependence when you start to think about the potential for harmonic mixing.

However, with my scientist hat on there are a few flaws in the analysis. The first is that the author is only looking at their own collection, meaning that the conclusion that could be drawn is that they are consciously or subconsciously drawn to songs in Am. When they describe that they looked at 'random subsets', are these random subsets of their own collection?

There is also no statistical analysis to give us confidence that the differences aren't random chance. Yes, there is quite a big difference in the number of songs in Am compared to Abm, but if you look at the draw history for the Euromillions, you find that the number 50 has been drawn 70 times since the draw began, while the number 32 has been drawn 38 times, in what should be a random system.

The other thing to consider is the question that is actually being asked. If we are taking about using a correct key to make the song more likely to be popular/successful (I'll accept that's incredibly subjective), then we need to compare the frequencies of the keys used between two groups that we define as successful and unsuccessful, then run appropriate tests to calculate the probability that this difference is due to chance.

There have been a number of studies using machine-learning approaches to try to define what criteria make a song likely to be a 'hit': key, length, tempo, frequency analysis/psychoacoustics, patterns/features in lyrics.

The author does make a good point about picking notes that work in that nice bottom end of a club system. However, this might not always be the root note of the scale. Say, for example, that I'm writing in A minor, then I might have a bassline that spends a good amount of time on notes below it, such as the D, E or G. There have been a few times where, after writing the bassline, I'll end up transposing the whole song until it ends up in a key that just seems to feel right.
I think the sample size was sufficiantly large to be significant.

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Old 28-06-2012, 01:01 PM   #18
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Re: Interesting findings about the most popular key of house music

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Originally Posted by Deep Dose View Post
As for whats most popular, I'm not too concerned with that anyway. Getting to formulaic in that respect starts to kill off creativity, hence the entire mainstream music industry hah.

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Old 28-06-2012, 01:25 PM   #19
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Re: Interesting findings about the most popular key of house music

I'm really trying hard to find it, but I'm failing so far, I recently read a similar article, but it went beyond house music.
The findings were similar, with Aminor, C and G (I don't remember which one) being in the top three

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Old 28-06-2012, 01:46 PM   #20
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Re: Interesting findings about the most popular key of house music

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Originally Posted by Jonah_Mann View Post
I think the sample size was sufficiantly large to be significant.
Yeah I gotta agree. I mean, if it were a couple hundred I think we could say there is a possibility that the person simply downloads tracks in that key because they subconsciously like them, but even then, what's more likely. It sounds like he does actually like a wide range of dance music genre's and with 1500 tracks, I think the pattern probably means something.

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