Key Matters

Ivan Hewett explores how different musical keys seem to have distinct characteristics and create specific moods.

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Episodes

SeriesEpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
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0101C Major2008042020100201
20080420 (BBC7)
20140420 (BBC7)

Ivan Hewett looks at the brightest and simplest of keys, as used by Haydn and John Lennon.

Ivan Hewett explores the characteristics of different musical keys, beginning with the brightest and simplest of keys, used by Haydn, Mendelssohn and John Lennon. With Paul Spicer.

He looks at the brightest and simplest of keys - C major.

0102D Minor2008042720100202
20080427 (BBC7)
20140427 (BBC7)

Ivan Hewett explores the saddest of all keys, as used by Haydn, Mozart and Spinal Tap.

Ivan Hewett explores how different musical keys seem to have distinct characteristics and create specific moods.

He looks at the saddest of keys, D minor.

2/5: He looks at the saddest of keys, D minor.

Ivan Hewett looks at the saddest of keys, D minor.

He looks at the saddest of keys.

0103B Flat2008050420100203
20080504 (BBC7)
20140504 (BBC7)

He looks at the key of B flat.

Ivan Hewett explores the sad and heroic B Flat, as heard in Chopin, Mozart and Beethoven.

Ivan Hewett explores how different musical keys seem to have distinct characteristics and create specific moods.

0104F Sharp *2008051120100204

4/5: He looks at the key F sharp.

Ivan Hewett looks at the key F sharp.

0104F Sharp Major20080511 (BBC7)
20140511 (BBC7)

Ivan Hewett explores the emotional characteristics of the musical key of F Sharp Major.

Ivan Hewett explores how different musical keys seem to have distinct characteristics and create specific moods.

He looks at the key F sharp major.

0105 LASTE Flat Major2008051820100205
20140518 (BBC7)

Ivan Hewett explores the emotional characteristics of the musical key E flat major.

Ivan Hewett explores how different musical keys seem to have distinct characteristics and create specific moods.

He looks at the key E flat major.

Ivan Hewett looks at the key E flat major.

0201A Major2010092020120212

Ivan Hewett talks to pianist and conductor Jonathan Cohen about the key of A Major, a key often associated with optimism and even ecstasy.

Ivan Hewett talks to conductor Jonathan Cohen about the optimistic key of A Major.

In this second series of Key Matters, presenter Ivan Hewett explores the question of why certain musical keys have become associated with particular moods. For example, why is A major almost always employed by composers to write optimistic, even ecstatic music? And how has E minor become the key of choice for portraying menace and tragedy?

In this first programme, Ivan meets pianist and conductor Jonathan Cohen to discuss the open optimism of A major. The music ranges from Mozart to Abba with some Carol King and Dvorak along the way.

In this second series of Key Matters, presenter Ivan Hewett explores the question of why certain musical keys have become associated with particular moods.

For example, why is A major almost always employed by composers to write optimistic, even ecstatic music? And how has E minor become the key of choice for portraying menace and tragedy?

In this first programme, Ivan meets pianist and conductor Jonathan Cohen to discuss the open optimism of A major.

The music ranges from Mozart to Abba with some Carol King and Dvorak along the way.

0202C Sharp2010092120120219

Ivan Hewett talks with pianist Kenneth Hamilton about the key of C sharp in an attempt to discover why this key is so obscure and treacherous for performers.

Ivan Hewett talks with pianist Kenneth Hamilton about the key of C sharp.

In this second series of Key Matters, presenter Ivan Hewett explores the question of why certain musical keys have become associated with particular moods. For example, why is A major almost always employed by composers to write optimistic, even ecstatic music? And how has E minor become the key of choice for portraying menace and tragedy?

In this programme, Ivan is joined by pianist Kenneth Hamilton to explore the treacherous and obscure world of C sharp.

0203E Minor2010092220120226

In this second series of Key Matters, presenter Ivan Hewett explores the question of why certain musical keys have become associated with particular moods. For example, why is A major almost always employed by composers to write optimistic, even ecstatic music? And how has E minor become the key of choice for portraying menace and tragedy?

Cellist and composer Philip Sheppard defines the qualities of E minor on Wednesday with music ranging from Brahms, Elgar and Shotakovich to The Clash.

Produced in Birmingham by Rosie Boulton.

Ivan Hewett talks with cellist and composer Philip Sheppard about the key of E minor.

0204F Major2010092320120717

Ivan Hewett explores the question of why certain musical keys have become associated with particular moods. For example, why is A major almost always employed by composers to write optimistic, even ecstatic music? And how has E minor become the key of choice for portraying menace and tragedy?

In this programme, French horn player ,Roger Montgomery explains why F major is traditionally associated with pastoral and hunting sounds.

In this second series of Key Matters, presenter Ivan Hewett explores the question of why certain musical keys have become associated with particular moods.

For example, why is A major almost always employed by composers to write optimistic, even ecstatic music? And how has E minor become the key of choice for portraying menace and tragedy?

Ivan Hewett talks with french horn player Roger Montgomery about the key of F major.

0205 LASTD Major2010092420120724

Ivan Hewett talks with violinist Daniel Hope about the key of D major.

Ivan Hewett explores the question of why certain musical keys have become associated with particular moods. For example, why is A major almost always employed by composers to write optimistic, even ecstatic music? And how has E minor become the key of choice for portraying menace and tragedy?

In this programme Ivan talks with violinist, Daniel Hope about the majesty and glory of D major.

0301B Minor2012051420121027

In "Key Matters" Ivan Hewett explores the way in which different musical keys appear to have unique characteristics of their own. In this first programme, Ivan is joined by choral conductor, Simon Halsey, to explore the serious and somewhat austere key of B minor. This key seemed to acquire its flavour from Bach's use of it in his famous B Minor Mass and this tradition continued through Liszt's Piano Sonata in B minor and the final heartbreaking movement of Tchaikovsky's Pathetique Symphony.

Producer: Rosie Boulton.

(01/05)

0302G Minor2012051520120731

Ivan Hewett is joined by musicologist Cliff Eisen to explore the key of G minor.

Ivan Hewett explores the way in which different musical keys appear to have unique characteristics of their own. In this programme, Ivan is joined by musicologist Cliff Eisen to explore the key of G minor, a favourite key of Mozart's for expressing failure, anger and loss.

0303E Major2012051620121103

In "Key Matters" Ivan Hewett explores the way in which different musical keys appear to have unique characteristics of their own. In this third programme, Ivan is joined by violinist, Professor Paul Robertson, to explore the bright and energetic key of E major. This key has traditionally been employed by composers for ecstatic music, such as Spring in Vivaldi's Four Seasons. But as Paul points out, sometimes a really great composer will take the key of E major and combine it with such subtle ideas, that the results become sublime, such as the slow movement of Schubert's String Quintet.

Episode 03 of 05

0304F Minor2012051720140823

0304F Minor2012051720140823

In "Key Matters", Ivan Hewett explores the way in which different musical keys appear to have unique characteristics of their own. In this fourth programme, Ivan is joined by harpsichordist Terence Charlston, to explore the key of F minor. This is a key which acquired its unique personality for historical reasons to do with tuning systems of early keyboard instruments. Under these tuning systems, F minor didn't really work and sounded distorted and frankly, weird. Although tuning systems gradually got sorted out, composers such as Bach and later Beethoven and Schubert, remembered the distorted nature of F minor in the past and so used this key, to write anguished and stormy music.

0304F Minor20120517

Episode x04 of 5

In "Key Matters" Ivan Hewett explores the way in which different musical keys appear to have unique characteristics of their own. In this third programme, Ivan is joined by violinist, Professor Paul Robertson, to explore the bright and energetic key of E major. This key has traditionally been employed by composers for ecstatic music, such as Spring in Vivaldi's Four Seasons. But as Paul points out, sometimes a really great composer will take the key of E major and combine it with such subtle ideas, that the results become sublime, such as the slow movement of Schubert's String Quintet.

Episode 5 of 05

0305 LASTC Minor2012051820140830

In "Key Matters", Ivan Hewett explores the way in which different musical keys appear to have unique characteristics of their own. In this last programme Ivan is joined by pianist Peter Donohoe, to explore the key of C minor. They start with one of the most famous C minor pieces of all, Beethoven's 5th Symphony. They explore pieces which start in one key and work their way towards C minor,such as the opening of Rachmaninov's 2nd Piano Concerto. Ivan and Peter conclude by looking at pieces which start in C minor but travel triumphantly towards C major at their end ; Beethoven's 5th Symphony, being the ultimate example. This brings this last Key Matters series full circle as Ivan began this series back in 2008 by looking at the key of C major.

Producer - Rosie Boulton.

0305 LASTC Minor20120518

In "Key Matters", Ivan Hewett explores the way in which different musical keys appear to have unique characteristics of their own. In this last programme Ivan is joined by pianist Peter Donohoe, to explore the key of C minor. They start with one of the most famous C minor pieces of all, Beethoven's 5th Symphony. They explore pieces which start in one key and work their way towards C minor,such as the opening of Racmaninov's 2nd Piano Concerto. Ivan and Peter conclude by looking at pieces which start in C minor but travel triumphantly towards C major at their end ; Betthoven's 5th Symphony, being the ultimate example. This brings this last Key Matters series full circle as Ivan began this series back in 2008 by looking at the key of C major.

Producer - Rosie Boulton.