“Music Theory: Songs & Emotions
in F, B flat & E flat Major”
- Songs in F major
- F major scale
- Popular songs in the key of F major
- Emotions of songs in F major
- Songs in B flat major
- B flat major scale
- Popular songs in the key of B flat major
- Emotions of songs in B flat major
- Songs in E flat major
- E flat major scale
- Popular songs in the key of E flat major
- How to transpose to more than one key in songs
- How to use and play a blues scale in Eb major
- Emotions of songs in E flat major
Songs in F major
“F major scale”
The key of F major has one flat, Bb, and will result in all the B’s becoming Bb’s. The rule of how to find songs in flat keys is not same as in sharp keys. For flat keys you have to look at the next to the last flat in the key signature. The letter name of this flat is the name of the key.
However in the key of F major, you can’t look at the next to the last flat since there aren’t two flats. So this rule can’t be used. You’ll just have to remember that F major has Bb as its only flat. As with sharp keys, in flat keys the order of the whole (1) and half (1/2) steps of the scale remain the same too.
Example 7: F Major Scale has one flat (Bb)
“Popular songs in the key of F major”
A good song in the key of F major is “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” – Elton John and Kiki Dee:
Other songs in the key of F are:
“Emotions of songs in F major”
While watching these songs how did you feel? Happy, sad, angry or peaceful? Most songs in this key are of a calm nature and showing a determination to please others by accomplishing their wishes. So this should be a positive key, guys.
Like to learn how to play songs by ear, click here to find out more!
Songs in B flat major
“B flat major scale”
The key of Bb major has two flats: Bb and Eb. This will result in all the B’s and E’s becoming Bb’s and Eb’s. So, here we can apply the rule for finding flat key signatures. Again look at the next to the last flat in the key signature. The letter name of this flat is the name of the key.
When you look at example 8 below you’ll see two flats Bb and Eb. Look at the next to the last flat, which is Bb and this will tell you the name of the key. We’re in the key of Bb major.
Example 8: Bb Major Scale has two flats (Bb and Eb)
“Popular songs in the key of B flat major”
Watch this song in the key of Bb major: “Weird” by Hanson
Other songs in this key:
“Emotions of songs in B flat major”
After listening to these songs what were you feelings? I think this key portrays several different feelings. The song “Return To Innocence” shows a clear conscience about live (or live in reverse or live after death, whatever you want to call it).
“Weird” by Hanson shows hope and desire for a better world although at the same time it reflects discontentment with oneself and everything else. “Crackerbox Palace” shows a kind of cheerful love.
In short this key reflects several emotions, good and bad ones.
Songs in E flat major
“Eb major scale”
The key of Eb major has three flats: Bb, Eb and Ab. This will result in all the B’s, E’s and A’s becoming Bb’s, Eb’s and Ab’s. The same rule can be applied here for finding flat key signatures.
Again when you look at example 9 below you’ll see three flats Bb, Eb and Ab in it’s key signature. Look at the next to the last flat, which is Eb and this will tell you the name of the key. We’re now in the key of Eb major.
Example 9: Eb Major Scale has three flats (Bb, Eb and Ab)
“Popular songs in the key of E flat major”
A good song in this key to listen to is “You’re Still The One” by Shania Twain:
Other songs in Eb major are:
“How to transpose to more than one key in songs”
In the next song, “Theme of Mahogany” by Diana Ross, its intro is in the key of Gb major (look at the next post), its verse in the key of Eb major and its chorus in C major. You can say that more than one transposition takes place here.
In one of my earlier posts we learned that pop/rock songs usually transpose up a half or whole step for the sake of freshness and a new level of interest. However in this song after the intro the verse transposes 3 half steps down from Gb to Eb major, which is rather unusual. Then after the verse the chorus continues to transpose down another 3 half steps from Eb to C major.
But in spite of all these transpositions the whole song still sounds fresh and interesting. This is because of the contrasting factor between the different keys. The Gb major scale has 6 flats, the Eb major scale as shown above has 3 flats and C major doesn’t have any sharps or flats.
Besides this, the chords are arranged in such a way that the transition between the three keys runs very smooth. For the people who can read chords, please check out the transcription below of the chord progression of “Theme of Mahogany”:
Like to learn songs with easier chord progressions, have a look over here!
“How to use and play a blues scale in Eb major”
The last song in Eb major I like to discuss is “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” by Jimi Hendrix. Basically Jimi is playing one chord, Eb, all the time (with the exception of going down to B and Db one time). Playing these awesome solos combined with effects and panning techniques makes this song legendary.
Mostly Jimi is using the Eb blues scale in his solos. The blues scale is a minor pentatonic scale with an added blue note. Penta in Latin and Greek means 5, so the pentatonic scale is a 5 note scale with an added blue note. “Blue note“ is a term used in blues music for added notes which are played outside of the scale. If this sounds a bit confusing look below at the examples.
Example A: Eb Minor Pentatonic Scale
Example B: Eb Blues Scale
Example C: Eb Major Chord
Try to experiment by playing the Eb blues scale, with A as its Blue Note, in your right hand and the plain Eb chord in your left hand. See if you like the sound of it.
“Emotions of songs in E flat major”
Emotions in this key are mostly of love and commitment (“I don’t know how to love him” and “You’re still the one”).
Listen to “Ray Of Light” by Madonna. What key is the song in? What emotions do you get when listening? Are there any transpositions taking place?
A recap of today’s post:
- Songs in F, Bb and Eb major
- How to find the keys of these songs
- What emotions do these keys have
- How to transpose to more than one key in songs.
- How to use and play a blues scale in Eb major.
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In the next post we will look at songs in the keys of Ab, Db and Gb major and their emotions.
About the Author:
Hans Hansen is the author and founder of “The Music Arrangers Page” and is always happy to share his passion for music arranging. In addition, he is a well experienced piano & bass guitar teacher, specializing in classical, rock and jazz. Any questions you have about music arranging; he is the person to ask. He also likes to invite you to download his Special Free Gift and connect with him on Facebook & Twitter or leave a comment on his blog.