Yep, I love me a key change.
It’s impossible to nail down the greatest key change of all time. Not just because it’s completely a matter of opinion. It’s that they’re all equally powerful. Not one key change can be greater than the other. Sure I could say the key change in MJ’s “Man in The Mirror” is the best or Cheap Trick’s “Surrender”. But it doesn’t matter, because they both exude the same power. Because of the wonder of the key change.
The key change (Also called phrase modulation… Who knew?) get’s a bad rap from pretentious song writers who feel that it’s a cheap way to liven up a song. That’s bupkis. While I don’t think it should be over-used, as most song writing tools shouldn’t be, I do feel it’s a perfectly valid instrument for emotional evocation. Don’t be afraid of them boys and girls.
What are some of your favorite key changes?
Michael Jackson – Man In The Mirror. Key Change at 2:17
Cheap Trick – Surrender. Key Change at 2:38