Saturday, April 6, 2013


I found a neat tool that a grad student wrote called KeyFinder that determines the key of a song through audio analysis.  It got me wondering if my favorite songs share common keys.  I have too many "favorite songs" to analyze all of them, but I decided to pick 20 really excellent songs that are among my favorites, put them through the analyzer, and see if I could notice any patterns.

Wolfgang Gartner—Still My Baby A♭ minor
Hans Zimmer—Time G
Bear McCreary—All Along the Watchtower D♭ minor
Apparat—Goodbye E
OneRepublic—Counting Stars D♭ minor
OneRepublic—Can't Stop C
The Weeknd—The Birds (part I) G minor
Yann Tiersen—La Valse d'Amélie (Orchestral) A minor
Quarashi—Pro F minor
Icona Pop—I Love It A♭
Les Friction—Torture E
Kid Cudi—Pursuit of Happiness A minor
Hooverphonic—You Love Me to Death A
Goldfrapp—A&E A♭
Coldplay—Viva la Vida A♭
Russell Brower et al—Going Hozen F
Matt Uelmen—Ancients A minor
Keane—Atlantic E♭
Alex Clare—Too Close B minor
Gary Jules—Mad World B♭

I suppose the most interesting thing about all that is that there are actually more songs in a major key there than a minor key; I had always assumed that I preferred music in a minor key.  And A♭ shows up more than other keys.  And it's possible that the tool sucks and it's not actually accurate information, though the author has evidence to suggest it can play on the same field as other products with the same goal.  But anyway, I don't think I can draw too many conclusions from the exercise.

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