Philocrat JT / Blog

Performance Technique 1 - Off-Key Signature

An off-key signature, otherwise called "The-Devil-in-Music Signature" is used generally to decorate and add texture and chords complexity to music. It is rarely used by musicians, however, some jazz musicians who compose and improvise using unconventional methodololgies and musical chords structures love to use it to give distinct signature to their music compositions. I used it quite a lot in most of my compositions. I use it specifically to add edgy and spooky feel to each composition. Some musicians use it to end their music during live performance - that is, towards the end of play - but I use it anywhere in my compostion whether during a live performance or during a final mixdown in my production. Sometimes I put it in the middle of a song, sometimes at the beginning or at the end. It just depends on the type of composition and how I feel at that very moment. By definition an Off-Key signature is when a musician deliberately presses all the wrong keys on the keyboard or piano that are naturtally incompatible with the main key that a particular music is in, but which nevertheless still sound right. But the question is: how can something so wrong be right? Well, I will tell you why in part II of this topic. Finally, an off-key signature can also be produced when a musician uses highly complex combination of chords. Jazz Musicians like Herbie Hancock, George Duke, just to name a few, are notorious for devising and using these set of highly complex chords in their compositions. These devilish types of chords just make the music sound edgy and futuristic. They are edgy and spooky but they sound just right and you just can't stop loving it! You can have a taste of how I use it in the following compositions: (1) Take me to a party (2) Good Times (3) Catwalk in Paris (4) Mission to Mars Earthbound.

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