Keys and Tastes

When I was a child learning to play the piano, I always associated different major and minor keys with food or drink – the tastes seemed to go with the feel of music written in those different keys.  I never could understand the idea of the music sounding the same, no matter which key you played it in!  After all, you wouldn’t serve up Brussel sprouts with custard, would you?

Would Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony have been as powerful if it had been written in a different key?  A minor, for instance?  And when Bach wrote the ’48’, how did he go about it?  He had all those keys to play with, and a different prelude and fugue for each.  He must have had associations too – after all, that was the point of the Well-Tempered Clavier.  By making all the major and minor keys ever so slightly different, musicians could play in all of them!

So, as we say nowadays, let’s celebrate our differences!  Or as they used to say in the old days – ‘Vive la différence!’

Well, let me know what you think.


C maj:  fruit trifle with custard and whipped cream

A min:  sparkling water with a lime wedge

G maj:  vegetables – especially courgettes, kale, broccoli

E min:  fried breakfast

D maj:  picnic – sandwiches, salad, hard-boiled eggs

B min:  steak-and-kidney pudding

A maj:  Guinness

F# min:  too much alcohol

E maj:  fried breakfast, when you have a hangover

C# min:  vinegar

B maj:  plums

G# min:  herbs – lavender and sage

F# maj:  dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids)

Eb min:  acacia honey

Db maj:  cloudy lemonade

Bb min:  treacle sponge

Ab maj:  casserole

F min:  sausages

Eb maj:  spicy parsnip soup

C min:  fried eggs

Bb maj:  Cadbury’s milk chocolate

G min:  sea bass

F maj:  blackberry crumble

D min:  Cadbury’s chocolate fingers


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