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OK, well a couple of observations from a non-expert here. I've played this tune a hundred or so times and because I'm basically an ear player I've never had to consider the changes as being weird. I also find the bridge to be the most interesting part of the melody, the (A) section always feeling kinda choppy to me. Anyway, Neely's claim that the original version was written in G is something that no one but Jobim can be certain of and he ain't talking. The song could have originally been written in Db and the arranger for Ribeiro's version could have changed it for that particular recording. I would venture a guess that if hence forth Jobim played it in Db then that's the key he originally wrote it in. All in all it was an interesting video.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
I enjoyed the history, and the evolution of the chords from the more Ellington to the more Jobim sounding chords.

We do the song in F when requested. It fits Leilani's vocals just right.

I never worry about what key the song is supposed to be played in. I always want the singer to be able to do his/her best. That said, different keys do sound a little different to me, depending on the song, and I don't know why that is. Since I do our backing tracks in MIDI we can shift the key around a bit so it sounds best for the singer and the song. Then whatever key it ends up with is the key I'll learn it on the sax.

Sorry, I missed the original post on this subject - didn't mean to post a duplicate.

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OK, well a couple of observations from a non-expert here. I've played this tune a hundred or so times and because I'm basically an ear player I've never had to consider the changes as being weird. I also find the bridge to be the most interesting part of the melody, the (A) section always feeling kinda choppy to me. Anyway, Neely's claim that the original version was written in G is something that no one but Jobim can be certain of and he ain't talking. The song could have originally been written in Db and the arranger for Ribeiro's version could have changed it for that particular recording. I would venture a guess that if hence forth Jobim played it in Db then that's the key he originally wrote it in. All in all it was an interesting video.
That's why what he said is that the earliest recorded version he could find was in G (Ribeiro). Of course that doesn't matter a bit as to what key it may or may not've been originally written in.
 

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It fits Leilani's vocals just right... I always want the singer to be able to do his/her best.
So a song in a certain key, then, may be the best fit for certain singer.

Although perhaps less so, a musician might also fit a song best in a certain key.

I wonder if a song in a certain key might best fit a certain audience or culture? Does an US audience resonate to a different key than a Brazilian audience?

The score from "The Best of the Bossa Novas by Antonio Carlos Jobim" published by MCA Music in 1966, is in F. What took it from G or Db to F?

I think a song has a natural key, but I can't explain or prove it.
 

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Thanks for the leads, Dave and J Dos Passos. I clearly need a good book that explains all these interesting jazz progressions with lots of examples, and will have to comb the forum for further reading suggestions.
 

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Some interesting history and analysis. Did you know it was first recorded in the key of G?
It's really interesting how it was first recorded in G but then Db became the traditional key it was played in with Joao Gilberto. It's also interesting the way he explains the blues/minimalist jazz influence in bossa nova in the video and how the countermelody (which is arguably a very important part of the song) was practically lost by most players today.

I wonder if a song in a certain key might best fit a certain audience or culture? Does an US audience resonate to a different key than a Brazilian audience?
The score from "The Best of the Bossa Novas by Antonio Carlos Jobim" published by MCA Music in 1966, is in F. What took it from G or Db to F?
I think a song has a natural key, but I can't explain or prove it.
I agree. I wonder if the audience has a preference for hearing it in that key...would they notice if it wasn't in Db?
 

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It's also interesting the way he explains the blues/minimalist jazz influence in bossa nova in the video and how the countermelody (which is arguably a very important part of the song) was practically lost by most players today.
It's really important to the roots of the music as well... Bossa Nova has roots in some other really beautiful music, one being called "Choro" or "Chorinho." Here's a modern example of an old Choro tune:
. That's a really good source, if you want to glance through some of their videos. You'll sense some similarities to pre-big band jazz-- it's street music. If really dive deep, you can get a sense for how Bossa Nova's "strange" rootless chords came to be (check out the 7-string guitar lines). If you're interested in more classic choro artists, do a google of the artists listed here: https://jornalggn.com.br/brasilianas-org/raizes-da-bossa-nova/ ("Raizes da Bossa Nova" = Roots of Bossa Nova)

I agree. I wonder if the audience has a preference for hearing it in that key...would they notice if it wasn't in Db?
Personally, I'm not sure a "normal" audience would notice a different key as much as the range of the instrument playing the melody. Another example would be the original "In a Sentimental Mood,"-- do you feel like you can capture the same feeling as John Coltrane in the lower range? I can't. I also learned (and prefered) "Black Orpheus" from Dexter Gordon, who played it in C minor. Just feels nice for the tenor in that key...

-Bubba-
 

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How that previous thread got started is that the OP was confused by a video posted by the smartest musician on earth. What confused him is that the smartest musician on earth talked about how multiple chords in a sequence will use the same set of notes, based on the temporary key center or tonal center - but he failed to make clear the distinction between the momentary tonal center of a chord sequence, versus the key the whole tune's in. OP was understandably confused because in the tune in question, Emphysema, the set of chords/notes under discussion was in the bridge which is far away from the overall key of the tune. So saying "just use notes from the key the tune's in" as stated by the smartest musician on earth, will yield bad results, whereas "Use notes from the momentary tonal center, rather than trying to run each and every single chord in that sequence" would have been a better way to put it - and probably wouldn't have confused the OP of that thread.

And then it went downhill from there.
 

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I thought the thread was interesting as well and it really taught me a lot about the song and its history.

It's really important to the roots of the music as well... Bossa Nova has roots in some other really beautiful music, one being called "Choro" or "Chorinho." Here's a modern example of an old Choro tune:
. That's a really good source, if you want to glance through some of their videos. You'll sense some similarities to pre-big band jazz-- it's street music. If really dive deep, you can get a sense for how Bossa Nova's "strange" rootless chords came to be (check out the 7-string guitar lines). If you're interested in more classic choro artists, do a google of the artists listed here: https://jornalggn.com.br/brasilianas-org/raizes-da-bossa-nova/ ("Raizes da Bossa Nova" = Roots of Bossa Nova)
Personally, I'm not sure a "normal" audience would notice a different key as much as the range of the instrument playing the melody. Another example would be the original "In a Sentimental Mood,"-- do you feel like you can capture the same feeling as John Coltrane in the lower range? I can't. I also learned (and prefered) "Black Orpheus" from Dexter Gordon, who played it in C minor. Just feels nice for the tenor in that key...
-Bubba-
I'm going to check Choro out and research this some more. Thank you for this. Also, I see that depending on the instrument and range, the key could convey a different feeling. No one will ever sound like Coltrane or really capture that spiritual feeling from those recordings.
 

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It seems that one can hear and feel Take the A train in the A strain, while the middle seems typical olf Iberian and Brazilian guitr playing improvisations and studies. Jobim liked Ellingtonian touches.
 

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I loved this video as I've been studying this song on both sax and guitar. One thing that stuck out to me was the fact that it was originally done in G. I never knew that, but one of the recordings I've been working with is Amy Winehouse's which is, strangely enough, in G. I'd kind of thought it was an anomaly, but now I wonder if Amy had researched it before she sang it. We'll probably never know of course.
 

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I loved this video as I've been studying this song on both sax and guitar. One thing that stuck out to me was the fact that it was originally done in G. I never knew that, but one of the recordings I've been working with is Amy Winehouse's which is, strangely enough, in G. I'd kind of thought it was an anomaly, but now I wonder if Amy had researched it before she sang it. We'll probably never know of course.
I want to know which one made more Giders!!!
 

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It seems that one can hear and feel Take the A train i
I can hear the similarity with Mood Indigo (although V7 of V is common to several tunes) but not so much Take the A Train. Although it's also V7 of V not really the same due to alteration (b5 and maybe #5/b13) which would not be good Harmonisation of the Ipanema melody that has a perfect 5th and 13 of the secondary dominant.
 

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The chords, etc. are way above me but I have to say that when Stan Getz and Jaoa and/or Astrud get together, it is poetry in motion for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
The chords, etc. are way above me but I have to say that when Stan Getz and Jaoa and/or Astrud get together, it is poetry in motion for me.
Getz is the voice of bossa for me. He played bop OK and was a master at cool school to, but his expression fit the bossa of the 1960s perfectly IMO.

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Getz is the voice of bossa for me. He played bop OK and was a master at cool school to, but his expression fit the bossa of the 1960s perfectly IMO.

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Rather, didn't Getz define the bossa nova jazz sound for North American audiences? Getz is bossa nova for many of us USA-ers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Rather, didn't Getz define the bossa nova jazz sound for North American audiences? Getz is bossa nova for many of us USA-ers.
He and Charlie Bird popularized it here in North America. Getz's Jazz Samba albums IMO are brilliant (one with Bird and one with Bonfa).

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