Ivan Hewett is joined by harpsichordist Terence Charlston to explore the strangely distorted and weird-sounding key of F minor.
In "Key Matters", Ivan Hewett explores the way in which different musical keys appear to have unique characteristics of their own. In this fourth programme, Ivan is joined by harpsichordist Terence Charlston, to explore the key of F minor. This is a key which acquired its unique personality for historical reasons to do with tuning systems of early keyboard instruments. Under these tuning systems, F minor didn't really work and sounded distorted and frankly, weird. Although tuning systems gradually got sorted out, composers such as Bach and later Beethoven and Schubert, remembered the distorted nature of F minor in the past and so used this key, to write anguished and stormy music.