Throwback Thursday: Key Changes
For almost as long as music has existed, key changes have offered depth and interest to any song. In layman's terms, a key change (or modulation) occurs when the key signature of a song shifts higher or lower than its original starting point. Whether a song is upbeat and happy or somber and dramatic, key changes can add that final touch to any track, and K-Pop is no exception! Embrace your inner musical nerd and check out some of our favorite key changes below.
“이게 무슨 일이야 (What’s Happening)” - B1A4
Released in 2013 as part of their fourth mini-album of the same name, B1A4’s “What’s Happening” features a fun key change towards the end of the song. The track is high-energy from start to finish, and the key change takes it to the next level. Keep your ears peeled for 2:30 in the music video!
“The Chaser” - INFINITE
We all know that the INFINITE members are masters of many things in K-Pop, but did you know they’re also the masters of modulations? Not only did 2012 bring us “The Chaser,” but it also brought fans an incredible key change! Whereas most key changes tend to have an obvious buildup, the modulation in “The Chaser” happens almost unexpectedly and suits the desperation in the song perfectly.
“Mr.Mr.” - Girls’ Generation
Girls’ Generation’s 2014 hit “Mr.Mr.” is an iconic K-Pop song for many reasons, but just as iconic is its key change! The modulation starts around 3:16 in the music video, and as incredible as the buildup is, it’s Tiffany’s high note that really brings it home. The only thing better? The second key change at 3:30.
“Shanghai Romance” - Orange Caramel
Queens of quirky concepts, but also lesser-known queens of key changes, Orange Caramel’s discography is positively filled with modulations. The 2011 single “Shanghai Romance” kicks things up a notch around the 3:00 mark, making this already upbeat song that much more fun.