Popular Music in C Major Listening

After a couple of sessions of working on the Mozart Sonata ( and now having my practice plan in place ), I decided to take a detour into popular music in C major listening. I started by googling the top 10 popular songs in C major.

Piano Lessons Richmond C major Listening

Initial Reactions:

  • I felt a very strong A minor presence in many of these tunes
  • Many of the songs borrowed chords outside of C major and A minor
  • F major (subdominant) was used commonly in prechoruses and bridges – It can be used to create a pushing and escalating feeling
  • Use of A minor creates emphasis – sometimes dramatic, sometimes powerful, sometimes emotional
  • Lots of step wise motions in harmonies
  • A variety of moods were created by C major (Dance-like, sadness, hopefulness..)
  • In this particular playlist, the use of piano is significant in many of these songs.


  • How do we differentiate a pop tune from a major key and it’s relative minor key?
  • Do pop artists consider key when they write songs or is it based on vocal range?
  • What will transcribing the bass line reveal about the harmony?


Popular Music in C major Listening


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