Do you hear the drums echo in the night, or do you hear only whispers of some quiet conversation? Either way, we’re taking a look at one of the most famous songs on the internet, Africa, by…

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33 COMMENTS

  1. This is a really stupid way to determine the key. The resolution is the C#m – so that's the route chord. And no, no key changes in the verses OMG. Are you classical musician or something.. jeez .. way simpler than you made it.

  2. I think I'm on the team for your first analysis of the verse. The Bmaj sounds a lot like a I to my ears, and the C#m at the end of the phrase sounds like a ii, creating a re-do resolution when it swings back around. I think this can be backed up by the fact that the synth-flute solo in the middle of the song during this same pattern flies around B as its tonic. That then makes the chorus a pretty typical pop keychange up a fifth that creates a feeling of grandiose-ness and climax. I feel that the A they hold during that part adds to said grandiose feeling with the tension of it stepping down to G# but never resolving, until the fourth line where it all gets wrapped up into a neat little bow as the line finally steps down to the F#, which to me sounds like the first scale degree of the chorus.

    I hope that makes sense.

  3. Also, the G#m chord you indicated at the end of the chorus…I'm pretty sure that's actually supposed to be an E major chord with G# in the bass. I don't have perfect pitch, but that's what I hear when I hear that song…

  4. My analysis is different from yours. To me, it's this:

    The intro is in C# minor (4 sharps).

    The verse is in B major (5 sharps), and the echo of the opening riff is a brief visit back to the key of C# minor before returning to B major again for the beginning of the phrase.

    The chorus is in F# minor or A major (3 sharps), depending on which chord you feel is most at rest.

    When you look at those keys, they're all adjacent on the circle of fifths, which explains why it's easy to weave in and out of them without much preparation and without feeling too out of place.

  5. I feel that the intro is in C# minor. The C#m chord doesn't come first, but it comes with (to me) the greatest sense of resolution heard in the song until that point. The A major chord does not feel at rest, especially not after having heard the G#m and C#m chords.

  6. I do tend to hear the verse the way you analyzed it first. Or, at least, the riff sounds like it's in a different key to the preceding part, and the part after it feels like a resolution. But then the chorus definitely sounds like it's in A.

  7. That little joke at the end is really what makes this channel so special.
    It doesn't come off as corny, forced… or even funny tbch, but it brings the tone down from a highly analytical, academic one, to a much more casual one.
    It makes you seem less like a teacher and more like a friend that's just nerding out to music theory, and makes you much more charismatic, which wasn't totally absent before.

    I might also be reading too much into it, who knows…?

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