I was sitting at my desk preparing a lecture on diarrhoea for paediatric students. I was feeling quite tired so I thought I would put on some music to help me focus while working. Who better than Beethoven? I chose the finale, the Ode to Joy from his Choral symphony. I was not surprised by the cellos and basses announcing the famous theme in E flat major instead of D major. The usual semitone shift; a shrug of the tired shoulders. I next tuned in (great music helping me to concentrate on something else – worrying?) in the wonderful prolonged fugato section where Herr von B pitches two themes against each other and shifts the key continuously. My pitch perception lost any sense of where we were tonally. Soon I was back in the throes of explaining rationales for aspects of diarrhoea treatment. I next connected with the Ode in what I think of as the ‘Tochter of Elysium’ ├é┬ásection: we are briefly in G major and things are speeding up. And they sped into D major for me as in the music. Mediated by the G major transition, my tonal appreciation was able to get me back to the real key all the way to the final excitingly wild apotheosis. So Beethoven bucks the trend: nowadays the shift is usually from the right to the wrong key; today the opposite occurred. But then that’s what you might expect from Beethoven……