The second movement of this concerto is one of the most profound pieces in E major ever written. Beethoven shifts from the key of the concerto, C minor, a flat key, to the 4 sharps of E major to say what he wants to say.  And once there, he says things slowly and gravely but very beautifully. So when, soon after I realised  that my sense of tonality was shifting, I listened to the movement and heard it start in the key of profound emotion and then apparently shift  to the unencumbered key of F major, this was a shock. A day later I listened to it again after some exercise and it did not shift at all. This was one of the formative moments on this journey. I realised then that this brain alteration I am undergoing  was not simply one of frequency adjustment; a simple mathematical equation. My physiological state appeared to alter it. There was some comfort in this. Hence these postings – examining the nature of this more complex change in an existential way in itself provides some meaning.

I was reminded of these initial experiences when I tuned into the concerto towards the end of the second movement this week. I heard it in naive F major. A disappointment. I remember hearing somewhere that the last note for the violins in this movement is G sharp. This note (an enharmonic A flat that sounds the same as G sharp) appears as the second note on the oboe theme at the start of the C minor finale — a tonal connection between the 2 distant keys designed by Beethoven. So I was surprised when the finale started in a solid C minor. If it were simply that the performance that I was listening to was recorded below the frequency tipping point of my altered sensory apparatus, I should have heard this in C sharp minor i.e. a semitone higher, and i should have heard the oboe A flat as an A. I suspect that the reason for this apparent anomaly is that C minor, the key of Beethoven’s 5th and other mighty works, is so deeply imprinted in my apperception, that it will take more than a minor frequency adjustment (nice pun there!) or lack of exercise to shift it consistently.