Lady Gaga’s new song has an incredibly satisfying key change: here’s a musical analysis

‘Perfect Illusion’ has an exceptionally bold (and mathematically pleasing) key change.

lady gaga perfect illusion key change

Lady Gaga is known for her occasional dalliances in the world of classical music and it’s no secret that she’s a Juillard-trained pianist - but this might be the most muso-geek thing she’s ever done.

Released to great fanfare this week, her new song ‘Perfect Illusion’ features an extremely bold key chance right at the 111-second point. Listen:

But what’s so great about that? The Golden Ratio, that’s what. This divine scientific principle governs all sorts of things in the natural world, and composers like Bach loved using it to give shape to their compositions.

Now it seems like Lady Gaga has fallen for it too. By putting her key change at 111 out of 179 seconds, she’s nailed the Golden Ratio sweet spot, 1.618, otherwise known as ‘Phi’.

lady gaga golden ratio

Gaga, you are a music theory queen and we love you.


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