Playing With / Truck Driver's Gear Change

Basic Trope: A song ends by changing the key, usually sometime in the last chorus.
  • Straight: A pop song modulates up half a step before its last chorus.
  • Exaggerated: A pop song modulates up half a step before its last chorus. And then does it again. And again. And again, until it goes through the whole circle of keys chromatically, back to where it started. (That, by the way, wouldn't be "Up To 11", but "Up To 12".)
  • Downplayed: The song modulates up one-tenth of a step, barely discernible.
  • Justified:
    • The songwriter adds in the key change because it emphasises an important event in the lyrics.
    • The final chorus was meant to be sung in the same key as the rest of the song, but during the last line the singer accidentally sang it a half-step higher than usual. His band decided to keep the defective line because it sounded better.
  • Inverted:
    • The song changes key some time earlier, and then changes back in the middle of the last chorus.
    • The song modulates downward before the last chorus.
  • Subverted: The chorus starts with an instrumental break in a different key, then changes back when the vocals come in...
  • Double Subverted: ...then it changes again in the middle of the chorus.
  • Parodied:
    • An extreme metal band adds a conspicuous key change to the last chorus of an extremely atonal song.
    • The bridge is just "I'll inhale even more helium/and all the top 10 charts, I'll top 'em" sung 4 times in a row, with the key going a half step up every time it's repeated.
  • Zig Zagged: Some albums by one pop artist are full of key changes, others have none to speak of.
  • Averted: The whole song uses the same key signature.
  • Enforced: A producer pressures a band to write more songs with this trope, in order to be more commercially successful.
  • Lampshaded: The lyrics reference the key change when it happens.
  • Invoked: The lyrics contain the two vocalists discussing whether ot not they should add a key change, they decide on the affirmative.
  • Exploited: The rest of the band, while playing a live version of the song, notice that the singer is singing at the wrong key half a step higher than usual - and then change keys with him, deciding to just go with it.
  • Defied: The lyrics reference the lack of key changes.
  • Discussed: A song has a verse about why the trope is overused.
  • Conversed: A songwriter and the singer he's working with talk about the merits of the trope.
  • Deconstructed: The recording artist is accused of using Autotune in their music, and subsequently denounced for abusing it even though other popular musicians do the exact same thing.
  • Reconstructed: A behind-the-scenes video shows that, in fact, all vocals were entirely organic (i.e., not Autotuned, and the status quo is restored.

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