Dude, it's a joke. You need to be more funny."That Guy" notes that there is a difference between a key signature (which is what was pictured) and a key which is a tonality. "major" and "minor" indicate tonalities.
With no additional data (like notes or chords) the top key signature can either be A flat, A flat major or F minor. Similarly the second one can be C flat, C flat major or A flat minor. So while the elements of the joke are there it doesn't take too much familiarity with music notation and theory to overthink things. I only got it when I vocalized the top one and then figured out what C flat's relative minor was.
The record collector would be funny if it wasn’t so true.
Actually I think the more theory you know the harder it is to see the joke.
The extremely best musicians I personally know seem to fall into two separate camps: 1. people with graduate degrees in music who know everything but who haven't allowed it to kill their spontaneity and imagination and 2. people who know nothing and cannot explain how they intuit music anymore than they can explain how they know how to breathe or walk.I've always felt that if a lack of music theory worked for The Beatles, it can work for me. But it didn't work in this particular case!
Using the Beatles as yardstick says a lot about one's worldview. I would say we need another 100 years. If in the future people are still listening to Beatles recordings then that says their lasting success is based more on their performance. If people are covering Beatles songs than that attests to their skill and talent as composers. In my worldview a good composer outranks a good performer but the best music comes from both working together. Bach had it easy since there are no recordings of Bach playing Bach so his compositions rest on their own merits.
50 years isn't enough?
Yep. When the generation whose great-grandparents heard the Beatles live (or could have) dies out then there will be some objectivity. Many of the 18th century composers who are now considered Great were not well thought of by their contemporaries. There are lots of 20th Century composers whose assessment changed every decade or so. The concept of composer/performer is comparatively new and is closely tied to recordings. So I figure we need much more time to understand what greatness means and how to compare composers to performers or whether that comparison makes sense.