Response to Music Philosophy Debate #1

Michelle – hmm I have asked quite a few people how they can tell the difference between minor and major chords, and they usually raise their eyebrows if I say “sad” or “happy” so I feel like it’s a Westernized convention, but as blissinger said before, some cultures have extensive dissonance and like it very much.. and don’t find minor to be depressing at all.. I think it all depends on how you are exposed to music in the different contexts.. Western composers will always use minor keys for sad things like elegies and funeral marches, so I suppose people link sad feelings with them in time :P when I listen to Gregorian chants and other things in rather dissonant keys like Mixolydian and Dorian, it all sounds rather depressing to me but people back then found it very passionate and very.. ‘happy’ and ‘inspiring’ in an uplifting way.

Michelle

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One thought on “Response to Music Philosophy Debate #1

  1. Personally I love works in the minor key – melancholy – over major key – happy. My first love in jazz in my teens was Charlie Byrd’s “Samba Triste” I think from an even more beautiful original by Baden Powell. Beauty and that haunting quality flows from the key chord changes.
    Its like listening to “Blues” – singing and playing, as an antidote to adversity. “Happy Blues” is an oxymoron – sexual braggadocio is about as far as it goes. Our response to “bad luck and trouble” is the best reason to sing the Blues, because it makes people feel better in adversity. Beyond that I can not explain. And it has the best lines. “Got me accused of forgery, I cant even write my name” Great song. You can’t write it in the positive. There wouldn’t be any reason to.

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