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#1
Apart from the use of major and minor keys , tempo lots of vibrato and bends , what other techniques are used to influence the state the song gives?
How do different keys like C , D etc. influence this?

And what particular scales are more used on sad songs?
#3
Well apparently (and I guess this is a personal thing), each key has its own distinct sound. For example, B minor is often referred to as the key of despair, A minor is the sad key etc...

Personally I think dynamics have great impact on the emotions that come through in a song, and a really sad mood can be amplified by by very quiet dynamics, if that makes sense.

I always find that scalic melodies (at least in major keys) sound quite happy and have a sort of upbeat feel. I guess it's down to personal opinion.
#4
I see , by chance is there any list of what a key sounds like what?
I've been searching but can't find anything.
#5
Hahaha!! Sorry but that's funny.

You need to hear it for yourself and decide. You should try it. Sit down and write a few really simple ideas then play them all in each key and describe what it feels like to you being in a different key. Write it all down and go from there.

There is no definitive list. And you can not, I repeat CAN NOT, know what a sound sounds like without hearing it. You can't learn what a key sounds like by reading that someone once said it was the key of bananas or whatever.

What makes a song happy or sad? rhythm, timing, phrasing, technique, lyrics, orchestration, heaps of things.

Good Luck man.
Si
#6
LOL;

Ur questions is flawed TS; ur assuming that something that sounds sad to you must sound sad too everyone.

If I let my mother hear death metal styled lyrics, she's kinda in awe, but If I hear em I hear a sense of joy and somewhat humoristic.

In general for most people, minor is often used for sad and major for happy, but these are just starting points, and not rules.

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#7
Minor chords are particularly associated with sadness
Major with happyness

but within music

you can know all there is to know about theory

and you might still not be able to create the best songs in the world

alot of music is about experimenting.

try different progressions and melodies until you find something that you like
#8
Quote by xxdarrenxx
LOL;

Ur questions is flawed TS; ur assuming that something that sounds sad to you must sound sad too everyone.

If I let my mother hear death metal styled lyrics, she's kinda in awe, but If I hear em I hear a sense of joy and somewhat humoristic.

In general for most people, minor is often used for sad and major for happy, but these are just starting points, and not rules.


Well, I somewhat disagree, because how you react to music comes from your point of view to the ideas presented in that music style. So, just because you find metal funny or joyful doesn't mean that metal progressions sound happy. Ideas may be, but not the chords.
#9
Quote by UNIe
Well, I somewhat disagree, because how you react to music comes from your point of view to the ideas presented in that music style. So, just because you find metal funny or joyful doesn't mean that metal progressions sound happy. Ideas may be, but not the chords.


That's exactly what I said?


Something doesn't sound happy or sad, it's how you perceive it, cause at the end of they day you listen too song because how they make you feel, no matter what style or genre or "original intended mood" was of the song.

If someone says, that song is happy listen to it and you will feel happy = bull****

Ofcourse maybe someone implies a mood in his song and that gets reflected on you, but that's not the question of TS.

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Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Feb 21, 2009,
#10
Quote by xxdarrenxx
That's exactly what I said?


Something doesn't sound happy or sad, it's how you perceive it, cause at the end of they day you listen too song because how they make you feel, no matter what style or genre or "original intended mood" was of the song.

If someone says, that song is happy listen to it and you will feel happy = bull****

Ofcourse maybe someone implies a mood in his song and that gets reflected on you, but that's not the question of TS.


Well, this is where our viewpoints differ. Because I always try to find as much information about the music I'm listening to as possible and I try to get what the author wanted to say with that song, because I then can connect with that music and that's what I'm trying to do in my performances. That kind of music gives me the most pleasure, when it connects people. But this is REALLY offtopic
#11
Quote by UNIe
Well, this is where our viewpoints differ. Because I always try to find as much information about the music I'm listening to as possible and I try to get what the author wanted to say with that song, because I then can connect with that music and that's what I'm trying to do in my performances. That kind of music gives me the most pleasure, when it connects people. But this is REALLY offtopic


Yes, but ur missing the point again.

I do this as well, it's not if you or the writer agreed or disagree about the mood of a song. What it was intended is that something doesn't sound happy in itself.

TS thinks there's an universal way too make something sound happy or sad in terms of definable distinctive harmony/melody/musical feature.

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#13
Quote by xxdarrenxx
Yes, but ur missing the point again.

I do this as well, it's not if you or the writer agreed or disagree about the mood of a song. What it was intended is that something doesn't sound happy in itself.

TS thinks there's an universal way too make something sound happy or sad in terms of definable distinctive harmony/melody/musical feature.


Well, then I misunderstood something again But anyways, what TS needs to know is that chords and melody is the main thing that determines the mood of the song.

And to gallagher2006: Dm actually does sound very sad. Something about the frequencies of that key makes it very painful and sad. You could take something from Am, transpose it to Dm and it would sound more sad, I'm amazed myself of this ;]
#14
And to gallagher2006: Dm actually does sound very sad. Something about the frequencies of that key makes it very painful and sad. You could take something from Am, transpose it to Dm and it would sound more sad, I'm amazed myself of this ;]


No. Just...no. Even if keys did possess objective moods, it would still not apply in 12-TET. D minor is not inherently sad, nor is it "sadder" than any other key.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#16
Quote by UNIe
Well, then I misunderstood something again But anyways, what TS needs to know is that chords and melody is the main thing that determines the mood of the song.

And to gallagher2006: Dm actually does sound very sad. Something about the frequencies of that key makes it very painful and sad. You could take something from Am, transpose it to Dm and it would sound more sad, I'm amazed myself of this ;]


Actually throughout history, a lot of music moods is determined by rhythm. An uptempo song in minor can still sound happy, and if you play blues over a latin beat, you are called santana.

Seriously play any Santana licks over a blues progression, and you will be like; hmmm kayy blues. Play it over a swinging Latin beat, and you are "spanish".

It also has to do with the chords, but TS stated in his OP he was already aware of that.

Not starting a fight (actually on a non fighting/provoking "rehab" as of lately.

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Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Feb 21, 2009,
#17
Personally to me, F major sounds like a very happy key, but I have a habit of giving major keys a really sad sound.
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#18
Thanks for the warm replys guys (rhyming ftw) , I'm curently in the process of learning theory and how to apply it , so far I've mostly worked on my technique and neglected theory , so I've been having lots of questions .
Thanks again , Cheers.
#19
To my knowledge no major scale sounds any happier than any other major scale because of equal temperament, but I'm in now way an expert.
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#21
Quote by xxdarrenxx
Actually throughout history, a lot of music moods is determined by rhythm. An uptempo song in minor can still sound happy, and if you play blues over a latin beat, you are called santana.

Seriously play any Santana licks over a blues progression, and you will be like; hmmm kayy blues. Play it over a swinging Latin beat, and you are "spanish".

It also has to do with the chords, but TS stated in his OP he was already aware of that.

Not starting a fight (actually on a non fighting/provoking "rehab" as of lately.


Hey, I enjoy a good and thoughtful argument. You can get lots of experience form that ;] So no hard feelings here

And yes, I agree that rhythm also determines the mood and especially rhythm feels (like swing, shuffle, ev. 8, etc.).
#22
To me using different keys makes it sound different even though the relative sounds are the same.

For analogy in the visual arts check out the cover of Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II.




The images are the same in a relative way but they are different.

For me when a song is transposed to a different key it has a similar effect.
Si
#23
Quote by 20Tigers
To me using different keys makes it sound different even though the relative sounds are the same.

For analogy in the visual arts check out the cover of Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II.

(images)

The images are the same in a relative way but they are different.

For me when a song is transposed to a different key it has a similar effect.


I have the same, that's why I made a topic like a month or so ago in MT, wondering why I choose the keys that I play, to play.

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#24
Keys are like colours, we get different feelings from different colours, propably because of association. That's why a song played in E minor can sound so generic because it's propably the most used key. Something just sounds "familiar"

If you catch my drift.
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#25
Quote by Tzeel
Keys are like colours, we get different feelings from different colours, propably because of association. That's why a song played in E minor can sound so generic because it's propably the most used key. Something just sounds "familiar"

If you catch my drift.


If a song sounds "generic", it's because you're a poor composer. Any key "can sound generic". E minor is only unique in that regard if you have perfect pitch and for some purely subjective reason dislike the key.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#27
Quote by Dio10101
Major = Happy
Sad = Sad
These are the usual from my experience.

I think you meant Minor = Sad.

That or you meant Happy = Happy.

What I've noticed for me is it relies heavily on the speed of the song.

Never to Late by Three Days Grace sounds like a really sad song, if you just listen to the guitar. It's at a relatively slow speed, not sure what key (although I could probably find out if I wanted to)
#28
Quote by Dio10101
Major = Happy
Sad = Sad
These are the usual from my experience.


Keys do not have moods. Major and minor keys are not inherently happy or sad. They don't even lend themselves particularly well to those emotions (which are purely subjective anyway).
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#29
Quote by Archeo Avis
Keys do not have moods. Major and minor keys are not inherently happy or sad. They don't even lend themselves particularly well to those emotions (which are purely subjective anyway).


This is true.

To me Major (ionian) sounds most often funny or cheesy.

Satriani = the only instrumental guitarist who can play major and make it sound good imo

Always with me always with you of him is major and sounds nice, while Petrucci's wishfull thinking is major, but sound almost too cheesy to me.

I don't know how satch does it; probably because of his bluesy touch which keeps it a bit "raw". Every purely major (ionian) style stuff I write sounds cheesy.

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Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Feb 22, 2009,
#30
Uh, keys haven't really had individual moods since equal temperament was invented.

I mean, I guess you could transpose a song down a few steps, but that'll just make it bassier.
Which would make the bassist sad?
?!
#31
All it comes down to is whether one note say G for example has a different "quality" than B. Not just higher or lower but if each of them have a unique sound quality.

I think they do. Whether you can hear it or not doesn't mean other people can't. But they do. It's really subtle which makes it hard to pick out but it's there. And it is this subtle often overlooked quality that makes a B sound like a B in any octave and on any instrument.

I'm still learning to recognize them by name. Some days the qualities seem to jump out at me so obvious it's just as bold and obvious as a visual colour and it amazes me how strong it is and how I ever found it hard to hear. Other times the next day even, I find it hard to nail down and pick out, it becomes too subtle and I don't hear anything except the relative relationships going on.
Si
#32
You’re developing what I call imperfect pitch. It happens when you hear one sound so much that you just know what it sounds like. This is kind of nice because you can pick out a key and scale with ease, but you can also become a metal guitarist who hates the key of Em.
#33
I think they do. Whether you can hear it or not doesn't mean other people can't. But they do. It's really subtle which makes it hard to pick out but it's there. And it is this subtle often overlooked quality that makes a B sound like a B in any octave and on any instrument.


And just because you claim that there is a difference doesn't mean that said difference exists objectively. You might be able to get away with claiming that different pitches have particular and individual timbres, but this would only apply to a specific instrument, and would not be a property of the entire pitch class.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#35
Quote by bangoodcharlote
I don't see where he claimed it was anything but his opinion.


He made a statement regarding objective reality. When people make such statement in a public forum, they open themselves up to refutation.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#36
Quote by bangoodcharlote
This is kind of nice because you can pick out a key and scale with ease, but you can also become a metal guitarist who hates the key of Em.
Well I'm not one of those guys. I don't have a favourite colour - I love em all they're just so magnificent. I just don't understand how you can put one above the other. Same goes with sounds and keys. I can't put one above the other just because they're different. I hope that makes sense.

Quote by ArcheoAvis
And just because you claim that there is a difference doesn't mean that said difference exists objectively. You might be able to get away with claiming that different pitches have particular and individual timbres, but this would only apply to a specific instrument, and would not be a property of the entire pitch class.
So What?

The subjective experience of "red" isn't something that exists objectively but it is perceived quality in something that exists objectively. It's the same with the qualities I'm talking about - sure they're subjective perceptions of an objective reality.

So what?

How does the fact that the qualities don't exist in some objective sense make them less real to those that do experience them?

What gets me is the flip side of what you're saying - just because someone can't experience it or has learned not to notice it doesn't mean it can't be heard by others. So coming in saying something like
"Uh, keys haven't really had individual qualities since equal temperament was invented.

I mean, I guess you could transpose a song down a few steps, but that'll just make it bassier."

As you state - this is a claim to objective truth through subjective experience that opens them up to refutation. My post was much more about what I think and the language was geared that way - I was talking about what I hear.

Now if there is some quality that some people can hear and other people can't does that mean it exists objectively or not? I don't know and I don't think it's relevant. I believe the human brain is capable of perceiving the different "qualities" in different pitch classes.

I also believe it's a far more common ability than people realize they just learn to focus on change over time and unconsciously train their brain to ignore the "qualities", which once trained becomes really hard to re-train.
Si
Last edited by 20Tigers at Feb 22, 2009,
#37
I have a favorite color, but we also know (amount of colors you know)^9 more colors than guys know.

For whatever reason, even if I transpose an awesome lick in Dm into Em, whenever I play in Em I suck. I think it's because I sound like Dave Murray and I'm not Davve Murray; I'm Sue.

What's worse than that is the fact that this only applies to solos, but I like writing riffs in Em with the low E string as a pedal tone. Do you know how annoying it is to modulete to F#m and then back to Em for every solo?

And my tuning goes to hell when I try to tune to Eb or D, so that doesn't work.

So I write in Am and Dm a lot.
#38
^^ there is other stuff included.

Some licks do sound better in 1 key, but that's only ON guitar. That has to do with timbre and not specifically the key. Notes on a guitar sound different everywhere, it is very multi coloured due to the nature of the instrument. Some feedback and overtones can only be gained in some keys.

I think people that like the sound of Em just like it because there favourite guitar stuff is in that key, and that a subconscious pitch recognition makes it sound "nicer".

Songs often get changed in keys for vocals and other reasons., and people do notice the difference, but still like the song.

I believe that when you transpose a lick Sue, that you subconsciously take E minor as the reference.

Not theoretical reference or actual musical reference, but a psychological reference, something a bit like Nostalgia, but on a much lower level.

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Last edited by xxdarrenxx at Feb 23, 2009,
#39
This is what i've always thought about the feeling of music,
in a chordal sense anyway, not mentioning keys;
Major - Happy
Minor - Sad/Melancholy
Suspended - Airy, nearly mystic
Dominant 7th - Working class
Major 7th - posh, but still playable to the working class man
Augmented and Diminished - wreek of despair and abandonment

could keep going but i am getting bored
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