#1
So I got bitched out for posting this in Songwriting and Lyrics... Whatever...

Quote by Me

So I got back into composing last night. I saw a few weeks ago a page listing all Key Sigs and their "Atmosphere". Im trying to find it again. It was like Dm - The saddest of Keys, and the like.

I can't remember what site it was on (most likely here) and I searched here as well as Google. Maybe I was using the wrong search words.

If anyone has the list I'd appreciate it, or a link.

Please use tags for tabs....
#2
Yeah it always confused me that the Songwriting & Lyrics forum was all about lyrics and not so much songwriting.

Though to be fair this is a music theory question, so it does belong here. And you will most likely get a lot of arguments here too. There are many outspoken people on this topic and we have had this debate a number of times.

Some argue that different key signatures do not have different "moods", "atmoshperes", or "qualities". Others (including myself) argue that they do.

To be fair though you're not asking for opinions on whether this is true or not. So hopefully those that don't agree can just leave it and post somewhere else unless they know of the site or list you speak of, in which case they can let you know where to find it.

I don't think I've seen such a list . My advice would be listen to songs in different keys and listen to the keys themselves as you play them and make your own list. There is no right or wrong.

It personally think it would be much more beneficial than trying to learn someone elses list. That way you're learning the sounds for yourself and not trying to believe what someone else told you they were.
Si
Last edited by 20Tigers at Mar 2, 2009,
#3
Here's a list of a few interpretations: http://www.library.yale.edu/~mkoth/keychar.htm

Like 20Tigers mentioned, it's better to decide these things for yourself, even if you happen to believe in these associations (although, if you don't know what the associations are in the first place, how much faith can you have in them yet? )

Study many pieces of music. Over time, perhaps you'll find that there are keys that you associate with particular feelings, or perhaps not. Only one way to find out.
(Slightly outdated) Electronic and classical compositions by m'self: Check 'em out
#4
Good point.

Im just trying to write something dark. I know from personal experience that Dm is the "saddest of keys" so I was fooling around with Dm this morning (Well My guitar is tuned CGCFAD so I assume it would be ??Cm??, someone tell me if im right please?) and I was wondering what other keys would give the same effect.

I know for a general idea that major is happy, minor is sad. Jsut looking for advice really, not set in stone facts because I know that with music anything is possible, and (incase Freepower reads this ) Meshuggah has proven this :P

Please use tags for tabs....
#5
Quote by psychodelia
Here's a list of a few interpretations: http://www.library.yale.edu/~mkoth/keychar.htm



Bingo we have a winner! thats the page I was on <3 thanks a ton bro.

Again I wasnt looking for set-in-stone, just pointers.

Please use tags for tabs....
#6
I completely disagree with the information on that link because moods comes from how you play your instrument not which key you use.
*reported*... twice in one reply!


OH NOES!!! Theowy is scawY!!!
#7
major is happy, minor is sad


Dont tell radiohead that no surprises or creep are both happy songs. dont tell jeff buckley that either


Its a cliche in this thread, but it really is a hell of a lot more composition than the key or the M/m conundrum etc.
#8
At the last 2 posters:

I haven't composed in a while and I'm just looking for pointers. Ive said multiple times that nothing is set in stone. The keys give that atmosphere but you dont NEED to have it in the song.

Im not looking for training wheels, Im looking for someone to give me a starter push...

Please use tags for tabs....
#9
I don't know, but I associate both the chord A major and the key of A major with the color red. It's just something i've always done, even before I knew what keys or chords were what. Not in an emotional, red = anger way, just the color. Kind of a non-sequitor, but it's sort of related.
#10
hmmmm, well, I've personally never thought of a specific key as inferring any emotional qualities. But I often hear a key as a having a specific color. i.e. D has a very golden sound to me.

This same thing happens to me when i think of the quality of note. Usually they are directly related to what color I feel the key is. Each mode has different color qualities as well, depending on how the tonic is accentuated. The mixolydian mode for example, has a very light, almost flourescent additive quality to it.
#11
Quote by Sunny_lsd
hmmmm, well, I've personally never thought of a specific key as inferring any emotional qualities. But I often hear a key as a having a specific color. i.e. D has a very golden sound to me.

This same thing happens to me when i think of the quality of note. Usually they are directly related to what color I feel the key is. Each mode has different color qualities as well, depending on how the tonic is accentuated. The mixolydian mode for example, has a very light, almost flourescent additive quality to it.

That's odd, i've always thought of D as having a pale yellow shade.
#12
As long as Dm is the saddest of all keys im happy

lol

I see C+ as a bright blue. dunno why o.O?

Please use tags for tabs....
#13
heh, go figure!

Yeah, I dunno certain keys/notes always seem to having specif color gravity to them. Alot of my friends say the same thing, we almost all agree on the colors too, with slight variations generally.
#15
I feel patterns instead of colours, but I know what your saying.
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Theory is descriptive, not prescriptive.


Quote by MiKe Hendryckz
theory states 1+1=2 sometimes in music 1+1=3.
#16
My guitar teacher told me that his friend went through and played all the chords and scales he knew, and as he was playing he would right down how that chord made him feel. So like say a Aminor chord made him feel sad, or a Bdiminished chord made him confused. that way when he went to go write music he had a little chart outlining the mood charachteristics off all the chords. Its a pretty interesting idea, and a good way to associate chords and scales with certain feelings.
frog_friend and WGP: UG's Kramer brotherhood

Ug's 4th ENGL endorser
Randy Rhoads is god
founder of the "ENGL amps" fanclub. PM me to join
#17
I know from personal experience that Dm is the "saddest of keys"


You do know that people who say that are referencing a joke from Spinal Tap, right?
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.
#18
Quote by frog_friend
My guitar teacher told me that his friend went through and played all the chords and scales he knew, and as he was playing he would right down how that chord made him feel. So like say a Aminor chord made him feel sad, or a Bdiminished chord made him confused. that way when he went to go write music he had a little chart outlining the mood charachteristics off all the chords. Its a pretty interesting idea, and a good way to associate chords and scales with certain feelings.

I think Steve Vai mentions this in his Little Black Dots lessons.

You do know that people who say that are referencing a joke from Spinal Tap, right?

lawl wats spinal tap
Call me Batman.
#19
Quote by frog_friend
My guitar teacher told me that his friend went through and played all the chords and scales he knew, and as he was playing he would right down how that chord made him feel. So like say a Aminor chord made him feel sad, or a Bdiminished chord made him confused. that way when he went to go write music he had a little chart outlining the mood charachteristics off all the chords. Its a pretty interesting idea, and a good way to associate chords and scales with certain feelings.


The problem with this is that the sound of a chord is almost entirely dependent on context.
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.
#21
Quote by frog_friend
My guitar teacher told me that his friend went through and played all the chords and scales he knew, and as he was playing he would right down how that chord made him feel. So like say a Aminor chord made him feel sad, or a Bdiminished chord made him confused. that way when he went to go write music he had a little chart outlining the mood charachteristics off all the chords. Its a pretty interesting idea, and a good way to associate chords and scales with certain feelings.


ooh, A minor is sad. I had noooooo idea.

Archeo Avis is right. It depends on the context. If people want to explore the concept of key atmosphere, thats fine. I wont deny good music.

And were they open chord voicings? Because an open C major, theoretically, is more than just in a different key than an A major. Its a different voicing. If your friend did all this with barre chords, and came up with the same results on multiple occasions, then id think its legitimate. But it seems like hes just shooting from the hip.