#1
As children, we are raised with the major is happy and minor is sad mentality. When we heard a major chord, it filled us with joy, while minor chords were semi disliked because of their "dissonance".

When we grew older, we became more accustomed to the minor chords and scales and they pleased us just as much as Major did, if not more due to their ability to borrow notes from both. But then diminished became the new dissonance, along with the chromatic scale. These things added a horror that minor simply couldn't supply, and so we looked at it cautiously.

Eventually even diminished chords lost their mysterious character and they pleased us, albeit in a different way, just the same as major and minor, due to their mood abilities in the piece. Which leaves us with the only basic chord structure remaining: Augmented. And augmented with whole tone scales still puts me at edge with it's "unnatural" qualities.

Isn't it weird how this progression happens to most musicians? Of course, this applies mostly to classically trained people on instruments, since dependent on the genre you prefer in "popular" music, you could have been more exposed to one than the other.
#3
I went through the last part like 6 months ago, it is quite odd, although i still think a major song (if done well with meaningful lyrics) can still make a room of people be in a lighter mood
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#4
i think of it like reading books. as a child having books read to you the story has very small, simple conflicts or problems that the main character faces and then there's a resolution at the end, and the resolution is fairly quick to hold the kid's attention

then as you get older you start to appreciate more complex plots and problems. the conflict may build and escalate for many chapters while still giving you more and more knowledge of what's going on - and then it all snowballs, everything coming to a climax at the same time (or not, depending) and the story resolves.


it's much the same with music, you begin to appreciate the tension the more you listen to it. and the simple children's songs become boring and silly in comparison.
#5
I never really focused on major. And then I moved on to diminished and augmented stuff and chromaticism because I understood music better, not really because I got more used to it.
#6
I've kind of have that with composition as well. I used just enjoy writing something that sounded "nice" but now I often find it more satisfying to write something with a more complex progression/rythm or more interesting melodies and countermelodies. The funny thing is that people often prefer the simpler stuff, the stuff that I've found more boring.

I've found that this effect is even more noticible in your own compositions because you have to listen them over and over again whiled writing them, so you need more interesting music to hold your atention.

But I think just because we've got used to the tonality/chords, I don't think they use their effect, minor chords still sound typically sad etc., they still make us feel certain ways.
#7
I think part of it too, is a simple song is more likely to sound familiar (or like something that's already been written). Complex songs are more likely to sound unique. So as musicians we naturally strive to be more original and end up getting more and more complex and out of the 'norm.'
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#8
As we get older and more experienced it becomes that ever more difficult to challenge our senses. It's the same with everything, music, books, food, movies - the more time you spend with something, no matter how unusual or extreme it first seems the more familiar and everday it will eventually become leading you to cast your net even further afield.
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#10
It's not weird, it's just about adapting and learning new flavors and our taste evolving. I'm at a point now where I'm finding beauty in microtone music on a whole new level of dissonance like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0EqDsumU_Y which most people I've showed it to find scary or disturbing. As we push our boundaries the weird becomes familiar, the ugly becomes beautiful.
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#11
I'm sorry to say I think this is stupid and I disagree completely. Unless theres some misunderstanding or I'm just different but complexity =/=better in any way. I will now direct to a composer whos name is Yasanori Mitsuda who simple melody will topple the most "complex" songs.
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#12
Quote by Thepredster
I'm sorry to say I think this is stupid and I disagree completely. Unless theres some misunderstanding or I'm just different but complexity =/=better in any way. I will now direct to a composer whos name is Yasanori Mitsuda who simple melody will topple the most "complex" songs.


I agree, but that doesn't seem to be what this thread is about. It's about how we adapt to different tonalities, harmonies, intervals, etc. A dissonant harmony can be very simplistic.
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Last edited by Hobble at Oct 20, 2009,
#13
Quote by wesselbindt
This happens to everyone who listens to music.

yea i think as time goes on, we cant help but get used to things. i saw a show about music in the mind and they said that our brains are wired to seek new things to challenge it. if we listen to the same stuff over and over, we get bored. it doesnt like things to sound predictable. but its funny because if its too complex, we also seem to lose interest. thats actually why muzak isnt very liked by people. its predictable and doesnt challenge the brain enough. but thats also the point of it. its mostly backgound music. its not ment to challenge you in anyway, its just supposed to be there and be nice.

i find with musicians this process seems to be greater because we are around music much more than the average person. so we constantly need new sounds to not get bored.

now this doesnt mean that we always go towards more complex and dissonant music, but we just seek something new. its why i like music that has lots of improv in it. i dont like hearing bands who just play their songs the same way all the time. i want them to change it and add new solos every night. otherwise, im bored. sometimes just not listening to something for a while will spark an interest in it again.
#14
Quote by Thepredster
I'm sorry to say I think this is stupid and I disagree completely. Unless theres some misunderstanding or I'm just different but complexity =/=better in any way. I will now direct to a composer whos name is Yasanori Mitsuda who simple melody will topple the most "complex" songs.

Augmented and diminished harmonies aren't necessarily more complex than major and minor, they're just more unusual and dissonant. I think the OP's point was that dissonance is all relative. The same chord can sound jumbled and abrasive on its own, but sweet and natural if it resolves something even more dissonant. Just look at the chord changes for nearly any jazz song, then listen to it; the chords sounds much more natural and pleasing than you'd expect from looking at them individually on paper.
#15
I don't really relate to this since I wasn't taught music when I was young, but I don't think I had any aversion to minor-key music. And dissonant chords don't sound bad at all in the right context.

I think I understand what you mean, though. I think as musicians we try to predict what's going to "happen" next while listening to music. More consonant music is more predictable, which makes it easy to follow. But if it's too predictable, it's boring. As we progress musically we try to balance accessibility and interestingness (too tired to think of the real word).

I guess if I listened to dissonant music (free jazz, atonal or microtonal music, etc.) enough I would get used to it and it wouldn't seem as dissonant. But a lot of bebop is beyond my comprehension at this point.
#17
Would a person think Diminished/Augmented music was "normal" if that was what they were rasied on? For example, if I showed my kid Schoenberg's atonal stuff and some of the other crazy 19th century composers, would they think that was normal? And then think a song with a more "normal" tonality was weird?

This could be something to try. It'd make for interesting studies. Though it'd be hard to keep it up when the kid went to school there he'd be introduced to pop and major-key songs.
#18
Quote by MadAudioMan
For example, if I showed my kid Schoenberg's atonal stuff and some of the other crazy 19th century composers, would they think that was normal? And then think a song with a more "normal" tonality was weird?
.


Guess so. The same reason why eastern music sounds 'eastern' to us. It's just a matter of perspective.
#20
Actually tests have shown that the human brain instinctively prefers major/minor to atonality/diminished. But that's not to say we can't learn to like more obscure tonalities, because we can and do.

But it's not a matter of perspective or what you're raised on, our minds have a natural bias.
"It often happens that I wake up at night and begin to think about a serious problem and decide I must tell the pope about it. Then I wake up completely and remember that I am the pope."


---Pope John XXIII