Not sure if this is in the right place... I'm making a composition for my degree based on Elisabeth Kübler-Ross' model know as the five stages of grief (Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance.)
I'm writing music to express each of these "stages" and my question was does anybody have any ideas for instruments, scales, tones, moods etc that could link or represent any of these themes.
I have considered harsher sounds and heavier instrumentation for anger etc but would be after any idea people might have, thanks
If you want some nasty sounds to express anger put emphasis on the tritone, use creepy chords like Emaj7sus4/A


or have a second guitarist play a 4th harmony (gives creepy slayer sound) or 1-halfstep harmony, that just nasty!
Guthrie Govan = Guitar Genius
Something tightly contrapuntal for bargaining?
Or you could start with a very simple pair of phrases and go back and forth doing variations on both, becoming more and more hectic and urgent until you finally splash completely out into the depression movement. Or is something like that more over-the top than what you're looking for?

I will say that dynamic control will probably be even more important than all of the things you've listed above. I know it's so basic that we all take it for granted, but that is usually the real heart of creating a contrast of "emotions" within a work.
Thanks for the ideas, yeah dynamics will play a huge part in it. I have been working with a lot of feedback for the depression section. No ideas are too over the top, I'm open to any suggestions, keep them coming, thanks.
Yeh, I like what chucklesmginty says about tension and release, contrasts. One thing I think works is making sure your sections (it looks like you will have five "movements" one on each theme?) have strong, smooth flowing interludes joining them. You can move into very sectional work, where the different moods section out rather abruptly, but you might not want to do that for each movement. I like what dullsilver_mike says about building up a lot of tension that then splashes out...very visual! I was thinking for denial, you might try music that works in opposites, such as like two thinkgs that are back to back, maybe a chord, followed by the same but backward chord (sort of like a Shoenberg twelvetone inversion). I think of denial being oppositional. Keep in mind the greater theme, grief. What is grief? How is grief expressed (culturally? emotionally? spiritually? physically?) Then work those ideas into the individual movements. Hope it helps.