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Thread: Emotional state and keys

  1. #16
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    As other people have already answered the OP better than I could, I'd just like to add that tempo is an important factor. I've heard songs at fast tempos that are cheery and somewhat melancholy, but if were played at half speed would be much more sad and serious.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zellibrung View Post
    As other people have already answered the OP better than I could, I'd just like to add that tempo is an important factor. I've heard songs at fast tempos that are cheery and somewhat melancholy, but if were played at half speed would be much more sad and serious.
    Good point. The tunings of period instruments vs. modern may also complicate things a bit, as the modern tunings are half a tone lower I recall. When I compare a recording of a mass between modern and HiP, The HIP sounds less grave side by side.

    Another trick I hear done is a piece of music may go through a transposition of a theme from minor to major, and sounds triumphant like Dvorak's Cello Cincerto first movement. I doubt exactly which major key is that important. Also as in some pop songs also transpose later to a higher key which gives a feeling of being taken to the stratosphere, like Dion's My Heart Will Go On, or Mackenzie's San Francisco (Be sure to wear Flowers).
    Last edited by Phil loves classical; Jun-10-2017 at 18:09.
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    As long as it doesn't modulate, Just tuning sounds great! Try it on drones, ostinatos, burgers, and more!

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  7. #19
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    I don't believe there is any difference between one major key and another (or one minor key and another) in terms of emotion these days as we generally use equal temperament. The ratios between the different notes is EXACTLY the same regardless of the key when using equal temperament, so there is no basis I can see in attributing different emotions to different keys, other than the overall effect higher pitches on emotion (just as we attribute higher pitch to an animated state vs. lower pitch for a subdued one). I think choice of a key today has more to do with practical issues like instrument ranges, say when working in an ensemble.

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