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Thread: "The Saddest Key"

  1. #1
    Shredding Machine DDTonFire's Avatar
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    "The Saddest Key"

    If D minor is the saddest key of all, then would its relative major key, F, be the happiest key of all? Or would its paralell major key, D, be the happiest key of all?

  2. #2
    Registered User LarryJ's Avatar
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    Where did you get that it was the saddest and happiest keys?

    I think thats nonsense. Any key can be sad depending on what you play in it. Certain scales/modes will lend themselves to this better, but 'saddest' and 'happiest' is certainly a subjective statement...

  3. #3
    Registered User
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    Where did you get that it was the saddest and happiest keys?
    "i've always felt that d minor was the saddest of all keys"-nigel
    tufnel

  4. #4
    Mode Rator Zatz's Avatar
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    DDTonFire,

    Of course, the scales may not be classified in terms of "sadness degree" (opposite to modes). But there is an explaination (just my guess) why D minor may seem a bit more sad than other scales. It's all about the inversion of the tonic chord in the open position you play on your guitar:

    --1--
    --3--
    --2--
    --0--
    --x--
    --x--

    The highest note is F - melodic one which attracts most of listener's attention. This results in emphasizing minor third (m3) interval that highlights the quality of the chord.

    Ruled by this logic I can predict that C major chord would sound most happily in the open position

    Warm regards,
    Zatz.
    Last edited by Zatz; 03-01-2004 at 05:25 PM.
    Zadd9 -> A6 -> T#9b5 -> Zmaj7

  5. #5
    7-string madhatter@skool's Avatar
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    DDTonFire,
    Was your post serious or was it just a Spinal Tap-esque joke?

    I'd say that the Relative major(Fmaj) to Dmin would be the "happiest"(answered as though your post was a joke ).
    "An object at rest CANNOT BE STOPPED!" - The Evil Midnight Bomber (What Bombs at Midnight) [The Tick]

  6. #6
    Shredding Machine DDTonFire's Avatar
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    "There's Dmin, the saddest key of all" - Phil Collins

    Its somewhat a joke but some people have a feel that some keys are "sadder" than others.

    You know when you write a riff, but it just doesn't sound right when you transpose it to a different key. They're the same intervals but it's just not the same.

    But yes Zatz you make sense!

  7. #7
    Registered User sweetious's Avatar
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    Every note has its own color and character. The more you train your ear the more you realize this... those with perfect pitch understand very well, in fact I have heard many with perfect pitch say that when they hear a note it is almost like they see a color... it has its own "hue" and "saturation" that no other note has... And for those of us without perfect pitch, we can still have a sense for it. Like you were saying DDT you might write a melody that sounds very sad or melancholy and If you transpose it to different keys the degree of that emotion will change, at least to those who have developed thier ears... Well just another musical opinion from Montana...

  8. #8
    Mad Scientist forgottenking2's Avatar
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    B minor has always done it for me (it made me cry once <I'm serious!!>) So there is a bit of subjetivity and sure for some players/composers therre are going to be keys that fit more a certain emotion, like if you listen to Yngwie a lot, if I say phrygian you're gonna think "Exotic", "Mediterranean", "Middle Eastern" etc, but I heard this one song ("Holocaust" by Hittar Cuesta) which is basically in E phrygian and it sounds very, very sad (a lot to do with his note choice during the changes)... I wrote once a song in D major that my wife thought was "very sad" so there is a lot of subjetvity in "what keys" or what modes represent what emotion, that's why when you read of them you'll always see "such and such scale against such and such chord or change <and it's this second part what most beginning guitarists ignore, I know I did> gives such and such quality" but there's a ton more choices and ways to play the same scale... and each one is gonna give you a different mood... anyways I'm rambling, bottom line:

    Emotions related to a Key are subjective. (See? I could've just said that and kept the post short )

    Regards
    "If God had wanted us to play the piano he would've given us 88 fingers"

  9. #9
    Experimentalist Koala's Avatar
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    The Toughest Key

    Then wed hafta agree on Em being plain evil right?

  10. #10
    Metal Messiah Sakkaku's Avatar
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    I would say that Em can be made to sound really 'epic' if you run a quick chord progression, running Em, D/F#, Gmaj7, Asus4, C5, D5, can really build if you emphasise certain chords at certain places... that may sound vague, but it really works... also, I'm not that sure that that's a 'true' Em key or whatever, because its a D5, instead of a D#5, but yeah... that chord progression is really good to my ears.

    Try it for yourself. If you're not happy, return it within 10 days for a no money-back guarantee!
    Sakkaku
    -Gitarrenmeister-

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