The study of the cultural aspects of music.

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116
votes
10answers
13k views

Why do minor keys sound “sad”?

Oftentimes major keys are called "happy" and minor keys are "sad". Why is this? Is it universal across cultures that use these scales? Do similar connotations exist in other scale systems? (If this ...
20
votes
5answers
3k views

How can a non-musician recognize anacrusis?

I need help understanding anacrusis (pickup notes). I'm no musician - I'm more of an anthropologist. I was reading some articles on ethnomusicology, and one of them makes reference to anacrusis in ...
17
votes
7answers
1k views

Where should I go to learn about non-Western scales (particularly Turkish & Greek)

Apart from Turkey and Greece, I mean. I'm looking for fairly abstract musicological and comparative descriptions, not "how to play"-style information. Particularly interested in departures from the ...
16
votes
2answers
5k views

Differences between the concept of Scales , Raagas, and Thaaths?

Western music has Scales (major, minor, etc.) while Eastern Music primarily has a large number of Raagas derived from some basic Taaths. Both these groups represent sets of notes on which actual song ...
7
votes
3answers
573 views

Why do some intervals sound better than others?

Why do some intervals sound so good (e.g. a perfect fifth: seven semitones), whereas others sound so awful and diabolical (e.g. an augmented fourth: six semitones)? Is this phenomenon dependant on ...
6
votes
5answers
105 views

What is the study of song structure called?

I'm describing native Hawaiian songs as part of a research project. The songs are sung by a single performer without instruments. We transcribed the song into stanzas and now see a number of patterns ...
4
votes
2answers
682 views

Is there any open source notation software for indian shrutis?

I would like to write down Shruti music but I wasn't able to find notation software for that. Do you know any? edit: Live Playback would be a great feature.
3
votes
1answer
81 views

At the research of some folklore russian accordion tunes

The other day I was watching a video documentary about the discovering of frozen mammoths in the Siberian tundra. At some moment there was a tune in I really enjoyed. It was mainly accordion, rather ...
2
votes
0answers
43 views

learning the Kora

Are there any written methods for learning the Kora, a West African instrument which traditionally is taught only by example and whose repertoire is not notated?
1
vote
3answers
267 views

Magen Abot Scale - Indigenous Recordings

In a purely theoretical space, I noticed some interesting properties of a scale which I determined to be the Magen Abot Scale. The scale I am interested in is: C Db D# E F# G# A B or 1 b2 #2 3 ...
1
vote
2answers
115 views

Ethno and folk music of the german region (excluding bavaria)

I'm having a hard time finding out about ethno or folk music in the german region (exluding bavaria) and especially about the inner workings of examples of such. I'm especially interested in anything ...