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74

The major key is present by nature in every note that is played. Therefore, it is interpreted as normal behavior, a happy day in our lives, 'cause that's what we expect to happen. The minor key is opposed to the major key and it's perceived by us (without being aware) as if there was something wrong, hence sadness or restlessness. Further explanation: When ...


45

They are not quite "universally" regarded as sad. For instance, in the Amazon jungle (particularly the part in Brazil) and some places in the Middle East, people use minor keys for happy songs of rejoicing. Basically, some experts argue it has to do with the qualities of natural speech. Here's an explanation: ...


22

I wouldn't say this is universal at all. For example, many songs in the Jewish musical tradition are written in minor modes yet convey joyful emotion. And what little I understand about Indian classical music is that it's scale-based, not key-center based.


13

It is cultural. The ancient Greeks used a few more musical scales to denote certain moods (I'm missing my Greek history and theatre books at the moment). I'd say that minor keys sound sad because you've associated them with "sad", not that they cause humans to be sad.


13

10 Thaats (basic scales) -> Ragas is the Hindustani music concept. In Carnatic Music there are 72 Melamkarthas Ragas yielding thousands of derivative ragas. (I limit my discussion to Carnatic ragas, hoping it'll answer your question) Raga At a basic level, each raga is a distinctive kind of melody, having its own flavour. A seasoned listner can detect this ...


11

This has been asked a lot on the net and it's complex to answer. It's partly cultural and partly psychological. As Edgar Gonzales said in his answer, there's some explanation in the harmonics of the notes. What he said is correct, but he doesn't take into account temperament. Western music is based on Equal Temperament and as such, the perfect progressions ...


8

John Coltrane famously studied Nicolas Slonimsky's Thesaurus of Scales and Melodic Patterns and using eastern and exotic scales in his solos. I believe this text is supposed to contain such scales, but I don't have a copy and can't verify that definitely, or that it will specify which scales come from where. Yusef Lateef's Repository of Scales and Melodic ...


7

I wouldn't categorize the minor scale as "sad", and I don't think it's universally sad, I would rather call it emotional or this kind of category. It's not universal because of a convention, it's just true fact that minor songs are more touching soul than major (in most cases). The effect of the minor scale when listening to, makes you feel emotional, the ...


4

Here's a project to typeset Carnatic music based on LaTeX. Still in the development phase.


4

Well, for one, there are many more cultures in Russia than just Russians. If it's Siberian you're looking for, then search for that. And other regions nearby. There's also some musical overlap between Siberian, Mongolian, and Tuvan folk styles. "Peoples of Russia" is a good search term for general ethnographic information. There have been several books with ...


4

The Wikipedia page on makam theory seems to be a good beginning.


3

I don't know if they sell abroad but you may read Turkish Music Makam Guide.


2

Check out http://lilypond.org. It has several options for microtonal music and is quite flexible and an extensive notation program.


2

Holdrian Comma This is the famous musical interval of 22.6 cents that crops up frequently in Turkish and Arabic music. The Makam references posted here will explain how the Holdrian Comma is used. But you need an instrument capable of playing notes based on factors of this interval, which is not used in Western music. Extra frets for notes not found in ...


1

I figured out why I was having trouble finding examples. It seems Magen Avot is a more typical spelling. ...


1

I may be well off mark here, but it is a 9 note scale, looking like a mode of C# harmonic minor, with the addition of a major 6th note. The mode being based around C. Sadly, can't find any tunes that seem specifically to use it. Or - could be, using Db and Eb as C# and D# respectively, construed as the Aeolian of E (C# natural minor) with an added C (b6 ...


1

more of a comment, but a little long for comment box I think the ♯2 is more likely to be perceived as a ♭3 unless the two 2s are really used as alternate paths from 1 to 3. This looks to me like two scales superimposed, a C major and a A melodic minor. You've got lots of dominant diminished chords that can resolve to C-E-B (omitting the ...


1

Most answers focused on the harmonic aspects of this perception. What about the melodic ones? Nobody knows the real answer. It's probably because of a mixture of unrelated psychological and cultural factors. But we can speculate and here's my speculation: There is a -probably far from universal- tendency of equating rising sounds with happiness and falling ...


1

It is generally agreed in Western music that minor is sad or serious or even melancholy, but is it the note order? I don't think so,as a thread of notes in a minor tune will contain the same sort of intervals as in a major tune. Maybe it's the implied or underlying chords that accompany the melody.Minor chords or harmony convey these feelings.Which is rather ...



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