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88

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 ...


57

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: ...


32

Anacrusis (pickup) is a bit more rhythmic than melodic. Hearing it seems easy to my musical brain, but I can understand how it would not be. Most music has a set rhythm, which we can understand in its simplest form by saying there is a fairly low number (most commonly 4), to which one can repeatedly count while listening to a piece of music such that the ...


28

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.


18

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 ...


16

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.


14

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 listener can detect ...


10

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 ...


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

Good and Bad are completely subjective, but what does exist are the relative concepts of consonance and dissonance. What this has to do with are the frequencies of the two pitches that make up the interval. As a very simple example, 200hz and 300hz approximate an interval of a perfect 5th (in real life, those frequencies are close to G3 and D4). The ratio ...


7

I'll try to give you a clearer example of a tune with an anacrusis or pick-up: The Star Spangled Banner. This melody has three beats to a measure. The first full measure contains "Say, can you". The two little notes in the very beginning of the tune, sung to the word "Oh" are the anacrusis. Now you need an example of a tune that doesn't have an ...


5

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 ...


4

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


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

Unless the class is intended for a specialized purpose, the study of musical structure is referred to as Form & Analysis. Form & Analysis is not relegated solely to song forms, but all types of music. Other types of analytical approaches to musical form relate to a more specific, almost specialized analysis. For example, Small Form Composition, ...


3

This has been the subject of some debate for some years. My view is probably a bit controversial. I'm not sure that "good" or "bad" are the proper terms for the sounds of intervals; "good" and "bad" tend to be value judgments not musical judgments. For example, augmented fourths (or diminished fifths) moving to perfect fifths is a component of a perfect ...


3

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 ...


3

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


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 ...


2

I would say it limits creativity in composition a tremendous amount to think of minor and major keys in such a stereotypical way. Minor keys to me sound minor and major keys major. Whether a piece is sad or happy can be influence by the choice of minor / major but it is not defined by it. From my own instrument you can take for instance El testament ...


2

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


2

I guess the term you're looking for is Musical Form. Excerpt from the wikipedia page: The term musical form (or musical architecture) refers to the overall structure or plan of a piece of music, and it describes the layout of a composition as divided into sections. Here's an ebook on Musical Form and a physical book on Amazon.


1

In form and analysis, the technical term for songs that are organized into stanzas (or verses and choruses) is strophic form. Your songs may be in a type of strophic form. From the Wikipedia article: Strophic form is the term applied to songs in which all verses or stanzas of the text are sung to the same music. The opposite of strophic form, with new ...


1

If you clap slowly while singing, you'll clap on "Birth-", "You", "Birth-", "You", "Birth-", "whoever", "Birth-", "You". Those are points of syllabic stress and melodic stress, so they are natural accents in the music. Since "Happy" starts before your first clap, it's an anacrusis. Please refrain from mentioning the other syllables as the text to "Happy ...


1

This is probably a sore issue. "Volksmusik" is one of the most profitable parts of music/TV business and popular with a large part of the elder generation. But the overwhelming part of it is an artificial creation drawing on traditions of the alpine regions (so outside of Bavaria, you are not really talking as much about "German" but "German-spoken") and ...


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 ...



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