Many people experience certain keys to be "brighter" or "sharper" relative to other keys. Keys with more sharps than flats are reported as being "brighter" and keys with more flats than sharps as being "darker." This question cites a book that mentions this, and additional citations are below. To give one example, many find a song written in
AMaj to sound brighter than a song written in
My question is: has any trend been found that correlates this same quality of brightness/darkness (which is normally associated with particular keys) with the particular mode? For example, among people who have a consensus that
AMaj is brighter than
E♭Maj, would a song written in
AMaj sound brighter than a song written in
F♯min? Or do both songs elicit the same experience of "brightness" because they both have the same number of sharps?
I'm not wondering about whether one song would sound happier (as this question asks). Rather, I'm asking about a different phenomenon that has less to do with an emotional response and more to do with an associated perception of brightness in the sense of color/contrast.
Note 1: this might be interpreted as a personal poll, which I'm hoping to avoid in the answers. Just as a consensus exists that many people find, e.g.,
AMaj to be "brighter" than
E♭Maj, I'm wondering if a similar consensus exists about whether or not the particular mode impacts this same perceived brightness.
Note 2: the phrasing "keys with more sharps [than flats] are brighter" might be an imperfect description of the phenomenon I'm referring to. I don't want to imply that anyone hears
D♭Maj as being brighter than
C♯Maj. For more detail on the phenomenon, see below.
Here are a few descriptions of the phenomenon I'm referring to.
Keys with sharps in the signature are often said to be bright and keys with flats dark.
What is meant by a "key characteristic?" The association of certain musical key signatures with a specific subjective quality or emotion. e.g. E major as "bright & piercing."
Today many musicians claim to hear the different characteristics very clearly, and associate them with the emotional quality of the music. They will tell us that music played in the "open" key of C major---with neither flats nor sharps in the key signature---sounds strong and virile; played in the key of G, with one sharp, it sounds brighter and lighter; in D, with two sharps, even more so; and so on. Every additional sharp in the key signature is supposed to add to the brightness and sparkle of the music, while every flat contributes softness, pensiveness, and even melancholy.