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Songs in minor key that aren't sad?

GUEST 23 Sep 14 - 05:42 AM
Leadfingers 23 Sep 14 - 06:01 AM
Big Al Whittle 23 Sep 14 - 06:05 AM
Jack Campin 23 Sep 14 - 06:15 AM
Jason Xion Wang 23 Sep 14 - 06:22 AM
Sir Roger de Beverley 23 Sep 14 - 06:42 AM
Jason Xion Wang 23 Sep 14 - 06:46 AM
GUEST,twerp 23 Sep 14 - 07:05 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 23 Sep 14 - 07:16 AM
Tootler 23 Sep 14 - 07:41 AM
GUEST,vectis 23 Sep 14 - 07:43 AM
Brian Peters 23 Sep 14 - 08:00 AM
cooperman 23 Sep 14 - 08:48 AM
GUEST 23 Sep 14 - 11:47 AM
Steve Gardham 23 Sep 14 - 12:33 PM
Big Al Whittle 23 Sep 14 - 12:53 PM
Brian Peters 23 Sep 14 - 12:56 PM
Steve Gardham 23 Sep 14 - 12:58 PM
Tattie Bogle 23 Sep 14 - 01:45 PM
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Subject: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 05:42 AM

Songs in minor key are usually sad. So it's really interesting to think about this question: Can you name any song written in minor key, but not sad at all? Can minor key songs be happy, funny or uplifting - anything but sad?

This may be far from folk, but the first to come to my mind is "Beat It" by Michael Jackson.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 06:01 AM

Where To Start ! 'The Single Bollinder' -Canal Rewrite of 'Little Chance' is the first one I thought of


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 06:05 AM

minor keys are sort of schizo phrenic. play them slowly pianistically and you the house of the rising son sort of sound.

strike the guitar briskly and you get a wonderful 'skirl of the pipies' sort of sound - what shall we do with the drunken sailor, marie's wedding, step it out mary, as i roved out on a may morning,

in jazz you get summertime fairly easily, st james infirmary, swing it!

in rock you get sultans of swing, and del shannons runaway - but you need to be able to play barre chords for that last one.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 06:15 AM

Eva's Polka


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Jason Xion Wang
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 06:22 AM

Speak of the funny ones - two of the funniest songs I've ever known are both written in a minor key: Tom Paxton's Ballad of Lorena Bobbitt and Dave Van Ronk's Luang Prabang...

Well, these two songs actually speaks about losing the same thing, and they're both "sad" to some degree.

Jason


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Sir Roger de Beverley
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 06:42 AM

I don't think that I would class Step it out Mary as a happy song even if the it is uptempo - they both drown at the end!

R


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Jason Xion Wang
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 06:46 AM

Speak of "Ievan Polkka"... Tom Paxton's song, "Jennifer's Rabbit", has exactly the same chord progression to it. Actually, the melody to "Jennifer's Rabbit" strongly resembles that of "Ievan Polkka". And that song isn't a sad one, too.

I think Tom Paxton wrote quite a few songs in minor key, like "Bobbitt" and "Lyndon Johnson Told the Nation". There are extremely sad ones, though, like "On the Road from Srebrenica", but most are not. On the contrary, most of Tom's sadder songs are in major key, like "Last Thing on My Mind" and "Can't Help But Wonder".

Speak of "Runaway" - doesn't that song switch to a major key in the middle? (From I'm a-walkin' in the rain... to the chorus) I like the Traveling Wilburys' version.

Jason


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST,twerp
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 07:05 AM

Gold Watch Blues


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 07:16 AM

As an aside, I was taught at school that major tunes were considered happy and minor tunes sad, but that historically the reverse had been the general opinion. A bit like pink and blue having changed gender since Victorian times!


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Tootler
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 07:41 AM

Brig Fair and Lovely Joan both have minor mode melodies.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST,vectis
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 07:43 AM

Nelly the milkmaid, even if she does end up with a child.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 08:00 AM

Re Brigg Fair, it's the same tune as The Murder of Maria Martin - which isn't such a jolly tale. Different traditional songs often share the same tune without regard to the sentiment.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: cooperman
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 08:48 AM

Well pointed out Brian. I remember first time I played Brigg Fair,I looked at the lyrics and thought, wait a minute...this is actually a happy song!


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 11:47 AM

That "Eva's Polka" is a real delight.

And listening to recordings of Lovely Joan on YouTube led me to discover this young woman who sings it beautifully - Megan Allen.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 12:33 PM

The Ghost of Ann Boleyn! The Ying Tong Song intro.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 12:53 PM

paint it black by the stones
the letter by the boxtops and joe cocker


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Brian Peters
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 12:56 PM

Paint it Black isn't sad??


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 12:58 PM

Cuckoo's Nest


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 01:45 PM

That "skirl o' the pipes" sound is usually modal rather than minor. Drunken Piper always gets the dancers going when we play it in our ceilidh band.
And what version of Mairi's Wedding do you know? Unequivocally major when I last played it!


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 04:01 PM

Most Yiddish songs seem to be in a minor key, including the happy ones, such as "Sha! Shtil!" & "Yidl mitn Fidl".


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 04:21 PM

Assuming you begin in Am you don't need any barre chords to play "Runaway" but you do need an F chord (which some people play as a barre chord). It's a sad song so it doesn't really answer the original question.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 04:33 PM

Star Of The County Down.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Thompson
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 05:29 PM

All the girls in France
Take their knickers off to dance…


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 08:15 PM

Ninna, Nanna


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 08:20 PM

And this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDSk4zwjg5A


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST,gillymor
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 08:22 PM

Shady Grove


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST,list
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 09:07 PM

Beat It
The Single Bollinder
House of the Rising Sun
St. James Infirmary
Sultans of Swing
Eva's Polka
Ballad of Lorena Bobbitt
Luang Prabang
Step it out Mary
Jennifer's Rabbit
Gold Watch Blues
Brigg Fair
Lovely Joan
Nelly the Milkmaid
The Ghost of Ann Boleyn
Ying Tong Song
Cuckoo's Nest
Sha! Shtil!
Yidl mitn Fidl
Star Of The County Down
Ninna, Nanna
Shady Grove


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Don Firth
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 09:17 PM

????

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 09:19 PM

A lot of Trinidadian Calypsos are in minor keys, and they're always very happy songs.

And Misirlou, an internationally known and once wildly popular Arabic-flavored Greek love song.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 09:44 PM

spancil hill


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Sep 14 - 10:17 PM

or if you want to try something tricky

the rocky road to dublin
the galway races

you'll find them on Dubliners albums


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Rumncoke
Date: 24 Sep 14 - 06:03 AM

I might be able to help if I knew what a minor key was, but you might as well ask me what colour the music is as what key it is in.

I have tried to understand music theory but it just never 'clicked'.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: cptsnapper
Date: 24 Sep 14 - 06:24 AM

Nature Boy


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST,Dave Illingworth
Date: 24 Sep 14 - 08:32 AM

Donald where's your troosers.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 24 Sep 14 - 09:41 AM

Leather Wing Bat


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Sep 14 - 11:15 AM

The Lark in the Morning.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: 12-stringer
Date: 24 Sep 14 - 02:44 PM

When It's Chittlin' Cookin' Time in Cheatham County

Nellie Coming Home from the Wake


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Sep 14 - 04:42 PM

Searching for Lambs


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Joe_F
Date: 24 Sep 14 - 09:31 PM

Something seems to have happened to a lot of people's cookies, including mine. The mention of Yiddish songs was by me.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: LadyJean
Date: 25 Sep 14 - 09:23 PM

Ca' the Yeowes Frae The Knowes"

The Fairy's Love Song (That Mi Skiddle in Gaelic>)

"Babylon is Fallen"


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Jason Xion Wang
Date: 26 Sep 14 - 01:29 AM

I think one of the problems is how to define "a song in minor key".

Take the aforementioned "Eva's Polka" for example, the chords to its first verse are "Am - Em - Am - G - Em - Am", and the second verse "C - G - Em - Am - C - G - Em - Am".

So, does it become "a song in major key" if you put the second verse before the first verse? I don't think this is plausible.

Any idea?

Jason


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 26 Sep 14 - 03:44 AM

i don't know the piece, but if the second verse resolves itself on a minor chord, i would say it was. but i take your point.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 26 Sep 14 - 03:52 AM

yeh that's a minor


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4om1rQKPijI

very nice too!


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Oct 14 - 06:25 AM

Eagles and Horses by John Denver is a real delight, too.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST,Richard Robinson
Date: 01 Oct 14 - 07:28 AM

God rest ye merry, Gentlemen


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST,Barbara Shaw
Date: 01 Oct 14 - 10:57 AM

Hey ho, nobody home.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: kendall
Date: 01 Oct 14 - 11:31 AM

Lather & shave. Joe Hickerson used to sing this one.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST,Sonya
Date: 01 Oct 14 - 01:26 PM

Perhaps
I Will Survive
Dance me to the End of Time


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Joe_F
Date: 01 Oct 14 - 04:31 PM

Come to think, many Israeli songs (in Hebrew) are in a minor key as well, including happy ones (e.g., Finjan).


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Betsy
Date: 01 Oct 14 - 06:41 PM

Good question .....someone more eloquent than I, may be able to express it more succinctly , but surely the whole of English-speaking countries, Europe, Scandinavia and Russia heve evolved and developed musical tastes using the Minor as a serious / sad tone - especially classical music.
Incidentally , Big Al says on 23 Sep 14 - 06:05 AM Mhairis's Wedding is Minor - Sorry Al I'm not having THAT - deffo a Major.
Anyway , back to the thread - I would think many of Jake Thackaray's songs would be in the Minor key , and I sing a Benny Hill humourous song in the Minor, and on occasions when I'm in good company (and tiddly) The Kinks' "Lazing on a Sunday afternoon " .
In my formative years, Kenny Ball also played Midnight in Moscow which I thought was sensational.
I suppose McColl gets in the picture with "The very first time I saw you face".
BTW - As I have read most of the above Posts, IMHO "Step it out Mary" is an extemely emotive song, which I adore, but has no place in this thread. When the subject boy and girl drown themselves at the end of the song - I'd say THAT'S fairly sad and doesn't meet the Thread's criteria
That's enough brain-storming from me for now.

Cheers

Betsy


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 01 Oct 14 - 11:04 PM

I want to point out that the thing that makes a minor key a minor key is that the distance from the first to the third step of the scale is a minor third rather than a major third. By this logic (which has prevailed for a good number of centuries) Miserlou, for instance, is *NOT* in a minor key.

Beyond that, thirty lashes with the proverbial wet noodle to Jason above for not knowing that C is the relative major to Am, and that as often as not, minor melodies tend to pass through the relative major--"Sunny Afternoon" (NOT "SUNDAY) AND "Moscow Nights" being examples.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Oct 14 - 11:37 AM

So is Misirlou in a major key? It sounds weird and murky, and the chords are Am, Dm, and E. I always thought that's what makes a song minor key; but I know nothing about music theory.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST,highlandman at work
Date: 02 Oct 14 - 02:03 PM

Guest, if you don't want music theory don't ask questions like that! We'll never stop!

Misirlou is neither major nor minor in the Western sense -- it's not even Western after all. As best I can tell you it's in something like "double harmonic minor" but it should more properly be referred to as one of the Arabic modes -- but there I've gone off the reservation and will say no more, as I don't know anything really about Mideastern music.

Betsy, I say "no" on "The First Time." I hear that as a major key that happens to start on the second degree chord (dm if the key is C). Most of my theory sources say that it's where a progression ends rather than where it begins that defines its key, and TFTIESYF definitely ends each repeat on the major.

I think Phil Cunningham's "Eilidh" one of the saddest songs ever sung in a major key.

Cheers
-Glenn


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Gda Music
Date: 02 Oct 14 - 04:41 PM

Nothing sad about this one .... Lord Kitchener - *Pan in A Minor*

http://youtu.be/DGPwBXUKK7I

GJ


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 02 Oct 14 - 08:44 PM

yes you're right about marie's wedding!
sorry!
i think the reason i thought it was that it sounds so much better in dadgad - that sort of modal thing.

lonesome traveller is a nice lively one - definitely in a minor key!


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 02 Oct 14 - 11:21 PM

Glenn--Miserlou is absolutely and positively major in the Western sense, because it has a major third in the scale. In western music, this is sometimes called the Double Harmonic Major Scale, owing to the fact that it has two 1 1/2 step intervals, one between the 2nd and 3rd and the other between the 6th and 7th, in the fashion of the Harmonic Minor Scale.

In Arabic music, this is called Maqam Hijaz Kar.

In Arabic music, the scales are called Maqam, and though of as two consecutive trichords, each of which has a name. Hijaz being the name of the trichord that consists of 1/2 step-1 1/2 step-1/2 step-Hijaz Kar consists of two Hijaz trichords, on that starts on C, the other that starts on G.

All of the notes in all three parts of Miserlou occur in two major chords--
in the key of C, those two chords would be C {C-E-G} and Db7 {Db-F-Ab-Cb(B)}.

So GUEST this means that you can play the song using just those two *major* chords. You'll sound just like Dick Dale. No minor chords needed, or even wanted.

That said, I am inclined to play the third part of the melody:(still in C):

||FF/FF/EbEb/EbEb/DbDb/DbDb/CC/CC/
DbDb/CC/CC/DbDb/DBDb/CC/CC||

Jack Campin knows a lot about modes and maqams, and such things(way more than me), but this is probably TMI already;-)


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Oct 14 - 12:47 AM

Stim, in response to your post I listened to Dick Dale performing a weird rock version of Misirlou at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-y3h9p_c5-M. It reminded me of Jingle Bell Rock and Red River Valley Rock. But I couldn't hear any chords at all.

The tune he played seemed similar to the way it's sung in Greek, but it's hard to say if it's exactly the same. The Greek melody, in the key that I sing it in (whatever that is), uses b c d e f g# & a. I listed b first because all the lines end in b, which ordinarily would make me suspect that it's in the key of B-something. But it doesn't use any of the chords that I would expect to use for the key of B or B-minor. The final chord is E, of all things, and the other two chords are Am & Dm. Except for the fact that it starts and ends with an E chord, the chords are what I would normally use for a song that I think of as being in the key of A-minor. If it's A-minor, then I guess I should say the notes are a b c d e f & g#. Very confusing.

I don't know how to play a Db7, but I tried singing Misirlou with E and F7, which I guess is equivalent to C and Db7. That didn't sound very good to me.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 03 Oct 14 - 08:30 AM

Well, first off, we disagree significantly on the notes. In B, I have B-C-D#-E-F#-G-A#. Next, you talk about "The Greek melody" as if you've got the definitive version. Not so. The song has been around for a long time and is of indeterminate origin. It's been reworked a lot, as you can tell by going here The Mysteries of Misirlou.

Last, you talk about it being weird, confusing, and not what you'd expect. That has to do with you, not with the song. It's different from what you're used to, that's all. It follows some very clear melodic and harmonic rules, and there is a lot of other music that follows similar rules, you just aren't familiar with them. Listen to "Caravan", "On a Little Street in Singapore", and "Uskudara"

That said, I think it's great that you are working with music that is outside of your "familiar"
envelope. It's only confusing at first...once you start to understand it a little bit, a whole
new world opens up.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Oct 14 - 09:39 AM

I've done music for most of my life, and I still haven't learned how to identify a minor-key song with certainty.

If I look at the key signature on music notation and the song doesn't start and end on the notes I expect, that's a pretty good indication it's minor.

If I have trouble learning a song because I can't make the half-steps sound quite right, that's another indication it's minor.

If the song is what I would call "emotionally evocative" (i.e., it draws something out of my soul, that's also a pretty good sign it's minor.

But to identify a minor-key song with certainty, is a skill that has eluded me. I suppose I'd learn quicker if I could play an instrument other than my voice. I sure like a lot of the songs mentioned above, especially Eva's Polka. I wish Mudcat had "like" buttons so I could "like" a number of the posts above.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Oct 14 - 10:02 AM

Yes, that must be a different tune. Is that the one the rock version uses? All the notes are either 1 or 3 frets apart. The way I learned it there's only one 3-fret interval, and three 2-fret intervals. Maybe your version is in a major key but mine is in a minor key? I have no idea.

I learned it from hearing it as a kid in the 50's. My father sang it, and he had it on a record, and the bands at church dances always sang it. I knew it was popular in other cultures, but I never heard other versions before and didn't realize there were different melody lines.

So it's not unfamiliar to me, and in fact it was very easy to learn. Until now I never questioned what key it was in. It seemed like a minor key because of the chords. I never thought about which minor key. I generally don't think about that stuff much. The chords for Schubert's Ave Maria were difficult for me. In that case I knew I was in uncharted territory and that I couldn't say what key it is. It uses such a lot of chords.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Oct 14 - 10:09 AM

Joe, I wonder if maybe that emotion-evoking quality is why the OP asked about minor key songs that aren't sad. I.e., maybe it's not that minor key songs are usually sad, but it's that they usually evoke some powerful emotion, whether sadness or joy or love. Only not the kind of emotion that marching bands evoke, if emotion is the right word for that.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST,Guest Betsy
Date: 03 Oct 14 - 11:30 AM

Hi Stim ,
Let's call it a draw .......
Jeez, I've sung Sunny afternoon loads and loads of time over the last 40 odd years - "Sunday" was a Senior moment.
Secondly, though the Original tune / song direct Russian translation ,might well be "Moscow nights" Kenny Ball (as I referred to earlier) released "Midnight in Moscow" in 1961.

Highland man - I've had another think re:- First Time....and I think you're technically correct ythough I feel the minor is a strong influence.

Cheers
Betsy


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Oct 14 - 12:41 PM

quote: ...the thing that makes a minor key a minor key is that the distance from the first to the third step of the scale is a minor third rather than a major third.

That's very helpful (after I looked up the definition of "major third" and "minor third"), but it raises another question for me: How do I know which note is the first step in the scale? Usually I figure the final note of the song is the first step in the scale. But with Misirlou (the non-definitive Greek way that I learned it) that doesn't seem likely. And there may be other songs like that, only I've never thought about them in this way. So is there some hard and fast rule that'll tell me what the first step of the scale is for any song? If so, I can use that in combination with the quoted rule above to figure out whether any song is in a major or minor key. And will that also tell me which major or minor key it is? In other words, is the first note in the scale always the name of the key, as I've been assuming?


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 03 Oct 14 - 09:58 PM

The first note of the scale is called the "key note".. also the tonic, so yeah.. A lot of times, the first note in the melody (after intros or pick-ups notes) is the first note in the scale. Sometimes it's not, though, so you look at the note that the melody ends up on.

The thing is, you can play any song in any key, so the first step of the scale is whatever note you want it to be.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Oct 14 - 01:40 AM

I must not have made my question clear. I'm not asking about different ways of singing a song. I'm saying once the melody is clearly established, and I know what notes are used in the melody, and what note it starts on and what note it ends on and what every note in the melody is, how can I say for certain what key that version of that song is in, and whether it's major or minor? Is there a rule about that, like the rule about what constitutes a minor key? Surely you're not saying that I can call it any key I want, i.e. that I can pick any note in the melody and say that note is the first step of the scale.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 04 Oct 14 - 04:27 AM

There are some that change on the way through, e.g Johnny Cope to the more usual tune - minor in the verses, major chorus.
The Dark Island starts in a minor key, but pretty soon switches to major, then goes back to minor, back to major, all in the first half of the tune: the second half is major, tho' some accompanists will put in the odd minor chord.
Rules: (only talking about standard Western majors and minors here) - the key is determined by the key signature but that only helps if you read music. E.g. 3 sharps is either A major or F# minor. ( The "relative minor", i.e. the one that shares the same key signature, is always 3 semitones below its relative major - which would be 3 consecutive notes on a keyboard or frets on a guitar.) Whether it is major or minor then depends on how it sounds, which reflects what intervals are used in the melody: if it's minor you will hear minor thirds and sixths, even if you don't know if recognise what they are. Melodies very often do not start on the keynote, and in some cases do not even end on it.
As for modes....there are huge long threads about these elsewhere, as well as other types of scale used in other corners of the world. My "rough guide" to modes is - if you can't decide whether it's major or minor, it's probably modal. (Vastly over-simplified I know!)


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 04 Oct 14 - 09:55 AM

Like Tattie Bogle said. You look at the key signature if it's written, or count the sharps or
flats if it's not. You do have to learn that 1 flat is F, 2 is Bb, 3 is Eb etc. though...and you have to learn that Dm is the relative minor to F, Gm to Bb, etc.

Mostly, it isn't very hard. You can tell what key something is in by just looking at the chord progression. If a song starts in Am and goes to E7, it's in Am. If it starts on a C and goes to G7, it's in C. If the chord is D instead, and it goes to A7, guess what key it is...

If the song starts on a Seventh chord(like G7), it is likely in the key of the chord that follows it, which, most of the time, would be a fourth above (or fifth below).

For that, you would have to learn what that G is the 5th of C, A is the 5th of D and such like.

Mostly (wet noodle time again) this is stuff you should have learned when you were learning to play.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Oct 14 - 12:41 PM

Well, this is really disappointing. Especially after being told "if you don't want music theory don't ask questions like that! We'll never stop!"

Stim gave me a clear and concise rule to tell whether a song is in a major or minor key. I thought I was on my way to finally understanding something about music theory. But that clear and concise rule hinges on what the first step of the scale is, and now it seems that no one can give a clear and concise rule as to what determines the first step of the scale, other than that it's whatever the person who wrote the score decided was the first step and so indicated in the key signature.

So if I write a song using no sharps or flats, and sign it with a single sharp, but in front of all the f's in the melody I put a natural sign, that means the song is in the key of G? And if I write the same melody again, this time signing it with two sharps and putting natural signs in front of both the f's and the c's, is the song now in D-minor? How about if I also sign it J.S. Bach, does that mean it was written in the 18th century?

And since I don't have the version of Misirlou that I learned as a child written in dots, I'm told that I can "count the sharps or
flats"
. As I said previously, that melody uses a b c d e f and g#. There's only one sharp. So it's in the key of G? Then how can I tell whether it's major or minor? What's the first step of the scale when g isn't even used in the melody?


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 05 Oct 14 - 04:17 AM

I gave you a very good idea about how to figure out what key you're playing in. It's usually pretty easy to figure out what key you're in if you know the chord progression you're playing.

The thing is, you want a simple trick that will explain everything. Some tunes are simple, and can be simply explained, and but a lot of music is a lot more complex than that, and so the explanations are more complex. You also have to have a fair amount of basic music knowledge to understand the explanations.

It's true that a G major scale has one sharp in it, but that is F#. Not every scale with one sharp in it is G major. The one you posted is, in fact, an A harmonic minor scale. There is also an A natural minor and an A melodic minor scale. And there are a whole bunch of others.

You have to learn the interval structure of the different scales, and you have to be able to identify them by ear. You also have to learn how the chords and their inversions are constructed.

The answer to your questions is "no". You need to sit down and learn a whole lot of basic stuff.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST,jlo
Date: 05 Oct 14 - 09:42 AM

Start in http://www.cimbalom.nl/song.html and follow the alphabet.
It might remain personal, but for me songs like A becsali csárdában, A falusi utca ligetesligetes, A pecellói templom tetejére and many more are not sad


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Oct 14 - 01:53 PM

quote: Not every scale with one sharp in it is G major. The one you posted is, in fact, an A harmonic minor scale.

Thanks very much, Stim. I always suspected it was A minor, since the chords are Am, Dm, and E. If I had thought about the fact that each line of the melody ends on b, I probably would have been puzzled by that, but I never thought about it before. Now that you've piqued my curiosity, I'll definitely try to read about those 3 types of minor scales.

Usually when I try to read about music theory it leads to the thing you said -- that it's very complicated and I have to learn a lot of other things first. In college I was taught that one test of whether I really understand something is that I should be able to explain it to an educated person who knows nothing about the subject. Maybe that doesn't apply to music.

I'm not against book-learning. I have 9 years of college, and I take continuing education courses every month and learn new technology almost every day. But music is not my profession and I've never felt the need to learn music theory for what I do, which is just sing and play guitar. I can always find lovely chords to accompany any song, mostly by a process of trial and error which I thoroughly enjoy.

Except for the Apolytikia in Tones 2, 4, 5, and 6. I can't find any chords to fit those four hymns. I'm content to sing them a capella, but I am curious about the fact that I can't find chords to fit them. Maybe they'll turn out to be in one of those 3 types of minor keys.

If you or anyone else wouldn't mind analyzing them, these are the notes used in each, from lowest to highest, with the ending note capitalized:
Apolitikion in Tone 2: a, a#, C, c#, e, f, g
Apolitikion in Tone 4: g, A, a#, c, d, e, f, g
Apolitikion in Tone 5: f, g, A, b, c, d
Apolitikion in Tone 6: g#, a, C, c#, d#, e, g, g#


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Mary Humphreys
Date: 05 Oct 14 - 02:06 PM

I think some folks earlier on in this thread are confusing songs in Dorian, Mixolydian or Aeolian modes with the two Minor modes( Melodic or Harmonic). There are also, as the last poster said, many other modes found in traditional music from other cultures which don't fit into these straight-jackets.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 05 Oct 14 - 06:52 PM

Those would be written in Byzantine modes--they use a whole different set of musical rules that those in the major/minor classic theory. In some of the music, the pitches assigned to notes don't even correspond to the ones we use.

This site has way more than you need to know.St. Anthony's Monastery


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Oct 14 - 08:18 PM

I once took a course in Byzantine chant -- all day every day for a week. But I didn't learn a thing. It was all theory. We hardly sang at all. And the theory was explained in terms of western musical theory.

I was so surprised. For one thing, they hadn't mentioned any pre-requisites for the course. And it seems unlikely that the Byzantines learned to chant that way. I thought we were going to learn by listening and practicing.

In the years since then I've learned well enough on my own how to do that kind of chanting. I'm just surprised that I can't always find chords to accompany it. I realize that they didn't know about chords back then, but I would have thought that we who do know about chords could add them in. And in fact I was able to do it with the other 4 tones.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 06 Oct 14 - 01:12 AM

Sorry, I messed up the link. Check this one. There is a lot of explanation, including names and interval structure of the eight modes. If you look under "Vespers", you'll find an option to download music, with notation, and a little pull-down that lets you choose Western or Byzantine notation. If you choose the Western, you'll get music that has chords marked above the staff, which, I think, is what you're looking for.

St. Anthony's Monastery.org

I pulled this from the home page. It may help you to understand why you're having a bit
of trouble.

"Strictly speaking, it is incorrect to refer to the eight divisions of the Byzantine octoechos as "scales." While some of their musical gestures are reminiscent of those in modern Western scales, the Eastern melodies, like their counterparts in the old Latin musical repertories, behave in ways entirely alien to contemporary scale-based tunes. In order to differentiate between the two, chants are said to belong to one of the eight "modes."


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: andrew e
Date: 06 Oct 14 - 02:38 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcSEi2VpgiQ

Is this major or minor, and what key is it in?


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 06 Oct 14 - 09:55 AM

Was that question for me? If it is, I looked at the key signature, there is one sharp, and looked at the last note which an e. The convention is that this would nominally be E minor.
Does that give you what you want?


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 06 Oct 14 - 10:04 AM

By the way, GUEST/Misirlou--even though you say that you don't know anything about music theory, the fact that you can work out chords to some fairly unusual melodies shows that you have a good, practical working understanding of music theory.You just don't know the names for things.

The names are very helpful when you're communicating with others, but, people can learn the names without understanding the underlying process. Worse, people can teach the names without really explaining the underlying process, and often do.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Oct 14 - 10:34 AM

Stim: Great find! That St Anthony site will be a tremendous help for me. Thank you.

What I know about music theory is written on a 3x5 card that I carry around with me. It helps me a lot in figuring out the chords for a song. It shows the patterns I've noticed of what chords often go together. Each line on the card has chords I often find in the same song. There's also something important about the order of the chords on each line, but I don't know how to say what that is. The chords in parentheses are for blues only. I add and alter a lot of individual notes in the chords, which I guess makes other chords, but I don't know the names of those other chords.
A F#m D Bm (B) E C#m A
C Am F Dm (D) G Em C
D Bm G Em (E) A F#m D
E C#m A F#m (F#) B G#m E
F Dm Bb Gm (G) C Am F
G Em C Am (A) D Bm G

Andrew E: This page has a score that looks similar to the one in the video, and the download page says it's in E minor. Funny, it looks like the final chord formed by the voices is an E major. But what do I know about it.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 06 Oct 14 - 08:58 PM

As I may have mentioned above, music from different places and times can follow different sets of rules.

This particular piece is roughly from the Tudor period, before classical music theory had evolved, and doesn't always follow the "classical" rules.

The G#, rather than defining the piece as being in E major, indicates a "Tierce de Picardie"
which is a major chord that occurs at the end of a minor or modal phrase, where you'd expect it to resolve to a minor triad.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Oct 14 - 01:10 AM

Tierce de Picardie! Good to know. I use that in a few songs, but I never knew what to call it. The only current one I can think of is "Una Rosa de Francia." And the Beatles' "And I Love Her," which I haven't sung since about 1970.

But in the Mudd piece, I think I see 12 instances of an E major chord, not just at the ends of phrases: Let... mer-ci... O... prayers... that... -tain... -tain their pe-... -ons... ask... thee... Lord... -men. And only 3 instances of an Em chord: to/such/make... make/such/as... through Je-sus. Am I reading that right? It's hard for me to read dots, especially on the bass clef.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST,Pete Kiddle
Date: 07 Oct 14 - 03:48 AM

My daughter goes spare when I sing Bird in the Bush, but the minor tune is so achingly beautiful that I can't imagine going major on it.
Maybe we need to lose the minor/sad major/happy strait jacket and see the song and tune as a glorious team that helps get the emotional content across, as well as the story.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 07 Oct 14 - 06:46 PM

Although I enjoy this sort of music, I haven't ever performed it, and have only "studied" bits that come up as examples in composition texts. I can tell you the key that it is written in, and that it ends on with a major chord, even though it is written in a minor key, and I can, as you have, count the instance of the accidental. Those are superficialities.

Why it is there is a different question, and requires reflection on the motion of the piece, a bit of understanding of the musical conventions of the genre, and a certain amount of speculation.

There are some who maintain, for instance, that there was a tendency to sharp a note in order to create a major rather than minor harmony because using the intonation of the time, the major sounded better. Some will point our that the note may be a product of voice leading and would argue that it is foreground detail and the focus should be on the underlying root progression syntax(!)

I am slightly embarrassed to admit that I know what that means, at least sort of, but that kind of discussion is above my pay grade--


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Oct 14 - 10:53 PM

Very interesting, Stim. Or, as a Bokononist would say, "Busy, busy, busy!" I think that if I were to spend the rest of my life doing nothing but studying music theory I would end up where I am now, i.e. knowing very little about it.

I wonder if Andrew asked about the key of that hymn so he would know what chords to play on the guitar when accompanying it. If so, would knowing that it's in E minor help toward that goal? I don't believe the melody would work with the chords I normally associate with that key. Can he use the chords formed by the 4 voices as a clue?


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: andrew e
Date: 08 Oct 14 - 01:01 AM

I was wondering what others made of that little anthem.
I don't think you can really say if it's major or minor, it's a bit of both, and also you can't really say what key it is in. Starts on an E major chord and moves around, ends on E major.
I think the F# in the key signature could easily not be there, and when I notated this for a choir I had no key signature. It made more sense for reading.
I've seen music from this era notated with one flat, which is definitely in G minor [2 flats].
There's some anthems by Thomas Tomkins which also move all over the place, so one can't really say what key they are in.
Coming back to the original question, Happy Together by the Turtles starts in a minor key, moves to major for the chorus, and finishes in the minor key, ending though on a major chord for the last note.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Jason Xion Wang
Date: 08 Oct 14 - 01:17 AM

I think "Glassical Gas" by Mason Williams is not a sad tune - but I'm not sure since it's instrumental... Did it use "Tierce de Picardie"?


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 08 Oct 14 - 05:47 AM

As you've indicated, andrew, Music tends to be notated in a way that is useful for the performers, and that is not necessarily the most useful for analysis. Also, the conventions of
performance often add to that which is actually written.

It is my understanding that the tierce de picardie was often not notated, and used at the discretion of the performers--as I mentioned above--following that line of thought, the piece could easily be in e minor, with the sharped note being an embellishment that was once a convention of performance, and was later notated.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Oct 14 - 07:01 AM

Is not the final chord of the song usually an indication of the key. If a song ends on a GMa chord, it's usually in the key of GMa. If it ends on a Gmi chord it will usually be I the key of Gmi.

I've just had it pointed out that Four Strong Winds ends on the dominant seventh of the key it's played in.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Oct 14 - 07:05 AM

Reading over the thread, I see that a sog can have sad words, but when played instrumentally, sounds quite cheerful. It can probably have a sad sounding tune, but the message of the lyrics can be quite up-lifting.

Which one are we talking about here?


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: PHJim
Date: 08 Oct 14 - 07:08 AM

GUEST, I'd think that Little Sadie would fall into the "sad lyrics, happy tune" category. It's also a minor tune.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST,J S Bach
Date: 08 Oct 14 - 10:05 AM

A name, to distinguish myself from the other guest(s) who made a couple of recent posts (I originally thought I was going to make just the one post, adding minor key calypsos and Misirlou), and also to make use of my new-found knowledge that musicians can sign things any way they want.

I nearly always use at least some of the relative minor chords in a song that I think of as being in a major key. In my own pidgin version of music theory, I've come to think of a minor key as simply one that doesn't use two of the three major chords of the key, so that it's a kind of sub-set of the major key.

Of course, that was before I heard about the minor and major third, which I guess means that a minor key uses a different set of notes than a major key, if I understand that correctly. Unless the person who writes the score decides not to use those different notes, as I gather from the more recent posts. Busy, busy, busy.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: PHJim
Date: 08 Oct 14 - 01:40 PM

Always a good idea GUEST,J S Bach.
I posted for a while as "GUEST,Jim", till I realised that there were other "GUEST,Jim"s posting and, not wanting to either take credit or blame for the other GUEST,Jim's posts, I decided to join.
Just posting as GUEST, can't help but get confusing, since anyone who doesn't pick a consistent name, at least for a given thread, will become confused with others who do the same.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Nov 14 - 12:35 PM

Why do Minor Chords Sound Sad?

The Theory of Musical Equilibration states that in contrast to previous hypotheses, music does not directly describe emotions: instead, it evokes processes of will which the listener identifies with.

A major chord is something we generally identify with the message, "I want to!" The experience of listening to a minor chord can be compared to the message conveyed when someone says, "No more." If someone were to say the words "no more" slowly and quietly, they would create the impression of being sad, whereas if they were to scream it quickly and loudly, they would be come across as furious. This distinction also applies for the emotional character of a minor chord: if a minor harmony is repeated faster and at greater volume, its sad nature appears to have suddenly turned into fury.

The Theory of Musical Equilibration applies this principle as it constructs a system which outlines and explains the emotional nature of musical harmonies. For more information you can google Theory of Musical Equilibration.

Bernd Willimek


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Mr Red
Date: 30 Nov 14 - 06:31 AM

At the risk of evoking (good word for the thread) a deluge from the knowledgeable:

I have seen treaties on why a particular key is sadder or melancholic comapared to (say) C (major). The true-temper scales (aka piano notes) are cited because the octave is 8 notes compromised as a subset of what (on say a guitar) would be 12 notes spaced (as a frequency) consequetively by the twelfth root of 2.

But then I is a drummer and wud not no abart such fings. But as an Electronic Engineer..................


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Cool Beans
Date: 30 Nov 14 - 11:45 AM

Who Stole the Kishka?


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Thompson
Date: 01 Dec 14 - 03:39 AM

Samhradh, samhradh, bainne na gamhna…


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST,Choirmistress
Date: 01 Dec 14 - 03:07 PM

Hava Nagila.

Minor key, yet the meaning of the first two words is: "Let's rejoice!"

There have, until the past three or so decades, been more minor-key Jewish songs (whether Hebrew, Yiddish, or otherwise) than major-key.

Until this thread started me thinking about it, I always thought of Miserlou as minor key, and I was shaking my head "No!" as I was reading some of the posts.

The thing is, it SOUNDS minor -- until you think the very last chord in your mind's ear:

Ab -- -- G Ab / B -- -- G B / C   -- -- -- / --
And that last C definitely has E and G as harmonics.

Regards,

Choirmistress


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 01 Dec 14 - 03:48 PM

The first part of "Hava Nagila" is in the freygish mode, which has a sharpened third. In most people's music theory it's the third that determines whether a tune is major or minor. The freygish flat second doesn't count either way.

Probably the commonest seven-note mode worldwide throughout history has been the dorian, which is a minor mode by the same reasoning. It's been used for every kind of music imaginable. You can't claim that people only sang sad songs until the major scale came along in the Middle Ages.

I'm not sure where this "minor=sad" cliche came from. In 18th century music it doesn't fit at all; composers often associated *particular* scales with particular moods, but the key centre mattered as much as the intervals in the scale (since it was both together that determined what kind of sounds you got from the instruments of the time). For Mozart, D minor is associated with dramatic action (as in Don Giovanni, where it predominated); G minor was predominantly gloomy and introspective; C minor had much the same associations as E flat, used for static and solemn ritual (as in The Magic Flute); E minor had the same uses as D and G, used for light dance music, the sort of thing that most easily fitted on the flute. A few composers used F minor for really dark stuff (like Haydn in his piano variations) but by the time you get to Beethoven, F major was generally dragged in along with it and you couldn't really tell which mode any nominally F minor piece was really in (just as Beethoven's Fifth is nominally in C minor, but he uses that the same dramatic-announcement way as Mozart before shifting into C major for most of the composition).


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST,Choirmistress
Date: 01 Dec 14 - 05:17 PM

I forgot Heiveinu Shalom Aleichem.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 01 Dec 14 - 05:30 PM

That's in ahavoh rabboh (minor with a sharp 7th), I think? It's a better example, as it certainly isn't sad.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Dec 14 - 07:24 PM

Has anyone mentioned Bonny Ship The Diamond ?-fairly jolly and definitely Aeolian.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST,J S Bach
Date: 01 Dec 14 - 08:46 PM

Just curious, can one of the major-key Misirlou people post a link to a recording showing what they're talking about?

The version that I sing, accompanied with E, Am, and Dm, is sung here by Sofia Vembo, and here by a modern group.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 02 Dec 14 - 02:46 AM

"Misirlou" is in the hijazkar scale - E F ^G A B c ^d e going up, with a D natural sometimes going down. That's a major mode because the third (^G) is major.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST,Brendan R.
Date: 23 Sep 15 - 07:45 PM

You Should Be Dancing (Bee Gees)
Boogie Wonderland (Earth, Wind and Fire)


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Long Firm Freddie
Date: 24 Sep 15 - 05:09 AM

Love Potion No 9 (Clovers/Searchers)

LFF


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 24 Sep 15 - 05:30 AM

Johnny Jump Up.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Donuel
Date: 24 Sep 15 - 04:39 PM

Rhapsody in Blue


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 24 Sep 15 - 11:20 PM

Human beings constantly set up systems and then tinker with them. Sometime in 1200's, somebody finished up and major scale, the minor scales, and the modes. Two weeks later, somebody started tinkering with them.

If a song is accompanied mostly by chords with an 'm' in them, then for all practical purposes it's a minor song. It could be modal, but who cares, really?

There are hundreds of tunes that start out minor, go to major to create some interest, then go back to minor. The reverse is also true.

Speaking of tinkering, that song by Thomas Mudd looks to be in G/Em, but it includes several G#'s and D#'s.   It's a real original. Thanks for the link.

I have another song for the list: Drill, Ye Tarriers, Drill.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST,Joe Rodgers
Date: 25 Sep 15 - 12:42 AM

Who stole the Keeshka ? ( on You Tube, I would think)


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Amos
Date: 25 Sep 15 - 11:46 AM

The Days of '49 and Blue Mountain Lake are both based in a minor key and are rollicking and funny tunes.

A


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST,seldiora
Date: 09 Oct 17 - 10:43 PM

Feeling Good - Michael Buble; Uptown Funk - Bruno Mars; Hello - OMFG


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 10 Oct 17 - 02:48 PM

Well, I always think of "Sultans of Swing" as being an "up song".

Young Sultans


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Oct 17 - 02:55 PM

Here are the non-sad tunes I play on my dulcimer in DAG tuning.


Are you sleepin', Maggie?                              

Black is the color of my true love's hair E 5th
Blow the candle out A 1st

Can't help but wonder where I'm bound E 5th
Cantigas de Santa Maria (to be researched)
Charade (movie theme) E 5th

Come you merry lads & lasses D 4th
Darlin' Corey G 0

the Dove she is a pretty bird E 5th (6.5)

Drunken sailor   E 5th (6.5)
Elm tree branches C 3rd
Froggie went a-courting A 1st
God rest ye merry, gentlemen A 1st

Gwcw fach   E 5th (6.5)

I got a mule and her name is Sal A 1st
If you miss the train I'm on C 3rd

Let all mortal flesh keep silence A 1st

Masters in this hall A 1st

My lord, what a morning F-6/5
Now the grn blade rises
   (Noel nouvelet)A 1st
Nyth a gog   E 4th
O come, o come, Emmanuel A 1st
Old Chisholm trail A 1st
Row yr boat to Jesus' side D 4th
Scarborough Fair   A 1st (6.5)
Scheherazade themes
Singers, sing E 5th
Star of the County Down C 3rd
Summertime Porgy & Bess A hi 8th
Sweet the evening air of May A 1st

Swing low, sweet chariot F# 6 1/2
Turn ye to me A 1st

Wayward wind D 4th
Wild Rover E 5th (House Band version)


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 10 Oct 17 - 02:57 PM

You can't go back to Constantinople.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Cool Beans
Date: 11 Oct 17 - 07:33 PM

Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho.
Puttin' on the Ritz


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Amos
Date: 13 Oct 17 - 09:27 AM

High Barbaree
Township 19
The Trail of the Buffalo
The Ox Driver's Song
Whiskey in the Jar

Dozens of "come all ye's"

I think it's a non-question, really.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 13 Oct 17 - 10:07 AM

My friend Anja's "Slow Night For Crime" is definitely not sad, and in a minor key:

Anja graefe (Anju) Slow Night For Crime


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Merritt
Date: 13 Oct 17 - 01:04 PM

+1 the Erie Canal Song or Low Bridge, Everybody Down first published in 1905. When I was growing up, and then when my kids were growing up, this was a go-to family-sings-together-in-the-car and campfire song. I always thought of it as Not Sad. Now that I play/sing it regularly (verses in Am w/ bridge and chorus built around C major) for an unlicensed material-only gig, I did some research cause I wanted to be able to tell acoupla stories about it. Well, darned if it ain't a Sad Song; Although it's sometimes tagged as an early-20th century "comic song," the author, Thomas Allen, wrote it (and likely stole some of it) as a nostalgic lament for a lost era when barges on the canal were moved by mules and mule drivers; steam cars proved to be more efficient.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 13 Oct 17 - 03:48 PM

Many of the songs mentioned in this thread are done in minor keys because they are comic takes upon themes which, when treated seriously, are often done in minor keys. Adopting the minor key is a very broad form of parody.

Any song about, say, the supernatural is apt to be in a minor key, whether it treats the subject seriously or not.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: Acorn4
Date: 14 Oct 17 - 04:11 AM

Someone mentioned "Dance me to the end of Love" earlier.

Ironic that what is probably Laughing Len's happiest song is in a minor key.


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST,Kenny B Sans Kuku
Date: 15 Oct 17 - 12:25 PM

Red Rose Caf? a happy wee song although it does go from minor to major for the chorus
I find Aimee McPherson a happy weew song and Olga from the Volga has mixed emotions


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Subject: RE: Songs in minor key that aren't sad?
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 19 Oct 17 - 07:14 AM

Surely, surely this has to qualify?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7vk5keNbRc

Enjoy!


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