[Smt-talk] Pieces contrary to the minor/major = sad/non-sad stereotype

Leinberger, Charles F. charlesl at utep.edu
Thu Oct 1 10:13:21 PDT 2009



Ennio Morricone: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.  The fast and exciting
cues ("Main Title," "The Ecstasy of Gold," and "The Trio") are in minor
(either Aeolian or Dorian or a little of each).  The sad cues ("The
Story of A Soldier" and "The Death of a Soldier") are in major.  He used
a mixture of D Aeolian and D Dorian for the main title for the three
films in the "dollar" trilogy (A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars
More, and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly).  Many of these themes use a
six-note scale, an otherwise diatonic scale with the 6th degree missing,
the pitch that distinguished Aeolian from Dorian (D, E, F, G, A, C).




* *  *   *     *        *             *                     *

Charles Leinberger, Ph.D., Associate Professor.

 Department of Music, The University of Texas at El Paso.

 500 West University Avenue, El Paso TX 79968-0552 (U.S.A.)

 (915) 747-7800 Office  (915) 747-5023 Fax.

http://utminers.utep.edu/charlesl/ <http://utminers.utep.edu/charlesl/> 

http://music.utep.edu/ <http://academics.utep.edu/music/> 

* *  *   *     *        *             *                     *


From: smt-talk-bounces at societymusictheory.org
[mailto:smt-talk-bounces at societymusictheory.org] On Behalf Of Randolph
Sent: Thursday, October 01, 2009 10:46 AM
To: smt-talk at societymusictheory.org
Subject: [Smt-talk] Pieces contrary to the minor/major =


I'm interested in identifying pieces that are contrary to the
minor = sad stereotype.  For example, no one would consider
Mozart's "Rondo Alla Turca" to be "sad" even though it is
(mostly) in the minor mode.  At the same time, the aria
"He Was Despised" in Handel's Messiah is very sad, but
in the major mode.

Any suggestions about other works that go contrary to
the stereotype? I'm especially interested in nominally "sad" works
in the major mode and "non-sad" works in the minor mode.

Thanks for your suggestions.

Randolph Johnson
randolph.johnson at gmail.com

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