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

David K Feurzeig mozojo at gmail.com
Fri Oct 2 06:28:22 PDT 2009

The Beatles, "A Day in the Life".

And in general, descending-bass (esp. passacaglia) pieces in major  
keys are often at least pensive and nostalgic, if not "sad".

On the flip side, many have pointed out that minor-family modes (i.e.  
modes w/ the lowered third degree) from just outside or the edges of  
Western European music culture (North Africa, Turkey, Klezmer, Spain,  
Ireland) are often used for fast, happy, dance music--for instance,  
the classic Flamenco descending-tetrachord progression.

David Feurzeig

University of Vermont

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