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

Stan Kleppinger skleppin at gmail.com
Fri Oct 2 12:36:59 PDT 2009

------ Forwarded Message
> From: Eric Knechtges <eric.t.knechtges at gmail.com>
> Date: Fri, 2 Oct 2009 11:58:54 -0400
> To: <smt-talk at societymusictheory.org>
> Subject: Re: [Smt-talk] Pieces contrary to the minor/major = sad/non-sad
> stereotype
> It seems like our perception has just as much to do (if not more) with
> tempo and other less pitch-related issues as it does with the mode.
> I'm waiting for someone to come up with a major mode example in a FAST
> tempo that someone would see as "sad", or something minor in a slow
> tempo that people would see as happy.

------ End of Forwarded Message

Notwithstanding Michael Morse's observations already posted to this list, I
would suggest "Lucky Ball and Chain" by They Might be Giants as an example
of a sad text set in an up-tempo, major-mode shuffle. I _do_ hear this
text/music juxtaposition as ironical, though I confess that I'm not sure
that I locate the irony in a simple "major mode vs. sad text" juxtaposition
or if there are other pop-music tropes working with (against?) the text to
create that sense of irony.



"Art is long and life is short; here is
evidently the explanation of a Brahms symphony."
--Edward Lorne
Stan Kleppinger, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Music Theory
University of Nebraska - Lincoln
skleppinger2 at unl.edu

More information about the Smt-talk mailing list