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> Major = Happy, Minor = Sad, Can the opposite also be true?
AK Rich
post Dec 23 2015, 08:52 PM
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Learning Guitar Hero

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Hey everyone. This is something that I wonder about from time to time.
Normally when we think of a happy or uplifting song, it tends to be a song in a Major key, right? And when we think of a sad or dark song, it tends to be a song in a Minor key, right?

My question to everyone is this. Can the opposite be true as well? Is it possible to have a sad sounding song written in a Major key, or a happy sounding song written in a Minor key? And if so can anyone provide any examples? Or describe some approaches that would enable this concept to work?

I am thinking that examples of this are rare but do exist but the only example I could come up with is a song in a Major key that sounds sad.
I think it may be less difficult to pull off making a Major key sound sad than it would be to make a Minor key sound happy. Or maybe I just haven't been able to wrap my mind around a way to make it work or think of a song where it has been accomplished.

For my example of a song in Major key that sounds sad, I submit to you a song from Frank Zappa, entitled "Watermelon in Easter Hay" from the album "Joe's Garage." As best I can tell, this song is in E Maj with only 2 chords which are A Maj and B Maj with an E for the bass note (B/E).
Or have I been fooled by some kind of music theory slight of hand?

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post Dec 23 2015, 08:55 PM
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Learning Roadie

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i feel the same sometime !!



Yes, i love badges.....
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post Dec 23 2015, 09:25 PM
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I don't see anything sad about this song. Minor key songs can be uplifting.

However if the lyrics were different, maybe something like this, I would say say, yes, not a happy little ditty.

"God **** you stupid gentlemen
You make me want to puke.
Remember that you'll die one day
And I will dance by your tomb.
And now I have one thing to say
Before I end this tune.
Oh tidings of doom and gloom to you, doom and gloom to you
Oh tidings of doom and gloom to you."

My big fat cat Scampy just jumped on my lap. Always frightening, he did that one time and missed, and hung onto my legs with his claws like grappling hooks to catch his fall. I would write a very sad song in any key about that incident, major or minor.
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