Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: Musical modes and emotions?

  1. #1

    Default Musical modes and emotions?

    Hey guys. I was running some scales the other day, trying to improv a lead piece and the like and I was debating whether to use a major scale or a minor scale.

    And then that bought me to this question:

    Are any of the different modes (mixolydian, phrygian etc.) more suited to specific kinds of music? Do they represent specific emotions?

    I like to play alot of metal so I naturally tend to favour music that sounds aggressive, so if I knew that a certain mode was suited for metal, i'd explore that a little more.

    So uh, any help would be really appreciated guys, thanks!
    Eat. Lift. Sleep.

    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and i'm not sure about the former.

    http://www.muzicforums.com/songwriti...orum-song.html

  2. #2

    Default

    Well, to sum it up very generally:

    Mixolydian - Major sounding. Kind of "heroic" mood. Used a lot in renaissance music for example, also in movie soundtracks.
    Dorian - A minor version of Mixolydian, basically. "Smoke on the Water" is in Dorian for example.
    Lydian - Used a lot in earlier church music - major sounding.
    Phyrgian - Another "sad" mode. Used a lot in world music, "Spanish" sounding.
    Locrian... can't really tell much about that. It isn't used much as far as I know. Kind of unusual.
    "And mists were pastels over the river…
    And the music! Nature’s symphonic notes!
    The birds, the river and the whisk-whisk brush
    Of leaves form harmonies as soft, warm rain."

    - Ode to Gaia, E. W. Richardson.

  3. #3

    Default

    Natural minor, harmonic minor, double harmonic minor, phrygian, phrygian dominant, locrian etc. are all suitable for metal. However, metal is a certain sound and feel, not a scale.
    You have a pretty Fmaj7.

  4. #4
    Admin Muzoid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Canada - England's Queen, to us, is just some fugly chick on our money :)
    Posts
    14,327

    Default

    Interesting views, and great responses...

    Though I still feel that the key you are in in far more important to create mood...

    For example D- "the haunting key"....(most horror film soundtracks are written in D-)

    or A- "the sad key" etc.

    G and C majors are "happy" keys

    I do feel that different modes create a different feel...but my belief is the actual root key is far more important, as A- and D- would end up with the same mode name (A- in the key of C, and D- in the key of F)....yet one sounds definitively haunting and the other sad to me.

    I have heard bands do classic songs out of the original key before, and they do sounds very different....some songs just deserve a certain key, and probably why classical artists would add that to the title....

    eg: Piano Concerto #3 in D minor, doesn't sound right in any other key, it completely loses it's magic.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  5. #5

    Default

    Is it really worth thinking about it in terms of keys or even modes? to give you an example if you had a song with an E major chord and an A major chord only and no other notes what key is it in? The answer is it depends on your point of view. In this case you are not using all of the notes in the A major scale you are also not using all the notes in the E major scale so in fact your not really in either key you just happen to be using 2 major chords. I tend to find by thinking in keys it is easy to put limitations on your work and this leads to a lots of songs that sound the same.

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by runningonair View Post
    Is it really worth thinking about it in terms of keys or even modes? to give you an example if you had a song with an E major chord and an A major chord only and no other notes what key is it in? The answer is it depends on your point of view. In this case you are not using all of the notes in the A major scale you are also not using all the notes in the E major scale so in fact your not really in either key you just happen to be using 2 major chords. I tend to find by thinking in keys it is easy to put limitations on your work and this leads to a lots of songs that sound the same.
    1. Thinking in keys is vital. When composing a song, especially when multiple instruments are involved. You have to establish what key you are playing in so that the other instruments will play in the same key as you. The singer must know what key they must sing in. Without keys, music would sound horrible.

    2. If I composed/played a song using two chords throughout, I would contemplate suicide, after first burning all of my guitars.

    3. Even if i did use only two chords, i'd still be in a certain key. Music is always in key.

    4. Thinking in keys is very important to composing. It gives you structure, but it doesn't trap you. You don't have to stay within a certain key throughout the whole song, there are tons of ways to make a song unique by switching through different modes in the same key.

    The reason many songs sound the same today is the fact that the exact same chords are played, not that the same key is used.

  7. #7
    Psycho Hosebeast CoolBec's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    State of Catatonia
    Posts
    4,407

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by runningonair View Post
    I tend to find by thinking in keys it is easy to put limitations on your work and this leads to a lots of songs that sound the same.
    I'm going to respectfully disagree with you on that point Run. Many artists who write stuff that tends to "sound the same" aren't musically competent enough to understand why. I find that musicians who really know the rules break them in a much more creative fashion.

  8. #8

    Default

    Apologies for not getting back on this thread, I didn't have reply notification turned on.

    It’s an interesting discussion and one that is very easy to get crossed wires on. So let me quickly define what I mean by key, just so there’s no misunderstanding.

    So 2 types Major and minor
    The Major key equal to the modern Ionian mode
    The minor key equal to the Aeolian mode (Harmonic Minor scale)

    So if you accept this definition, there is already a limitation in that all other modes are excluded. This is part of what I mean by “not thinking in a key”. The two chords reference was just an example. It’s quite possible to write music using two chords or even one for that matter. Just check out half the drone music that’s been written, doesn’t often have more than 2 chords.

    The main point I would like to make based on the replies, is that music is not always in a key. For corroboration check out:
    12 tone music
    atonal music
    serialism
    whole tone scale
    pentatonic music
    etc.

    To be fair, I tend to write tonal music that could often be seen to be in a key, but I don't tend to think about it in those terms as it generally doesn't help.


    Quote Originally Posted by CoolBec View Post
    I'm going to respectfully disagree with you on that point Run. Many artists who write stuff that tends to "sound the same" aren't musically competent enough to understand why. I find that musicians who really know the rules break them in a much more creative fashion.
    Actually you've got a fair point here but I think it can still cut both ways.

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CoolBec View Post
    I find that musicians who really know the rules break them in a much more creative fashion.
    I like this point you make very much, CoolBec, especially since I'm a musician who really *doesn't* know the rules well. I feel that understanding musical theory better would definitely help me be more creative since I would have a clearer idea of what is *new* and would be able to play more off the music others have made throughout history.

    I tend to hope that even if I know little about music theory, I may still make some "naive" music that breaks rules creatively simply because the music won't be following many rules to begin with! I'm afraid this is just my attempt to not feel guilty that I haven't learned much music theory!

    Quote Originally Posted by runningonair View Post
    The main point I would like to make based on the replies, is that music is not always in a key. For corroboration check out:
    12 tone music
    atonal music
    serialism
    whole tone scale
    pentatonic music
    etc.

    To be fair, I tend to write tonal music that could often be seen to be in a key, but I don't tend to think about it in those terms as it generally doesn't help.
    I usually assume that composing music "intuitively" without worrying about what key or mode one is using (or not using), or planning the song's key/mode carefully from the beginning, will still enable one to create the desired emotion. In other words, this would be music made simply by listening to the sounds as you create them and deciding how you feel about them.

    Perhaps like you, I have never thought very much about what key I am in...other than considering whether the notes are within a particular vocal range or allow me to play the song easily on a particular instrument. But this thread is a good kick in the rump to get me to want to become more aware of all the musical knowledge out there that I am overlooking!
    "As we're liberated from our own fear,
    our presence automatically liberates others
    ."

    ~ Marianne Williamson

  10. #10

    Smile

    interesting discussion. As far as keys go, I happen to agree with everyone somewhat. Personally I always pick a key at random when I write music. I think of it all as patterns withing 12 notes no matter what type of scale you are playing. I do think that the key will make a difference in the way the song sounds but that comes down to relative perception.

    I never had traditional lessons but from my point of view, minor and major scales are the exact same things.
    "A min" and "C major" scales are made of the exact same notes. To me, more important then the melody is the root/bass notes or at least the ones that the melodies imply when obtaining the basic feel(happy or sad) of the song.

    If I had to pick one for you to focus more on, I would recommend Minor more so for metal.
    My bands site = www.acrossfrommarty.com

  11. #11

    Default

    Another way of looking at a song is not specifically through a key, but through mode-chord relations, and key changes or modulations.

    For example, if you're going with a dom7 chord, you could try maybe a mixolydian scale for the duration of that chord, or if you were playing a chord with a #11, you might want to try a lydian scale.

    As a side note, an aspect that I've always liked about some metal is that it's more modal focused rather than diatonic, so maybe instead of thinking about a key, try considering resolving sounds, really altered chords and sounds that slip well back into the root, using chromaticism's and substitutions.

  12. #12
    Forum God JSaccs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    A cave in Mt Borah
    Posts
    2,518

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CoolBec View Post
    I'm going to respectfully disagree with you on that point Run. Many artists who write stuff that tends to "sound the same" aren't musically competent enough to understand why. I find that musicians who really know the rules break them in a much more creative fashion.
    Although I agree with this completely, I think a good example of runningonair's point would be Mikael of Opeths writing; a guitarist who seems music theory retarded (based on listening to him in interviews), does a very good job "breaking the rules" because he simply doesnt know what the rules are, so in turn he wasnt restricted in his writing.

    It seems like he is all over the place in a song when it comes to Keys, yet he is always able to make it work; especially when it comes to diminished/augmented chords, he is a master at making those sound beautiful.

    But beside from that example, I agree with CoolBec that when you know the theory, than you know how to break those rules creatively, and have it make sense.

  13. #13

    Default Mood in music

    Mood in music
    There are mixes of sounds of different tonalities, which affect the mood of the listener. Thanks to the experience of many generations of musicians, not even have musical literacy person familiar with the words "minor" and "major" to denote sadness and happy.
    It is very happy that the theme “mood in music” interested people who have knowledge of musical literacy. To create music with such knowledge is very useful. However, the listener is seldom aware of this science. He perceives the music subconsciously.
    Each composition leaves a trace (the imprint in the mind) in the form: sensations, images of the past or the future, visual art, mood (a special state of consciousness). If the track does not bring such feelings, then listen to it is only possible with the aim of the study once in a lifetime.

    Write music with mood
    Listen to mood of music
    Filter music

    This compilation is for to think DOWNLOAD

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •