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Major Key songs that still sound sad/minor:

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  • Major Key songs that still sound sad/minor:

    Lately I've been trying to write some songs that are in major keys that don't sound agressively happy or upbeat.
    Naturally, you can always focus on a Lydian/Mixolydian mode if you want to keep some tension in the song, but what are some other songs that focus on being in a major key, yet don't trip into the pitfalls of that saccharine major key tonality. And also: why?

    First song I thought of (which was the song that initiated this discussion with a friend) was Foo Fighters' "Everlong." Kind of an easy taget, and slightly pass
    -Johnny K.

  • #2
    velvet underground's Walk on the Wild Side is on C major, and it has a certain minor tone to it because of the F6 chord at the end of the first two lines of the verses and both lines in the chorus

    Radiohead's Creep is in G major, and it sounds damn minor. of course the progression ends in Cminor (G, B, C, Cm)
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    • #3
      Walk on the Wild Side is just Lou Reed oke:

      Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands and I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry are major-key tunes.
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      • #4
        Tempo is often as much of a factor as key. Slow, quiet songs generally have a melancholy mood to them, minor key or not.
        ...

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        • #5
          I'd say the moving element of melody is key to defining the feel and mood. We often separate melody from harmonic context when we annotate or talk about music structure, but, in reality, it is the play of melody against harmonic context that really defines the greater whole.

          ‚Äč
          music and social stuff

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          • #6
            I'd say the moving element of melody is key to defining the feel and mood. We often separate melody from harmonic context when we annotate or talk about music structure, but, in reality, it is the play of melody against harmonic context that really defines the greater whole.


            "Moving element?" Wanna make a working definition for that?
            There are a couple really fantastic books on the topic of psychoacoustic properties in people, but that's not what I'm really interested in debating; not the physics as much as the theory.
            But now that I think of it, I do feel like reading those books some more...
            -Johnny K.

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            • #7
              "Moon River" is in a major key, but it always gives me a melancholy feel. Probably because I first heard it in "Breakfast at Tiffanys". Kind of a sad movie with a happy ending. There are definitely other mood factors involved other than major and minor key.

              John
              Stop analyzing; just compose the damn thing!

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              • #8
                Every Major key has 3 minor chords in it.

                CMaj - Dm - Em - FMaj - G7 - Am - Bdim.

                If you use these minor chords, yet resolve to the tonic Major towards the end of your progression, it will have minor "feel" to it.

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                • #9
                  it's time like this when i wish i knew far more theory....
                  http://www.themouthofghosts.com "Fusing alternative rock and trip-hop, The Mouth Of Ghosts are a band from London who make moody, textured music, fueled by ragged guitars and distant electronics."

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                  • #10
                    Every Major key has 3 minor chords in it.

                    CMaj - Dm - Em - FMaj - G7 - Am - Bdim.

                    If you use these minor chords, yet resolve to the tonic Major towards the end of your progression, it will have minor "feel" to it.



                    Then it would be considered in a minor key. Probably A-minor, relative minor of "C".
                    Stop analyzing; just compose the damn thing!

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                    • #11
                      "Lightning Crashes" by Live is about a woman dying while giving birth and, with the exception of the bridge, it is a nice simple Cmaj progression of F-C-G the entire way through.

                      EDIT: Oops, I forgot they tune down a half-step, so call it Bmaj E-B-F#.
                      Don't listen to Justin.
                      LCK - 2/21/2012

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                      • #12
                        Long Black Veil is just C G and F. It relies more on the tempo and the long notes in the melody

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                        • #13
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                          • #14
                            Bobby Jean.

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                            • #15
                              b or e flat major
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