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Major v Minor
#2839282 04/15/19 02:43 AM
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What is the difference between. Major and Minor music pieces?

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Re: Major v Minor
meaculpa #2839289 04/15/19 03:15 AM
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Major and minor scales have different thirds. A minor third is a semitone lower than a major third.


Chris

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Re: Major v Minor
meaculpa #2839307 04/15/19 04:47 AM
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Also, generally, Major pieces are more happy, and Minor pieces more sad.


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Re: Major v Minor
meaculpa #2839513 04/15/19 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by meaculpa
What is the difference between. Major and Minor music pieces?


In the teacher forum you asked the same question, but worded it differently, asking about major and minor keys (pieces are in keys, so it's the same thing wink . You've gotten some answers about scales which is a different thing, though related in some ways.

I don't know what you do and don't know, so some basics: A piece that is in the key of C major will have one "home note" called the Tonic. It wants to end on the Tonic note, (C in this case), and will tend to hover around that note - you just feel that C is "home". A scale that goes from Tonic to Tonic also sort of expresses that key. In C major, you will hear a C major scale. In C minor (going from C to C) you will hear a C minor scale. There are several common minor scales (natural minor, harmonic minor, melodic minor) but they all have one thing in common - the 3rd note is a semitone lower than if it were C major (Eb instead of E). The chord built on the Tonic, is CEG in a C major piece = a major chord; CEbG in a C minor piece = a minor chord. Play these on the piano and see if you hear the difference.

This ties it into Chris's explanation about major and minor scales.

-------------
In the ordinary music we get in the first years, the patterns are rather straightforward. You have a key signature with one sharp (F#). The piece could be in G major, or E minor. How can you tell?

- If it is in G major, the Tonic will be G. It will tend to hover around G, the last note will probably be G, and the final chord will probably be GBD (G major triad). The V7-I cadence is D7-G so you'll see those, especially where sections seem to be finishing a statement. The main scale will be the G major scale.

- If it is E minor, the Tonic will be E: last note probably E; final chord = EGB (E minor triad); main scale built on Tonic will be a minor scale. Your V7-Im (V7-i) cadence will be B7-E. B7 has a D# in it, which is not contained in the key signature, so you'll see #'s beside the D's as accidentals. Pepperings of accidentals of this kind, on that note degree, are a strong clue at a glance that your piece is in the relative minor key.

-----------
Does this answer your question in any way?

note: I tend to do typos esp. in naming notes, and with PW's "improved system" I won't be able to correct them in time. be kind wink but correct me please if I've goofed.

Re: Major v Minor
meaculpa #2839594 04/15/19 04:33 PM
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It's music so it's all about sound so have to listen to pieces you know what key (or keys) they are in and listen, listen, listen.

Being my background is Jazz the traditional first tune people are given to learn to solo on is Autumn Leaves. What make the song easy, but challenging is it's in one key signature so all the notes are the same, but it's in two keys a major key and it's relative minor. So as an improviser you have the same notes but have to make them sound major in first part of melody and then in minor for the end of the melody.

So there are tons of versions of Autumn Leaves on YouTube the classic one beginning improvisers are told to listen to is the Cannonball Adderley version which has Miles Davis. Grab a copy of the leadsheet again available all over the internet and follow the chord changes as you listen and here how the same notes are major key then minor key. Autumn Leaves is played in Gmi a lot, but many say the original was in Emi and you'll find lead sheets in both floating around. This will get your ear used to sound of major vs minor.

Re: Major v Minor
keystring #2839735 04/16/19 03:10 AM
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Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by meaculpa
What is the difference between. Major and Minor music pieces?


In the teacher forum you asked the same question, but worded it differently, asking about major and minor keys (pieces are in keys, so it's the same thing wink . You've gotten some answers about scales which is a different thing, though related in some ways.

I don't know what you do and don't know, so some basics: A piece that is in the key of C major will have one "home note" called the Tonic. It wants to end on the Tonic note, (C in this case), and will tend to hover around that note - you just feel that C is "home". A scale that goes from Tonic to Tonic also sort of expresses that key. In C major, you will hear a C major scale. In C minor (going from C to C) you will hear a C minor scale. There are several common minor scales (natural minor, harmonic minor, melodic minor) but they all have one thing in common - the 3rd note is a semitone lower than if it were C major (Eb instead of E). The chord built on the Tonic, is CEG in a C major piece = a major chord; CEbG in a C minor piece = a minor chord. Play these on the piano and see if you hear the difference.

This ties it into Chris's explanation about major and minor scales.

-------------
In the ordinary music we get in the first years, the patterns are rather straightforward. You have a key signature with one sharp (F#). The piece could be in G major, or E minor. How can you tell?

- If it is in G major, the Tonic will be G. It will tend to hover around G, the last note will probably be G, and the final chord will probably be GBD (G major triad). The V7-I cadence is D7-G so you'll see those, especially where sections seem to be finishing a statement. The main scale will be the G major scale.

- If it is E minor, the Tonic will be E: last note probably E; final chord = EGB (E minor triad); main scale built on Tonic will be a minor scale. Your V7-Im (V7-i) cadence will be B7-E. B7 has a D# in it, which is not contained in the key signature, so you'll see #'s beside the D's as accidentals. Pepperings of accidentals of this kind, on that note degree, are a strong clue at a glance that your piece is in the relative minor key.

-----------
Does this answer your question in any way?

note: I tend to do typos esp. in naming notes, and with PW's "improved system" I won't be able to correct them in time. be kind wink but correct me please if I've goofed.




Keystring, I am a beginner learning piano for 4 years, with still some way to go, but I enjoy my lessons. I have rather neglected a lot of theory, which if course is a very important part of learning music. I shall copy and make a study of what you have written.
I thank you very much for your information and instruction , I shall definitely try out the exercise you set out.

Thank you everyone else for your input.


.

Last edited by meaculpa; 04/16/19 03:14 AM.
Re: Major v Minor
meaculpa #2839921 04/16/19 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by meaculpa
Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by meaculpa
What is the difference between. Major and Minor music pieces?


In the teacher forum you asked the same question, but worded it differently, asking about major and minor keys (pieces are in keys, so it's the same thing wink . You've gotten some answers about scales which is a different thing, though related in some ways.

I don't know what you do and don't know, so some basics: A piece that is in the key of C major will have one "home note" called the Tonic. It wants to end on the Tonic note, (C in this case), and will tend to hover around that note - you just feel that C is "home". A scale that goes from Tonic to Tonic also sort of expresses that key. In C major, you will hear a C major scale. In C minor (going from C to C) you will hear a C minor scale. There are several common minor scales (natural minor, harmonic minor, melodic minor) but they all have one thing in common - the 3rd note is a semitone lower than if it were C major (Eb instead of E). The chord built on the Tonic, is CEG in a C major piece = a major chord; CEbG in a C minor piece = a minor chord. Play these on the piano and see if you hear the difference.

This ties it into Chris's explanation about major and minor scales.

-------------
In the ordinary music we get in the first years, the patterns are rather straightforward. You have a key signature with one sharp (F#). The piece could be in G major, or E minor. How can you tell?

- If it is in G major, the Tonic will be G. It will tend to hover around G, the last note will probably be G, and the final chord will probably be GBD (G major triad). The V7-I cadence is D7-G so you'll see those, especially where sections seem to be finishing a statement. The main scale will be the G major scale.

- If it is E minor, the Tonic will be E: last note probably E; final chord = EGB (E minor triad); main scale built on Tonic will be a minor scale. Your V7-Im (V7-i) cadence will be B7-E. B7 has a D# in it, which is not contained in the key signature, so you'll see #'s beside the D's as accidentals. Pepperings of accidentals of this kind, on that note degree, are a strong clue at a glance that your piece is in the relative minor key.

-----------
Does this answer your question in any way?

note: I tend to do typos esp. in naming notes, and with PW's "improved system" I won't be able to correct them in time. be kind wink but correct me please if I've goofed.




Keystring, I am a beginner learning piano for 4 years, with still some way to go, but I enjoy my lessons. I have rather neglected a lot of theory, which if course is a very important part of learning music. I shall copy and make a study of what you have written.
I thank you very much for your information and instruction , I shall definitely try out the exercise you set out.

Thank you everyone else for your input.


.


I understand nothing of what Chris's explanation means, and I'm too old to understand it now!

Major, or minor can become almost irrelevant if you play anything with blues idiom included since that scale predominates; but without that inclusion, there are clear moods involved.

Major - happy, bright, contemplative sometimes but variations within the music can induce other complex emotions whilst still retaining the major key. Also, many classics and early popular had a major - minor key change in the middle. The sad bit. "Middle eight", it was sometimes called in musicians terms.

Minor key music will induce sadness, regret, but also war, anger, force and is often used almost exclusively with blues for heavy metal, rock and jazz ballads. Most popular music is written in the Blues format, particularly that stuff featuring shrieking females.

The Blues scale is different from major or minor but it has a minor feel to it. I did a song for the ABF which had a blues inclusion in a major key setting. It did sound funny . . . .

Last edited by peterws; 04/16/19 03:34 PM.

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Re: Major v Minor
meaculpa #2839933 04/16/19 03:55 PM
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I don't think it was my explanation you're referring to, Peter! All I said is that minor scales have a third that's a semitone lower than major scales. I'm sure that you understand that smile.


Chris

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Re: Major v Minor
meaculpa #2839970 04/16/19 05:47 PM
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For me, scales and chords are just arbitrary subsets of the keyboard. The notion that a particular subset of notes, or any musical feature for that matter, possesses ineluctable, universal meaning for all listening brains seems to me absurdly simplistic and severely restrictive. I can understand how personal associations can arise in an individual mind but these, at least for me, are intriguingly transient, this property being a source of immense joy and surprise in music.


"We shall always love the music of the masters, but they are all dead and now it's our turn." - Llewelyn Jones, my piano teacher
Re: Major v Minor
meaculpa #2839980 04/16/19 06:37 PM
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You must have done a lot of acid in your time wink.


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Re: Major v Minor
cmb13 #2840003 04/16/19 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by cmb13
You must have done a lot of acid in your time wink.


No, I have never tried it, and any connection eludes me.


"We shall always love the music of the masters, but they are all dead and now it's our turn." - Llewelyn Jones, my piano teacher
Re: Major v Minor
meaculpa #2840012 04/16/19 09:40 PM
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Just a joke, meant no offense...the connection is the meandering. It seems as though your playing style is free form, breaking the norms of convention, and flowing wherever it takes you. That's what an acid trip is said to be like. Turn on, tune in, drop out.


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Re: Major v Minor
cmb13 #2840014 04/16/19 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by cmb13
Just a joke, meant no offense...the connection is the meandering. It seems as though your playing style is free form, breaking the norms of convention, and flowing wherever it takes you. That's what an acid trip is said to be like. Turn on, tune in, drop out.


Yes, Aldous Huxley wrote about his drug experiences while listening to music, explicitly in essays and implicitly in his novels. His personal musical taste remained ossified in historical convention though. I played and created orthodox stuff for decades, it isn't because I cannot do it, but because I ceased to be moved by it. At fifty-five I thought it might be fun to build a sort of private universe of music through improvisation. For myself it pleases me beyond measure. What other people think of it varies greatly but I couldn't go on as before until the death knock, that would be too dismal altogether.


"We shall always love the music of the masters, but they are all dead and now it's our turn." - Llewelyn Jones, my piano teacher
Re: Major v Minor
meaculpa #2840346 04/18/19 04:21 AM
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Major and minor are two important categories of scales/keys in which music can be composed

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_and_minor


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Re: Major v Minor
Ted #2840354 04/18/19 04:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Ted
For me, scales and chords are just arbitrary subsets of the keyboard. The notion that a particular subset of notes, or any musical feature for that matter, possesses ineluctable, universal meaning for all listening brains seems to me absurdly simplistic and severely restrictive.


I strongly disagree, Ted. I think that fact that our brain considers notes played on strings whose lengths are simple integer ratios (the basis of scales) to be harmonious is "hardwired" into us. It's something that's been known for thousands of years.


Chris

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Re: Major v Minor
Cheshire Chris #2840364 04/18/19 06:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Cheshire Chris

I strongly disagree, Ted. I think that fact that our brain considers notes played on strings whose lengths are simple integer ratios (the basis of scales) to be harmonious is "hardwired" into us. It's something that's been known for thousands of years.


Indeed, but the closeness or otherwise of the frequencies wasn't what I meant. As usual I did not express myself clearly. I was thinking more of universal meanings for any specific sound, whether consonant or dissonant. So were I to play a certain scale, a certain chord, no matter in what context of rhythm or phrase, all listeners would assign the same external meaning to it ? I cannot see how that could possibly be true, musical features are abstract entities, not like words, which elicit invariant meaning. I concur that recognition of related frequencies might be hardwired, but find it difficult to believe that their musical meaning is hardwired. That might be a better way of putting it.

I know it is not so for me and I am very pleased about that else whatever happened in an improvisation wouldn't be much of a surprise !

Last edited by Ted; 04/18/19 06:21 AM.

"We shall always love the music of the masters, but they are all dead and now it's our turn." - Llewelyn Jones, my piano teacher
Re: Major v Minor
Ted #2840367 04/18/19 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Ted


Indeed, but the closeness or otherwise of the frequencies wasn't what I meant. As usual I did not express myself clearly. I was thinking more of universal meanings for any specific sound, whether consonant or dissonant. So were I to play a certain scale, a certain chord, no matter in what context of rhythm or phrase, all listeners would assign the same external meaning to it ?


I agree with that, certainly.


Chris

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Re: Major v Minor
meaculpa #2840435 04/18/19 12:51 PM
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Regarding music in major or minor, here is nice example of how Canon in D (originaly in major) sounds in D minor:
https://youtu.be/XZgiNnGB8m4?t=232

It is BTW very beautiful rock-guitar version of Canon.


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Re: Major v Minor
Marcel M #2840441 04/18/19 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Marcel M
Regarding music in major or minor, here is nice example of how Canon in D (originaly in major) sounds in D minor:

Transposing a piece from major to minor or the other way around can be quite an entertaining and educative experience. For instance, Happy birthday in minor sounds totally depressing.


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Re: Major v Minor
meaculpa #2840455 04/18/19 03:30 PM
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Subtleties aside, people have to start somewhere and when a beginner asks about major and minor key signatures, then they need some kind of reference point. That is what I tried to give. You learn pretty soon even in "classical" music that a piece that is in a minor key can modulate into the relative major, and a lot of other things. But it's good to start somewhere, but also not get hung up on rigid definitions and such.

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