I Don’t Like Music in Major Keys


So last night I was writing and listening to music. One of my favorite songs, “Shatter Me” by Lindsey Stirling and Lzzy Hale came on. I decided to share the chorus as a Facebook status because I happen to think it’s great:

“Somebody shine a light
I’m frozen by the fear in me
Somebody make me feel alive
And shatter me
So cut me from the line
Dizzy, spinning endlessly
Somebody make me feel alive
And shatter me!”

Here’s a link to the video for the song.

The next song came on and I continued with my work. When I checked my Facebook later, there were several “sad” smileys on the post.

I was confused. I wasn’t sad. I was in a perfectly fine mood. But since the lyrics were conceivably sad, then I guess people thought I was sad too.

Nope. What is means is that I’m not a fan of happy songs or music in major keys.

Okay, so there are some exceptions. “Happy Birthday.” Some Christmas carols. A couple of classical pieces.

But for the most part, I am all about sad music in minor* keys.

Not sure how or why it started, but I’ve always had a thing for seemingly sad-sounding music. The first song I remember singing along to aloud is “Two Outta Three Ain’t Bad” by Meat Loaf. The next? “Simple Man” by Lynyrd Skynyrd. I was 8 and 10, respectively. There were others, I’m sure, but I have clear memories of both of those songs.

Then came Metal.

I think there’s a rule that no metal song can be composed in a major key. And I’m okay with that. Imagine “Alone Again” in a major key. Or “Fade to Black.” Or any Queensryche song (Promised Land and back).  Even 5FDP would sound ridiculous in a major key.

There is just something about music in a minor key that makes me feel…I don’t know…alive I guess.

I also tend to find solace, peace and enjoyment in songs that have seemingly dark subjects. Take “A Tout Le Monde” by Megadeth. The gist of the song is a guy’s farewell to his friends. Whether he dies or just goes away has been debated for years, but either way, he’s gone and he leaving final words for his friends and family. My love for this song knows no bounds. the aforementioned “Fade to Black” has the same effect on me (though admittedly, my attachment to that song is connected to a friend who passed away way too soon. But it still brings me solace and makes me feel better).

But it’s not just metal, though it is my genre of choice most of the time. As I type this, I’m listening to rap. T.I.’s “Big S*it Poppin'” to be precise. Awesome song. Minor key.

If I’m listening to music, you can almost guarantee that the songs on my playlist are in a minor key. Take my current playlist:

Spotify1Spotify2Spotify3Spotify4

30 songs, all minor key.

Not sure what it says about my overall mental state, but I greatly enjoy the playlist.

So am I alone in this? Anyone else out here prefer minor keys over major keys? Anyone prefer major keys over minor keys? Feel free to explain in the comments.

I’m going back to my depressing music so I can be happy. “Bartender” by Lady Antebellum just came on. Okay so technically it’s in D major, but its relative key is B minor, so it still counts.

*I’m aware that several of the songs I’ve mentioned are actually in major keys (A, C, D and G mostly). But they’re played in relative minor keys (the minor keys in the scale are emphasized the most) so they sound like minor keys.

 

 

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