Thursday, July 10, 2014

F Major/Minor

F is one of those notes, like C and B, where the white key on a piano isn't separated by a black sharp/flat key from the key before it, E, yet only proceeds a half-step higher, one semitone. As I noted, I'm following C major - which uses only white keys and has no flats or sharps, which I think is unique to that scale. A major scale's progression has two half-steps in it, one on the third and another on the seventh steps. F is the third key from C (this is the fourth article on a note including C) so it all works.

If you read what I have below about major/minor differences on the previous posts, go ahead and skip this - it's just for newcomers reading this.

A note on major/minor:
There is an obvious difference between a major and a minor. Wikipedia naturally describes a minor chord has differing "from a major chord in having a minor third above the root instead of a major third." In other words, the third key from the first on a keyboard (not in the chord or scale) would simply be moved a key to the left. In C major, the notes are C-E-G. E is three keys from C; move one key to the left and you're now on E flat or D sharp. Hence C minor. The "minor third" just means the third note in a minor scale.
Ear-wise, the difference is also obvious because minor chords sound darker and moody and tentative while major chords are bright and happy and powerful in contrast. If you've heard any sad songs, they're likely built around a minor scale progression and use minor chords. 'Not Home Today' uses mostly minor chords (E minor and B minor) and is a song about an unfortunate circumstance, with a doom-filled ending. 'Around the Bend' uses largely major chords and is a happy song about friendship and good times. Of course, not all songs operate this way - both 'Heart and Soul' (T'Pau) and 'Crying Shame' use upbeat, bright chords mixed with sad or yearning lyrics, one about a distant relationship, and the other about a failed, betrayed one.

InversionsThe thing about inversions - where the root note is not the lowest or first note played in the chord - is that it's all the same for every chord major or minor: It's either darker or brighter, in terms of colour as well as personality (though slightly, and it's perhaps more on the main personalities' view or opinion or feeling on something).


Colour: A paler golden yellow, similar to perhaps McDonalds fries.
Light: From the left, afternoon sun.
Spatial direction: East (on their own I think all of them are generally east)
Texture: Lined texture in a leftward slant downwards.
Gender: Masculine

I'm not sure I watched the episode on F major in the Signature Series, but it labels it as the 'perfect companion,' which I remember hearing about. I recall the narrator likening it to famous sidekicks like Robin from Batman, or Ron Weasley out of Harry Potter.

This guy is not nearly as high up as E major would be. In fact this may go to show that majors aren't always super positive just as minors aren't always super sad. This guy is not particularly negative, but he can be overly focused on things he has to do, things he has to get done. He has to get somewhere, keep moving, he's somewhat impatient. He doesn't like beating around the bush, but he isn't cold either. He's probably more like the nerdy type, but not in a geeky way, just in his choice of activities - the gifted program, the Reach For the Top club, etc. He's interested in computer-related careers like programming or development and can be friends with C major, who is also down to earth and bright. The only big downfall is his impatience. I should note that C minor is the one who makes up issues and worries about failing, whereas F major doesn't, he's just starved for time, has to memorize binary code and the periodic table, etc. I think if I could pick an astrological sign to align with this chord's personality, he'd be a capricorn. Of the few songs I can think of, 'Go For a Soda' by Kim Mitchell relies heavily on F on the bass during the verses (F and E) and 'Enid' by BNL starts on F at the beginning of each main verse. I can think of several different people I've known in the past that applies to this personality very well - such as an old 'friend' I had in high school who was particularly pompous and exclusive, that girl I had a long-distance 'relationship' with out west (she once skipped class to online chat with me and then immediately chose to study over that altogether) and my cousin Jamie, who is hoping to enter medical school soon. All academic or studious types, all obsessed with the work they have to do.


Colour: Golden brown/yellow, as if those fries were overcooked. Maybe some white as well.
Light: Same as Major, afternoon light from the left
Spatial direction: East
Texture: Fluid-like.
Gender: Feminine

This is the only chord in which the minor is feminine. The rest all have the same gender between minor and major. I don't believe I watched the episode on this one, but it listed it as "the fighter."

This was a girl born with anxiety. I tend to think of her as a frightened, perhaps even traumatized older woman. Very likely reclusive. She's the one who had a terrible time in high school, who had literally no friends and was an outsider. Maybe she was picked on as well, and she no doubt had anxiety issues, perhaps social as well as general. Unfortunately she took every mean thing directed at her to heart, so she ended up working alone in a tiny cubicle at a temp agency in her prime doing the blandest things until she inherited a lot of money, went home, and stayed there. She has nephews and nieces that she enjoys seeing but she's still quirky and obviously uncertain all of the time. She has irrational fears that prevent her from really getting out there, which is unfortunate because she doesn't have a bad character and has her own beauty. Her self-image and view of people and the world is tender, which was likely caused and helped by her mean-spirited peers in school. Hardly any confidence. Thankfully I can't really think of anyone I knew who was like that, other than a girl in a class I had this past semester who was quiet and extremely tentative, and a few fictional characters I've read in books - such as Nora Devon and her aunt in the Dean Koontz book Watchers (my second-favourite book of all time). I have no songs to offer here. I don't think many use that chord unless they're a really painful or sad song. I tend to find that F major or minor in general tend to be used within a song but not to start it or direct it, or end it because it's one of those chords that sound anticipating of the next change (the whole impatience thing).

Well, either late tonight or around tomorrow, I'll write up on G major/minor.

Red Cloud

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