Monday, December 8, 2014

A# Major/Minor

The final chord. The black key in between A and B. That's a good one. In some countries in Europe, this is actually called B while the B key is called H. So instead of A-A#-B, it would be A-B-H. This can also be called Bb (flat), just like all the other sharps could be called flats, but the # sign on my Mac keyboard looks more like a sharp sign than a lowercase b looks like a flat sign (to me), so I've been sticking to - and continuing to stick to - sharps.

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 - 'The Sign' by Ace of Base has bright chords yet talks about a potentially negative relationship. 'Alive' by Pearl Jam has what people have referred to as an anthemic sound, with great strong major guitar chords and progressions, yet it's about a man who discovers his father died long ago and his mother is virtually attracted to him thanks to his resemblance to his father.

Inversions

The 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).

Major

Colour: Darkish green (similar to A minor) but with a form to it.
Light: Muted.
Spatial Direction: Northeast.
Gender: Masculine.

This is someone who wants to get out there in the world, see everything. He's explored Rome and France, toured Italy. His job is likely one that requires him to do this, and as a result he's worked hard to get here. Perhaps as an international journalist and/or photographer. He's extroverted but not demanding a crowd, more in the sense that he's not shy and approaches people with ease. He could lead a group of explorers if he wanted to. He's also intelligent, and I kind of picture him as Wilson from Home Improvement, but more as a traveller than as someone ready to give a quote from the literary or political world. Maybe he could end up as someone like Wilson. The chord is obvious in the 1991 U2 song 'Mysterious Ways' - the note is the first thing you hear in the song, which I think remains in that scale. Its music video also helps visualize that traveler's aspect for the chord for me considering where it was filmed, the scenes you get in it. 'Walking on the Moon's' chorus begins on A# major.

Minor

Colour: Blue-green.
Light: Muted
Spatial Direction: East.
Gender: Masculine.

While G# minor is accident-prone, this chord is likely physically disabled. He is similar to E minor in his disappointment or frustration, except in this case it's because he feels blocked and at a disadvantage. I see someone in a wheelchair or with an obvious limp, someone who may have had a stroke, or some kind of disability that caused his mind to regress a little. Or maybe that didn't happen at all, but he's still physically disabled, and as a result, he has difficulty finding work and lives on disability benefits. May still live with his parents, who can also be a source of the same feelings. My friend Brent comes to mind a little, though I don't think he's as annoyed as A# minor. I really just see someone as feeling ultimately blocked, in life. From a lot of things we take for granted. I can't think of any song that uses A# minor. I think it's an unfortunate chord.

Well, that finally spells an end to my series of chords based on my synesthetic impressions and imagery. I should point out that the contexts I drew with these chords are singularly based on those chords alone, and not really when they're used with others in song. That always changes the context, and sometimes hugely. Sometimes it doesn't, but there are songs I've heard for the first couple of times and not gotten the chord I heard first right away at all, and thought due to its context it was something hugely different from what it was - like the D major keyboard opening on 'I Love L.A.' by Randy Newman. When I first heard that, I didn't think that was D major starting at all, but something extremely happy and friendly - which is D major, but in its context in the song and on the keyboard it was played, I didn't see D major at all. Until I figured it out, and it made perfect sense. Otherwise the keyboard sound made it seem like a happy kid with something cool to say, like F# major.

Red Cloud
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