Sunday, December 7, 2014

F# Major/Minor

Moving on to F# major and minor...

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: Brown, a wood-brown. Maybe some minor yellow in there.
Light: Muted.
Spatial Direction: East.
Gender: Masculin

This may be where I might get into some similarity issues here, because F# major is similar to E major - extroverted. But I think I can say that F# major does differ in that he's a step down from E major. I would call F# major the cool kid who always has a neat thing to talk about, neat stories or adventures. His family takes him on trips often and he comes back with things to tell, and leads his friends in imagination-based games. As a teen he wears cool sunglasses and is easy with the girls while accommodating to everyone. Perhaps the masculine equivalent to D major, but also similar to C major (except C major is more down to earth and more academic). That's the only issue here, is F# major's similarity to C, D, and E majors - but there are notable differences in that D major is a kind girl to me who is extroverted but not bombastic, E major is (as a guy), C major sees things in concrete, linear terms and is disciplined, and F# major has positive social traits like the others but is more of an in-the-moment person who tells cool stories and isn't as academically disciplined. For some reason, I get that personality from the male lead singer in 'Steal My Sunshine.' He sounds like a guy with cool, interesting things to say openly to you. I don't know why. It may just be the sound of his voice. 'Around the Bend' by Asteroids Galaxy Tour (another recent-ish song) starts its progression on that chord.

Minor:

Colour: Brown with a slight white sheen.
Light: Muted.
Spatial Direction: East, southeast
Gender: Masculine

As a minor, F# tends to have, as its major counterpart, similarities with most of the other minors - an inclination to look on the more negative side, to submit to darker realities, see the world with a dirty lens. But the think with F# minor is that I don't get someone who's struggled, I get a successful, educated person who isn't totally satisfied. In fact, although I never saw it and only read about it, probably the main character in Citizen Kane. Orson Welles. Someone who is accomplished in life, but just not ready to be comfortable. F# minor has some inner issues. It's an unusual case of someone getting what he wants but not being happy either way.

The sharps, I've found, are not as explicitly easy to describe as the white keys were, other than A# major/minor. The next one, G# major/minor, will be something.

Red Cloud
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