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minor chords attract teenagers - what else ?

Some great topics happening here.

I've been told that teenagers seem to like songs with minor chords. When I think back, I think I was like that too. Maybe these are the years we start thinking about life more. Minor chords have a mystery to them... yes?

Are there other interesting sounds or progressions that are either age or gender related ?

Comments

MadMax Tue, 02/06/2007 - 05:35
I think that there is a definite tendancy of youth towards the minor chord structure as well.

It also seems that there is, (within my children's generation, anyway) an affinity to massive low frequency and at a rate somewhere between 80-120 bpm, with the primary rythym of a straight 4/4 back beat.

For us... I'll assume you will fall about in my generation there audiokid... it was Zep, The Who, ELP and the like. They realized it as well. Many of their greatest hits were in minor chords.

However, I would also point out that the kickin' rythyms of "our" music were typically not based on a straight 4/4 back beat as our older sibling's was. So I'll make a rather wide statement, that maybe the rythym progression possibly cycles over time.

Max

anonymous Tue, 02/06/2007 - 08:26
i agree that those do seem to be certain tendencies. however rythym tempo often gets exagerrated in a sense. for instance many seemingly different time signatures can fit within the context of 4/4 just as the different modes including aeolian (the minor scale) fit within ionian (the major scale). and thus you have techniques such as 'relative minors.' that and people usually tend to over complicate and glorify the use of 'unusual' time signatures. modal scales as well.

no doubt that using truly diverse time signatures at times can be interesting, but doing it just for the sake of trying to be complex can often get ridiculous and/or unmusical. this and the modal scales are paradoxical because it can go both ways if you are referring to technicality. technical performance can definently enhance your creative style but it can also be detrimental to it. it seems to me like a lot of people do these things just to get a rise out of someone rather than for the sake of the all holy music.

don't get me wrong, i believe in technical rigour and try to practice it myself as often as possible. but when it is used for compensation of an absence in creativity, it gets old.

hueseph Tue, 02/06/2007 - 09:33
Well a lot of band like to superimpose "odd" time signatures into 4over4 time(Meshuggah, Tool). But Zeppelin actually used odd time. Try to play a 4/4 beat over "Four Sticks" (hehe). It ain't gonna happen. The intro to "Over the Hills and Far Away" is one of the most misplayed riffs ever. The timing is just difficult to nail.

One thing that I think has become more and more exploited is the fact that kids like to hear music being done by someone their own age. So, we have acts like Kisha Chante. The girl just turned 17. Granted this girl has some great songwriters backing her but there are numerous others who are just generated from a computer program. (Ah Disney! Is there anything they won't do?)

On the flipside, I think Newagers are big on Major add 9 chords.

moonbaby Tue, 02/06/2007 - 10:20
John Bonham was the king of syncopation, to be sure.And minor keys may indeed, be favored by the "youth", because minor keys tend to reflect a brooding emotional quality. And you have all these kids with their hormones and romantic fantasies running around getting their poor hearts broken.
That's a recipe for a minor-key song right there!
I've noted that it's quite different for contemporary Christian music, which seems to have mostly simple major keys. This tends to come off "pretty" and "happy". Screw 'em, I like unresolved diminisheds!

anonymous Tue, 02/06/2007 - 10:30
yeah zeppelin and pink floyd's - money. and i can't heavily comment on the drums, bonham and many other drummers did some really interesting things, a lot of times though it was still in the 4/4 feel which is what made an off timing drum beat sound so much more interesting. i don't find the timing aspects of over the hills all that complicated.

no doubt the mouseketeers or american idol is a pretty BS way to find music, people never cease to amaze me with their ignorance.

i guess by the add 9 chords you are referring to retro acts like the strokes?

anonymous Tue, 02/06/2007 - 11:24
i have played along with it, many times. the only difficulty in performing the song live is getting the heavier tone right after the acoustic intro. nothing that couldn't be done in a studio anyways. i'm sure page ignores things like that every night he plays. and i can't remember distinctly the attributes of the slide playing (or even if there is any i can't recall), but it might be somewhat challenging. although page's slide playing (ie what is and what should never be) isn't all too difficult.

i'm sorry i don't know what new-agers means, is that the four turtles who fight crime? i know what new wave is, but no luck with the other.

pr0gr4m Tue, 02/06/2007 - 15:13
Not that I disagree with anything here...but who/what are the artists/songs with the major chords that the youth don't listen to?

Is it the minor chords that attract the youth or the song material? Without making a wide sweeping generalization, song with minor chords, tend to be about things young people are experiencing.

****
Here's one I heard/read about that is neither age nor gender related but has to do with where you are from/live...

Europeans taste in dance (techno, trance, etc)music seems to not involve a snare drum while Americans yearn for the snare. From my experience and tastes, this is true. I've heard lots of European dance that doesn't have a snare or where the snare isn't really prevalent and I'm left wanting more. Then I hear some American dance and when the snare comes in on the 2 and 4 it's like a musical payoff. Without it, it just sounds like it's unfinished to me. Weird.

amishsixstringer Tue, 02/06/2007 - 22:10
Yooo...i was a teenager a couple years ago, and this is something I've been thinking about a lot lately as my own band is getting ready to step into a studio soon (not my own of course). I have found that minor keys seem to be more versitile in composition and yield more consonance. Inverted chords and 3rd in the bass sound better than in major keys. I do however love A major in a crazy way. I do agree though. I'm still pretty much a teenager, and I find that minor keys usually sound more appealing to me.


Neil

anonymous Tue, 02/06/2007 - 22:27
when you refer to european dance you mean synthetic snare right, same as in rap; sampled snare?

beethoven did use minor tonalities. bach didn't.

i would never say the minor progressions are more versatile than major progressions. that's a horrible thing to say. and often times i credit (for the most part) anyone who uses certain tones exclusively with having some sense of a narrow mind, and not well rounded enough to create interesting and diverse forms of musical expression. although there are certain cases like with nirvana or black sabbath where they still find ways to make the minor intervals interesting song after song. although one might not consider those particular bands to be all that versatile either.

anonymous Tue, 02/06/2007 - 23:51
moonbaby wrote: Mr. Page played pedal steel on that tune, not slide guitar. A whole different ball of wax. And anyone who can sit down with an instrument and make it look or sound easy is pretty good in my book.

Do I have to dig out my copy of Houses of the Holy? I don't recall any pedal steel on "Over the Hills and Far Away." A lap steel of some variety maybe...

I'd have to listen to it again, but my memory's not placing any pedal steel.

UncleBob58 Wed, 02/07/2007 - 10:59
I'm not so sure about the minor tonality allussions, but I know that the "universal" sound of rock (not rock'n'roll, however) is the power chord. It's sound and use has changed over the decades but it expresses the anger/angst of youth. It's all about the power chord payoff - Baba O'Reilly & Won't Get Fooled Again (The Who), Stairway to Heaven (Led Zeppelin), Rooster (Alice in Chains), Wake Me Up (When September Ends) [Green Day], add your own to the list.

Odd time signatures are fun.

The Ocean - Led Zep - Alternating 8/8 & 7/8
Four Sticks - Led Zep - 5/8 verse, 6/8 other parts (Just for fun, he played with two sticks in each hand, hence the name of the song.)
The Wait - The Pretenders - 7/8
Tarkus - ELP - 10/8
Money - Pink Floyd - 7/8
Lonely Street - Kansas - 11/8, a few 13/8 and the occasional 7/8


Bach didn't use minor tonalities? Are you nuts? Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, and Passacalia in C Minor are just two of the dozens of pieces in minor keys.

A fun discussion...



.

Cucco Wed, 02/07/2007 - 13:38
aqualand666 wrote: i was going along with what that other douchebag said, although when i think of bach i think of minuet in G major.


Uhhh...Aquafresh...seriously. Referring to folks as douchebags rather unprovoked, this is the kind of behavior you were warned about.

Besides, Demented was speaking (or typing) in a SARCASTIC manner. I would expect that you of all people would understand sarcasm.

PS -
Is that Klavier only well-tempered if major??

MadTiger3000 Wed, 02/07/2007 - 15:21
Cucco wrote:

PS -
Is that Klavier only well-tempered if major??

I had to find out!!!

From http://www.jimloy.com/physics/scale.htm :


Well tempering:

Near the beginning of the 18th Century, "well tempering" became popular. This was a little more complicated, in a way. But, every key became usable. And there were no wolves. There were several "well tempering" tuning schemes. Essentially, all octaves were pure. Keys related to C had nearly pure major thirds and fifths. Keys distant from C had much less pure sounds, but were not too bad. And the sequence, from a pure C triad to the impure distant triads, was gradual.

None of the scales or chords sounded bad. In fact every major and minor key sounded different. C sounded placid and fairly uninteresting. The more distant keys sounded more interesting. You might call some keys harsh, or agitated, or tense. And so, music could be written to suit the mood (or color) of each key.

Bach wrote the Well-Tempered Klavier, 48 prelude and fugues, two in each of the 12 major and 12 minor keys.

dementedchord Wed, 02/07/2007 - 15:31
aqualand666 wrote:
beethoven did use minor tonalities. bach didn't..

well actually bach did as well... sorry i cant find my analysis book of all the chorales from theory 101 or i could give you just a couple of instances...

dont you find it incredebly hard to sound erudite whilst not knowing of what you speak???

anonymous Wed, 02/07/2007 - 20:47
damn those are some cute ass little fun facts, didn't suspect the tuning of musical instruments to be embedded within the golden ratio/spiral as well!

how did pythagoreas do this, i thought fixed tuning instruments were barely around by the medieval period? quite interesting the mathematical representation of the tones. and the development of accidentals thereof. i'm sure you're aware that further solidification of accidentals were created out of avoidance for the tritone in gregorian church music.

cucco, when i ask questions its not like you just asked this one. you want to prove you know a thing or two about music theory? then reflect it on an instrument. too many big music theory buffs can express so little of what they know on their instrument that its not even funny. if this isn't descriptive of you then i am sorry. besides its not even as if the historical aspects of the development of music theory are any more than looking up a quick little fact sheet like this guy just did.

i thought you weren't about spec sheets? express these things on your instrument in a musically melodic fashion and discuss the psychoacoustics of the matter, hell you should be good at that. maybe just not so good at the reflective playing part? is that why you cling to institutions like music theory and engineering so tightly?

sorry about being wrong about what keys bach used. like i said i think of minuet in G and light and fluffy baroque music when i think of him, but yeah obviously he probably didn't play in strictly one manner. i'm not mr. joe classical man, and i'm sure as hell not trying to be. i can however play the 5th caprice by pagianini, i'll record it some time. actually the only classical things that i play are minuet in g, caprice, and dee - randy rhoads, that's about it, a few other licks here and there. it's not that i can't though. what do you play?

i would say that the beatles - black bird, and dee are both direct allusions to bach. and i believe they are both major and in the key of G. go figure.

p.s. Li Jie kicks ass

anonymous Wed, 02/07/2007 - 22:16
I've been told that teenagers seem to like songs with minor chords.

Personally I've been told a lot of things, when I was a teenager I was told that there were UFOs and big foot still stomped in the northwest. Kid's also like candy, sex, drugs, rock, roll, tatooes, body piercing, you name it, basically they have a perpensity for anything in bad taste. That's why they are kids, it comes with the territory. And ah, I don't make this stuff up, it's just the rules of the universe, if you want proof just wait a couple years you get all you need.
Anyway, whether kids like minor or major chords is a moot point, the real question you should be asking yourselfs is....."why am I thinking about this, and why don't I have better things in life to contemplate?"....and now my son, "go forth and mulitply" is not the edvice you should be concerned with or heeding at this point in your life until you have gotten' past this current minor issue, ah no poun intended !

hueseph Thu, 02/08/2007 - 15:38
aqualand666 wrote: i can however play the 5th caprice by pagianini, i'll record it some time.

Dude! That would be truly impressive. I personally would love to hear that and since it is only one piece, I think it would be fitting that you post it. You don't even have to do the whole thing. If you could cover the first two minutes, that would be more than impressive. It seems you have the gear to record it but even if it's not set up, a webcam version would do. We don't need to see your face. Youtube would work. I've bookmarked the search for Paganini 5th caprice. Just say when.

Cucco Thu, 02/08/2007 - 20:02
aqualand666 wrote:

cucco, when i ask questions its not like you just asked this one. you want to prove you know a thing or two about music theory? then reflect it on an instrument. too many big music theory buffs can express so little of what they know on their instrument that its not even funny. if this isn't descriptive of you then i am sorry. besides its not even as if the historical aspects of the development of music theory are any more than looking up a quick little fact sheet like this guy just did.

i thought you weren't about spec sheets? express these things on your instrument in a musically melodic fashion and discuss the psychoacoustics of the matter, hell you should be good at that. maybe just not so good at the reflective playing part? is that why you cling to institutions like music theory and engineering so tightly?

Okay....

You're welcome to pick on my engineering skills or call me a hack in that department all you'd like. I have no fragility to my engineering ego.

But........
let me make this clear.

Don't fuck with my horn playing.

If you would like to hear me perform and "apply" some of that music theory and "reflective playing" as you put it, you are welcome to attend ANY of the concerts that I perform in the DC metropolitan area. Hell, I'll pay your admission.

Up until this point, I have remained civil. Don't piss me off.


PS -
Sorry Dave...feel free to edit me if you'd like. :oops:

anonymous Fri, 02/09/2007 - 00:02
someone wrote (can't remeber now who)
Joe:

You shouldn't bite the hand that provides your forum. I think the topic's intent was to promote conversation. Which it has.

Well it certainly promote some (conversation) from me.......mission accomplished, just happy to do my part.

And I never bite anything unless I intend to eat it, and I would offer that up as advice, but I think it's pretty much common sense to most people by now.

And personally I haven't played a minor chord since I left puberty, but I wouldn't recommend that for everyone.
I heard diminished chords are for old people. Majors are for college students, and augmenteds are for the demented, but that is all just speculation and theory on my part presently.
I once wrote a song and offered a $10,000 reward for any person that could find the correct chord that would turn it into a master piece, to date no one has found the 'missing chord' and the work is still unpublished, I suspect it will be found someday after I am dead and I will be put in the same league as Beethoven or Frank Zappa. But I'm not going to wait around for that to happen. So I have now set about on a new challenge, I have written an A major chord and I am offering a $10,000 reward for anyone who can come up with a million dollar melody. Of course I will have to pay you after I sell the song for a million, to prove that indeed you did write a million dollar melody. I know that doesn't seem right, but those are the rules.
And of course only a fool couldn't guess why kids like minor chords....................because, because, altogether now because THEY ARE MINORS...get it, it's a joke.... :lol: :lol: :lol:

dementedchord Fri, 02/09/2007 - 14:31
"I once wrote a song and offered a $10,000 reward for any person that could find the correct chord that would turn it into a master piece, to date no one has found the 'missing chord' and the work is still unpublished"

well perhaps it was because the chord was already there... just poorly executed or perhaps the other chords were wrong....

JoeH Thu, 02/15/2007 - 21:30
FWIW: Most power chords have no obvious third interval in them....they're usually just root and fifth and octaves, all to get that proper "sound". (This way, it's neither major nor minor; the overtones rack up to something almost in-between, and combined with distortion, it's why they sound as ballsy as they do.)

As for well-tempered tuning, it's something any musician (2-minute wonders or not) should know about....it's about as basic a theory/revelation of the ages as the printing press was, or the invention of the electric light bulb.

Thankfully, the Water-boy is gone, and soon to be forgotten....good riddance, as well.

Cucco Fri, 02/16/2007 - 06:30
JoeH wrote: FWIW: Most power chords have no obvious third interval in them....they're usually just root and fifth and octaves, all to get that proper "sound". (This way, it's neither major nor minor; the overtones rack up to something almost in-between, and combined with distortion, it's why they sound as ballsy as they do.)
Thank you Aaron Copland for popularizing the Quintal and Quartal harmonies so sought after by the likes of Poison, AC/DC, and Def Lepard! :lol:

JoeH wrote:
As for well-tempered tuning, it's something any musician (2-minute wonders or not) should know about....it's about as basic a theory/revelation of the ages as the printing press was, or the invention of the electric light bulb.

Amen Joe! Preach on...

A musician not knowing the foudnations of music as presented to us by JS Bach is like a Christian not learning about Jesus Christ! (Not to equate music to a religion, nor to impose any such religion as that's not my bag baby...)

MadTiger3000 Fri, 02/16/2007 - 09:16
JoeH wrote: FWIW: Most power chords have no obvious third interval in them....they're usually just root and fifth and octaves, all to get that proper "sound". (This way, it's neither major nor minor; the overtones rack up to something almost in-between, and combined with distortion, it's why they sound as ballsy as they do.)

I would say that all power chords have no third. If it has a third, then it is just a good old fashioned major or minor triad. Good point about the overtone build-up. I learned that power chords were ambiguous in quality, and this explains why.

JoeH wrote:
Thankfully, the Water-boy is gone, and soon to be forgotten....good riddance, as well.

He was a Mr. Mxylplk if ever there was one.

anonymous Fri, 02/16/2007 - 10:25
cuccho wrote :

A musician not knowing the foudnations of music as presented to us by JS Bach is like a Christian not learning about Jesus Christ! (Not to equate music to a religion, nor to impose any such religion as that's not my bag baby...)

You might want to rethink that statement. Some of the most influencial musicians of our time, we're complete void of music theory. Who can show use their music prowess and name some ?
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