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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

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...)

Pro Audio Guest Fri, 02/23/2007 - 10:32
After 40 some years of playing with people...........
I've clearly noticed that people who have some sense of theory are easier to communicate ideas with, especially in rehersal. This is a good thing !
I've also noticed the musicians who put to much creedence into theory tend to be un-stylistic. (I'm not speaking for classical or jazz players) Because they tend to approach their music with a sense of theory not style.
For example, generaling speaking now, I know there are exceptions, theory/scale type players don't make good blues players, they tend to play blues scales, their playing seems to lack a repitore of standard blues licks or how to build around them. It's like they memorized the dictionary but they don't know how to put the words together to saying anything meanfull, for the novice blues listener they can be very impressed by these scale type players, with their fingers flying up and down the board, but for seasoned blues players/listeners.....they want to hear you play the blues not run your fingers over blues scales.
Is it good to know all the theory ? You bet...........but I've seen to many people get to steeped and side tracked with it, to the detrement of their own playing. Once again were taking, blues,country,folk, rock type music, I'm not speaking to classical, jazz, I can't it's not my background, well actually I did study classical music, and actually I do remember my teacher say........."at some point you have to forget all that stuff and just play"............and he was of a carrnige hall, world class player.

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:

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.

Pro Audio Guest 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:

Pro Audio Guest 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 ?

BrianaW Fri, 02/29/2008 - 16:19
dementedchord wrote: liquid dude... perhaps it's time to move outta mom's basement ... get a job... and save the world while you still know everything....

Man... why does everyone have to get so nasty about people who still live with thier parents? :oops: :D

Punk (real punk?) seems to be mostly major. I know, I listen to a lot of it. Are all of the kids still listening to GG Allin? :wink: Goth (a style I also love) is way minor. I enjoy the minor keys more because I love that darker sound and I'm 32. Not dark like evil, but dark like he first stated... mysterious and eeire. Moonlight Sonata is one of the most minor things I've ever heard... right? But obviously, that composer thing doesn't need any further debate. Did it even need it in the first place? :shock:

Emo does have a horrible stigma attached to it because by the time it hit the big market, there were already a ton of sellout bands doing it. Jets to Brazil, and Sunny Day Real Estate are both considered Emo and are actually pretty good. It's just the same thing as calling Sum 41 punk rock, or Marilyn Manson Gothic. The new bands are cartoon imitations of the originators as always. I'm not an "Emo", but I do really feel that title was created by a bunch of bands trying to sound like the bands I mentioned above (who at the time were original). Which is sad because that was the beauty of it in the beginning... you knew you were getting something completely honest.

Back on topic... I think the real trick is jumping back and forth between the 2 (major and minor) in the same song. In my opinion, this is one of the many things that made The Beatles so amazing. I would guess that the reason major is used in most punk music is because the first thing people usually learn is the major scale (as far as theory is concerned)... either that or it's the minor pentatonic. Am I just writing in circles without making a point here? Yeah, I guess so... But then again.... No, wait... yeah, I am.

Cucco Fri, 02/16/2007 - 11:46
JoeJoeMan wrote: 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 ?

Hey JoeJoeMan...

1st, it's not TOO hard to spell my name right. At worst, you could highlight and hit ctrl-c then ctrl-v.

2nd, I stand firm by my statement. The following artists all are "influencial" (arguably the MOST influential of the 20th century) and all of them had music training to some degree.

Miles Davis
Ramsey Lewis
Elvis Presley
Michael Jackson
James Brown
John Lennon
Billy Joel
Aretha Franklin
Sting
Paul Simon
Paul McCartney
Elton John
Freddie Mercury

Furthermore, the folks responsible for recording most of these individuals are well versed (pun kind of intended) in Bach. He is the FATHER of music as we know it. (When the angels listen to music, they listen to Mozart. When God listens to music, he listens to Bach.)

Personally, I don't consider an individual "talented" or "influential" without the credentials of at least some background. In fact, I would refer to them as lucky hacks if they are so fortunate as to land a record deal without it. (Or more specifically in this day and age - GOOD LOOKING, untalented hacks.)

I test your musical knowledge and ask you to identify someone who is strongly influential in music who did not have a background which included some education on Bach. BTW - neither the Pussycat Dolls nor the Spice Girls count.

J

MadTiger3000 Fri, 02/16/2007 - 11:57
JoeJoeMan wrote: 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 ?

TGIF, folks.

I wanted to go about this somewhat systematically, since there are so many.

I Googled up the info for most influential artists (I am using the all-encompassing term "Rock" to describe quite a few styles).

http://www.concertlivewire.com/top10in.htm

Using the above list, and Wikipedia entries, etc. as bio information, we see that out of the top ten,

The Beatles
- John - no; Paul - yes - son of pro musician, minimal classical training; George - no; Richard (Ringo) - hell, no

Bonus:

Stuart (Stu) - uh, no. He was a gifted artist, and was Hollywood in his looks, but no serious musical threat.

Peter (Pete) - I don't think so! His momma owned a basement club in town, so it may have been a "pick me 'cause it's my ball/PA thing."

Bob Dylan - no, unless his guitar lessons in college included classical
Jimi Hendrix - No formal music education, but you know what's up. Don't mess.
Kraftwerk - YES - two of them met at an arts school
The Velvet Underground - surprisingly, no. Read up on Lou's Wikipedia, though. It is interesting.
The Sex Pistols - hahahahahahahahahahaahahahahhahahahahahahhaha
Elvis - think Justin Timberfake, but with more talent. He was the first to make serious money on that type of hustle. No classical music training. He hung out on the other side of the tracks at the clubs and joints, and respectfully learned the craft.
Dr. Dre - Read the Wikipedia if you don't know anything about hip hop's history. Only then will you be able to appreciate his contribution, and place on this list. He is studying classical NOW, because he has some film projects lined up, and he wants to do some scoring.

Eddie Van Halen - YES. The most solid out of any of the top ten, or second to Kraftwerk's members. He WON classical piano competitions as a kid, and only devoted himself to guitar later. The old bass player in his group studied music in college.
David Bowie - did his love and original choice of vocation, the sax, include classical studies? hmmmm

Did you know? - Duncan Zowie Heywood Jones, his son by first wife, Angie, went to the same undergrad as I did, but two years later (The College of Wooster). I feel privileged to have attended a school were people who have the money to pay for any school in the world would go. *sniff*

Anyway, there you have it.

TuBlairy Fri, 02/23/2007 - 15:00
Cucco wrote:
Let's not forget Shostakovich 5, 7 and 9...

Caution: Before listening, put AWAY the vodka and hide your sharp cutlery!

IIRs wrote:
You say "all aspects of music" and then go on to name a rather limited selection in my opinion. Where is the folk music in that list, or the country or the blues? What about reggae? Minimalist techno? You don't have to LIKE the music... ;)

Ya, I keep thinking how ‘Bitches Brew’ and 4’33” are so similar! It's cool how you demean someone's broad illustration of musical styles by offering an extremely small selection of music which is all derived from the same roots: folk and liturgical. Is this a new reductionist approach?

IIRs wrote:
My maths lessons equiped me to understand microtonal tunings better than my music lessons did, as an example. Thats another thing that classical musicians have all but done away with, in the west at least!

Scriabin, I mean, pardon? Ever heard of this thing called the 'string quartet' where a G-sharp is not the same thing as an A-flat? (Don't even mention double flats or sharps). The use of "microtonal tuning" is so standardized it's not even mentioned as such. Its simply referred to as 'tuning', playing 'in tune' or, more often than not, 'out of tune.' Almost every instrument needs to tune based on key and alter tunings during a performance. It takes years of practice train one’s ear to hear the tunings and the psycho-motor reflex involved in pulling it off as a successful execution in performance.

JoeJoeMan wrote:
I do remember my teacher say........."at some point you have to forget all that stuff and just play"

Amen, but, as he or she mentioned, “at some point.” My opinion is that the process is cyclical: learn, practice, play. I think the ‘play’ part should be in public – even if it’s for friends and family. Having said this, I find that many guys I’ve ‘jammed’ with refuse to do steps one or two and as a result can offer very little. If you can’t play, please, get the hell off the stage.

In fairness to the original question, “Do teenagers like minor chords?” I think it is intentionally open-ended can only lead to a meandering argument such as this one. I think that people ‘like’ minor tonality at a fundamental level. Not sure whether this is purely either learned or innate. I wrote a shitload of kids songs a while back. Tried to make the songs as diverse as possible, used classical, jazz, blues, latin, rap, etc., styles. The kids’ favorite of the 73 songs is “Jungle Animals” which has a similar groove and harmony to “Dirty Deeds.” Pure 8ves and 5ths in the natural minor. Come to think of it, is there anything as sweet as a big Am power chord feeding back through the stack of your choice with your favorite guitar?

JoeH Fri, 02/16/2007 - 12:45
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 ?

Perhaps.

There are of course exceptions to every rule, and each case is different.

Some of our greatest musical treasures have had no reading or theory ability (Paul McCartney for one) while others are a double or triple threat, in that they were schooled as well as cosmically inspired. (Duke Ellington comes to mind...ever try to cut some of HIS charts???) I'm a die hard Beatles fan, and I doubt they'd be what they ended up being if they were forced into schools. But McCartney certainly knows what he's missing, and he had no qualms hiring an "Interpreter/scorer" for his "Standing Stone" Oratorio. (Which admittedly, sank pretty quickly not long after its release....) Others like Sting and Billy Joel, even Elton John, are musicians who know both and flip between the two when it's needed.

I CAN tell you from my own personal experience, that it's often two separate and distinct parts of the brain that work when reading music vs. feeling it, or playing by wrote. There are advantages/disadvantages to each.

I prefer to play by feel, but I can also sightread, (or at least read, nowadays - I'm a little rusty!) and I'm classically trained on piano. There have always been moments when I flip between the two systems in my head - memory vs. reading, and it can be tricky...kind've like the way a car feels when you're driving on a street with old trolley tracks. The tracks can pull you along automatically (like sight reading) but it takes a little effort -a pull on the steering wheel, let's say - to get you out of the tracks and onto the street on your own path (playing by feel). Either one will get you there, but you have to be careful during difficult music to navigate the two.

Many classical musicians (not all of course!) sight-read only, and cannot - even with a gun to their heads - play off-the-cuff or improvise by ear. (Tell them they've got the solo in the middle section of a twelve bar blues in E, and they're liable to sh*t a brick, asking you: well, where's the score?!?!?!)

Many other musicians only play by feel: Boogie bands, blues, rock, pop, and just about anything else you can name. Those people always have plenty of reasons (excuses?) why they don't read, or don't want to, or never learned to read - something about it messing with their "Feel" or whatever, but I don't necessarily buy into that. (I think it's more fear or laziness, but that's just me....) It's true for some, maybe 25% or so, but certainly not all.

Reading music & knowing the theory helps diverse musicians connect much more quickly in professional environments. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Sure, you can take a week to learn a band's repertoire by memory - all in order to play one pickup gig with them, or you can read from a book in a 3 hr rehearsal the day of the gig. (In Jazz, pop, etc., plenty of folks do just that!) And what happens the night that your lead vocalist suddenly decides to drop his or her signature hit song (The one with all those complex changes) a half step lower, because their vocal chords aren't cutting it anymore? Want to tell them you don't know the theory involved in THAT process?

I've been on countless gigs where a soundcheck doubles as a rehearsal while new players - or day hires - learn the charts, and the bandleader simply tweaks the little things, like sight cues, tempo, etc. Many many Jazz ensembles these days touring the college circuit and 500-1000 seat venues are all playing from charts. (The Berkley crowd and the "Uptown" Jazz crowd are fiercely competitive, and very heavy-hitters. You don't read? You won't work...) I just recorded a live gig with the Brian Blade Fellowship, and everyone (Brian included) was reading charts for this particular gig.

I don't think the learning process ever stops for the truly talented, and all but the most closed-off folks still want to refine their skills and learn new things.

Yeah, Well Tempered, indeed. That's just the start, kiddo. Anyone out there in "The biz" who doens't know what this term means, or where it came from, should really shut the help up and go - as fast as you can - to the nearest research engine and woodshed on the term.

Seriously, you oughta be embarassed otherwise.

Davedog Fri, 02/16/2007 - 14:29
I was gonna make a bunch of smart-assed remarks involving teenagers and what attracts them other than minor chord angst, but since we've moved this into the realm of readin,ritein,an rithmatic I thunk I outta respond.

First a history of Dog. "Yeah, I used ta read dat stuff but it screwed up my feel. " ( this has to be so surreal to a bunch of us!! mainly cause it feels TRUE)....Anyway, I played in band and orchestra as a wee laddie, clarinet (2nd chair....sue me I'm lazy) tuba (first chair...no one else wanted the job) The occasional tympani part (ever notice that these are back by the tuba section?) and really ANY instrument I could get a week or so with and could get a scale or two out of.

Its not an ego thing....it just is what it is.

In one of my college trys ( sue me again, girls like college guys in rock bands) I played in the Jazz Lab Band. I was, by this time, a seasoned pro player. I played bass, mostly, but when I went to audition for the Lab Band, the instructor asked me not to try for the bass but for the guitar. This was a Lab Band which didnt even have a guitar chart, and he had a young kid coming in on scholarship for the bass. So I did. Loved it.

My point.....I knew how to read. Once I read the part ONCE I never looked at it again. Ever. It got so I could simply hear the part and reproduce it. Busted many times in orchestra rehearsals....."Mr. Dog, could you please give us the first two bars after 39 on your sheet please......" "Uh, I dont have my sheet with me......uh .....sir...." "Thank you Mr. Dog. Could you please wait out in the hall till class is dismissed..."

But being in the Lab Band WITHOUT charts and simply relying on my knowledge of how things go and blending it with the music being presented, brought me to a new realization and freed my mind from the boundaries of the written note.

Anybody buying this? Didnt think so. Yeah sue me... I'm lazy and just never used that part of my vocabulary as it related to music.

I dont practice either. Lazy.

So...Trained as a musician formally. Learned as an ear player. Liked it better. Forgot how to read. Oh dont get me wrong...I could muddle through a chart with some time involved but I'm never gonna be in that field of expertise so why bother.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT>>> Kids, dont listen to your old Uncle Dog...Stay in school and learn about how music works!

dementedchord Fri, 02/16/2007 - 15:53
[quote="JoeH
Reading music & knowing the theory helps diverse musicians connect much more quickly in professional environments. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Sure, you can take a week to learn a band's repertoire by memory - all in order to play one pickup gig with them, or you can read from a book in a 3 hr rehearsal the day of the gig. (In Jazz, pop, etc., plenty of folks do just that!) And what happens the night that your lead vocalist suddenly decides to drop his or her signature hit song (The one with all those complex changes) a half step lower, because their vocal chords aren't cutting it anymore? Want to tell them you don't know the theory involved in THAT process?.
there it is.... i can walk into any "jam session" and given a few minutes to collect ideas come up with a set... or sit down at my keys with their book and play with pretty much anyone...

also one of the things that bothers me is the idea that theory imposes rules to the point of stffling creativity.... the idea that you dont play music you construct little "boxes"... nuthin could be further from the trueth... think of it like learning any other language... (and yes it is a language...to quote stravinski "music is a language too specific for words...") what you can say in french is determined by your vocabulary.... similarly theory doesnt tell me what to play it simply increases my options....

so make up your mind... do you want to "sound french" or speak it????

hueseph Fri, 02/16/2007 - 16:09
Some great points all around. I totally agree that understanding theory expands the possibilities.

You can't break the rules till you know them. And if you do it without knowing them it's by accident. But, if you can knowingly break the rules at will and get away with it, hey, now there's a neat trick.

I only wish I could read as well as I hear. It takes me an hour(usually more) to get through a page of score. I know the notes on the staff but applying it to a guitar is another thing all together. Piano, much simpler to understand.

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

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....

Pro Audio Guest Sat, 03/10/2007 - 12:06
IMHO, i believe it to be more of a social conditioning rather than preference based on age/maturity level. In our society it may be that songs with minor chords are more favorable to a larger audience in youth, because of the very evolution of the music scene. IE influential band with a new style/message type becomes popular, than all the other "me too" bands emerge, which is quickly picked up, and develops upon that.

Social conditioning would explain why some types of music are prevalent in certain areas (like the post regarding snares in US dance, but not so much in Euro). Also why 95% of the bars here in South-Eastern Missouri play a mix of Country and HipHop, or Country Hip Hop and 70s rock. (a blend of which is something I'll never understand).

Conditioning also caused by Corporations (that sounded hippie-esque) as the town i grew up in, was blasted by advertisements of a paticular pop-metal (as i call it) station, and that's what most of the kids listened too. Since I grew up outside of town, I (thankfully) didn't have the opportunity to be 'cool' by listening to what my friends listened to, and I was probably the only 12 year old listening to Counting Crows.

Just my thoughts

Oh yeah.. hi! first post!
john

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