For this blog post, let’s assume that you the reader have had at least a few music lessons in your life. You struggled through learning your scales and always wondered why it was necessary. Sharps and flats are confusing and useless! Why can’t everything just be in the key of C?
Well – it turns out there are a lot of good reasons for the various keys, but it is certainly beyond a simple blog post to begin discussing them. There is one very interesting reason, however, that is perfect for guiding the new composer who wants everything to be just right. Many musical experts will tell you that each key has its own “mood.” In fact, there are charts created by composers from way back in the middle ages that assign different moods to different keys.
Did you know that the key of C major, for example, depicts a childlike nature, and is simple and innocent? At the same time, the key of C minor is supposed to be perfect for love-sickness and lamenting a broken relationship. The key of F major calms the soul with a peaceful feel, but the key of F minor is more for funeral marches and groans of misery!
What is truly amazing about this theory is that the most famous songs in history usually fall into their place on the chart perfectly. Do you remember “Do-Re-Mi” from the Sound of Music? (Of course you do!) That simple children’s song was written in the key of C! The key of D major is supposed to cause feelings of triumph and rejoicing. Can you think of some songs written in this key? How about Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus?
When you get a chance, do a quick internet search for keys and their moods. You will be surprised at how consistent the various charts are. And the next time you start to write a song, carefully consider what key it will be written in. Don’t write your wedding song in the key of C minor!
Candid Brilliance Music