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Major vs Minor

Do you prefer a Major or Minor key signature?  

1 member has voted

  1. 1. Do you prefer a Major or Minor key signature?

    • Major
      10
    • Minor
      37
    • I like atonal music
      7
    • I'm not 100% sure
      14


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Just wondering what percentage of composers prefer writing in major vs minor key signatures. I know I definately prefer writing music in a minor key, even though I think it is more difficult to write for, I just like the dark/mysterious side of things ;) That doesn't mean to say I never write in a major key - it's just sometimes music in a major key seems to me to be too "nice" or "sickly sweet". Which do you prefer?

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It depends on the piece I think. I've surprised myself a couple of times by ending pieces that started in brooding minor in a brilliant major.

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I'm partial to minor, now that I understand how to work the melodic minor scale.

I kind of was hitting a rut though, I was focusing too much on minor... when major is nice. It's hard for me to write major key music that doesn't sound super sweet and happy... probably should use some minor chords in the major key...

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True, but it floats in and out, confusing the listener as to which it actually is. :-)

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This seems like a gross simplification of harmonic language possibilities. Are we talking about plain ol' common practice tonality, because that hasn't really been in vogue since the mid 1800s. I mean, harmony has evolved SO much, composers have so much they can utilize in their harmonic vocabulary. I don't think I've written a key signature in anything I've written in quite a few years now. I know the majority of music I play and have studied that's been written in the past 100 years isn't exactly bound my key signatures (of course there are many exceptions, but we all know much the shackles of common practice tonality were shaken away). The term "atonal" is thrown around way to easily on this site without any real explanation of what they mean.

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True, but it floats in and out, confusing the listener as to which it actually is. :-)

Exactly.

Which is why I don't even bother with key signatures. What you call 'quartal/quintal' I expect you're just using a more modal theory, where key is irrelevant...

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Guest QcCowboy
I prefer the minor, and I also prefer people not to be dinks and request a more complete poll.

I prefer people to not be dinks and berate others for remarking that the poll is essentiall incomplete as it does not reflect the reality of composition in the 21st century.

There is tonal music that is neither major nor minor. Mine happens to fit into that slot: modally ambiguous, which is not to be confused with morally ambiguous, which might be a better description of me?

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Perhaps a better question would be:

Do you prefer harmony that is [predominantly] major, or minor [in effect]?

As for tonal music, I prefer major keys - more useful, and the use of the minor has a greater effect and contrast when used in a major key piece.

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Well, there are perfectionist dinks, and there are dinks who would rather not make a big deal out of everything and just give a simple opinion from the options granted in an informal poll...

And dinks like me who are just dinks.

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Stinky-dinky-rink-a-link-fink. Kinky-mink-pink-a-wink-slinky-tinky-sink-a-zink! Wheeeee :toothygrin: :laugh:!!!

:blink:...ok, now that I got that out of my system....I'm currently in a rather modal mode, but leaning towards "major feelings". As mentioned before, though, I like to make things ambiguous :D.

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Personally, I prefer minor tonality; much more intriging. But when I do write in major it has to sickeningly happy, like funk or rag or something. However, major tonality can create great contrast in a predominantly minor peice, and is much harder to pull off than minor in a major peice.

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Guest Anders

I like modality, and atonality. Lately i've been writing strict (free) twelve tone music as well as barbaric modal music with an emphasis on the kvint and the kvart. :toothygrin: What I really want to do is to integrate the two somehow...

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At the moment I'm into modality, and tone rows, and anything else that's not common practice that still sounds good :w00t:

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Wow, I am really surprised at the results of this poll. Looks like most people hate major keys. Maybe we're all miserable bastards or something? :sadtears:

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Like I said before, being happy is so boring.

Actually, considering that, maybe that is why I am such a pessimist.

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I've found that when I'm happy I write sad music, and vice versa, so if we extended from my experience, it means people are happier in general.

But that's a stupid extension to make.

Writing sad music in the major mode is a real challenge - can you do it?

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I've found that when I'm happy I write sad music, and vice versa, so if we extended from my experience, it means people are happier in general.
HA! The same thing happens to me. (or used to) :)

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Guest QcCowboy

I've heard a lot of people say that, about the happy/sad thing.

I find that often when I work on a "sad" piece of music (or one that is particularly "dramatic", maybe) I will often ALSO work on a lighter, more frivolous work at the same time.

So the Scherzo for strings, same time as a VERY heavy song cycle for baritone and piano.

The harpsichord concertino (REALLY frivolous work), same time as both the "Dance of Untruth" and an earlier "sinfonia da requiem" (since withdrawn).

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