Saturday, March 9, 2013

once there was a secret chord

When SB was a young student at Colorado Academy, Mrs. Jordan, the music teacher, once discussed minor and major key composition.  Similar music composed in minor keys and major keys had different effects, with minor key music seeming to be darker while major keys gave off brighter attributes.  Since I was booted from the music room following a series of failures with the recorder (I still swear it was because my little fingers couldn't cover the holes and not because I am musically retarded) I never advanced to a music class that would have taught this to me.

Which is why I was blown away by the recent NPR All Things Considered Podcast, Can You Make Sad Songs Sound Happy (And Vice Versa)?, which discussed how Oleg Berg took several samples of popular music and changed the inverted the keys.  Suddenly Hey Jude became strangely peppy and Losing My Religion was downright happy (if you didn't pay too much attention to the words).

You can download and listen to the podcast from the NPR page.  

SB and I were so tickled by the weirdness of our favorite songs in inverted keys that we had to look up Mr. Berg on Youtube for more.  He has a page called MajorVsMinor on the site.  We had a giggle over the inverted Another Brick in the Wall but we really lost it trying to sing along to the new Beat It by Michael Jackson.  SB, who sings nicely, was intrigued by how his head tried to adjust to singing in a different chord while I, without a beautiful singing voice, couldn't hit a note out of every four.  In the end I'm not even sure if SB was laughing at the weirdly familiar yet strange music or my attempts to sing along.  Mr. Berg should make a karaoke edition of these songs; I would love to mess with a couple of my die-hard, way too serious, karaoke singing friends.  Their heads would explode.

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