I was quite recently introduced to Pandora Radio, and what a box of delights it truly is! I now have over 50 “stations” containing streams of my favourite kinds of music from my favourite artistes. Yes, I truly am an eclectic magpie in everything I do 😄.
Anyhow, as I was driving along today, listening to one of my favourite genres, Epic Themes, it suddenly occurred to me just why I love that kind of music. By Epic I mean the kind of music that stirs your emotions, makes your heart beat faster, makes you want to get out there and fight for what’s right. I mean the sountracks of films about the triumphs of the human spirit over adversities and adversaries.
Music like the soundtracks of Transformers, Gladiator, Batman. Thumping basslines and incessant drums. But most importantly, the majority of these tracks are in the Minor key.
When I was growing up, my piano teacher used to tell me to think of music wtitten in the Minor keys as “sounding sad”. I don’t consider any Music as sad or happy, each harmonic progression is like a different colour or timbre, a subtle nuance or jarring juxtaposition from one frame to the next. Some progressions are so tried and tested that they’re quite predictable…and then along comes one that throws you off kilter and takes you into a whole different realm altogether.
I guess the reason I love Epic Themes is Because they tend to wallow in the Minor keys, building up the tension and angst…and then suddenly, right at the peak, it changes into the sweetest Major chord progression you’ve ever heard. Done right, it’s like the parting of clouds in the sky, and a choir of angels appearing. Done right, that simple switch from Minor to Major can even be achieved by a single sustained high note.
It’s the sound of Victory. And to me, the Minor keys are our struggle and strife in this world, and the Major keys are our small triumphs and breakthroughs.
And the hardest-won victories are the sweetest. Some people are born with a silver spoon in their mouths, and never have to struggle. More often though, we are born not of the Purple Circle, not the Chosen Ones, not the Favoured Few. Those who have never experienced hardship, disappointment or struggle, will not be able to understand what I mean by hard-won victories tasting sweeter.
(Image source: Pinterest)