On Now

Music Through The Night®
Scott Blankenship
Listen to the Stream
  • What Sweeter Music; Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day 1:06 Christmas Music
    Trinity Choir
    Brian Jones
    Buy Now
  • Images: Reflets dans l'eau (Reflections in the Water) 1:01 Claude Debussy
    Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano
    Buy Now
Playlist

You can now listen to Classical and Choral Music on your iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad) or Android device.

Blog Archive

January 2007
S M T W T F S
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31      


Master Archive

Contact Us

Purchase the Music

  • Buy the music you've heard on-air! Your purchase helps support our classical service.
    ArkivMusic

Services

Classical Notes

D Is for Dark

Posted at 4:49 PM on January 5, 2007 by Rex Levang (6 Comments)

A while back, a listener contacted us about something that we had said on the air. We had referred to a certain key as "dark," and the question was, Just what does that mean?

Fair question, and the best response I could come up with is that "dark," in music, is often used to describe minor keys, and low-pitched instrumentation. Describing music is a tricky business, once you get past adjectives like "loud" and "soft," and I can understand why announcers and writers would use whatever creative means are available to try to convey the mostly non-verbal experience of music in words.

But calling music "dark" is modest, in comparison with some of the extravagant images and associations devised by musicians of the past in order to describe the different key signatures.

E-flat major is the key of love and devotion, according to one commentator. According to another, it is cruel and hard. D-flat major cannot laugh, but it can smile. E minor is like "a maiden robed in white with a rose-red bow on her breast." For still others, keys evoke colors. E major is green, according to Rimsky-Korsakov; or yellow, according to Amy Beach.

Reactions such as the above -- often contradictory, so you've been warned -- have been compiled on this fascinating Web page.


Comments (6)

Poor Air Quality Threatens Our Health

Posted by blind gay sex | January 11, 2008 2:18 PM


Good day
http://peugeot-expert.100freemb.com/index1.html# >porsche 993 [url=http://peugeot-expert.100freemb.com/index1.html#]porsche 993[/url]

Posted by casinox | January 13, 2008 5:11 AM


Hello
Tramadol site map
> [url=Tramadol site map
][/url]

Posted by kilonson | January 28, 2008 5:25 AM


hi
http://stock-market-investing.fatfreehost.com/index9.html# >viagra online [url=http://stock-market-investing.fatfreehost.com/index9.html#]viagra online[/url]

Posted by asertino | January 31, 2008 2:45 AM


Hello
http://daimlerlimousine.100freemb.com/index5.html# >boston maybach [url=http://daimlerlimousine.100freemb.com/index5.html#]boston maybach[/url]

Posted by vasyapupkin | February 13, 2008 1:52 PM


hi
http://mercedes-benz-slr.100freemb.com/index8.html# >fort lauderdale isuzu [url=http://mercedes-benz-slr.100freemb.com/index8.html#]fort lauderdale isuzu[/url]

Posted by vasyapupkin | February 15, 2008 12:04 PM