The Psychology of Keys in Music, (from the Musea Vaults)

K-E-Y-S

Can knowing the key of the music tell you what the music will be like? WE THINK SO! Does it matter what type of music? (Excluding atonal) WE THINK NOT! Take a look at the list, then compare for yourself. Check Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier, Chopin’s Preludes, or my own Bagatelle Variations – each set has compositions in each of the major and minor keys. Note Masculine keys = A-G, Feminine keys = Ab, Bb, C#, Eb, and F#. Self keys Ab-Bb, Sociable C#-G and B (with C a mix of both). Lightest key is Bb, heaviest E.

A: Reserved, conservative, prudish, domineering, intelligent, shrewd self-centered, closed, color deep-red, bullish, narrow, Bachian, stern, haughty. (see F#m)

Am: Brooding, brutal, uncomplicated, angry, pouting, self-centered, primal, 2nd most powerful minor, childlike, selfish, self-oriented, spoiled (C).

Bb: Gentle, wistful, energetic, brisk, bright, musing, reasonable, youthful, quick, contemplative, cool, light blue, reflective, dry, airy. (Gm)

Bbm: Airy, action restrained, windy, conventional front, frustrated, restricted, wanting to escape from formalities, youth restrained, sociable, deceiving, flattering, crafty, suffocating, entertaining, longing for freedom, theatrical, polite, energetic, regretful (C#)

B: Independent, futuristic, hopeful, inner peace, pleasant, liquid, wintry humanitarian, healthy, mature, fresh, self-satisfied, dark blue, enlightened, content, open, strong, optimistic. (Abm)

Bm: Agitated, guarded, scary, independent, liquid, airy, weird, aquamarine blue, offbeat, perverted, disturbing, medium (not heavy or lite), insane, worried. (D)

C: Active, angelic, basic, not embroidered, plebian, all-encompassing, straightforward, honest, heavenly, creme white or beige, common, sincere, solid, self-expressive, unpretentious, constructive, hardworking. (Am)

Cm: Brooding, tragic, solid, anguish, heavier than C#m, lighter than Em, more evolved than Am, passionate, expressive, moving, active (Eb)

C#: reasonable, facile, polished, cosmopolitan, polite, refined, sophisticated, show-off-y, wise, intelligent, understanding, sociable, wanderlust-ful, people-oriented, achieving, pure white, civilized, fashionable. (Bbm)

C#m: Profound, darkest most intense and introspective minor, heart-
rendering, refined, purest white light, orgiastic, sublime, ethereal, not of this world, subtle, beyond reason, cathartic, enlightened, graceful,

Nirvana (E).

D: Proud, royal, trumpet-like, regal, sunny, boastful, powerful, crisp, bright, haughty, kingly, active, questing, chivalric, yellow, ceremonial, rousing, stately. (Bm)

Dm: Tempestuous, stormy, most aggressive minor, active, rumbling, forceful, lofty, moody, dynamic, haughty, revengeful, stirring, energetic, theatrical, nature-like, windy. (F)

Eb: Hospitable, most sociable of all keys, charitable, pale yellow, charming, luxurious, compassionate, yielding, fun, gentle, generous, open, cultivated, lighthearted, understanding, sophisticated, entertaining, party like, melancholy, warm, philanthropic. (Cm)

Ebm: Melancholy, light, girlish, open, sentimental, mystical, wizard like, innocent, petulant, warm, remorseful (F#)

E: Powerful, heavy, grand, robust, dynamic, stout, open, substantial, charismatic, dominant, watery, emotional, paradise like, moving, strong, gold, most powerful and heaviest key, frank, honest. (C#m)

Em: Powerful, anguish, inner darkness, despair, brooding, emotional, sweeping, tragic, dramatic, heavy, depressive, angst, open, lushful, moody, the heaviest minor, passionate, strong feeling. (G).

F: Pastoral, bucolic, dry, simple, pleasant, calming, restful, light, busy, earthy, at ease, soothing, green, not pretentious, peaceful, country like (Dm).

Fm: Sparkling, dark, busy, dry, earthy, nervous, quick, not heavy, hardworking, natural, not pretentious, mournful, sad (Ab).

F#: Playful, childish, sweet, cloying, wimpy, youthful, clinging, mischievous, dry, virginal, spooky, frightening. (Ebm)

F#m: Childlike, spooky, dark, crafty, hidden, mischievous, sullen, suspicious, secretive, frightened, fluttering, closed, plotting. (A)

G: Joyful, jovial, fun, friendly, regal, dry, solid, frolicking, sincere, moving, grand, honest, frank, unpretentious,, graceful, manly, broad, sweeping. (Em)

Gm: Active, passionate, optimistic, stirring, graceful, youthful, honest, understanding, longing, the most romantic minor, light but solid. (Bb)

Ab: Nebulous, feminine, hopeful, full of faith, solid, sturdy, unreal, maternal, motherly, emotional, excited, imaginative, intuitive, feeling, optimistic, girlish, giddy, not practical, instructive, the key of faith and hope, full of expectations. (Fm)

Abm: Fear, terror, haunted, hopeful, solid, full of faith, full of expectations, worrying, crying, feminine, helpless, dreading, filled with danger. (B).

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