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Brightness - Printable Version

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Brightness - Otto Halmén - 11-18-2016

I stumbled upon this video, and immediately thought about sharing it here.

Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rEqrPwVITY

The whole concept of brightness was, to me, an eye-opener. This is something I wish they had taught in the ten years of classical music theory that I endured as a kid. Frankly, I have no idea why they didn't. It seems like such a fundamental aspect of music. It certainly provides a much deeper meaning to modes than the casual "phrygian sounds kind of arabic" and "dorian and mixolydian sound kind of celtic" that you might otherwise settle with, especially if you're learning about music theory on your own.

Well, better late than never. Smile


RE: Brightness - Michael Willis - 11-18-2016

Wow, thanks for this. For years I wished that there was some way for me to get any real music theory classes. Beyond knowing music notation and basic major and minor scales and chords, most of the rest that I know is from self teaching, mostly just by ear. I knew phrygian by figuring it out by ear years before I learned it had a name. I've often felt that I still lack a more fundamental understanding of the relationships between notes in harmonies, so this is a great puzzle piece to fill in one of the many gaps in my knowledge.


RE: Brightness - Nayrb - 11-19-2016

Very useful, you might even say enlightening(!). Definitely bookmarked for later so that I can apply my minuscule brains to it more thoroughly.

I love the little Simpsons clip he threw in, too.


RE: Brightness - Otto Halmén - 11-20-2016

This makes me wonder what else is left untold. Now I can't escape the feeling that there could be a ton of really obvious musical observations that I've missed out on. I still remember randomly realising that the note names are alphabetical. Here in Finland, they taught us C, D, E, F, G, A, and H (in that order), and I had the aha-moment only when I transitioned to the international system.


RE: Brightness - Samulis - 11-21-2016

I remember one time I was writing a piece and I just couldn't find the right chord... I needed something "brighter" than major. I ended up learning about temperaments as a result, but looking back, I realize what I was probably looking for was secondary dominants.

In the music of the 18th and 19th century, a certain series of temperaments (the 'well' temperaments) were used on keyboard instruments, which resulted in keys with fewer sharps/flats being more consonant and gradually keys further away having more and more dissonance. This led to a key concept of music from that period called "Key Color", in which different keys represented different emotional states (e.g. D minor was a key of the supernatural). Of course, today with Equal Temperament, every interval is identical, so key color does not exist, but this theory of brightness is interesting in that it proposes a way to create 'color' without tempering the scale.


RE: Brightness - Kev Adams - 11-23-2016

Thanks for that, Otto. Really interesting and thought provoking. I need to watch it again and then sit at the piano for a few hours!