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How Chords And Key Impact Emotion In Music

Every musician knows what is a chord in music , value & importance of chords. If you are not a musician, remember school days teachers talking about two fundamental chords, major and minor chords. Major chords mean happy & bright, while minor chords mean sad & darker.   

But in today’s generation, time has changed, and so have technologies.   

We have so many options in chords and music now. It is essential to choose the right chords for every piece of music. Each chord has its specialties, so selecting the right chord for your music is necessary.   

What is a chord in music?  

If you are not a musician or are not familiar with the music, a chord is simply two or more notes played together simultaneously.  

A tone or group of notes played together can form a harmony when two or more notes complement each other. Chord tones, guide tones, passing tones, and many more tones. Chord tones and non-chord tones both are equally important, one should know how to use non-chord tones or chord tones. Chords add texture to a raga and provide rhythm to a song.  

  • Different kinds of chords  
  • Two-note chords  
  • Dissonant chords  
  • Chords with more than three notes  
  • Broken chords  
  • Chord Progressions  

How to tell what key a song is in (by chord progressions, by ear, or sheet music)  

There are many ways to find the key to a piece. This blog covers determining by chord progression, the key by ear, or by the key signature.  

1. Find the Key by Ear  


  • Determine the Tonal Center  
  • Determine If It is Major or Minor  
  • Name the Key  

2. How To Find the Key to a Song in Sheet Music  

    – Where to Find the Key Signature  

  • How to identify a key signature  

3. Find the Key from Chord Progressions  

What makes a song minor or major  

A major chord consists of the major scale’s first, third, and fifth degrees. A minor chord consists of the first, flattened third, and fifth degrees of the major scale of that note.  

Major chords tend to lighten a mood, whereas minor ones will darken a mood. There are two ways to differentiate a significant or minor song, sight, and ear.  

Sad Chord Progressions  

Chord progressions that create rising bass lines can often lend a feeling of willingness and passion to music. Chord progressions that make declining bass lines will often impart a mood of sorrow or introspection to music. Through Chords, you can play various emotions of musical keys.  

Emotions of musical keys

emotions of musical key

There are five sad chord progressions:  

  1. IV – Vi – V – V  
  1. I – I/Iii – IV – IVmaj7  
  1. Ii – I – V  
  1. I – IVmaj7  
  1. IV – V – Vi – Iii  

Some sad chord progressions that musicians can use are Minor Four, Major Two,   

& Sharp Major Five.  

There are various chords that will have a varied effect based on prior musical and cultural experience, but here’s a rough guideline:  

  • Switching significant: chords to minor replacements can typically darken the atmosphere of the song. Example: C F G C |C F G Am (I IV V I|I IV V vi). That’s a repeated sequence that employs Am the second go-through, and that Am has a darkening impact.  
  • Changing the key to something higher can frequently boost and brighten the atmosphere of music. Example: C F G C Ab7 |Db Gb.  
  • Mixing major and minor chords within the same progression is the most refined approach to influence the atmosphere of your music, mainly because it enables you to pick chords that fit with the lyrics of the time.  
  • Adding non-diatonic chords to a progression, especially flat-III and flat-VII, will provide a darker edge to the music. Example: utilizing C F Bb C (I IV bVII I) instead of C F G C (I IV V I) (I IV V I).  
  • It’s crucial to realize that nothing works in isolation in songwriting. So, it’s not enough to merely select chords that ideally complement the atmosphere you’re striving for. At every stage inside your music, melodic structure, lyric, and instrumental impacts are going to be crucial.  

After reading this blog, we know your interest must have increased in instruments also. So here is the link to Best 5 Bow instruments.  

That concept of one thing (chords) being supported by the following things (tempo, style, melodic choice, etc.) is how most songwriting processes operate. There is nothing in isolation; Everything must back up everything; otherwise, you don’t have a great song. Of all the parts that go together to make a song, you will probably have more influence on the atmosphere of your music than any other.  

We hope you enjoyed this blog. Let us know your thoughts about chords and music in the comments below.  

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