Major Versus Minor
Some insane genius in the Ukraine (Oleg Berg, to be precise) has been spending his free time digitally adjusting songs written in a minor key to sound like they’re in major, and vice versa. It’s delightful and hilarious.
If you’re not very familiar with music theory, check it out: To Westerners, major keys are traditionally associated with happy emotions, while minor keys are associated with sadness. This is crazy oversimplified, but there you have it. When Berg changes a popular track to possess its opposite harmonic quality, it does more than change the melody — it changes the emotional content of the song.
For example, listen to this adjustment of the always-happy Hey Jude, which is now in a depressing minor key:
And who could doubt the freewheeling nature of Material Girl? In the minor, it sounds like Madonna is not so much celebrating her love of money and things but plotting the way she’ll steal them.
On the other hand, turning a song from minor to major can give something with depth and drama a sort of Disneyland feel. Take the theme from The Godfather, for instance:
And doing the same to the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Californication bumps the song from the grunge era to that weird span of years where everyone sounded like Blink 182.
There are many more on Berg’s YouTube page. Did I just make your Friday afternoon? I think I did.