1.2.17 An overview of the emotional nature of harmonies
Major tonic: a feeling of sober-minded contentment.
Minor tonic: grief (when played quietly), anger (when played loudly). Also communicates
all other emotions which involve a sense of discontentment.
Natural minor: courage, adventure, tension, danger, severity, a challenging situation.
Dominant: a feeling of motion, aspiration, liberation.
The dominant of the minor tonic
takes on the character of the minor and expresses stasis.
Seventh chord: resistance, protest, defiance, weepiness, weakness, braking, a walking
In the minor tonic, it takes on the character of the minor and expresses stasis.
Secondary dominant chord: a very adaptable character with multi-facetted uses.
Telegraphs the nature of the anticipated new tonic. Can express bitter disappointment or
being painfully, greatly moved. If the anticipated tonic is major: full of hope, a feeling of
heading out to something new.
Major subdominant: lightheartedness, ebullience, joy, drunkenness, victory, solemnity,
an emotional climax, rejoicing, satisfaction.
Major subdominant with a major seventh: like the subdominant, but with a touch of
bitterness: a wistful goodbye, a final embrace, yearning, a longing dream, an awareness
of the fleeting nature of joy.
Added sixth in a major chord: comfort, coziness, fidelity, warm-heartedness, warmth,
togetherness, love, friendship.
Added sixth in a minor chord: loneliness, separation, abandonment, heartbreak.
Neapolitan sixth chord: disappearance, death, abandonment, immutable pain, saying
Diminished seventh chord: fear, despair, panic, dismay, broody downheartedness,
If the anticipated resolving chord is a major chord: feigned despair,
Augmented chord: astonishment, amazement, surprise, magic, transformation.
Whole-tone scale: being weightless, under water, in space, in a dream.
Minor sixth: threat, danger, fear, feelings of anxiety