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If C minor were a person, who would he be?

Here's how the Signature Series works:

1. Select a musical key.
2. Gather the most famous melodies composed in that key.
3. Mash up.
4. Meet the person behind the key.

To get to know C minor, click on the orange play button.

Follow along with the pop-up comments to find out what composition is playing.

C minor: The Tortured Genius

Also known as:
The Solipsist.
The Misanthrope.

C minors you might know:
Ludwig van Beethoven.
Lord Byron.
Kurt Cobain.

The notes: C - D - E♭ - F - G - A♭ - B♮ - C.

Number of flats: three.

Relative major: E-flat major.

What they said about C minor in the 18th and 19th centuries:
"A tragic key, fit to express grand misadventures, deaths of heroes, and grand but mournful, ominous and lugubrious actions." – Francesco Galeazzi, 1796

"Sounds in deep tones of misery; it proclaims rigid, numb grief. Fear and horror. Bitter lamenting. And despair." – J.A. Schrader, 1827

More C minor listening:
Symphony No. 1 by Johannes Brahms.

Symphony No. 8 by Dmitri Shostakovich.

The Canadian connection:
"The Floor" by Buck 65.

 

Editor's note: Historical quotes and translations from A History of Key Characteristics in the 18th and Early 19th Centuriesby Rita Steblin, UMI Research Press (1983).

Related:

The Signature Series on CBC Music

A major: The Will-o'-the-wisp

Beethoven's 32 Varations in C minor played by Murray Perahia

 

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C minor: The Tortured Genius

If C minor were a person, who would he be? Here's how the Signature Series works: 1. Select a musi…

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onlytony
#1 posted by
onlytony
on Jul 20, 2012

i was afraid we were building more stereotypes here , however many of these attributes were also under other signatures .where is social context in all this or am i taking this too seriously

Diminuendo
#2 posted by
Diminuendo
on Jul 21, 2012

I have always considered myself a G minor type, but now I'm beginning to question that...

Paolo Pietropaolo
#3 posted by
Paolo Pietropaolo
on Aug 03, 2012

I think there may be a little bit of C minor in all of us gents...but hopefully there's a little bit of E major in all of us too.

In other words, a little something serious, but also a little something fun. ;)

Thanks as always for your comments!

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