Thursday, October 28, 2010

13 days of Helloween (partVII)

Anyone remember a movie about a big fish that eats skinny dippers? This is the central riff from the Jaws theme by John Williams.

This is just the core of it and is super simple: a minor 2nd interval (distance from one fret to the very next fret).

This leads to the question of what makes scary music or rather what makes some music scary?

Minor keys will of course give a darker tone to things than major keys and most of the Halloween tunes I've included so far are in minor keys. Also certain intervals create an uncomfortable amount of dissonance and tension which leads to overall eerieness. The two most dissonant intervals (in my opinion) are the minor 2nd (as used in Jaws and Psycho) and the augmented 5th (tritone).

Here is an example in tablature of a minor 2nd...

And here is an augmented 5th (tritone)...

Try playing around with those and see what you think.

Part VIII coming very soon...

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