MonkeyCube t1_iuqx2aa wrote

It takes more than simply using a minor key to make a song evoke sad emotions. The minor keys have traditional been more effective at doing so, but they're surprisingly versatile. A majority of electronic dancehall music in the 90s was written in aeolian, for example. Seven Nation Army became a sports anthem with a solidly minor riff. But to more clearly illustrate the point:

Major key songs that sound sad:

  • Radiohead - No Surprises

  • Adele - Someone Like You

  • Soundgarden - Black Hole Sun

  • Taps (funeral song)

And conversely, happy songs in minor keys:

  • Usher - Yeah

  • Justin Timberlake - Sexy Back

  • Lady Gaga - Just Dance

  • LMFAO - Party Rock