The Minor Third
Communicates Sadness in Speech, Mirroring Its Use in Music.
Notice that there are four minor thirds
and three major thirds in the connected structure.
Typical for the composer, it is once again tautly-built, intervals of major sevenths and minor thirds
predominant, and, again, its finale grips with its inevitability, this time as a quietly insistent threnody.
Blue notes can be played on Western instruments without fingering minor thirds
, dominant (flatted) sevenths, and flatted fifths if the player has the African American conception of temperament.
The composer Draws out the minor thirds
, the brass Tumbles overhead like virgin logs Felled from their forest, washing ownriver, And the rivermen at song.
The piano opens with a widely spaced rolled chord in the bass and open octaves in a motive of alternating minor thirds
in the treble that will be heard throughout the song.
Reynolds generates different harmonies by combining minor thirds
in a variety of ways (see Figure 1).
They found, for instance, that minor thirds
- with the melody note pitched three semitones above the tune's keynote - made up 15 per cent of tones in minor pieces, but unsurprisingly made up less than 1 per cent of tones in major pieces.
Although there is no real chromaticism apart from a direct move from A minor to C minor in My Heart Is Set, Smith clearly enjoyed shifts from major to minor (over the same tonic), the clashing of major and minor thirds
, and cross relations in English cadence style; these last two features indicate that he had a preference for, and knowledge of, his great forebears Thomas Tallis and William Byrd.
It also forms a link to the final song in the cycle, much of which is based on symmetrical structures that alternate half steps and minor thirds
1] form, and the piece is based on the intervals of major and minor seconds, and major and minor thirds