Researchers in EPFL’s Digital and Cognitive Musicology Lab in the College of Humanities used an unsupervised machine learning model to ‘listen to’ and categorize more than 13,000 pieces of Western classical music, revealing how modes – such as major and minor – have changed throughout history.
Many people may not be able to define what a minor mode is in music, but most would almost certainly recognize a piece played in a minor key. That’s because we intuitively differentiate the set of notes belonging to the minor scale – which tend to sound dark, tense, or sad – from those in the major scale, which more often connote happiness, strength, or lightness.
But throughout history, there have been periods when multiple other modes were used in addition to major and minor – or when no clear separation between modes could be found at all. Full story.
Mirage.News / January 19, 2021