Semantics of keys …
The process of establishing a certain emotional content for each key continued in the music of Viennese classics and covered almost their entire list in the music of romantics, both Western European and Russian.
And here the same thing is possible as the perception of music in color. The color ear was distinguished by very few composers (Rimsky-Korsakov, Scriabin, for example), but with some coincidences both in individual notes and tonalities, their perception was different. Obviously, the same thing happens with the emotional perception of tonality in different people who are capable of this. Although my observations on the interpretation of tonalities by romantic composers say that their views coincided in many tonalities (Schubert, Chopin, Schumann, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov).
It was possible, of course, for a narrow circle to write prose about all the emotional shades that I hear in every key. And for this, I don’t need to “listen” to the pieces in any key (which is what musicologists engaged in the semantics of keys do): I just need to hear at least a tonic triad (I-III-V) with my inner ear. But I am a poet, and to set myself the most difficult task of writing eight-poems that in a concentrated form would contain (and evoke) the right gamut of emotions, I considered it more a duty than an honor: if it was given to me, why not try? Why eight-stony? There is an example inspiring me – Osip Mandelstam.
As a basis, I took the Chopin cycle of 24 preludes, written in all keys in a fifth circle with alternating parallel keys. In this cycle, Chopin turned out to be even more a philosopher than it might seem at first glance (the usual interpretation of preludes as “images-moods,” in my opinion, has long been outdated). But I wanted to get away from the tragedy of the entire Chopin cycle, beginning in C major and ending in D minor. So I chose the thrash sequence: start with A minor and end with F major.
Naturally, in order to feel the whole gamut of the emotional aura of each key, you need to literally get used to the music, love it, because only this can develop the ability to emotionally perceive different keys.
Here I wrote all the previous ones – and thought. Or maybe none of this is needed? No need to have any hearing, no need to love classical music and not even listen to it at all. Maybe it’s enough to go to the tuned piano and just take a tonic triad of any key? But what if?! Suddenly something is stirring in the soul, maybe not right away, maybe only on some few keys? But will you hear something that is consonant with your, perhaps, today’s mood, or suddenly your memory will take something long forgotten from its distant bins? And you suddenly hear? Is it because of the garbage that sounds every minute from the TV box in your kitchen, you will refuse the highest that is possible in the world and that only God could give us?
And the love of classical music? She will come, just listen to her. Didn’t like it, didn’t remember anything? Listen again and again – nothing can be offered, except this advice, similar to the advice of William Faulkner about his novel “Noise and Fury”. And I will be happy if at least one tone in 24 of our feelings coincide. Indeed, in the Tretyakov Gallery in Lavrushinsky all paintings cannot shake, and these are all treasures selected by Time.
I dream that someday this cycle will be read by a person who feels like me: for example, discomfort when listening (I do not like this word in this context: more precisely, living) some places from Johannes Brahms Third Piano Quartet: feelings that the author invested in this work, are more consistent with C sharp minor, than written before minor. Brahms originally conceived this quartet in C sharp minor, but succumbed to the entreaties of his senior contemporary violinist Joseph Joachim: they say it is more convenient for violinists to play in minor (cunning friend). Thank God that Brahms was the only time when he went against his will. Usually he wrote as he considered necessary, including what was basically impossible (the famous passage in the first part of the Second Piano Concerto). And the Third Piano Quartet, when Brahms decided to write in C minor, as a result, emotionally, he became a minor. But in his text there were quite extensive and long-lasting traces of the initial C sharp minor — it was there that I got a feeling of discomfort due to the discrepancy between the emotional component of the music and the tonality in which it was written.
And by the way, there are a lot of interesting things in the emotional interpretation of tonality. For example, usually the keys of the same name are polar to each other (in the emotional sense). For example, D minor and D major (perhaps the most-most polar of all such pairs). But there are those who seem to flow into each other and exist in the same emotional state with some clarifying shades.