Its long been known that changing the key signature of a track from minor to major, will affect the mood of the listener. The character of a piece of music is determined by its key signature, and on the whole, minor keys evoke sadness and major keys are happy.
Think about all your favourite tracks, and then imagine them sounding completely opposite. How would you feel listening to them? With that in mind Ian Gordon, set out to reinterpret one of the most iconic pieces of music in popular culture, The Imperial March from Star Wars. Written in 1980 by John Williams to announce the arrival of Darth Vader in the second of the original trilogy – The Empire Strikes Back, it employs a nifty leitmotif to further embed it in to the psyche of a generation of movie goers. Its sombre tones have come to symbolise all that was evil and dark in the film, because of the use of a minor key signature.
“Though I have been a musician for many years, I have no real knowledge of music theory. I learn the themes by ear and then record them into Cubase. From there I basically mess with the notes until they sound ‘happier’ or ‘sadder’ depending on the theme. That’s all there is to it.” says the producer rather bashfully on his YouTube channel.