The Most Emotional Note In C Major

Is there such a thing as a 'most emotional note' in a key?

Well, objectively speaking, one should just answer 'no'. After all:

  • Different people hear music in different ways (but how different really?...) so they may think different notes are most emotional.
  • The meaning of a note depends on what chord you play it over. The same C note for instance will communicate a different feeling if you play it over the C major chord, or over a G major chord.
  • The tone, the accent, the dynamics, the register (i.e. the octave) of the note all influence how it is perceived.
  • The whole context on how you arrive at that note, by leap or stepwise) and how you leave that note does influence how it is perceived too.
  • I could go on and on...

...and yet, I am going to take a stand here. In my opinion THERE IS a note that has been used most often than others in creating emotional moods in the key of C major.

Remember, once you know how it works in C major, you can transpose it to any other key.

And yes, you have heard that note... even if you may not know yet what it is or how it's used.

So in this video we will see together what is this note, what chords support it, what progressions help bring out the emotion in it. Even if you don't agree with me on the status as "most emotional note" you will still learn something interesting.

If instead you are more interested in creating emotion using chord progression rather than single notes/melodies, then we need to switch gears.

Here you can learn how to create emotional and cinematic progressions using only major and minor triads. It's so simple to that it's scary.

Have fun!

Tommaso Zillio is a professional prog rock/metal guitarist and composer based in Edmonton, AB, Canada.

Tommaso is currently working on an instrumental CD, and an instructional series on fretboard visualization and exotic scales. He is your go-to guy for any and all music theory-related questions.

Tommaso Zillio