Observations placeholder

Engel, C - The prevalence of the minor key



Type of Spiritual Experience



Background information.

Although Engel made the observation he is actually describing the music of indigenous peoples and of 'magicians' like the gypsy races.  So a difficult decision as to how to name the source.  In the end I plumped for magician

A description of the experience

Musical Myths and Facts Volume II – C Engel 1876

The minor scale is especially popular, not only with several uncivilised [sic] races, but also with several who have cultivated the art of music to a high degree. Some of our most eminent composers have written perhaps more beautiful music in minor than in major keys………

If the lover of music is acquainted with the popular songs and dance tunes of the Wallachians, or with the wild and plaintive airs by the gypsy bands in Hungary, he need not be told that the Minor scale with two superfluous seconds is capable of producing melodies extremely beautiful and impressive. Indeed, it would be impossible to point out more charming and stirring effects than those which characterise the music founded on this scale

The source of the experience

Magician other

Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Listening to music