Why do major and minor chords in music affect us the way they do?

The long-running series in which readers answer other readers’ questions on subjects ranging from trivial flights of fancy to profound scientific and philosophical concepts

Why does music played in major chords and keys tend to be more uplifting, whereas minor chords are more poignant and sad? Is this an innate reaction? Or is it a learned, cultural reaction and therefore not universal to all human societies? Stella O’Shea

Post your answers (and new questions) below or send them to [email protected]. A selection will be published next Sunday.

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