“The slower pieces we choose for the purpose of getting guests quiet and thoughtful. We pick pieces in a major key, not a minor one, so it doesn’t sound like someone died.”

This quote is from an article that is talking about the alternatives to the traditional music many are used to hearing although, to be honest, these days I am always surprised to hear Wagner’s Wedding March and I can’t even remember the last time I heard Mendelssohn’s music from A Midsummer Night’s Dream used for a recessional.

I recently played a wedding and I played a bit of the prelude and then the processional which was Bach’s “Bist du bei mir” and was chosen by the bride’s father. For the prelude I wondered, too, if I could play anything in a minor key without upsetting some listeners. So I played major key selections from Telemann’s Fantasies. Then, needing a bit more filler before the important entrances (which a brass trio played for) I just decided to invent something. It was easier, I thought, than dealing with turning more pages and dealing with clips and all. I kind of like inventing music; I actually don’t get nervous when I’m making it up. It’s just fun.

But back to what I really was pondering just now: does music in a minor key always “sound like someone died”? I really don’t think so, but when I was in a woodwind quintet we used to play weddings and one bride, when listening to our repertoire to choose music, said that the music we were playing sounded too sad and she didn’t want it. Yes, it was minor key music.

So … thoughts? Will you allow me to play music in a minor key for your wedding? I love that music. Maybe during a prelude. (Do people listen anyway? I don’t know that many heard the prelude during the recent wedding.)

I DO love playing weddings, and this was the first I’d done in nearly 20 years.