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Whatever Bach intended, the chaconne is a very effective piece of sad music. It helps that there’s the long section in the middle where it switches to D major and gets unexpectedly happy, before returning to D minor, the saddest of all keys. Sadness is that much sadder if you’re expecting happiness.

Jack McCarthy is a contributing writer for WeSpin, a growth training platform and community. Jack is a singer and songwriter living in Philadelphia, PA; though you may have more luck finding him in the studio or on the road. He has worked with many artists, producing and playing on a variety of tracks.

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But don’t get too comfortable with that one, here’s perhaps the most well-known melody of the bunch: the first two unique notes of Beethoven’s 5th Symphony. The most classic-est of classic major thirds.

But to begin with, let’s approach these phenomena with a sound much simpler than a hand clap — a sinusoidal (or sine) wave. If we depict it as a waveform (like in the above graphic), we’ll see a signal that passes smoothly from peak to trough and back again with beautiful, equal curves on either end.