One of music's fundamentals is the way in music, like an octopus, people convincingly imitate other things... then quickly doff the masquerade and swim off.
In the example below, Duane Shinn uses a piano to imitate bells and chimes (i.e. physical bells and chimes, like in a bell tower).
This is more than just a trick: everything that everybody hears in nature is a composite waveform of some combination of frequencies; and the notes of a major chord represent the five strongest frequencies for simple objects and quiet places.
With more time, I would write an entire theory explaining which thing in nature is being imitated by the different musical expressions. Thinking of chords, this example comes to mind:
Why do minor chords, and to a greater degree diminished chords, produce tension?
In signal interpretation, the most important question is whether the recipient is receiving enough signal to understand the message over the noise. This metric is called the signal-to-noise ratio, and when it is low, the processor must work harder to understand the message because it comes with errors.
If you are speaking with a person in a very loud place, you will not hear the lower frequencies of their voice but the higher frequencies. Since the major chord is only found clearly in the first five overtones, the composite waveform of the person's voice that you hear will be less like a major chord and more like a minor chord or diminished chord... or like the sound of banging adjacent keys on a piano: dissonant.
As a listener, your mind must work harder to understand language when there is more background noise because it knows that there may be more errors to correct once the message is received. That the voice is characterized less by major tones and more by dissonant tones (and here is my theoretical assertion:) indicates to your mind that there will be more work required to get the message, resulting in a (somewhat irrational) association between extra signal-processing work in your mind and dissonant tones.
Musicians who use dissonance, diminished chords, and even minor chords (I assert) make use of this irrational association in people's minds to produce the tension that makes music interesting and gives it power to tell stories-in-abstraction. This technique has been available to musicians since the discovery of music in antiquity.
Here's a silly example of this analogy playing out in a chord progression.
Oh no, a vii_dim7! What's going to happen???
iii? What does that mean?
vi? That's strange.
II- that's nice, but how did that get there?
V7-- Oh, I know what that is....
Wait for it...
If you liked my little theory, read more about it here.