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  • 1. Taylor Swift Semester Project - Ashlie Lawson - Music 1010 - Instructor: Craig Ferrin
  • 2. ● Taylor Swift Biography ● Composition Histories & Listening Guides. Contents
  • 3. Taylor Alison Swift ● Born December 13th, 1989 in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. ● Parents- Scott & Andrea Swift. ● Sibling-Brother Austin Swift
  • 4. Influences ● Grandmother ● Shania Twain ● Faith Hill ● Dixie Chicks
  • 5. ● Handing out her own CDs in Nashville, TN, eventually lead to a songwriting job. Taylor's Perseverance ● First Song writing job was with RCA Records, she later switched to Sony/ATV Music Publishing
  • 6. Taylor's Discovery ● 15 years old ● 2004 ● Playing at Blue Bird Cafe ● Discovered by executive Scott Borchetta ● Signed with Big Machine Label Group
  • 7. Taylor's Albums ● Taylor Swift-2006 ○ "Tim McGraw" CMT Breakthrough Video of the Year ● Fearless -2008 ○ Grammy Award for Album of the Year ● Speak Now - 2010 ○ Debuted at No.1 on the Billboard 200 charts. ● Red-2012 ○ First week in the U.S, sold over 1.2 million copies
  • 8. "Our Song" ● Written for her 9th grade talent show ● 2008 "Female Video of the Year" and "Overall Video of the year" CMT Music Awards ● Released Aug 22, 2007 on Taylor's debut album, Taylor Swift by Big Machine Records ● Produced by Nathan Chapman
  • 9. Our Song ~ Listening Guide Our Song(3:21) 0:00 The song is opened by the violin then joined by the banjo with a ring of what sounds of a triangle. They play in unison for a beautiful formed texture. The Rhythm is upbeat and the melody flowed nicely. This harmony had a major feel, calming and stress relieving. High tones from the violin gave a distinct timbre. It was a pleasant, resonance of the violin and the banjo gave it a southern feel. 0:11 The form had great repetition and contrast. The rhythm is upbeat, the melody flows and brings a feeling of anticipation and excitement. The harmony is ascending and mixes well. Dynamics have a shorter range in this section and are of mezzo-forte level. The timbre of Taylor’s voice overtakes the guitars. The texture is of medium density with the guitars, voice and drums. :35 The chorus begins. The dynamics increase. The Rhythm picks up in the chorus and the form is a good contrast. The melody flows, is positive and upbeat. The timbre is made up of voice, guitar, drums and what sounds like a tambourine. The texture is medium but sufficient for the song.
  • 10. Our Song ~ Listening Guide continued... 2:08 This segment, the rhythm slows down and the words are more softly sung. For a moment the harmony descends to a minor feel. The dynamics are of a soft piano. The timbre is mainly Taylor’s lovely voice with the symbols, electric guitar and drums in the background. 2:22 In this chorus she sings portions of the song an octave higher, giving it more oomph in dynamics and timbre. Her voice and the instruments intertwine nicely giving it a great texture. The dynamics have a nice range, mainly of mezzo forte sense. 3:05 This section is bringing the song to a close and slowly descends in rhythm. There are less instruments playing here, lightening up the texture. This segment consists of voice, drums, banjo and guitar but, they all are playing in very soft tones. 3:22 The song ends.
  • 11. Stay Stay Stay ● Published by Big Machine Records on Taylors Album RED. ● All of Taylor’s songs are influenced by relationships in real life that either she has been through or has seen others go through. ● The song discusses the serious of the relationship, the arguments, and how much they love each other. It concludes to the idea that marriage would be a great option for them.
  • 12. Stay Stay Stay ~ Listening Guide Stay Stay Stay (3:21) 0:00 The first 19 seconds there's a tune that repeats 4 times, the first two times are almost identical and then at the 3rd repetition drums join in. This makes for a repetitive form. The rhythm is quick and upbeat, giving you a feel of anticipation in what’s to come! The melody flows perfectly, living in this moment, life is well. The harmony is ascending and happy, giving a major feel. The dynamics are of mezzo-forte sense. The timbre is diverse. The songs begins with a guitar and banjo and then the drums join in at :09 for a deeper connection. The texture is building in this section, vocals have not yet begun, the guitar, banjo and then the drums, slowly increase the density. 0:19 Taylor begins singing at this point. The repetitive form continues. Taylor’s voice gives a nice range of dynamics but not to extreme that it discourages any listeners. The rhythm is catchy and this is the point that the story begins in words, and intrigues you to keep listening now that you know more specifically what’s going on in the story. The melody remains upbeat with a positive outlook. The harmony is upbeat and constant. The timbre is fun with the vocals, drums, guitar and banjo, there is not a depressed moment. Texture is not too thick but has the mixture of Taylors voice for increased texture on top of the guitar, banjo and drums in unison. :56 The Chorus begins. The form continues in a repetitiveness tune. The melody flows pleasantly. The rhythm keeps positive and upbeat. The song remains of major feel. The dynamics are of a mezzo-forte sense. The harmony is of major feel. The Timbre was creative with what sounded like a xylophone, hands clapping, banjo, guitar and drums. The texture has a thick density in the chorus with all the instruments, yet still flows great.
  • 13. Stay Stay Stay ~ Listening Guide continued... 1:55 A short 10 second instrumental begins here. This segment involves only what sounded of the drums, xylophone, banjo and symbols. It demonstrated a quick change in timbre with a break from the vocals. 2:05 The rhythm slows and the timbre is of only voice and banjo with a very thin texture. The melody gets more serious, accentuating the meaning behind the words. It ascends back to the main tempo. 2:24 The words are repeated but the music and speed of the words slightly differ, which gives greater depth to the story being told. The form remains the same, the rhythm is what slightly changes, it is still upbeat, and starts out mezzo-piano and then the dynamics and tempo ascend until it gets to the chorus and back to mezzo-forte. 3:02 Here the chorus repeats for the last time. It continues full force, identitical to :56 until 3:16 when it concludes with one strum of the banjo resonating and the last 3 words of the song softly sung, as the dynamics slowly fade to silence. 3:24 The song ends.
  • 14. Eyes Open ● Written for "Hunger Games" Soundtrack. ● Release date March 20th, 2013 ● Published by Universal Republic Records ● Taylor was asked to write this song from Katniss' point of view
  • 15. Eyes Open - Listening Guide Eyes Open 4:04 0:00 The song begins. It opens with a harmony that gives an eerie minor feel. You hear what sounds like the vibrations of a subway train ascending closer as it nears its stop and then an electric guitar begins playing. The form crescendos at this point and there is not much contrast. The Rhythm is slow and tense. The melody flows smoothly. The sound of an approaching train with the guitar makes a distinct inviting song opening. The texture is light with only the 2 sounds thus far. :10 Taylor begins singing. The form is repetitive and there is not yet major contrast at this point. The rhythm is slow. The melody flows perfectly; it's a slow pace and gives a feeling of, uncertainty, fear and strength. The dynamics play softly in a piano sense. :24 For 15 seconds the singing halts and the drums and guitar play a heavy fortissimo resonation.
  • 16. Eyes Open Listening Guide continued... 1:10 The chorus begins here. There is high repetition in the form in this segment. The rhythm is the same as previously stated. 2:40 The song slows here. The texture is reduced and make for a more serious feel. 3:10 In this section the same line is repeated 4 times. The rhythm and melody decrescendo and are very soft spoken. 3:23 The chorus begins again. In some parts of the song the octave is raised giving it a more distinctive timbre. 3:34 The line repeats 4 times and slowly descends to silence. 4:04 The song ends.
  • 17. ● Released in the Album Fearless, on November 11, 2008. ● Big Machine Records is who published the song. ● This song was influenced by a relationship she was in. ● Fairytale love song that so many of us can relate to. Love Story
  • 18. Love Story Listening Guide Love Story (3:55) 0:00 The song begins. The form is calm and steady. The Rhythm has an average medium pace. The melody flows piano like. The harmony has a good happy feel. The dynamics are mezzo-piano. The timbre is mainly of guitar and banjo. The texture is medium with the guitar, banjo and soft tapping of a symbol. The momentum is building at this point. 0:16 Taylor begins singing. The balance and repetition of the tempo has a positive medium feel. The rhythm is upbeat. The melody flows nice and smooth. The harmony is ascending. The dynamics are of mezzo forte. The timbre is mainly Taylor singing and the guitar. The texture is thick yet played so softly. It involves voice, guitar, banjo and drums.
  • 19. Love Story Listening Guide continued... 1:04 The chorus begins. The form stays constant in contrast and repetition, the rhythm and melody are no longer in crescendo but are flowing at a upbeat positive tempo. The harmony is sharp. The dynamics are mezzo-forte. The timbre is mainly of voice, guitar and drums. The texture is thick with all instruments playing in unison. 2:13 This is an extended chorus. The music and words have more oomph behind them but repeat the same characteristics as 1:57. 2:44 This segment the harmony is flat. It feels of fading faith. The form is constant and the rhythm slows. The melody is slightly depressing. 3:37 The Violin sticks out in this last segment. Taylors words are less frequent. The form reduced in repetition and contrast. The melody flows. THe harmony is sharp. The singing and heavy texture is strong then performs a fast de-crescendo at the end. 3:55 The song ends.
  • 20. Works Cited " About | The Bluebird Cafe." The Bluebird Cafe | Nashville, TN. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 June 2013. <http://www. bluebirdcafe.com/about/>. " Taylor Swift - WorldHistoryProject.org." World History Project: Discover, Record and Share History with World History Project. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 June 2013. <http://worldhistoryproject.org/topics/taylor-swift>. "Big Machine Records » Big Machine Label Group." Home » Big Machine Label Group. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 June 2013. <http://www.bigmachinelabelgroup.com/label/Big_Machine_Records>. Freeman, Jon . "Teen Choice 2013 Nominees Include Taylor Swift and “Nashville†- Country Weekly." Country Weekly - Your 24-hour source for country music news!. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 June 2013. <http://www. countryweekly.com/news/teen-choice-2013-nominees-include-taylor-swift-and-nashville>. HIRSCHBERG, LYNN. "Little Miss Sunshine - The New York Times." The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 June 2013. <http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/06/t-magazine/womens- fashion/06well-swift.html?_r=0>. Larrabee, Dory . "Taylor Swift Talks Writing ‘Hunger Games’ Song — Golden Globes 2013 - Hollywood Life." Hollywood Life - Latest Hollywood Gossip, News & Celeb Pics. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 June 2013. <http: //hollywoodlife.com/2013/01/13/taylor-swift-hunger-games-song-golden-globes-2013-safe-and-sound/>. Reusser, Kayleen. Taylor Swift. Hockessin, Del.: Mitchell Lane Publishers, 2009. Print. Shelburne, Craig . "CMT : News : Taylor Swift Shares Story and Success of Award-Winning "Our Song"." CMT : Country Music Television : Country Music Television - News, Videos, Artists : Online Radio, TV Shows and More. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 June 2013. <http://www.cmt.com/news/country-music/1585582/taylor-swift-shares- story-and-success-of-award-winning-our-song.jhtml>. Swift, Taylor . "Story Behind the Song: 'Our Song,' Taylor Swift - The Boot." The Boot - Country and Bluegrass News, Music Videos, Songs, Stars. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 June 2013. <http://www.theboot.com/2008/03/05/story-behind- the-song-our-song-taylor-swift/>. "Taylor Swift." TheCelebrityCafe.Com. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 June 2013. <thecelebritycafe.com/musician/taylor-swift>. "Taylor Swift - Our Song Lyrics with Official Video." Musicstop.org | YOUR ONE STOP TO FIND LYRICS AND LISTEN TO IT. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 June 2013. <http://www.musicstop.org/taylor-swift-our-song-music-video/>. "Taylor Swift Biography | Rolling Stone." Rolling Stone | Music News, Politics, Reviews, Photos, Videos, Interviews and More. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 June 2013. <http://www.rollingstone.com/music/artists/taylor-swift/biography>. MLA formatting by BibMe.org.