Session 2 melodic analysis – horizontal concepts

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Session 2 melodic analysis – horizontal concepts

  1. 1. Motif (M)- The smallest self contained unit that has recognisable shape, or contour. Not always relevant in some pieces.  Question Phrase (QP)- A musical statement – Often 2 or 4 bars long – that usually requires completion.  Answer Phrase (AP) - The 2nd phrase of the ‘Sentence’. Although not a ‘rule’, often sounds like it is resolving. Sometimes called the ‘answer’.  Sentence (s)- When the ‘Question Phrase’ and ‘Answering Phrase’ are connected they become a ‘Sentence’. Often 4 or 8 bars long.
  2. 2.     Section (S)- Sentences are grouped together to form ‘Sections’. The most obvious examples being the A or B (Verse or Chorus) of a standard song. Often 8 or 16 bars long. Repetition in Macro form. Structural Form (SF)- IE ABA, AB, AABA. ‘Popular Song Form’ is often 32 bars long. Compositional Form (CF) Enables us to analyse how repetition is used and how interest is forged in the song.
  3. 3.      The Lyric The Harmony Texture (Between Sections) Melodic Contour/Shape Rhythmic Variations and Repetitions between Question – Answer etc
  4. 4.         When examining a piece diachronically (through time), there is a need to compare these factors, to ascertain how they develop and interrelate. For example – How does the ‘Answer Phrase 1’ compare to the ‘Question Phrase 1’? How does ‘Answer Phase 2’ relate to ‘Question Phase 2’? How does Question Phrase 1 compare to Question Phrase 2 How does ‘Sentence 1’ compare to ‘Sentence 2’? How Does Section 1 compare to Section 2, etc. Techniques could include:
  5. 5.      Where the melody is different but the rhythm is the same. This can be between question – answer phrases or sentences. For Example ‘Good Stuff’ Donald Fagen Black Chandelier: Buffy Clyro Whitney Houston ‘Run to You’ (Chorus) 1:00 Note: Sometimes these repetitions are not exact – if not you can label ‘near’ before the name. IE ‘Near Rhythmic Sequence’.
  6. 6.        The rhythm and melody between question -answer phrases or sentences are identical to earlier material, but up or down a predetermined pitch. Example: This occurs at the level of the Sentence in – Mozart: Theme from 40th Symphony! The Kinks ‘You Really Got Me’ Antonio Carlos Jobim ‘Girl From Ipanema’ (Chorus) 0:38 Elbow ‘One Day Like This’
  7. 7.      When the melody and rhythm of an answer phrase is identical to the ‘question’, or between sentences. For example the first two phrases of the Blues ‘Lotus Flower’ Radiohead. (‘Near’ – in verse) 0:50 ‘My Man Called Me’ Big Mamma Thornton ‘Off The Wall’ Lee Ranaldo
  8. 8.     What the answering phrase is identical to the question, but commences on a different beat. This is a more advanced technique and is not particularly common in popular music See examples below Cannonball Adderly ‘Straight No Chaser’ and ‘Fascinating Rhythm’
  9. 9. Compare this…. To this Or This To This
  10. 10.        When the melody is identical but the harmony changes. For example: The First 8 bars of most blues songs – ‘Hound Dog’ Big Mamma Thornton Antonio Carlos Jobim: ‘One Note Samba’ Antonia Carlos Jobim: ‘Girl From Ipanema’ (Verse) The Police ‘Every Breath You Take’ Thin Lizzy ‘Whisky in the Jar’
  11. 11.            Where the answering phrase consists of entirely new material The Beatles: ‘Hey Jude’ Bobby Vinton: ‘Blue Velvet’ Suzanne Vega ‘Luka’ Take That ‘A Million Love Songs’ No Audio – but also Joe Cocker ‘With a Little Help From My Friends’ Patsy Cline ‘Crazy’ Feist ‘The Water’ Whitney Houston ‘Run to You’ (Verse) Sting ‘Dead Man’s Boots’
  12. 12. First Half of Hey Jude QP1-AP1:New Material: Sentence 1 QP2 – AP2: New Material: Sentence 2 (Section 1/Verse1) QP3-AP3:New Material: Sentence 3 QP4 – AP2: New Material: Sentence 4 (Section 2/Verse2) QP5-AP5:New Material: Sentence 5 QP6 – AP6: New Material: Sentence 6 (Section 3/Bridge) QP7-AP7:New Material: Sentence 7 QP8 – AP8: New Material: Sentence 8 (Section 4/Verse3) QP9-AP9:New Material: Sentence 9 QP10 – AP10: New Material: Sentence 10 (Section 5/Verse4) QP11-AP11:New Material: Sentence 11 QP12 – AP12: New Material: Sentence 12 (Section 3/Bridge)
  13. 13. S1 QP1--------------------------AP1----------------------------s1---------------------------------------------------------------------------- A QP2--------------------------AP2-----------------------------s2-------------------------------------------------------------------------S2 QP3--------------------------- AP3---------------------------------------------- QP4------------------------------------------------Compositional Form???? B
  14. 14.     Present examples on my web site of indicative techniques I have suggested (One Song Only) Can you suggest any others Techniques that I have not considered? Download music software from http://variations.sourceforge. net/vat/ You may also be interested in downloading Sonic Visualiserhttp://www.sonicvi sualiser.org/ from

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