Meaning in Korn
• Identifies a ‘gap’ in the market – textual
analysis of Metal.
• Starts with an overview of the band and
Nu Metal – briefly comparing it to other
• Indentifies problems with categorising
• References academic articles and band
• Discusses the interrelationship of the lyrics
and the music.
• Dialogic approach – various techniques,
including album covers etc.
• Psycho analytic
• Draw up an interesting table which links
musical sounds to specific meanings (42)
• Embodied approach also – Phrygian
• Relates specific intervals and sounds to
characterises of a person.
• For example Bass = sexually abusive
Father, and vocals/guitar = child
• Style Codes = how specific sounds etc are
culturally specific. For eg a ‘Wah’ sound
can mean various things for Hendrix and
• Polysemic Meaning
• Analysis is context specific
• Identity – is it personal or linked to factors
such as gender, sexual orientation, race,
• What does the music mean to audiences?
• How does this change between genres?
Eg Prog rock emphasis on complexity, Nu
Metal on Textures etc.
• If we enjoy ‘Hey Daddy’ – do we indentify
with the molester?
What are the ‘Elements’?
• For Example
• We can discuss/describe how these elements function
independently within the music either diachronically or
synchronically – ‘embodied’ meaning.
• We can link them to our own and others’ ‘designative’
meaning (as in Korn)
• We can discuss how they are prioritised to indoctrinate
interest and meaning in the music.
• We can discuss how they impact the Form of the music
• For Example:
Musical Form – General Points
• The vast majority of popular music has a specific
• Common terminologies we use in popular music include
Introduction, Verse, Chorus, and Middle Section/Bridge.
• Most popular music consists of 2 or 4 bar phrases, so
the sections are often divided into 8 or 16 bars. For
• “Ain’t That A Shame”: Fats Domino: Verse 4: Chorus 8
• “Ticket To Ride”: The Beatles: Verse and Chorus 8 bars
• “Clocks”: Coldplay: 4 bar sections
• “Valerie”: Amy Winehouse: All sections 8 bars long
Listen out for music that does not fit
with this structure
• For Example:
• “Yesterday” (7 bar Verse)
• “Yellow”: Coldplay 6-7-7 bar Verses – 8
• Sections usually contrast with one another melodically to sustain
interest, but also harmonically, texturally, lyrically, dynamically
and rhythmically (or any other ‘element’).
• Listen to examples below, how do the above factors change?
War Of My Life
How Rhythm Can Delineate Form
• “Jail House Rock” Elvis Presley (Stop
• “Ain’t That A Shame” Fats Domino (Stop
• “The Pretender” Foo Fighters
How Harmony Can Determine
• Look for changes of harmony between sections.
Although most use different harmonies between verse
and chorus, others use the same. For example:
• “Stand By Me” Ben E King
• “CandyLion” Gruff Rhys
How Instrumentation/Texture Can
• “Hold The Line”:Toto
• “Sloop John B”:The Beach Boys
• Note how the last example consists of only
one section, so variety of texture is vital)
• Listen closely for the relationships between instruments in terms of:
• Frequency (High – Low)
• Depth/Distance (amount of ambience)
• Stereo Spectrum (Left – Right). Does it change? Do these changes
help evoke the mood of the music?
• General Volume
• Is there any double tracking?
• Use of effects) (compression, delay, chorus, etc)
• Use of EQ?
• Is the texture homophonic or Polyphonic?
• How does the texture relate to the lyrics and the emotion of the
piece (Texture can be ‘physical’ and ‘rhetorical’)?
• How do the individual parts relate to the whole mix?
Example of Texture Relating to
the Lyrics and/or Title
• Annie Lennox: ‘Walking On Broken Glass’
• Feist: ‘The Water’
Artist Specific Sounds
• Specific sounds can immediately inform
the listener of who an artist is, and or what
a style or tradition is.
• For example:
• Pat Metheny
• Phil Spector
• Wes Montgomery
• Try and examine the nature of the
• For example with distortion:
• What type of distortion is it?
• How is it manufactured?
• How does this relate to the style and
authenticity of the artist?
• For example:
• Rainbow: “Since You Been Gone”
• Saxon: “Wheels of Steele”
• Mega death: “Holy Wars”
• ZZ Top: “Tush”
• Slipknot: “Before I Forget”.
• The same type of factors can be discussed for
Note how sounds can allude
• A change of style: Compare “In God’s
Country” (The Joshua Tree) to “Zoo
Station” (Achtung Baby) U2
A Time or Place
• “Dippermouth Blues” King Oliver
• “That’s All Right” Elvis Presley
• “I’m Into Something Good” Herman's
• Specific Live Albums
• They can can also allude to other styles
(what Tagg calls a ‘Genre Synecdoche’)
• For example: Distortion in Jazz
• Violin in Rock
• Harpsichord in Rock (The Beatles)
• Electric instruments in Jazz or Folk
How Metre Can Determine
• “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”: Elton
• As well a metre being used diachronically,
it can also be used synchronically.
• “Kashmir” (Led Zeppelin) Drums in 4/4
• “All I Need” (Radiohead) Drums in 4/4 (Not
General (Somewhat Obvious)
Points About Sections
• Introduction: content usually used somewhere else in the song. Not always
incorporated, but always introduces the song.
• Verse: Recurrent harmonic pattern, but different text and texture etc.
Usually occurs after the introduction, but sometimes chorus can occur
before it (Example “I Shot the Sheriff”, “Rock and Roll Music”)
• Chorus: Usually a recurrent harmonic and lyrical pattern.
• Refrain: Not a distinct section, but part of a verse or chorus.
• Can end or start a section. Consists of a repeated subsection, often with
same lyrics. For Example:
“I Saw Her Standing There”: The Beatles (After Verse)
God Only Knows: The Beach Boys: (note how refrain repeats at end)
I “Want To Hold Your Hand”: The Beatles (After Verse)
• Bridge: Connects two other sections.
• Normally occurs once, if twice, usually has same text.
• Sometimes called the ‘Middle 8’.
• Bridges can be instrumental: “Nights in White Satin”
• Outro: Content usually derives from elsewhere in the song. Always ends
• Place the following info on the musicology
Wiki (this can be done individually or in
• Examples of pieces with unusual bar
numbers in sections
• Examples of how rhythm delineates form
• Examples of verse and chorus with same
• Examples of artist specific sounds
• Examples of texture/instrumentation delineating
• Examples of how metre delineates form.
• Examples of how sounds allude toward change
• Examples of how sounds indicate a place or
• Examples of textures that outline the lyrics and
• With all of these questions you need to also ask
• Briefly discuss how some of the above
relate to embodied and designative
• Read Meaning In ‘Zappa’s Galoot Update