Pink Floyd <br />1963-1973<br /> A few of the first members of Pink Floyd started fumbling around the music scene in Cambr...
On the run
The Great Gig in the Sky
Brain Damage</li></ul>The approximate elapsed time for these pieces is just over 15 minutes.<br />While working on The Dar...
Pink floyd[1]
Pink floyd[1]
Pink floyd[1]
Pink floyd[1]
Pink floyd[1]
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Pink floyd[1]

  1. 1. Pink Floyd <br />1963-1973<br /> A few of the first members of Pink Floyd started fumbling around the music scene in Cambridge, England. Three of their most prominent members were born there, Roger Keith (Syd) Barret on January 6th, 1946, George Roger Waters on September 6th, 1943 and David Jon Gilmour on March 6 1946. Although David was not in the original line up of the band in the earliest days of the band it is still interesting to mention here that he has his roots in the same town. <br /> Barret mingled with many other younger folks, like himself, back in the beginning basically just making music like racket on most Sundays while trying to figure out how to even get a serious band started. They loved listening to the radio and piecing out whatever they could from the music played on Sundays. They also wrapped their hands around any American music they could get from the soldiers at a base nearby. It seems as though many came and went in the process until he made his move to London in 1963 to pursue a degree at the Camberwell School of Art.<br />When Barret arrived Waters had already been there for just about a year jamming in a band organized by some other students. Waters was an architecture student at the time just tinkering around with other musicians and jumping from band to band.<br />In College Waters found that there was a room in which all the other would be musicians, himself included, always began to gravitate towards. There was nothing top serious about this place, just people plucking out chords and tapping on some drums. It was around this room that Waters would come across the other 2 future members of Pink Floyd, Nick Mason (born Nicholas Berkely Mason on January 27th 1944) and Richard Wright (born Richard William Wright on July 28th 1943).<br />Waters, Mason, Wright and some others, started up a band together playing a lot of rhythm and blues. Waters preferred playing rhythm and blues at this time in his life, he remarked in a local paper why that was, “It’s easier to express yourself rhythmically in Blues-style. It doesn’t need practice, just basic understanding.”<br />Barrett had met up with waters after a few week of being in town and they eventually became roommates after Mason and Wright moved back home with their parents. Barrett then joined into Waters current band with Mason, Wright and another bloke named Klose. <br />Not too much time passed by and Klose left the band and they landed a new lead vocalist named Chris Dennis. The band played all kinds of numbers in little gigs from artist like Bo Diddley, Jimmy Witherspoon, Muddy Waters and Chuck Berry. It was around this time that they found a name that would become permanent, “Pink Floyd”. The name came straight off of Barrett’s record shelf, Pink Anderson (1900-1974) & Floyd “Dipper Boy” Council (1911-1976). These men were two old Carolina bluesmen who Barrett was quite fond of.<br />By the end of January of 1965 Dennis had received a posting in the Persian Gulf, leaving Barrett to take over the charge as the front man of the group. Although many would like Syd to be lacking in proper and well tuned skill as a musician there was no doubt that he was the most charismatic member of the band and had a frightening talent for words and lyrics.<br />Although they had seemed to start developing their current roles in the band Pink Floyd still remained a sideline project from their studies and after failing to place in a, much anticipated, local contest the band fell into obscurity.<br />Barrett began to wander between Cambridge and London for the next little while and played with bands here and there. He even joined in a band that featured David Gilmour. That project faded and David played with some other semi-successful band up until he joined up with Pink Floyd in 1968.<br />In the early days of 1966 Pink Floyd had taken root again and actually started to show some promise. Before the end of 1966 Floyd started to make light shows an integral part of their performances. 1966 brought some new things to Floyd, a couple publicity shoots and bigger performances at some clubs like the “UFO”. Floyd would play there frequently from the opening day until it closed its doors for good in 1967. Floyd continued to grow and with the vast amount of media coverage they were getting their studies began to slip and from there they decided to make a demo and start seeking out a label. They began recording through Polydor Records and cut a few singles.<br />Pink Floyd was in and out of the masses hearts in these early years. At times they could see the hall literally clear. The lights and sounds didn’t mix and their music was misunderstood as well. Waters stated at the time that “We’ve got the recording side together and not the playing side. So what we’ve got to do now is get together a stage act that has nothing to do with our records-like “Interstellar Overdrive” which is beautiful, and instruments that are much easier to play. CITATION Gle10 l 1033 (Povey)”<br />I would imagine that 1967 would have been one of the most exciting and discouraging years for Pink Floyd in the early days. Their single ‘See Emily Play’ was selling much better than those previous. It scored them radio play and even some television performances. Nevertheless this success was having a negative effect on Floyd’s front man. Barrett began to look fatigued regularly. The pressure he was under as the band’s leader and front man coupled with touring and recording lead to him withdrawing to himself. Not to mention his attempts to counteract his pressures with more and more LSD usage on and off stage lead to stage fright and a negative image for him and personal hygiene. His clothes showed less and less care. His face often went unshaven. At a performance at the ‘Love-In Festival’ one observer described one such scene, “Syd just stood there, his arms hanging down. Suddenly he put his hands on the guitar and we thought he’s actually going to do it, but he just stood there, tripping out of his mind. CITATION Gle10 l 1033 (Povey)’ It was a pitiful transformation that greatly frustrated the band because it happened far too often.<br />The band knew it was basically the end for Syd and Pink Floyd on that first American tour, Nick Mason said that, “Syd actually went mad…he didn’t know where he was most of the time. I remember he de-tuned his guitar on stage…and just stood there rattling the string, which was a bit weird, even for us. CITATION Gle10 l 1033 (Povey)” Syd Barrett was clearly never going to come back to the real world, and his role within Pink Floyd was all but over. The band considering keeping him around as an off-stage writer, much like The Beach Boys and Brian Wilson but this was realized as wishful thinking almost immediately. <br />David Gilmour was then brought into Pink Floyd to pick up where Syd was quickly dropping out. David found this very uncomfortable at first. His guitar style was different from Syd’s and emotionally it was hard for him to not only replace one of his fairly close friends in a band but to see Syd losing it mentally. They played five shows with the line up being as it was plus Gilmour picking up the slack whenever Syd would just stop playing his guitar of singing on stage. By the sixth gig they just decided not to pick Syd up and that was the end. Roger Water’s would prove to emotionally take this the hardest out of the band; he had always looked up to Syd and “…felt very guilty about the fact that he had blown out his matte. CITATION Gle10 l 1033 (Povey)” Lyrics of this exchange would be displayed over and over again throughout the years that Pink Floyd still wrote with Roger Waters.<br />The new line up brought new freedom and exploration to the band. With Syd gone other people had to step into the writing and lyrics light. In the next few years Pink Floyd would evolve into a space like music quality, as it has been described, full of improvisation and tampering with new sounds. They would spend hours in the studio seeking out these new sounds. If they stumbled across a sound like liked while performing on stage they would remember it and use it later. <br />Their Fame continued to grow with extensive performances, touring, recordings, and even from a much anticipated movie that came out in 1970 by Michelangelo Antonioni’s called ‘Zabriskie Point’. Pink Floyd had recorded some very unique music for the soundtrack and has remained in elevated circles among rock enthusiasts. <br />In 1971, after their U.S. tour, at a band meeting, there was talk of trying something new. At this point Roger Waters had become the bands largest source for inspiration and he began to work tirelessly on lyrics. He came up with the specific idea of dealing with all the things that drive people mad as well as the stresses and problems they all were facing. His creative leap explored social problems, violence and the comforts of religion. This latest effort from the band took shape almost overnight and it happened in such a short amount of time that it was almost unbelievable. Waters nearly dominated the creative input almost all his own and their efforts would unfold to be one of the biggest rock albums of all time, The Dark Side of the Moon.<br />Composition History<br />The Compositions to be discussed in this history are from Pink Floyd’s album The Dark side of the Moon.<br />I will discuss the following titles off of that album:<br /><ul><li>Breathe
  2. 2. On the run
  3. 3. The Great Gig in the Sky
  4. 4. Brain Damage</li></ul>The approximate elapsed time for these pieces is just over 15 minutes.<br />While working on The Dark Side of the Moon the whole band felt like they were all in on the exploration and collaboration because they all felt good about where it was going. Not to mention besides that fact that it’s concepts were relative to them at that point in their lives but also because honestly they were still hoping to become rich and famous. This album is commonly referred to as a “concept album” but it is still thick with variety.<br />Breathe – “A lot of the musical ideas just came up from jamming in rehearsal rooms, CITATION Eag03 l 1033 (Ltd.)” remarked David Gilmour. The main staple to this song came from basically just jamming the chords E-minor and A. They stuck to a float like feeling of the song and Roger mixed the lyrics right in to that same feel. The lyrics convey a “live as you care CITATION Eag03 l 1033 (Ltd.)” attitude and Roger felt surprised later that he got away with it. They had been playing an unkempt version of the song live for just under a year before it was ever recorded, refined and placed onto the album.<br />On The Run – This is an instrumental piece between Breathe and Time on the album. The band had been doing a short jam session live of a similar piece that they were referring to as on the run at the time. The band in a whole though had often felt dissatisfied with it. The band had a synthesizer in the studio with a build in keyboard and sequencer. David started messing with it one day plugging in little sequences. This got Roger excited and so they started messing with it together. They came across a short sequence they liked and sped it up. All that was left to do was add in a less prominent second synthesizer and some scattered sound effects and the track was complete basically in their eyes.<br />The Great Gig in the Sky – Is another instrumental piece on the album. Richard had this to say about the song, “The band basically wanted another 4-5 minutes of music and we thought it could be an instrumental. I think I just as I always had done just sat at the piano… CITATION Eag03 l 1033 (Ltd.)” The main bulk of this song is what Richard came up with there at the piano. In talking about the vocals on the song Roger could not remember whose idea it was to have a female singer come on and improvise over the music but their producer suggested that they try out a singer named Clare Torry for the role. Once they were hip on the idea of having a female singer just improvise over the music they told her, “…think about death, think about horror and whatever and just go and sing. CITATION Eag03 l 1033 (Ltd.)” So she went out into the studio, sang, came back in and said to them that she was really embarrassed but everyone listening just thought it was marvelous and brilliant.<br />Brain damage – “I definitely think it has to do with Syd and a bit about defending the notion of being different, CITATION Eag03 l 1033 (Ltd.)” stated Roger. He recalled thinking about a piece or grass and how ridiculous it is when people try to keep others off of it and that its almost insane for a man to consider enjoying the grass by walking on it or playing with a ball on it etc. Roger analogized it with society in a whole how it seems that we tend to try to steer people into a certain way of thinking and being and that there is something bizarre about the person who would think to play on the grass that has been the reputation as untouchable. <br />Bibliography BIBLIOGRAPHY Harris, John. The Dark Side of the Moon - The Making of the Pink Floyd Masterpiece. Da Capo Press, 2005.Povey, Glenn. Echoes - The Complete History of Pink Floyd. Chicago: Mind Head Publishing, 2006, 2008, 2010.The Dark Side of the Moon. Dir. Mathew Longfellow. Perf. Eagle Rock Entertainment Ltd. 2003.<br />Listening Guide<br />On this album there are a lot of sound effects, empty space and background voices. I will do my best to describe just the music portions with little reference to the other sounds.<br />Breathe:<br />This song is in 2/4 time.<br />0:00-1:13 heartbeats, motors, people talking, office equipment noises, laughter, etc.<br />1:13 Intro: The intro begins with a mellow 2/4 rhythm. There is a simple but fairly unpredictable drum beat with a generous picking on a sustained guitar. There is a small range melody being played at this point on the bass guitar just flowing along with the rest of the groove.<br />1:29 A slide guitar starts at a low pitch and gradually slides to a relatively high pitch in about 3 measures.<br />2:13 the music slightly changes here, it almost seems to change to 4/4 time (but I could be wrong) as we get a short verse intro<br />2:29 Verse 1: The music goes back to basically all that was happening from 1:13-2:13 except now we have vocals. The Melody on the verse has a small note range and is executed at a mid range pitch and volume. The intervals in the Melody are definitely conjunct.<br />2:58 Chorus: The music as well as the vocals at this point gives the illusion of slowing down and drooping. If fact the melody does descend at this point until it goes into the second verse.<br />3:14 Verse 2: follows right along with verse 1, only difference are the lyrics.<br />3:43 Chorus 2: matches chorus 1 just about the same.<br />3:58 The song has no outro and it just goes right in to the next song. Which we will look at now called “On the Run.”<br />On the Run:<br />Instrumental<br />This song is in 2/4 time.<br />0:01 This song starts off with a swift repetitive tapping on the hit-hat at what I would guess is a 16th note a measure and cut time pace.<br />0:14 We start hearing a looped sequence of notes, that has been sped up, slowly increasing in volume.<br />0:33-1:11 I will call this section Verse 1 since it will repeat again later. There are various sounds taking place at different times, they are: someone running, a woman talking over a PA, a propeller ran airplane flying by, etc.<br />1:11 There is a second sequenced pattern that swiftly gets louder in volume and then back out again.<br />1:20 – 1:59 Verse 2: Random sounds played just like what I called the first verse.<br />3:05 The outro of this song is the sound of an exploding plane.<br />The Great Gig in the Sky:<br />This song is in 4/4 time.<br />0:00-0:17 Intro: The intro to this song is played on a piano. Mostly just chords being played with a few pick up notes in-between.<br />0:18 There is a slide guitar here starting in a medium range playing an inverted arch type accompaniment going back up at 0:22. Then repeated at 0:28-0:35 and repeated a few more time leading up to the verse.<br />1:00 Theme intro: Here enters the drums and piano basically just to play a few pick-up beats into the verse.<br />- This song is really hard for me to know what to call each movement because this piece of music is set as an improv. <br />1:08 Enter Vocals. There are no lyrics. It is just a vocal solo improved over the music and I shall do my best to describe what happens in the music and in the vocals. <br />1:08-2:21 The accompaniment stays relatively the same during this portion while the vocals leave hardly any gaps from one to the next. Her vocal range is very wide and disjunct. The volume to her voice goes up and down while the accompaniment stays the same.<br />2:21 The accompaniment mirrors that of the Intro to the song at this point. The vocals are less pronounced and more conjunct with a more narrow range in her melody.<br />2:47 The female vocalist begins to sing more conjunct as her range begins to slowly increase and she starts to tease the listener by quickly leading into a crescendo and then pulls back into a decrescendo. She also starts to take her range to the height of her ability being that she sounds to be an Alto. <br />4:10-4:45 The music and vocalist begin to fade slowly out while she continues to sing high conjunct pitches.<br />Brain Damage: <br />This song is in 4/4 time.<br />0:00-0:15 Intro: There is a simple rhythmatic hi-hat being played with a picked guitar accompaniment with slight sustain. <br />0:16 Verse 1: Narrow melody range being sang. The second half of the Verse rises up to the harmony and keeps a narrow range there before slowly descending back to where it was at the start of the verse.<br />0:44 Verse 2: Just a repeat of the first verse but with different lyrics and same concept.<br />1:13 Chorus 1: The chorus rises in pitch but stays fairly similar to that of the verse except there is more going on. The drummer gets a little more technical and we get some back-up singers singing the harmony.<br />1:48 Verse 3: Same as Verses 1 & 2<br />2:31 Chorus 2: Same as Chorus 2, but different lyrics and more back-up singers.<br />3:07 Outro: Follows the same pattern and melody of the intro but we have an electric sounding synthesizer playing the harmonic chords of each measure at the beginning of each measure. Repeated until the song ends at 3:51.<br />