Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Monty Python, "I like Chinese"

It's almost Spring Break so I'm doing something silly.

This song's introduction has some spoken lyrics with light government accompaniment that ends on half cadences after each line.

The rest of the song is an example of how you can make the same eight measure period interesting for about two and a half minutes. The period is very simple the first two measures stay on tonic followed by the next two measures having a HC. The second phrase stays on tonic for the first two bars with the second spending some time on the subdominant and dominant before the PAC. Each one of these periods have a unique accompaniment to keep it interesting. The first one has eighth note boom chicks in the drums and guitars with a walking bass line. The second time through adds a water effect with pops that increase in pitch followed by pouring water (this seems comical, but one of our percussion ensemble pieces this semester has pouring water). The next time through adds accompaniment by a crappy "movie theater" organ and does stop time in the seventh and eighth measures with just hits on 1 and 3. The next time through the guitar part stops and the organ part becomes much more active with fast scalar passages. The next time through all the previous accompaniment drops out and there is no chordal accompaniment, just a rhythmic "tap dancing" sound and hi-hat downbeats with the voice becoming stacatto to match this. The next time through brings back the drums and walking bass but with a wonderful little brass line that plays when the singer isn't singing. The next time through there is a lyrical trombone line mostly outlining chords with the guitar doing some stacatto scalar lines around the vocals. This contrast is very nice. The next time the vocals sing in Chinese, so naturally the accompaniment is some string instrument that sounds very Eastern. Since the switch back to English is a pretty significant change, the accompaniment for the next part is the same. The last full repition of this phrase has the return of the organ doing more active lines than previously, an added voice altered to sound like "Alvin and the Chipmunks" and some Chinese cymbal hits. This accompaniment is then repeated as the music fades.

So many repetitions, but it does a pretty effective job of staying interesting.

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