Sunday, April 24, 2005

Queen, "March of the Black Queen"

Another long Queen song (clocking in at about six and a half minutes), and this song has a wide range of moods and doesn't follow a typical formula of verse chorus solo etc. but rather goes through a very free form going through different episodes that reflect the lyrics and go through a wide range of feelings.

The song begins very serenly with an introduction that is played by the piano that has eighth notes in the bass with the upbeat higher than the downbeat (probably a fifth or octave) with chords filling out on the downbeat with a little light guitar in the middle this is interuppted by a huge vocal la chord on the tonic chord with the bass guitar. The piano structure keeps going with the vocal background and the first lyrics "Do you mean it?" This lightens in a couple measure to just the vocal line continuing and some light ride cymbal hits with another little guitar solo with cymbal that ends on the half cadence that prepares us for another loud vocal hit on "ah". This time our rhythm kicks in with the drums carrying sixteenth notes in the toms that start to give us a march like tempo but with the vocal ah's holding out seperate chords for several measures, with the guitar being added in unison and then creating a polyphonic texture, the feeling of the music is still introductory.

This feeling of introduction finally ends over a minute into the song when the whole previous texture falls back to just the vocal doing a true feeling melodic line with quarter note piano chordal accompaniment with bass guitar in the beginning of each measure and some other little fills and whatnot outside of the lyrics.

The drums kick back in after about eight measure with some guitar filling accompaniment in a part that feels like the chorus. This is followed by a guitar solo over the music of the verse repeating itself followed by the chorus again followed by a short vocal transition which would feel like a guitar solo and this carries on for a few measures, but this is soon interrupted by a very cool rhythmic transformation. To give a little clue on the lyrics, they are about the "black queen" with some somewhat vulgar language (not cuss words, just things like "blue powder monkeys praying in the dead of night") and eventually comes to accept being with the black queen which represents evil or at least the inability of humans to be perfect

The rhythmic transformation of the music is done by taking the sixteenth note in 4/4 time and making it the eighth note triplet in 12/8 time. There is still that same subdivision of the beat but the actual tempo marking quickens and the triplet feel also gives more action to the music. The guitar carries on the solo with beating toms and a cool little part of chimes on the downbeat followed by some more of the crazy ah chords.

All of the ah's seem to be going somewhere but suddenly, all of the noise from the instruments and chordal voices ends suddenly with just one vocalist carrying a new melodic line. This new melody would serve as a verse in some other song and just has some light occasional piano accompaniment and some light vocal accompaniment. The beat can be felt and is slower than the other but there is still not consistent playing. The vocals in this point are about the "voice from behind me" trying to find some redeeming value in human life and ends up saying that the quality is giving "a little bit of love and joy" This part feels verse form throughout and has three repititions of what feels like a verse.

At the end of the verse marks the enterance of the drums, bass, and guitar that start going into a march feel with a crecendo followed by the enterance of the chordal voices again that crecendos into another section that has the same feel as the original march feel from just after the introduction but doesn't sound quite like the original part. This part has an active drum part throughout and the lyrics are back to accepting the fate of being with the black queen. There is a guitar solo in the middle of the lyrics which is followed by some more lyrics and then a transition section that sounds like the one before the rhythmic modulation but this time it just falls apart to a light guitar solo and piano solo.

This eventually goes to silence where one might think the song is over, but it doesn't sound quite done and is interrupted by the piano doing an active two sixteenth notes one sixteenth note rest pattern which serves as a call that ushers in the rest of the group for one last affirmation of the rule of the black queen that has a main vocal line and backup vocals that eventually end in a glorious PAC which serves as the jumping point of the next song, but since I've written way to much on this song I'll stop here.

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