Friday, April 08, 2005

"High and Dry" Radiohead

Well it didn't publish last night, I'll try again today.
High and Dry is a more tame song for Radiohead. It's simple, chill, and has a catchy chorus. I like it. Pieced together by Radioheads individual musicians, it was not ever recorded together. I like how Radiohead plays with unique instrument timbres in their music. It gives their music a very individualized voice, with each song being it's own special work of art. This is one of Radioheads more simple songs, at least harmonically. Moving primarily between the tonic and dominant of A and E, it is rather basic. But the lyrics are very unique, and paired with their stolen drum rhythm and guitars,
When I think of this piece, I think of some lazy saturday afternoon or evening. Radiohead has a different impression of this song. In their American music video they give this piece a dark, somber pulp fiction-esque feel. For those who have never been exposed to Radiohead, this is a good way to start. It's simple, and easy to swallow.

Massenet - Meditation from Thais

The site was down and wasn't able to post this last night, so here it is.

This sounds like it's in ternary form -there is a clear return of the A section and it's pretty much exactly the same as the initial instance of it except for the terminative bars toward the end. The B section is also very clear - it is in a minor key and has a distinctly different motive and overall feel. I love the way this piece uses rhythm. I feel like the main motive seems to try to make the listener feel like the rhythm and/or tempo is being altered to a degree with the way the first and last notes of the rhythmical theme are longer than those in between. It's kind of hard to explain without having a score in front of me, but essentially the motion is falling and then rising again. It creates a very light and airy feeling and makes me think of a feather being tossed around by the wind, getting higher from the ground and then falling down slowly only to be picked up by another breeze.

Incredible Hulk

Ok....I think this is finally going to work! yay! This piano solo is the theme song for the Incredible Hulk series from the 70's. First of all, I will state that I believe this is one of the most beautiful piano solos ever. It is in minor and is so open and pure. I thought of this solo because Richard O'brien the man who wrote Rocky Horror, used this solo in RHPS. I like to play this theme on a piano if i am listening to its tuning and the pureness of the intercvals. This is an ABA form piece and can be played in any minor key. I play it in c minor, but it was in in g minor in RHPS. The bass is interesting b/c it decends chromatically while the right hand stays put. The B section is different and is much more sonorous chord wise. Besides the chromatic bass line in the A section, there really are not many accidentals. It is very open and pure. Can I just say that I love this piece??? Listen to it!!! peace out

Incredible Hulk

Ok....I think this is finally going to work! yay! This piano solo is the theme song for the Incredible Hulk series from the 70's. First of all, I will state that I believe this is one of the most beautiful piano solos ever. It is in minor and is so open and pure. I thought of this solo because Richard O'brien the man who wrote Rocky Horror, used this solo in RHPS. I like to play this theme on a piano if i am listening to its tuning and the pureness of the intercvals. This is an ABA form piece and can be played in any minor key. I play it in c minor, but it was in in g minor in RHPS. The bass is interesting b/c it decends chromatically while the right hand stays put. The B section is different and is much more sonorous chord wise. Besides the chromatic bass line in the A section, there really are not many accidentals. It is very open and pure. Can I just say that I love this piece??? Listen to it!!! peace out


The piece starts off very serenely and ambiguously with with one main motivic gesture "do ti la so" in straight 8th notes that has its focus in the first violins. It definately sets the scene of night. It is very austere and mysterious. The 8th note motive never stops. The meter is obscured. It feels like its in 2 but its really in 3. The texture thickens and thins out periodically with short statements by the woodwinds. The 8th note gesture gets passed further down into the lower strings finally to the english horn as the eb clarinet has the melody. There are mini explosions of color by the violins and their tremelos as the scaluar passage is passed from ww to ww. Then, a huge lush explosion of color and dynamic as the strings soar above the orchestra playing a seductive and gorgeous melody reinforced by the tuba and timpani. The 8th notes are changing character by now. There is a statement by a clarinet duet that is very virtuous. It is runs of non-diatonic 8th and 16th notes that is very ethnic. A new phrase begins again just like beginning: very serene and ambiguous in the strings. The 8th note passage is passed to the vibrophone now. A bassoon duet copies the clarinet duet. Woodwind statements add little bits of color as the strings play the motive. The movement ends with 2 notes played by the glock.


The piece starts off very serenely and ambiguously with with one main motivic gesture "do ti la so" in straight 8th notes that has its focus in the first violins. It definately sets the scene of night. It is very austere and mysterious. The 8th note motive never stops. The meter is obscured. It feels like its in 2 but its really in 3. The texture thickens and thins out periodically with short statements by the woodwinds. The 8th note gesture gets passed further down into the lower strings finally to the english horn as the eb clarinet has the melody. There are mini explosions of color by the violins and their tremelos as the scaluar passage is passed from ww to ww. Then, a huge lush explosion of color and dynamic as the strings soar above the orchestra playing a seductive and gorgeous melody reinforced by the tuba and timpani. The 8th notes are changing character by now. There is a statement by a clarinet duet that is very virtuous. It is runs of non-diatonic 8th and 16th notes that is very ethnic. A new phrase begins again just like beginning: very serene and ambiguous in the strings. The 8th note passage is passed to the vibrophone now. A bassoon duet copies the clarinet duet. Woodwind statements add little bits of color as the strings play the motive. The movement ends with 2 notes played by the glock.


The piece starts off very serenely and ambiguously with with one main motivic gesture "do ti la so" in straight 8th notes that has its focus in the first violins. It definately sets the scene of night. It is very austere and mysterious. The 8th note motive never stops. The meter is obscured. It feels like its in 2 but its really in 3. The texture thickens and thins out periodically with short statements by the woodwinds. The 8th note gesture gets passed further down into the lower strings finally to the english horn as the eb clarinet has the melody. There are mini explosions of color by the violins and their tremelos as the scaluar passage is passed from ww to ww. Then, a huge lush explosion of color and dynamic as the strings soar above the orchestra playing a seductive and gorgeous melody reinforced by the tuba and timpani. The 8th notes are changing character by now. There is a statement by a clarinet duet that is very virtuous. It is runs of non-diatonic 8th and 16th notes that is very ethnic. A new phrase begins again just like beginning: very serene and ambiguous in the strings. The 8th note passage is passed to the vibrophone now. A bassoon duet copies the clarinet duet. Woodwind statements add little bits of color as the strings play the motive. The movement ends with 2 notes played by the glock.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

David Gray- January Rain

This piece is my all-time favorite David Gray piece. It's strictly instrumental with just a couple of guitars. There is a recurring theme and you'd be surprised how similarly to a fugue it's laid out. Lots of imitative counterpoint and a recurring motive. With the recurring La-la-ti-do theme it often tonicizes the VI and has lots of deceptive motion. For a song by a "pop" artist it really is great. This song always makes me want to just chill out or fall asleep. It's always good for calming me down and helping me focus. That David Gray is a genius. :-) I highly recommend this song.
P.S.- It appears a few times in the movie Serendipity, if you are a fan of girly movies.

Well Tempered Clavier (bach) vol 2, fugue 16 in gm

So I published already, but the internet ate it apparently. Perhaps it will regurgitate it once I've written it, let's summarize: minor but chirpy, short exposition, lots of major in the development so not a downer, long terminative and re-exposition section, seems like it will end any minute, then doesn't. Uses a lot of homophony in the terminative section, more than usual. Four voices, that much I could hear on my own. I heard the complete subject say about 13 times (not including when two voices played it simultaneously), but the site says 17. I have real concentration issues and I wish I was better at this, but I'm not. yay test tomorrow.

"Procession of the Nobles" by Rimsky-Korsakov

This piece is a fun little programmatic piece about well, read the title.The piece has a common rhythimic motive of eighth note ten sixteenth notes in a 3/4 which helps give the piece a noble nature as does beginning with a brass fanfare and focusing on the intervals of fourths and fifths like a horn call would do. There is no traditional chord progression with all smooth voice leading and whatnot, they change quite suddenly with some of the cadences just being unison sol-dos. The piece turns into a more traditional march like feeling when the woodwinds enter and take over with a similar melody but is more scalar while the brass accompany on three and one with a more traditional voice leading prodecdure. Later on in this section the accompaniment does some fun syncopated bits and it ends with a big timpani solo serving to terminate and establish tonic chord.The piece then moves into a softer section with a "walking bass" like line on every beat, though there is no bass player. This moves into another fanfare like section with some overlapping parts that have the melody in fourths which gives an ancient noble feeling to the music and another section of the brass providing the strong accompaniment to the woodwinds and another timpani solo.The piece then moves into a trio like section that flows much more with some two sixteenth quarter eighth quarter rhythms. This doesn't feel totally like a trio though because the original rhythmic comes back constantly and there are also some very loud parts. Eventually the fanfare comes in again just like in the beginning but this time the woodwind section is accompanied by just tambourine and low brass and then the brass take it over being accompanied by cymbals and timpani and low brass. Then there are some very pretty eigth note descending lines in the brass that lead to one last timpani solo.

Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet, "The Montagues and Capulets"

I'm so upset. I spent 45 minutes writing this and the dumb thing didn't send and was erased. I hate computers sometimes! AHHH! So...I'll see what I can remember off the top of my head. The piece is powerful by starting with a two measure intro with big bass chords. It's amazing how Prokofiev makes the piece so interesting when the melody is merely arpeggiated dominant and leading tone chords. At the end of the exposition the melody is even more invigorating as it adds density through chords and a higher range. The close of this section with big dramatic chords sounds like the conclusion of the entire piece, making it rounded bianary. But...surprisingly a new section-completely different, then begins. This section is like twinkling starlight. The meter, rhythm, mood, density, and range are all different then the first section. The only thing that unifies it with the first section is the bass octaves. Then, very softly, there is a restatement of the original theme. This crescendos into a huge restatement pulling all the stops. The piece concludes with a crashing thunderbolt of ascending chords and unusual rhythm. It's composite ternary form. Both A sections are rounded bianary obvious from the modulation and variation in the middle that returns to the original theme. This piece depicts the emotions of Romeo and Juliet perfectly.

"moonfall" from the mystery of edwin drood

"Moonfall" from The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Music and Lyrics by Rupert Holmes.

Jasper, Rosa Bud's creepy music teacher has fallen in love with her. He writes this song for her to sing in one of her lessons. Unfortunately, Rosa Bud does not return his affections, and is really just kind of creeped out by the whole thing.
The scenario that this song is being sung in requires a song that sounds kind of creepy. It is really chromatic, kind of tempo-less and wandering, and a little hollow sounding. It is really a cool piece, and great for a good soprano because this is more of a classical musical theatre piece as far as the technique and training needed to sing the vocal line well.
The song begins with the motive that is carried throughout the song. It is a descending line with a lot of chromatic notes in it. After the first statement of the motive, it is repeated again, but a third higher. This happens again, but this time is connected into the bridge, which really isn't that much different from the rest of the song. It is a little higher, and at a louder dynamic, and the tempo picks up a little. After the bridge, the motive comes back and the rest of the song is almost identical to the beginning.
Another cool element about this song is the accompaniment. Up until the bridge it is mostly just arpeggiated chords... but they have a lot of chromaticism in them... and they just wander. You can't ever really predict where they are going... they just just aimlessly float around in a hollow way. It's a very neat effect. At the bridge, they are still arpeggiated, but they are full chords now. Almost every note in every chord is a nonchord tone. There is a huge crescendo and it sounds almost frightening. Very cool. After the bridge there is a break from the storm like effect in the chords, and they become calm and wandering again like they were in the beginning.
It's a cool piece. Barbara talked me into singing it at NATS, and I am really glad I agreed. It's different... and it's not the typical sweet soprano role. I wish I could play piano well enough to play this. It looks fun. John Clodfelter hates playing musical theatre and HE even likes this one. That's saying something :-)

“Norwegian Wood” by Beatles

“Norwegian Wood” is a great Beatles song off their wonderful album Rubber Soul from 1965. The song, written by Lennon and McCartney, makes use of guitar, lead and harmony vocal, bass guitar, and sitar, played by George Harrison. This song is interesting because it has five verses, all with a similar melody, but the first verse is major, the second minor, and so on. The other interesting thing is that it could either be in a fast three or six-four or it might actually be in a compound meter, probably a slow six or three-eight. I feel division of each note into three parts and by listening to the bass line I guess I would have to call it six-eight. The beginning has four measures of guitar that seems to foreshadow the melody, sol-la-sol-fa-mi-re-fa-mi-do-ti-re-ti-sol. The sitar joins in with the same melody for the fifth measure and then continues to play some different stuff for the rest of the song. The first, third, and fifth verses all use the same melody that I explained from the introduction. The second verse uses the minor chord and the melody changes to something beginning on me instead of mi obviously since its minor not major. The song lacks too many cliché chord progressions, but there is definitely some I to IV motion that you can hear in all of the verses.
I like the song because of the sitar. The sitar sound brought a whole new element to Beatles music and made it even more innovative for the time. I like Norwegian Wood because of its different sound. All of the songs on Rubber Soul are slightly out there, but this song sticks out the most too me.

Bach: Fugue in b minor, WTC Book I

This is the final fugue in the first book of the WTC and in my opinion is one of the most reverent pieces of music I have ever heard. Last night I went through and listened to all of the fugues and this last one seemed to bring everything together so well. It seems to me that b minor holds a special significance to Bach, since this piece appears to be so reverent, and also his most famous Mass is also in b minor. As for the analysis, the fugue has 4 voices and 13 full subjects. The subject line has this great cross motive, playing around with tones using sequential crosses (one note, then it's leading tone, then a leap and a repeat of the same motion). In this way it really draws together all the other works in the WTC, since this final subject has every single note of the chromatic scale. In the counter subject we have this descending scale of five quarter notes, which fall in line between each of the cross motives. Bach is so meticulous in his preparation that everything falls in line perfectly, not a single note seems out of place. I forgot to mention that the subject starts inside out, with the order going 2,3,4,1 (in order of voices), filling from the middle outwards. We have a few cadences in this piece, starting with measure 6. Actually every time we finish the subject we seem to end on a cadence. We also have a couple leading to the first development. At 17 and again at 21 we have cadences: the first in the minor dominant (f#) then a PAC in b minor signaling a return of the subject. We cadence at 30 in e minor to bring us to the second development. Halfway through the development we reach the key of D major. Measure 53 brings us back to the minor dominant of f#, finally beginning to bring this fugue to a close. Suddenly, we're in E Major as the bass puts in another subject. Back to b minor as we're hitting the terminative section. A final subject in e minor leads us to a f# final half cadence then a final B Major picardy third. I really love this piece, so serene, so moving, I actually teared up while writing this and listening. To recap out keys: b, f#, e, D, f#, E, b, e, B...weeeee

Six Metamorphoses for Oboe- Benjamin BRITTEN

So I'm working on this for proficiency, sorry to keep up the oboe literature, but this is what I listen to, oboe and josh groban.
The six metamorphoses are based on different greek myths, each of the six is like a little story, they are performed unaccompanied so they are very programmatic and that leaves a lot to the oboist as far as a really accurate portrayal of the music.
The first of the six, entitled "PAN" is the story of pan, and how he had a crush on this nymph and was trying to catch her, this playfulness is shown through the opening lines with two sixteenth notes followed by a quarter note with a fermata. It kind of imitates a call on a pan flute. Groups of sixteenth note sextuplets followed by two triplets give a tense and mysterious feel to the piece. There is a quick accelerando of sixteenth notes and then a rallentando which kind of signifies pan finally catching this nymph. This is all followed by another sixteenth note passage at FF dynamic on a high A natural (I'll admit that its strident) but its supposed to be! It represents the nymph screaming in anguish because pan turns her into the pipes that he plays on as the oboe descends in a huge sixteenth note, sextuplet run with a fermata on a low D which is supposed to be played very obnoxiously and grotesquely, this is followed by a little flippy two sixteenth notes and an eighth after a long pause, ending with pans playful attitude.

Contrapunctus 4, Allegro Moderato

Canadian Brass

The subject is characterized by the solfege sol-do-me-fa-sol-fa-me-re, and do is an elision that signals the end of the subject. The rhthym is five quarters, two eighths, and the re is a quarter tied to a line of sixteenths starting on do. I counted a total of thirteen subjects. The first is in the trumpet, then the french horn, euphonium, tuba, and trumpet. After the first subject, the trumpet enters a developmental function on syncopated rhythms that keep the subject moving. The euphonium's entrance adds mainly to the density. Some of the common developmental rhythms are two sixteenths and an eighth followed by a longer note, one of the things that shapes the phrases to give it a simple duple meter. Several of the subjects are signaled by ascending or descending lines in the developmental parts. The second section is signaled through chromatic development in the subject, it modualtes to the major fourth. It ends on a PAC after a terminative function that modulates back to its original minor key.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Contrapunctus 1, Andante sostenuto

Canadian Brass

I had a nice blog written for this one, but it got deleted, so I'll make this brief. I counted four voices, which is a problem because there are five players in the Canadian Brass, and eight repetitions of the subject. The subject is characterized by 5 quarters, two eights, and a quarter tied to four sixteenths, the eights and sixteenths shaping the phrases. The entire few stays in the same minor key, and the solfege of the subject is do-me-re-do-ti-do-re-me-fa-me-re-do. I liked this piece because the brass blended well together. The terminative function is characterized by a rest on all voices, higher density, and foreign rhythms. It ends on an IAC.

Elton John- Your Song

Piano accompaniment simply provides the progression using arpeggiated chords. It blocks a chord at the beginning of each subphrase, making the structural divisions very clear. Once the chord is played, the voice follows immediately and pauses again at the end of the subphrase. Each sentence in the lyrics is divided up between two subphrases and makes up one complete phrase, usually with antecedent-consequent. Each stanza includes four subphrases and ends on a cadence. The Structural parts are divided by stanzas. The A stanza repeats twice with different words, and then the B part serves as the main chorus. The B part develops the A with a variation of the contour, while steal maintaining the same type of structural division and accompaniment. The A then repeats 2 cycles once again with two different sets of words. The B chorus comes back again and then a terminative section similar to the end of B closes out the piece.

Arvo Part, "Fratres"

I thought I'd go out on a limb here and try a 2oth century piece. Fratres, so I have been told, is an extremely famous piece of the 2oth century. It has been arranged for many different instruments. So many, you wouldn't believe. The recording I'm listening to sounds like an octet of cellos or something. I'm not gonna go into an analysis of classical form or harmonies because that would be pointless. The coolest part of this piece is its repetition. Above a drone consisting of an octave and fifth, lies a repeated melody. The cool thing about this is that there are a certain number of ordered pitches, "color", that are played in a repeated rhythm, or "talea." Mixed together, we can have a piece of unparalleled lengths. Although it sounds simple, it is still very beautiful. For a twentieth century piece, this is hauntingly peaceful and melodic.

Fantoches- Debussy

Fantoches (Marionettes)

The song is a story about all of these marionettes, and so Debussy intends for these characters to not be taken seriously, and therefore writes all sorts of crazy things to let the audience always remember that we're talking about puppets here, not a real story.

The song starts with a very chromatic sixteenth-note piano intro when the singer jumps in and starts telling about the first two characters {Scaramouche et Pulcinella, qu'un mauvais dessien rassambla...Scaramouche and Pulcinella, whom an evil plot brought together} anyway, they're gesticulating black against the moon

After he explains about these two characters, Debussy throws in some "la, la, la" action. I think it's great, it sort of separates these characters from the ones that are yet to come. The next character (Bologna doctor) is separated from his daughter's introduction with la's. She then, with saucy countenance, takes part in "half-naked la la la" with a handsome Spanish pirate. after a nightingale sings the lovelorn tune, there's more "la-ing".

it's a nice setting of a verlaine poem (it's actually the second musical setting by Debussy, but the first was never published).

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Bach, Well Tempered Clavier, Fugue No 4 in c# minor

What's neat about this fugue is that it's subject is simple and short, the notes are slow and long like a lament--do ti me re--so it's symmetrical in the sense that you have a half step down and then another half step down at a different interval, plus the two outer notes begin as whole notes while the two inner notes are half notes. Neater still, is that you can break the subject down into really just a repeated half step transposed. So simple.'s that Bach takes this little thing and makes the fugue so complicated, running beneath it scores and scores of eigth notes--and he uses a total of four voices, but sometimes the fourth drops out. Those intervals, the minor second and the tritone, so poignant. But I love polyphony and minor modes.

"Er ist's" - Hugo Wolf

"Er ist's" is one of Wolf's most famous lieder, especially since it is a nice introduction to Wolf's style. Wolf is known for his emphasis on declamation of the text, as well as his ability to paint the text beautifully.

"Er ist's" does not fit any of the lied forms we discussed in class. The poetry is in free verse, written by Moerike, and there is no rhyme or meter. Therefore, I think that Wolf chooses to have no specific form. There are no cadences until the PAC at the end.

The lied is about the coming of spring. The singer describes all the wonderful images, sounds, and smells of spring - fragrant violets blooming, the cool breeze, the sound of a harp. All these sensory descriptions culminate in the singer's realization that her lover has returned to her at last. A page-long piano solo concludes the piece.

The piano hardly serves as accompaniment for this lied. As in most Wolf pieces, the piano works with, not for the singer, to create the atmosphere of the poem. The piano plays a high-timbre arpeggiation in the tonic key. The piano never returns to tonic until the end. In fact, it goes through several modulations, increasing the tension as the lied moves a long. It is only at the realization that the piano finally cadences back to tonic. The entire last page is in the tonic key. The texture of the piano is very rich.

Some people, including myself, feel that this entire lied is a metaphor for sex. The text and music all point towards the realization, or climax. The text is somewhat vague - the translation, "Flruehling, ja du bist's" or "Spring, yes you are it!" suggests that the singer is in ecstasy for her lover. The fact that the piano part keeps modulating and never resolves to tonic until this point is very supportive of the sex theory.

Harvey Danger, "Radio Silence"

I chose this song today because of the effective crecendo it has throughout the song from no sound to a pure wall of sound, which is really needed because the song consists of one really long repeating verse and then a chorus at the end. There's also a couple of neat dramatic effects.

The song starts out with the "fooling around" warm up period that is really soft before the main guitar melody, which is just a repetitive chord structure in eighth notes with a little syncopation by holding over beat 3. The first sign of the crecendo is when the drums and bass are added. The guitar part has the same basic rhythm but just doing single notes and the bass also does the eighth notes but with strong emphasis on the downbeats and the pick up to the downbeat. The drums just have a soft bass drum on one and three and soft snare drum on two and four. Each one of these changes in instrumentation also has a very slight rise in dynamic. The vocalist throughout this increases not just the volume of his voice but also the agitation of it, which helps to increase tension.

The next change has the hi hat doing eighth which adds to the driving force, and then the bass drum becomes prominent and starts doing eighth notes on beats one and three. There's also a nice lyrical effect where the singer brings out the word "shock" and repeats three times on the offbeat, giving the word some reality in the music. The next change has the guitar returning to the full chords like in the beginning. The drum solos between each of these changes becomes more complicated. After a measure of just guitar echo, the guitar "solo" begins, though it is little more than an introduction of a new voice. This guitar just basically strays a bit from the original motive and a new guitar voice doing steady chord emphasis on eighth notes is added.

The next big change has the new guitar voice going from more stacatto close interval chord, this voice switches to doing full chords in eighth notes that provides our first constant sound throughout each measure, though it still isn't at a burn the speakers loud level. The final marking point and the full satisfaction is having the bass go down from a dominant chord to a register it has not been. The song continues with this wall of sound for the chorus. It is quite repetitive but there is a nice little (and I mean little) counterpoint between the main melody voice and a softer background voice with the main voice on the word "radio" doing three descending scalar notes and a big jump, while the background voice continuing the scalar note down. The main singer eventually does the downward motion like the lower voice. The end has a big final chord with a bunch of weird decreasing guitar effects.

Scaramouche - Darius Milhaud

I heard this today at the winner's concert here in Seattle (on which I was definitely not performing), and I was very surprised at the piece. Apparently, it was originally, for two pianos, but I heard it performed by an amazing alto saxophonist and his accompanist.

What mainly surprised me was its simple harmony. I don't know much about Milhaud - I've only heard his concerto for percussion, but I thought he wrote with a much more modern, atonal, and, for lack of a better word, weird style. Instead, the three movements of "Scaramouche" all had simple, very tonal harmonies and a style that is very easy to listen to.

Movement 1, "Vif," sounded almost like cartoon music. It uses what I think is just a I-vi-ii-V progression with the pianist playing a stride-style accompaniment. Though the piece ventures into some foreign keys at times, it always returns to that progression, which is the center of the piece.

Movement 2, "Modere," also has a simple harmony. The main progression is just I-V7-V-I. It's in Bb, and the top voice in the piano always plays D-Eb-C-D in a very standard voicing of these chords. If I had heard this piece without a program, I would've guessed it was from the classical era by the simpicity of it.

Movement 3, "Brazileira," is based on a Latin rhythm: 1 + (2) + (3+) 4, which is almost like the first bar of 3-2 clave. It's also pretty straightforward.

The piece made me feel happy for a couple of reasons. First of all, I was very happy to find more 20th century music that is not completely crazy and atonal. I don't enjoy a lot of the more experimental music of recent times, and I really admire composers that are able to compose stuff that appeals to a simple ear while sounding modern.

Aside from my intellectual delight, the piece made me happy because that's the mood Milhaud expresses. The first movement seems like it represents childish, innocent pleasure in life, while the second movement is a more calm, reflective joy, while the third is sassy yet still lively and joyful. I will definitely look into the music of Milhaud more in depth... his percussion music left me with a much different impression.

"The Sound Of Music"

Ok ok ok... so I know how I say all the time that I hate this show and I never want to hear any of the music from it again. I spent a whole year of my life doing the part of Liesl with 2 different theatre companies, back to back. But, it's been two years since I have listened to anything from the show... and I have found that I can stand it again... well, at least a little better. So here you are kids, "The Sound of Music" from... yes, "The Sound of Music." Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, Music by Richard Rodgers. Original Broadway Cast Recording.
So, we start out with a very tranquil and free sounding orchestration. I love the sound of Rodgers and Hammerstein's old musical theatre orchestrations. They have their own unique sound to them. Anyway, when Maria begins to sing, the accompaniment is just simple block chords that support the vocal part. About halfway through the introduction, things change slightly. The lyrics become a little more exciting, the tempo picks up, and the accompaniment becomes much more playful. It goes from mostly block chords to really fun octave jumps. This only lasts until the familiar tune, "The hills are alive with the sound of music" begins. Here we go back to a more simple accompaniment, and the vocal line is really the focus. However, there is something in the accompaniment that I just love. The same "hills are alive" motive appears several times, and every time right after she sings it, it is played in the strings about an octave higher. Because the rest of the orchestra is so bland at this point, it really stands out. I just love it.
There is another change and the bridge. When she starts singing about how her "heart wants to beat like the wings of the birds that rise from the lake to the trees", the accompaniment becomes fun again. There are more big jumps in the strings, and the tempo picks up again. It is just fun sounding... very playful.
There is another moment that I just love... the bridge is coming to its climax, and the vocal line is building and building. She is singing forte and the orchestra is playing forte. She sings, "Like a lark who is learning to pray!' The next phrase returns to the familiar tune with, "I go to the hills when my heart is lonely", and goes back to piano and the tempo slows back down. She doesn't take a breath between "pray" and "I" She connects them so beautifully... and by the word "go" she is singing at a beautiful piano. Just goes to show you what good phrasing can do for a song. It's also cool because the orchestra becomes really hushed all of the sudden, and on the word "go" they play this amazing, full, rich, rolled chord. Love it.
It stays about like this until the end of the song. You all know how it goes :-)
Wow. That wasn't so bad. I can't say I want to put the CD in and listen to the whole show... or watch the movie or anything like that. But I don't feel like pulling my hair out when I hear it either :-) Making progress. :-)

English Horn Solo Prelude to Act III Tristan and Isolde- WAGNER

This is probably the hugest, most diva-important solo written for English horn by any composer... ever.
I'm working on this excerpt for my sophomore proficiency, and I feel like I may have written about it a really long time ago when I first started working on it, but maybe not... plus I have more things to say about it now anyway.
Its dynamics and phrasing are probably the two things that make it so Wagnerian in nature... the dramatic contrasts and shapes really create a complementary sound to go with what is happening in the opera.
The prelude to Act III is the point when Tristan starts to go insane, and this solo English horn (which is played by the english horn player ON the stage btw) really triggers his downward spiral and helps to musically convey this to the audience.
The madness and anguish he feels is really represented (for me) through the triplet, slurred, eighth note patterns at the largo tempo incorporating large leaps and uncommon intervals. It gives what was originally a lyrical and nostalgic piece a sense of quirkiness, it most definately creates tension and strain which is usually resolved or at least momentarily relieved on the measures with the swarzando on the held note (usually a half note D or D-flat).
I feel like there is an overall structure even within a three and a half minute solo, there is the exposition which is developed upon during the section that I just discussed, with a return to the melody at the end of the piece, making it a sort of kind of little rounded binary.

"aimun" by Bela Fleck

This song is from their "Outbound" album from 2000. This song uses vocals, the three vocals being Royel (futureman) on lead vocals, Shawn Colvin, and jon Anderson. The instrumentation usesbanjo, bass, the drumitar, tenor sax and alto flute (both played by the saxophonist), a b-3 organ (?!), tabla, and...electric guitar you can see, it's kind of out of the ordinary, and very cool.

The time signature is in 7/8, and starts with this very energetic, firey tabla and banjo duet intro. On the fifth measure, the drumitar, saxophone and organ start in. Vocals come in after the second period (measure 17), singing with the banjo and saxophone

The bridges to the chorus from verse are interesting because the rhythm from the sections divides, it feels like the tempo slows (for some reason it makes it kind of gospel-feely...) because the running 16th notes become 8th note patterns. Then it the running sixteenths come back for the chorus, which gives it a more energetic feel.

Right in the middle of the song is an instrumental section, and it spotlights the banjo and the bass. I never would've thought of putting an organ in this song, but it really adds to the timbre. The banjo has this continuous descending motive throughout the intrumental section.
Towards the very ending, the voices begin to use sort of a call and response thing, with the three voices constantly overlapping (kind of fugue-like). The ending is very abrupt...

"Somewhere over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World" by Aselin Debison

Something about a little kid singing Somewhere over the rainbow is just so cute I can't help but smile. We start with an interesting accompaniment, a nice synth sound that sounds like a carnival organ for the beginning introduction, next we have a an acoustic guiat coming in, really lending an island/calypso feel to the piece. Aselin comes in with her pure tone with oohs, just riffing a little improvised melody over the chord progression (I'm sure everyone knows the song.) This intro continues until we meld seamlessly into the lyrics. Now the melody is a little different in this version, she starts a little higher and comes down into the "way up high." After this it sounds very familiar, with little melodic liberties taken, adding a fresh perspective to the song. When we get to the bridge, a string section slowly builds behind her. She takes small rhythmic motions and extends them out, skying out the notes for "that's where you'll find...ME." Her high notes won't appeal to everyone, she can be rather breathy, but I feel they compliment the peaceful nature we've been creating throughout. her over accentuation of some of the ending consonants add this child-like playfulness to the piece. After this bridge we come down into the "I see trees of green" of What a Wonderful World. This transition works so well, since the chord progression is nearly identical. As this comes in we finally get a low bass coming in, sneaking in and really filling out the sound. She continues to sing with her own flair, I especially love the "I like...the dark of night" in her throatier alto range. I'm amazed by this young girl's incredible versatility, there is almost no passagio as she floats up and down for each section. We slide back into Somewhere... as she skies back up to "Someday I'll wish upon a star" returning to the bridge again and transition into a final chorus. We fade away the way we entered, with the improvisational ooohs leading the way to the fadeout. Absolutely beautiful piece, lifted my spirits immensely.

tick tack polka--strauss

so I was just browsing naxos, and decided i'd pick a little polka to blog on. i mean honestly, what's better than a polka?
this polka starts off with three hits from the entire slovak philharmonic orchestra follwed by the entrance of the bells which has the main melody. just like the first strain of a march, it begins lightly and grows to a louder dynamic, ending in a PAC, too. this section is a parallel period and then is repeated. however, there is a cadential extension in the 2nd ending, emphasized by the strings.
the next section begins with four measures of a call and response between voices followed by a 4 bar tutti phraselet. again, this is repeated and a cadential extension is added on.
the trio settles in which is mainly a melody provided by the strings, with a few little punctuations by the brass, and, of course, off beats by the french horns. the harmonic movement is fairly simple, including the I IV V I cliche that we know all so well.
the expository melody (as heard at the beginning) is repeated at the end, but a little bit differently. as i said, the bells were the primary melody holders--but now they have a little solo; a tick tock kind of solo, which is why the title is significant, i suppose.
cute, eh?

“One Love” Bob Marley

“One Love” by Bob Marley is in four-four time with a four measure introduction. It has a very popular piano part that might start with the I chord but it is something like mi-mi-re-re-mi-re-do-ti-do-ti-mi-re-do. Each note is played with the major third and the bass is doing some do-re-fa action. The beginning of the song is played by keyboard, bass, rhythm guitar, and percussion. The lyrics come in singing the same melody that was used in the introduction. This melody is actually the chorus of the song and is four measures long but the singers (Marley and his background ladies) repeat the chorus and adds an extra line before Marley starts in on the verse. The verse is a little like mi-sol-la-sol and so on. Like in many Marley songs the chord progression is fairly slow and simple. The verse alternates between two chords and the verse does a little I-IV-V-I action. The chorus sings again, twice as always and another verse, same as the last comes in. In the verses, Marley sings one line, and then his backup vocalists do some nice echo sort of deals. The verses are slightly odd because they seem to be seven measures long, but I could be wrong. After the chorus sings the final time this song FADES out.
I was trying to pick out some of the chord progressions on Marley tunes a few days ago and that was when I realized that the chords really don’t change much. The other parts are just slightly deceiving so they must be doing a lot of tonal movement. This song is very cool because “One Love” is not at all the love you might think of right off the bat. The rest of the song is about war, and the chorus is more of a stark contrast to this, but it’s not a happy song as it seems to be.

Libera me- Faure's Requiem

Faure Requiem- Libera me
This is my favorite section from this requiem. Its amazing!! Well anyways it starts off with an amazing baritone solo (maybe that’s why I like it so much)..humm… well, the beginning accompaniment is a very sustained chord progression with a very strict and underlying rhythm which give the piece a forward moving push playing on the 12 rest 412 rest that you always have the beat four pushing you into the next measure. This solo is a prayer to God, praying that on the day of judgment when I die, please lord bring me to heaven so what I won’t have to suffer any longer.

When the choir starts there is a piano dynamic that gives you a feeling of the people being helpless, and really pleading. As the dynamics grow it gets to the highest point when they are expressing their fear and dread of the wrath that will come down on the earth.

Second favorite point…
Double forte.. “Day of trial, day of judgment, death and destruction, torment and distress……..” The brass in the orchestra are really making the stage tremble and the organ is growing while the choir doesn’t have much note motion, just consistent notes really stressing and keep strong emphasis the strong beats.

Then, the choir sings the solo that the baritone had in the beginning…all unison, and trying to create the same feeling as the one voice..dynamics are down, only growing towards the end…then the baritone comes back in for a few measures to say.. “lord, I pray deliver me from death everlasting” the the choir on a very soft last phrase… I like how he does this…all unison on a d for “deliver”… then major..that’s right..a D major chord for “me”..then a minor iv on “lord, I”..then d minor for “pray” with a dynamic little swell at then end…


"Boum" by Charles Trenet, Roul Breton ed.

Well, this is what you get when you ask the music library staff to randomly pick a CD for you to listen to! This is so funny I just about cried! If you're reading this and majorly stressed out, which I know most people are, you should totally listen to this and feel much MUCH better! But...for those of you who can't run out and listen to this piece at your convenience, let's see if I can give it justice with my description. The beginning of this piece begins with big trumpet calls that makes a person think of big band music. Then all the sudden this grand brass sound is interrupted by cheesy French singing. I say cheesy because there's no other way to describe it. I don't know French, but I know it's not normal for them to say, "Ding Dang Dong," and "bahh" like a sheep. I also know a typical French speaker doesn't break into tooth brushing sound effects like gargling. It sounds a bit like scat singing with a trumpet. What's so funny is how seriously he seems to sing these ridiculous sounds. The first section is followed by a more improv section. This is then followed by a repeat with variations of the first section. This makes it a crazy 50s version of ternary form. Way to go crazy French people!

Tchaikovsky symphony no.4 mvt III

This movement is famous for having all the strings played pizzicatto the whole time. The melody first lies in the first violins. It is scaluar and almost all step wise motion. There is always constant 8th notes ocurring. There are fragile swells leading into a development period that brings us into a more noticeable and longer crescendo. There are very effective cascades of 8th notes going from the high strings to the low strings. The phrase is then repeated with the melody still in the firsts. It is modified this time as sequences of rising 8th notes is passed from voice to voice. A dimuendo occurs with the texture getting less thick and an oboe comes in by itself as the tempo is pushed up. This section is all dominated by the woodwinds. It is very light and fluffy. There is a multiple bar, long crescendo that just repeats a single bar leading us to a climax and a new version of the motivic gestures. The melody is then in the piccolo. A new section comes in with just the brass and timpani playing a version of the melody in the first violins at the beginning of the piece. The brass continue to play as the woodwinds, clarinet and flute add interjections of a higher rhythmic speed and intensity. The beginning is then repeated with the pizzicato in the strings just as before. The phrase is repeated again but at a softer dynamic and more intense swells. This scaluar passage is passed from ww chorale to string chorale with a very large crescendo ocurring. There is a modulating sequence modulating us to the key of the last movement. A shout chorus unfolds in the ww's as the strings just plop around. There is reflection with the brass motive coming back in ever so soft and fading in and out with the woodwinds. A descending run of 8th notes passed from string to string ends the piece at pp.

Monday, April 04, 2005

When You say You Love Me- Josh Groban

This is a great song. Though, what Josh Groban song isn't a great song. I don't have much to say about it structurally or harmonically, because the emotional content of this song takes over completely after the first phrase.
It begins with piano introduction, simple thirds playing the melody. Josh repeats the melody and then goes on to do so a bunch of times. One of my favorite parts is the direct modulation about 3/4 of the way through the piece, you're expecting the same old melody just more powerful with the orchestra behind it at a louder dynamic, but instead you get the direct modulation and thats a great moment.
I heard this song for the first time at my sisters dance competition, its the song she uses for her solo that she competes with. Its really interesting because there is a chord on the word "fly" and then "alive" (see lyrics at the end) that actually sounds tonally open and ethereal like flying, and on that word she does this really hard, continuous pirouette, is almost programmatic.... I liked it.

Intro et Rondo Capricciosa- Saint Saens

This piece is very exciting form its great variation in material. The composer employs many structural phenomena to add a great deal of interest and variation to the shifting sections. He combines changes in tempo, rhythm, meter, dynamics, texture, density, register, timbre, and tonality not only to provide clear structural sensations to the piece, but also to significantly alter the mood of the piece and add interest to repeating motives. One section may be very slow, simple, elongated, soft, have a minor key, and therefore create a very pensive and melancholy. Then the section will bring in a full blown orchestra and the violins will play loud, fast, harsh pizzicato, in a major key and a much higher range. .As indicated by the title, the piece is in Rondo form and contains several transitions in themes and sections. It begins with an intro that is unrelated to the rest of the piece. It begins with a motive, develops the idea for a bit, and goes back to the original material. Then the main melody of the piece come in and is repeated a few times before going onto another idea, usually one that is slower and more relaxed. It then returns to the melody, then presents another new idea, then back again, and so on. Each time the main melodic motive comes back, it usually changes its quality, mostly changing in dynamics, density, or texture.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Chaubrier Espana

The piece starts off with a little intro of many syncopations in 3. It starts off very much like Alborado del Gracioso. First the strings playe pizzicatto then the woodwinds enter. There are some scaluar runs with a couple of small crescendo that finally brings us to the melody. The melody is very simple melodically but somewhat tricky rhythmically. It is a very off-center melody that is syncopated. The melody is passed from cello/muted trumpet to horn to harp to full tutti orchestra at ff. There is much percussion being used. Then there is some development and transitional material as the strings lay down I - V. The horns and cellos come in with a swooping, descending, melodic gesture that grabs the attention of the audience. 8th notes played by the brass choir take the interest next. It is somewhat like a shout-chorus. A secondary melody then comes with same type of construction as before in the main melody. It is first played by the strings on the frog then by the winds with mini swells in the background. The b section of this melody is very legato and luscious and seemless played by the strings and full tutti at ff. We wind down to a development period where very loud statements are played by the trombones then echoed by the woodwinds. This is said to the be only melodic input of emmanuel himself, that the rest of the piece is taken from folk melodies. There is a multi meter section where half the orchestra is in 2 and the other half is in 3 making for quite the intense and rambunctious section. We come back then to the main melody stated at the beginning of the piece making it composite ternary. It is played by the woodwinds. Chabrier then starts to crush the event timing used before. He starts to juxtapose melody after melody instead of in a formal construction. Many different instruments play the melodies this time. The b section of the secondary melody is played by the trumpet and strings added for a nice melodic climax. The rhythmic gesture of the main melody comes back in and is interwoven with the outburts of the trombones. The main melodic gesture comes back in and is passed from woodwind to string each phrase which adds for different colors. A shout chorus of brass comes in again outlining V- I signaling the finality of the piece.

Queen, "Bicycle Race"

Time for another Queen song. This is a fun one that was the first song I was exposed to as being by Queen.

One of the things that makes this song unique is the use of voices. It is fairly common to have multiple voices usually at the third interval, but it is unusual especially for a song with a pop feel for the voices to have as wide of a range as this song. The opening lyrics of "bicycle" which serves as a short form of the chorus have a wide range of voices from a fairly high tenor to a deep bass. It sounds more like a choral piece than a pop song at this point. The entrance of the instruments and solo vocalists changes this. The first part of the verse is very interesting because it only has the vocalist, bass and drums. The bass line is able to provide a beat with the drums, establish chord movement, and show melodic interest opposite of the vocals at the same time. It does this by doing sixteenth note lines that stay low for the first half of each measure and work their way up for the second half. The second half of the verse is a "talkative" call and response that has stop time with the drums and bass. The chorus marks the first real entrance of the piano supporting the rhythm also. The voices for this chorus become even extreme with higher high voices and one voice that sounds so low it might have been electronically slowed down to lower pitch. The guitar enters during the "bridge" for a very "stadium rock" like section announcing the coming of the race. After going through the chorus and the first half of the verse again there is another extreme of voices followed by the very fun bicycle horn solo. Just like the one part of the verse that has vocal call and response, the guitar solo forms a call and response that switches speakers and starts at one full measure but quickens to switching each beat before a unison.

This is a very fun song that uses contrasts to keep the listener interested in the music.

Debussy - The Little Shepherd

I feel like throughout this piece, I am in anticipation of a PAC, but am almost always given half cadences instead. Phrases always seem to end on sol, ti, or re, but the way the piece flows and is relaxing to listen to counters the anticipation. The orchestra's role is to keep out of the picture for the most part. There are some notable bassoon solos, but the soloist is always in center stage.

The title probably influenced the pictures I had in my head while listening to the piece because I saw a child running and skipping through a field. 'Little' made me think of a child and 'shepherd' is usually something done by an adult, so it seemed like the child was playing in this adult's role. The dotted rhythm is what was most influential in creating the picture I had of the child's movement, but the pitches and how they were arranged seemed to form the image I had of the outdoor surroundings and climate.

"A Desert Drive" Thomas Newman

This piece is one of the many instances of the main music from the movie Pay it Forward. The music is used throughout the movie much like a leitmotiv or idee fixe in that it always accompanies the grand ideal of the movie in action. It also paints a picture of the ideal well - it begins with a simple groove, which could be compared to the first three favors a person does, and becomes more complex as it progresses, which is similar to the protagonist's hopes, that the favors will spread to a vast web of people.

I really enjoy this piece for several reasons. First of all, I like all of Newman's scores, especially those for this movie and American Beauty, as well as Shawshank Redemption. I'm not positive it's what one would call minimalism, but if fits the bill. It's very repetitious and lacks a strong solo melody.

It's also very tonal. Though the harmony is pretty static, it has a clear tonal center and the chords aren't that abstract.

It features a lot of percussion. The marimba has a prominent role, and I believe he uses temple bells as well. In fact, Newman uses percussion as a major resource in several of his works, and this makes me biased towards his music in the first place. Regardless, it's a very effective medium because it's rarely used, and this gives the score a fresh, modern quality to it.

This piece makes me feel optimistic, which is the point of the music - to portray the idealism of the young boy who wants to change the world for the better. I'm not sure what aspect of the music does this, but the major mode helps the music sound happy and the catchy groove makes it enjoyable.

Chopin, "Raindrop Prelude"

I'm going to be brief with this piece. It is one of my favorite, and probably deserves more than I'm going to invest into it. Oh well. Using knowledge stolen from Form and Analysis, I would label this piece as a rounded binary form. In the first section, it opens with that most famous melody. A half cadence later, the melody repeats. I love the "improvised" feeling that chopin instills in his music. Under the repeated bass, the performer gives the melody a very rubato stretch. A unique aspect of this piano piece is the constant repeated note that underlines the entire piece. From beginning to end we hear drone like pitch which changes to identify brief changes in key. The exception to this is the cadenza like portion of the piece near the end. The pianist seems to almost improvise the melody briefly before the piece peacefully concludes, oh so softly. When you want to relax, and just enjoy the beauty of what music can be...this is the song for you.

The Dress Waltz -- Legend

-Composed and conducted by Jerry Goldsmith

This is actually not a bad soundtrack. The movie itself is about a young couple split by their own folly, trying to save the world from darkness by saving the last two unicorns from destruction. Well, it's the princess's fault that one of the unicorns is killed, and she then gets abducted by goblins and taken to Darkness who lusts after her and contrives to have her for his bride when he's turned the world into one of everlasting night. This song takes place as she is wandering alone in his lair/underground palace (light destroys him), and a black nymph in a dress appears and begins to waltz with her. At first she is frightened, but then she is overtaken by the music and the dance and joins, at the climax, she becomes one with the black nymph dancer and her tattered white robes transform into the dress that draped the sillhouette of the shadow creature. She then continues to dance under the spell of the music until the music ends and she lands before a mirror. Darkness then emmerges from the mirror and she falls to the floor in fright.

I love this song. It starts our with these high synthesized tones, some harp sounds, then a melody gently is coaxed from it. The music teases with an almost romantic waltz type feel, and then is punctuated by a repeated upward gesture of winds and downward of soprano voices (probably synthesized, don't know). It occilates between creepy motives and gentle dance melody, picking up momentum with each shift. The voices are used often to accompany the orchestral melody which is interesting, then the brass builds up and up and then the music dips down to low strings, out from which flies the melody soaring again and again to new heights to a wild frenzy that almost becomes obscene and banal as the voices seem almost to scream and yell and then there is a mysterious chime roll, and it is ended.

Lamento- Duparc

Lamento- Duparc

Do you know the white tomb
Where with a plaintive sound floats
The shadow of a yew-tree?
On the yew-tree a pale dove,
Sad and alone in the setting sun,
Sings its song.
One would say that the awakened soul
Weeps under the earth in unison
With the song
And of the misfortunes of having been forgotten
Complaints, cooing
Very softly
Oh! Never more near the tomb
Shall I go, when evening descends
With its dark mantle
To hear the pale dove
Sing, on the branch of the yew-tree
Its plaintive song!

This song starts off with a very sluggish…death march feel…where the chords keep descending.. Then the voice comes in and French is an extremely legato language which when sung in connection with this very mysterious and haunting accompaniment creates a mourning like effect. The song seems to just keep going like the day to day activities where the tomb is always the same with only the moans of those who have gone and the lonely bird that sits alone with them…..

Then, there is a sudden change in character where the piano part picks up tempo and the texture and density is creating a more full and rolling effect as if someone is running away from the tomb in a hurry to never return. Then the voice comes in with a “scream” of OH!!! Never more neat the tomb shall I go….it is too lonely and scary when the sun goes down to be there with the dove and death alone…

The song then enters the A section again to slow things down and end it with a mysterious feeling because no one can really stay there to see what all goes on…. Fun song…and beautiful writing…

Piano Sonata C minor, Op.13 Second Movement


The beginning introduces the motive that it always cycles back to. It is very legato, with a low density texture. The bass is a line of continuous eighths, on repeated intervals. The eighths help to maintain a solid tempo, while the soprano line stretches it to shape phrases. The soprano line is the main focus. The solfege is something like mi-re-fa-do-mi-re-ri-la-do . . . with a sort of long- short- long rhythm. The beginning of phrases is usually signaled by notes of a longer duration in the simple quad time signature, like half notes, and then to signal cad. the notes become shorter, into quarters. The quarters contrast with the long note that delays the resolution of a half step, creating the cadence. This can be heard, for example, on the si-la-re-mi-fa . . . phrase, where the si is held longer. Most of the phrases are shaped pretty squarely, each four measures with PACs. They do not feel very definite, however, because of the holds that stretch the tempo. This motive is repeated an octave higher, and then a new section begins. In this section, the bass is less stagnate, and therefore is becomes a little denser. The rhythm also becomes more complex, branching out from just quarters and half notes. The tempo also picks up a bit. In this section, more a developmental function, there isn't much of a main theme that is emphasized. This section has also modulated to the minor dominant. There is a switch off between the eighths in the bass and the eighths in the soprano that give it a continuous feel. A HC back to A is signaled by a repetition that created a transistional function. After a repetition of the main motive, another, even more contrasting section begins. The base is even more active, with a modulation to a definite major key. There is also a dynamic increase. There is also faster rhythms, and stronger crescendos, some HC. This brief developmental function transistions through a HC on re back to the original motive. This time, however, it is in the compound duple meter of the previous section. It ends on a PAC after a brief transistional function signaled by some repeated patterns and rests. I really like this piece. It was very beautiful. I've always wanted to sit and listen to the entire thing.

"She Will Be Loved" by Maroon 5

Aparently I just crawled out from under a rock, since I had never heard this song until this past Tuesday (it's popular or something, I had no clue). Anyway in the past couple days I've really gotten into this song. As for the analysis, it's pretty straightforward. We start with a little bass solo with drums (it sounds like guitar and bass, but I could replecate it on a single bass, and guitar comes in later so i think it's only a single bass). Our chord progression for the verses is very simple, just a vi-IV progression over and over. Slowly we layer in instruments (piano, guitar) as the vocal progresses. We have a small drum build before the chorus. I like how each instrument, instead of all doing the same thing, has a different little riff on the basic progression so we have a very textured arrangement. The chorus progression is simply I-V-vi-V-I-V-vi-IV. The first time through the chorus this is all we have. We extend out the final IV chord, not resolving it, as we simply move back to the vi-IV progression of the verse. After the second verse we come to our second chorus, which goes through the progression, then returns to the I-V-vi-IV progression again, as we repeat the vocal line "and she wiiiiiill be loved" once again. On another side note, the melody for this song is rather static, as we have about 40,000 repetitions of do throughout. The only real change is on the tag line, which is do-do-so-------mi-mi(-re-do) which once again isn't incredibly far away from do. Anyway, after the second chorus we have a small bridge which progresses iii-IV-vi-V and repeats twice before returning to a third verse (which is simply the first line of the second verse again) this shortened verse brings us back to the chorus, this one repeating the second half over and over to fade, as we get layered vocals coming in, (the first part of the verse, a descant line) all over our tag line. This is so busy at the end where I counted no fewer than 8 lines running at the same time, between instruments and various vocal lines.

Bruckner Ave Maria

I was inspired to listen to this piece after a great rendition of it was performed by the DePauw Chamber Singers this afternoon.
It begins softly with the sopranos and altos. mostly, the altos sing static notes, changing notes chromatically within the phrase. the sopranos have the main melody, which is taken over by the tenors and basses when the first phrase ends. when the tenors and basses are through with their solos, the females and the males come in together, much louder this time and even more expressive. i love listening to the changing lines and the contrast between the voices. it's pretty magical, not gonna lie.
I like to think of this piece as having the shape of an arc because it begins so softly, then loudens gradually, and tapers off at the end with a pretty sweet plagal cadence (when they all sing a----men) .

concerto for clarinet and orchestra "landscapes with blues", by Stephen Hartke

This piece was commissioned for Richard Stoltzman and the IRIS Chamber Orchestra (based in Germantown, TN) in 2001. There are three movements (Senegambia, Delta Nights, and Philamayork)
Senegambia starts out with very accented strings and piano, then the string bass jumps into this five beat repeated pattern while the strings, and winds have their own melodic lines going on in each of the sections. Everything is very loud The bass clarinets have this very cool swinging melodic line underneath. The clarinet solo uses every register, and it seems to be everywhere-very high, wailing notes, then sweeps down low-it sounds very improvisatory. call and response is used in the chorus between the clarinet and the winds. It's very repetitive and uses various rhythms This is the entire a section, and it doesn't really seem to have a very clear phrase structure-very sectional. after about three minutes everything seems to taper off along with the clarinet, and it suddenly the strings have this gorgeous sweeping melody, and it sounds more like an orchestra. the bass still has the five note line. It tapers off again at the end, withsome reminders of the a section (most rhythm)
The beginning of Delta Nights brings out a lot imagery-fireflies chasing each other on a hot summer night, birds swooping around, sunsets-it's very cool. The strings have a repetitive "ti do" motive every so often. The clarinet uses various ways of getting a bluesy sound-various trills, often manipulating some notes by swooping down. It's cool that Stoltzman uses vibrato when he plays anyway, because it really adds to the blues sound. This is the longest movement, and it switches moods throughout the whole thing. There's an unexpected harmonica solo in the middle of this. the string motive is always recurring, which helps keep you focused. The ending is interesting because the a section reappears, but it is backwards, so the ending is the same as the beginning.
Philamayork is kind of written like a medley, and is very dance like. The bass clarinet line has a very cool running eighth note pattern- you hear a lot more of the harp in this part too. there is kind of a building up filled with cymbal crashes, and it's pretty exciting. The mood changes suddenly after that, and has a very orchestral sound. It finishes with of course, a showstopper of an ending, using a lot of brass and percussion-stoltzman is going crazy, playing arpeggiations from the highest to lowest register. It has kind of an unexpected ending, however, and I feel like there should be more to the end-i'm not really sure if i want it to be over yet

Chopin: Black Key Etude in Gb Major

If I'm listening correctly Chopin's Black Key Etude is a very good example of rounded binary, possibly with a continuous A section. The piece is characterized by a very fast paced right hand with a slower chordal left hand. The piece is in two-four and the right is comprised of sixteenth note triplets for practically the whole piece. In the beginning a distinct I-IV-I progression is used and the first four measures play the main theme of the A section. It sounds like the first four end in a half cadence. The melodic theme repeats for the next four, with maybe an authentic cadence. These four measures are repeated but the cadence seems to be half instead of authentic. Now, the B section plays for about thirty-two measures. This piece is interesting because the left hang seems to have the melody. The Bsection is slightly different because the melody is more in the right hand. In one measure amidst the sixteeth note triplets you can hear the melody very well, mi-re-do, mi-re-do. The A sectin comes back, but when it repeats it does off to a bunch of cadential stuff. At one point you can hear the left hand playing V-I-V-I-V-I, preparing you for the authentic cadence at the end.
The song is cool, it sounds sort of oriental, probably because it is played on all of the BLACK KEYS. I like the continuous motion of the piece. This piece is slightly decieving because it sounds much harder to play than it really is.

"If I Were A Bell" from Guys and Dolls

"If I Were A Bell" from Guys and Dolls. Music by Frank Loesser, from the Original Broadway Cast Recording.

Ok, I would like to start by saying that the woman who sings the part of Sarah on this CD is TERRIBLE. I mean really really bad. I was horrified to hear her sing. She is always off pitch and has a really harsh quality to her voice. Ok, end of rant.
This song happens the very first time Sarah gets drunk. She sings this song to Sky Masterson. I like this song because it has a different style than some of the other music from this show, because it has a very jazzy feel to it. This is nice because it contributes to the drunk feeling. Thereis really no build or climax to this song... so I will just kind of make general statements.
The singing is very speechlike, which is good since this lady can't sing. It's more of a talk-singing quality, and the jazzy/blues like notes allow her to slide around and be messy and harsh, which is good for the character, and good because if I haven't mentioned it yet, she's a terrible singer. She never really has to sing until the very end of the song. I always find it funny when singers who obviously have very classical voices and classical training make an attempt to sing musicall theatre. They hit a certain point in their range where they can no longer sing in their mix, so they have to make a big obvious change to head voice. At the end of the song, she is singing in the mix part of her voice... and then she sings the very last part "ding dong ding dong ding" in this huge classical voice. For one it doesn't go with the character, and for two it doesn't go with the style of the song. I could go on for hours about this problem... but I will just stop here :-)
The accompaniment is very cool. It is your typical jazz accompaniment. The light jazz drum beat is just great... as are the horns. I don't know a lot about jazz, so I can't put a lot of it into words... but the blues feel is neat.
That's really all I've got about this one.

Bizet's "Two Dances from 'The Fair Maid of Perth'"

This piece is very relaxing, or is it? There are beautiful dongs from some kind of instrument in the orchestra that are played under a simple flute solo. The flute plays a parallel double repeated period. Then another instrument takes this same melody and plays with it. Now the underneath bellish dongs are speeding up and demanding attention from the melody to follow in speed and dynamics. Then another instrument enters and steals the show. Now there are many instruments playing this melody so that it sounds like a round and is crazily exciting since all parts fit together so well and from the beginning I was expecting a very relaxing piece. Surprise! Right when I think no other instrument could take another part of this first theme and change it through timbre and dynamics the entire thing transfers to low orchestra. This register change is dramatic and then the drums come in and bang away pushing the piece forward to the exhilarating end. The only form I know to call this is complex. It makes me think of Merrily We Row Our Boat in a round, only a million times more impressive with variations on the original Row the Boat theme.

"The Green Groves of Erin/ The Flowers of Red Hill by Edgar Meyer

Sorry this is late. I'm trying to catch up with work I missed now. This is an awesome piece. It's one of those pieces that gets under your skin and makes you want to dance. It starts with a very upbeat tempo with double bass. It plays a 4 measure phrase that first ascends then descends and repeats. The cello is playing mellow, long drawn out chords over it. Then the double bass changes the main theme to something with faster rhythms while the cello continues with its long tones that make the piece as smooth as satin until the cello seems to get jealous that the bass is getting all the attention so it picks up in intensity as well. Then the violin takes over the "satin" tones. The bass and cello change harmony in unison and seem to be pulling and pushing against each other harmonically and rhythmically. Then out of no where the whole group turns into something that sounds like it came right out of an Irish pub. The violin plays fiddle tunes over the boom-chucks of the lower strings. Then the violin modulates. Eventually the violin plays double stops and lets the cello and bass take turns driving the dance tune. This entire section is repeated. The second time it is slighty varied as the bass playing big booming tones in a very low register. All come to a crashing stop after big fast rhythmic chords in unison. The second form sounds like a repeated simple bianary form. I'm not sure what the first section was in relation to the rest.