- analysis of musical form: study of way sections structured in piece of music,
-way these sections combine to produce larger structures.
-Most styles work w/in constraints of a small number of formal types
-formal analysis of single work usually consists of noting similarities to and
differences from formal design common to the style.
-Formal types and musical styles often linked to one another.
ANoteonRhyth m andMeter
-rhythm : the ways musical sounds organized in time
-beat : regular rhythmic pulse.
-Most music in book will employ four-beat measures.
-Measures may also contain two or three beats, and these are counted “one two, one two” and
“one two three, one two three
- even possible for measure to contain fi ve, six, seven, or more beats per measure.
- ways of orgaA fuller consideration of song’s meter -not only # of beats in each measure, how each beat may
be subdivided. -A single beat can be divided into either two or three equal parts;
- first case would evenly count, “one &, two &, three &, four &,” ; second, “one & uh, two
& uh, three & uh, four & uh.”
- simple : When each beat is evenly divided into two parts
- compound : when each beat divided evenly into three parts
- Meters grouped by combining # of beats per measure with way each beat is divided
- When meter employs two beats per measure, and each beat evenly divided into two parts classify the meter as
-Notice time signature is given in parentheses next to each meter classification
- time signature given represents the most common one used to indicate this meter classification in
written music. -indicates what the meter classification of the rhythm will be in the song.
-Meter plays role establishing rhythmic “feel” of a song but not only element that influences this
-“Rocket ‘88’,” in quadruple compound time, musicians simply think of as a “shuffle” in four (4/4).ay.
The 12-Bar Blues and the Doo-Wop Progression.
-best place to begin study of form in rock - 12-bar blues.
-common structural pattern found in rhythm and blues, rock and roll, styles of jazz.
-12-bar blues : structural pattern consists of twelve groups of four-beat measures.
-twelve-measure structure of 12-bar blues distinctive
-the way measures fall into three groups of four.
-groups can be seen in measure length, phrasing, lyrics, and chord structure.
- phrase: first four measures: often feature a lyric repeated in subsequent four
measures. -words of the final four measures often complete thought begun in
repeated initial phrase. -Think of pattern as “ question— question—answer” -first line in each verse repeated in second phrase, third phrase completing
thought with a new line.
- uses a 12-bar blues structure.
-Notice : eight of the nine phrases in song twelve measures long—
-only exception : fourth phrase, which does not complete the structure
-entire 12-bar blues structure appears in introduction, begins a second time w/
vocals. - Phrase one begins with lyrics, “heard of jalopies”;
phrase two, “yes, it’s great”; third phrase, “ride in style.”
-although constructed using 12-bar blues, lyrics do not follow
-example of a 12-bar blues that uses this lyrical structure :
Big Joe Turner’s “Shake, Rattle, and Roll,” Howlin’ Wolf’s “Evil Is Goin’ On” , Chuck
Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode” , Little Richard’s “Tutti Frutti”
- chart below illustrates some structural properties of 12-bar blues.
-Notice : Romannumeralsoccur under each measure number.
-shows chordstypically played in those measures.
- Chords :combinations of notes played together—
-Chords in any keycan be organized by scalefor that key, and Roman
numerals show which note of scale chord is based on.
-If in C, ex , scale goes C – D – E – F – G – A – B – C.
-I chord is C chord, IV is F chord, V is a G chord, since notes C, F, G are
the first, fourth, and fifth notes of scale.
-Why would musicians bother with arcane Roman numerals when could simply write C, F,
-more pragmatic than might think: pattern can occur in twelve distinct keys, and
specific labels C, F, G cover only one of these,
-Roman numerals generalize across all twelve.
-If musician knowsRoman numerals, can play pattern in any key as easily as
-musical structure appears commonly : doo-wopprogression.
-this chord progression most often associated with doo-wop of the 1950s.
- Moreover, like 12-bar blues, doo-wop progression can form underlying structure for
-Using Roman numerals, characterize doo-wop progression as a series of four chords: I – vi –
IV – V.
-In the key of C, progression would go C – A minor – F – G.
-familiar chord progression heard 1950s tracks : Five Satins’ “In the Still of
the Night” ,Del Vikings’ “Come Go with Me.”
-chart below illustrates doo-wop progression as it appears in first vocal phrase of the
Chords’ “Sh-Boom” (labeled “verse 1” Listening Guide).
- Note: there is a chord on every beat, forming a harmonic pattern (or “progression”)
repeats through entire song except for section labeled “bridge.” Simple Verse Form.
-Repetitive structures like 12-bar blues and doowop progression often combine to form
larger structural patterns.
-As patterns repeat, may think of them differently depending which aspects are
verse: a section with repeating music and non repeating lyrics.
- simpleverseform :form that employs only verses.
-“Rocket ‘88’” in simple verse form.
-Elvis Presley’s 1956 “Heartbreak Hotel” simple verse form:
-each 8-bar verse based on same chord progression, actually an
abbreviated version of 12-bar blues (though it is not a 12-bar blues).
-listen to “Heartbreak Hotel,” notice how song consists of repetitions of same music
with different words for each verse (and one instrumental verse).
-- AABA form : song form most associated w/mainstream pop before birth of rock and roll
-one of most common formal patterns in Tin Pan Alley songs
-usually occurs in 32-bar scheme that combines four 8-bar phrases.
-use designation AABA to show the first two 8-bar phrases very similar, third 8-bar
phrase contrasting, and last 8-bar phrase is similar to the first two.
- Songs that employ standard 32-bar AABA form “Over the Rainbow,” “I’m
Sittin’ on Top of the World,” “Hey Good Lookin’,” and “Blueberry Hill.”
-most AABA songs would be too short if song did not repeat some or all of the 32-bar
-(In “I’m Sittin’ on Top of the World” , “Hey Good Lookin’,” - entire AABA form
“Over the Rainbow” and “Blueberry Hill,” only part of the AABA structure
- full reprise : When entire AABA form is repeated
- partial reprise: only part of the AABA form returns.
-form can be modified to include sections that exceed eight measures.
-Jerry Lee Lewis’s recording of “Great Balls of Fire”
- A sections 8 measures long, each presentation of bridge uses twelve
measures of music.
-extended bridge structure produces complete AABA pattern of thirty-six
measures, not the usual thirty-two.
Note : “Great Balls of Fire” employs a full reprise of 36-bar pattern to form
second half of song.
-chorus: section that repeats same music and lyrics intact in each presentation.
-(Remember verses use same music with different words.)
- simpleverse-chorus:When single musical pattern used as basis for both verses
and choruses in a song
- Note : melody portion of song may change from verse to chorus, while chords
underneath stay same.
- biggest difference between simple verse and simple verse-chorus : presence of
repeating set of lyrics to form chorus section.
- Carter Family- “Can the Circle Be Unbroken” - verses and choruses built on same 16-bar progression.
-repeated listening reveal verse and chorus use same melody and chord
progression, w/ only slight changes made between sections.
- order to count measures in “Can the Circle Be Unbroken,” need to keep two things in
-(1) rather than four-beats-per-measure rhythmic pattern ;song uses two-beats-per-
-need to count “one-two, one-two,”
-(2) irregular counting of measures.
-try to count measures during verses, twelfth bar contains only one beat, while in the
choruses fourth and twelfth measures contain only one beat.
- often refer to this as “dropping a beat,”
-only instance of 16-bar pattern not to drop beats is first instrumental verse
-In this verse group “corrects” dropped beats from sung verses and
choruses by playing sixteen full measures of two beats.
-Unlike simple verse-chorus, which verse and chorus sections share same musical material
contrastingverse-chorus:verses and choruses employ different music .
-may also include a bridge, or section that provides contrasting, nonrepeated
section of music and lyrics , returns to verse or chorus.
-Buddy Holly’s “That’ll Be the Day.”
-note : differences between the 8-bar verse and chorus sections, addition to
instrumental bridge formed out of 12-bar blues pattern.
- diagram p. 18 summarizes four common formal types found in rock
INSTRU ME NTATIO N INROCK
- Beat It: Drums and Percussion.
- musical instruments used especially ways these instruments combined, central to myriad musical styles discussed in this book.
- far fewer listeners understand exactly how instruments typically work together in
-task of rhythmsection: establish solid foundation for singers, instrumental soloists ,other
members ofthat focus on melody.
- heart of the rhythm section: drummer,
- role : establish the tempo and meter, but the “feel” of each song. Most
-employ set consisting of snare drum (sits on stand between drummer’s legs),
bass drum (played by right foot), high-hat (two cymbals that can be clamped together
using stand controlled by foot pedal).
-also use medium-sized drums called tom-toms.
- Tom toms mounted on bass drum :ride toms; those that stand on floor :
floor toms. -may also use several cymbals, often a largerridecymbal and
-rhythmic patterns drummers play something like gears of clock ( some quick some slow )
- high-hat or ride cymbal often used for fastest notes, played in regular stream.
-bass and snare drums - generally played at slower intervals,
-often seem in dialogue with one another.
- typical drumbeat is shown below;
-numbers across top show how rhythm would be counted, while x’s show
which drums (or high-hat) used on which beats:
- enhanced by addition of other percussion instruments :tambourine, cowbell, conga
drums, or even hand claps
- use one pattern for verses another for bridges or choruses, also break
pattern to play “drum fills” help lead music from section to section.
The Low Down: Electric Bass.
-bassplayer’sjob: “lock in” with drummer rhythmically, provide important bass notes to
chord progressions played by guitar and/or keyboards.
Within rhythm section, bassist bridge between rhythmic and harmonic (or chord-
dimensions of music.
-Often will create their part around rhythmic pattern played on bass drum, stressing
those notes rhythmically while filling in others to provide an interesting bass line.
-Much early rock music used acoustic upright bass
- early 1960s, more easily amplified electric bass guitar preferred instrument for
popular music except jazz and country.
-bass (acoustic and electric) usually has four strings that match bottom four strings of
- distance between tuning of guitar and bass strings called an octave
- octave: lower or higher version of the same note.
-sing pattern Do-Re-Mi-Fa- Sol-La-Ti-Do, two “Do” notes are octave apart
-represent distance between typical tuning of strings on bass and guitar
Harmony in Motion: Rhythm Guitar and Keyboards.
-rhythm guitar fleshes out harmonic dimension by playing full chords.
-played on either acoustic or electric guitar.
-electric guitar produces little sound on its own, high volume when amplified - In 1950s rockabilly, acoustic rhythm guitar often replaces drum set provides,
rhythmic propulsion that drives song forward.
-often, rhythm guitar part complements bass and drum
- three instruments work together to establish harmonic and rhythmic basis
- also has to be careful to fit his part with bass and drums.
- Sometimes if bass locks in with the bass drum, rhythm guitar lock in w/ snare,
emphasizing snare part while filling in remaining space btwn beats.
-Sometimes piano, organ, or synthesizer used along with, or in place of,
-If keyboards or organs used w/ rhythm guitar, may play same rhythmic
figure as guitar or simply sustain chords while guitar
-rhythm guitar and keyboard players have to be careful not to conflict
In the Spotlight: Lead Singers and Backup Vocals.
-singer : focuses on melodic dimension
- sometimes very free with rhythmic placement of melody notes,
-translates into lively dialectical tension with tightly structured grid of rhythm
section. -singer’sjob : create melodic interest , deliver lyrics in
one that does not seem contrived or unnatural in comparison w/ normal speech.
- listeners attend closely to lyrics as to melody vocal performer has to be sure words
come across effectively.
-Many solo accompanied by background vocals
- singer may have: no backup vocals (Elvis Presley’s “That’s All Right
(Mama)”), or melody accompanied by harmony vocals that follow melody
(The Beach Boys’ “Surfer
Girl”) or support and echo some part of it (The Beatles’ “Twist and Shout”).
-vocals usually coordinated (with one another and rhythm section) to avoid conflict
Steppin’ Up: Instrumental Solos.
-order to create contrast in arrangements, instrumental solo often introduced somewhere
past midpoint in a song.
-might be saxophone solo (the Coasters’ “Yakety Yak”), guitar solo (Jimi Hendrix’s
“PurpleHaze”), or piano solo (Jerry Lee Lewis’s “Great Balls of Fire”).
-Sometimes arrangement features several solos, Yes’s “Roundabout.”
- job of the rhythm section remains same as during other sections of song: to
support the soloist. - regard the solo itself subordinate to sung sections of the track
(although with some bands—
like Santana—this relationship can be reversed).
Horns and Strings: Sweetening the Sound
-Some arrangements use horns or strings to add finishing touches.
-sections often consist of combination of trumpets, trombones, for" some punch ”
-approach evident much soul music recorded in Memphis and Muscle Shoals
-Strings make arrangement sound bigger and more elegant.
-often saved until late in arrangement employed to give end of track convincing lift.
- arranger has to be careful that horns or strings stay out of the way of rhythm
and singers, creating a backdrop that enhances song w/out drawing too much
attention to itself How It All Fits Together: “Smoke on the Water.”
-Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water” a prime example how rock from mid- 1960s (and
beyond) is organized in terms of instrumentation.
- track follows contrastingverse-chorusformal pattern:
after lengthy introduction four verse-chorus pairs (the third is instrumental), with a coda
-easy to hear each instrument during introduction,
-begins w/ electric guitar alone, playing a four-measure blues-inflected riff that is
- Notice : guitar’s distorted tone- result of overdriving the amplifier;
-tone is used extensively in rock.
-third time through guitar riff, drums enter (0:17);
-first high-hat alone, fourth time through, snare drum as well.
-Notice: guitar is also doubled by the organ here, effect is subtle ; organ also
distorted, sounds like asecond guitar.
-5th occurrence of guitar riff (0:34), bass guitar is added,
-6th time through (0:43), bass is doubled by bass drum.
-vocals enter for 1st verse (0:51),
- notice : drummer primarily playing the high-hat, bass drum, snare, using
crashes on cymbal and bass drum to mark beginning and end of vocal
-guitar and bass playing almost same part, while organ takes “rhythm guitar” role,
playing chords off the drums and bass.
-As chorus begins (1:25), note : organ becomes more sustained,
as do guitar and bass, more crashes and drum fills and second vocal harmony added.
- verses and choruses that follow mostly same as first pair, although verse and
chorus during guitar solo are different (2:58).
- bass moves in faster notes during solo, drum part emphasizes snare on faster
notes rather than high-hat.
-arrival of chorus during solo particularly dynamic (3:30), as is return to guitar riff
before beginning of last verse (3:40).
- Listening to this example analytically helps us focus attention on separate
-Most listeners never really attend to ways musical parts in a track work together;
-may only notice individual parts when one stands out in some way, then only
for a moment.
-sometimes it helps to follow a single part all way through ex listening to bass only,
song again , focusing only on drums.
- rock music sometimes gives impression of musical simplicity, often layers of
complexity waiting to be discovered.
-tapestry of musical texture often does not draw attention to itself;
-good rhythm section helps listener’s focus on vocals or solos, making
background instrumentation relatively transparent.
- Because of importance of recordings to history of rock music, some scholars argue rock
repertoire not simply collection of songs, but collection of specific recordingsof songs.
-ex only one recording of Sgt.Pepper’sLonelyHeartsClubBandvalued: one made by
-Many recordings thought of having “sonicsignatures”—features that distinguish them terms
of where and when recorded, and by whom.
-Elvis’s early recordings w/ Sam Phillips at Sun Records distinctive sound separable
from songs themselves or the actual performances of them.
-For scholars with this view, rock is largely a recorded art,
-when talking about rock songs, almost always talking about rock records, even if we
don’t realize it.
Is It Live or Is It Memorex?.
--two principal approaches to thinking about what a recording represents.
-(1) think of as an “audio snapshot.”
-recording meant to reproduce a live performance faithfully as possible , listener
should be unaware recording process is involved.
- One types of recordings, sounds should seem natural and indiscernible from an actual
- approachtorecordingfrequentlyusedin classical,jazz,folk music.
-second approach : to exploit possibilities offered by studio.
-produces sounds impossible to re-create in a live setting.
-records of Les Paul and Mary Ford early ex of second approach.
-progressively building up tracks of guitar and Ford’s voice, Paul
able to create a recorded sound very much consequence of recording
technology that produced it.
- recording studio also allows instruments combined in ways that would not easily
work in natural acoustic setting.
-early 1970s live performance technology made it possible to combine acoustic instruments
louder electric ones, largely result of sounds that first occurred in studio.
- Elvis Presley’s Sun recordings 1950s, rockmusicmoredependentonpossibilitiesofthe
Reverb and Echo.