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Lecture 14

MUSI 1530 Lecture Notes - Lecture 14: Sound Poetry, Spiro Agnew, Bird Sound

Course Code
MUSI 1530
Rebecca Jubis

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The Beatles:
Became creatures of the studio
No more tours after the disastrous one in 1966
“Love Me Do” Beatles
1962-1965 – early styles
Beatles Early Period Songwriting Style
Tin Pan Alley Conventions
Hooks at the beginning
oWhat sticks in your head (George and his titles)
Basic Instrumental Setup (guitars, bass, drums – piano, harmonica)
oWriting with a formula
oEach song had a distinct sound
Songs Inspired By:
Calypso tune – I’m in love with her and I feel fine (Baby says)
oLatin-based sound
Beach Boys
o4 part vocal harmony
Classical string
oString group – no percussion (All the lonely people)
Romance Ballad
oSlow dance song
oAdded the citar – Indian instrument (Paul Shankar) teaching in
UCLA and Crosby called George Harrison, and he started to
learn how to play it
oFirst stirrings of world music
o4 beats, tambourine on the beats, don’t hear guitar until way
into the piece
Generic Stylists (Rock +) Cover Versions
1962 – Love Me Do
1966 – Tomorrow Never Knows
oWall of sound (Phil Spector – same time River Deep Mountain High)
oBeginning to experiment with new instruments (e.g. Citar)
EMI (recording company): give us a radio-friendly songs, but do whatever you
What inspired these vocals?
Bob Dylan!
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Also interested in new religious experience (Lennon was reading the Book of the Dead)
Not a single sound coming out in a chronological fashion
oAll instrumental sounds are the results of tape loops (remember: Les Paul)
oForward, backwards, speed up – the bird sounds are the result of playing glass rims
with water in them to get specific tunes, and electric guitar dubbed onto tape loop,
forwarded to triple speed backwards
1948, Paris
Other composers were experimenting with tape loops – called ‘musique concret’ –
compliments of George Martin (producer)
Bass and drums are very forward – previously, they had been shoved to the back
oDrums kit on the mikes placed in front of or next to instruments previously
oPut the mike INSIDE the drums along with sweaters to deaden the sound
oSame with the bass, the feed went straight into the console instead of the amp
oBeginning of techniques used in hard rock and heavy metal!
Call and response between guitar and crazy bird sound during the instrumental section
Lennon wanted a swirling effect to sound like the Dalai Lama – swung around on rope with
mike – instead used technique developed by Geoffe Emmerick (sound tech) – I can do it
electronically artificial double-tracking (ADT)
oAs recording signal onto track, the ADT records the same signal a split second behind
oCan layer it quite easily
oBeatles called it the Phaseshifter – known as Chorus Pedal with guitars
What happened to the Tin Pan Alley conventions here?
We know about it, but forget it – based on one chord sequence, on-going sequence of verses
(almost like folk music – recurring melody)
8 bar forms
“I Am The Walrus” 1967
Supposed to be on Sgt. Pepper, but was pushed over onto The Magical Mystery Tour
Check out the lyrics
oNever recorded when they were high or not focussed
oBut what they did on their own time, who knows
Lennon and company were hounded about this song – said it “was about nothing”
How can we connect this to Dylan? Internal rhymes (not at the end of the line), USING
ALLITERATION (in Britain, there was a style of poetry called “sound poetry”)
oNot concerned with the meaning of the word so much as the sound of it
oAlliteration is a way of getting into those sounds
Personal pronouns? See first 2 lines, got that all out of way
oTake Tin Pan Alley conventions and twisting and playing with them to experiment and
create something new
During this time, Lennon was writing about his lost childhood (his mother) and about the fact
he didn’t really GET a childhood
oTries to recreate and see the world as a child would
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