Home » Blog 8 (Page 2)
Category Archives: Blog 8
In My Time Of Dying is an 11 minute song written and released by Led Zeppelin in 1975 on their album Physical Graffiti. It is a gospel blues song that was originally released by Blind Willie Johnson in early 1928. Originally recorded in 1927, the song was played in open d tuning and was originally 3 minutes long. It was recorded by Willie singing and playing his guitar by himself, making this a solo accompaniment. Led Zeppelin recorded the song in open a, with vocals, drums, a fretless bass and slide guitar, basically instrumental accompaniment, which was drastically different to what the original song sounded like. The tempo changes throughout the song, starting slow in the beginning and gradually speeding up faster and faster, until the end. It was recorded in a similar style to their other cover song, When The Levee Breaks, with an instrumental jam in the middle of the song. This song would fit in Chapter 5 of this unit, Song, because it is a story that is being told with instrumental accompaniment. The story itself is of a man on his deathbed praying to Jesus to take him to Heaven. It’s the same story as Blind Willie Johnson’s, however the chorus is much longer than his, which takes up 1-2 minutes of the song. The song is very different than what WIllie Johnson recorded in 1927 and it shows. Despite that, both versions of the song tell the same story, albeit very differently from each other, so it would also be able to teach more about cover songs and how they can be different from the original song.
“Good music” can be defined in many ways. However, good music can be whatever can get people singing along with bringing people together as a whole. One piece of music that really fits this category is Bob Marley’s “One Love / People Get Ready”. This song talks about people getting together as one, signifying “one love”. Marley and this song stem from a reggae genre of music in Jamaica. What makes this song interesting is that Marley composes multiple people to sing this song. As he is the main and lead singer, there are times (such as the chorus) where people come together and sing the main melody, which gives it a very heterophonic feel. The tone of the music was also very upbeat, giving that sense of popular music to spread to other people. This song can connect to music and political expression because within this song Marley conveys a deeper message. Bob Marley is also known widely for his connection and influence on politics and movements across the world worldwide with his song reaching national stardom. With the influence Marley has, he was able to get his message across to multiple nations.
The song I chose to write about today is “The bigger picture” by Lil Baby. This song falls under the genre of rap music and came out in 2020. This song was released after all the Black Lives Matter protest and George Floyd protests happened. This song talked about police brutality issues and systematic racism in America. The dynamic was mezzo forte because the background music matched the lyrics and was steadily faster than usual. The tempo of the song is allegro because since its rap it tends to be sung in a faster pace. This song would fall into the theme of music and political expression. It speaks on Black Lives Matter which is a big political movement.
“Good” music will always be a subjective topic and the answer will vary among person to person. This is probably why I also have a hard time answering the question of “what’s your favorite song?” I think they’re all good, you can’t make me choose a favorite! But for the sake of this blog, I chose another video game OST; the Phobia themes from Omori!
There was no way I could possibly discuss its music without spoiling the game, so here’s to hoping no one was planning on playing Omori. The plot of the game in the simplest terms is: you play as Omori who explores the world of Headspace with his friends Hero, Kel, and Aubrey. When not playing in Headspace, you play as a hikikomori (a person who avoids social contact) named Sunny who, depending on your choices, reveals the truth surrounding the death of his sister or takes it to his grave. While playing as Sunny, you have to literally fight his fears and that’s where these songs come in. The first fear is Acrophobia, the fear of heights. The music perfectly encapsulates the feeling of falling by having a continuous descending drone in the back. The second fear is Arachnophobia, the fear of spiders. I don’t know how this fear fits into the game’s storyline, but I do know that the scratchiness of the music is meant to represent the feeling of spiders crawling. Finally, Thalassophobia, or the fear of deep waters. Probably the most in your face of the three, the music showcases the feeling of being submerged underwater by muffling the audio and adding some sort of rippling reverb to it. Among all three songs, one thing remains the same; the continuous heartbeat that gets faster and faster before the video transitions into the next phobia.
The unit these songs would fit into would definitely be Stories Without Words. Aside from clearly not having any words, the songs use mimesis to convey their story. A simple explanation of what the phobias mean make the musical choices obvious. The songs themselves may not be commonplace motifs for their given topics, but anyone familiar with the game and anyone given the explanation (like previously) will come to understand what it means.
One song that I considered a “good” song is “Young and Beautiful” by Lana del Rey. This song was used in the main sound track of the movie The Great Gatsby. Mostly the tracks of the movie are jazz combined with pop however the producers of the movie wanted Lana to do something outstanding. This song is categorized as alternative pop, this song is in B minor. This song is in strophic form which means that different verses are sung thought the song however the melody doesn’t change. This song also has a soft piano to create a minimalistic effect, and also in the music video we can see how a synthesized orchestra of strings is used that accompanies Lana’s sweet voice.
I think that one of the units that this song would make a great fit is in Unit 6: Song because there is something about this song that makes it unique form the others. Something that can be discussed about this song is how a synthesized orchestra of strings is used in order to make the song outstanding. Another thing that can be discussed is what the song is trying to convey for example the emotions of the song, the time period the song took place and what story is trying to portray.
A piece of “good” music I have chosen is “Party Rock Anthem” by LMFAO. LMAFO are a duo that do genres consisting of EDM, Pop and Hip-Hop. The Unit lesson it would fit in would be “What is Good Music”. The form is in verse-chorus form, and the texture of the song is heterophonic. The background of the song was suppose to give a party club vibe for everyone to enjoy while dancing.
Party Rock Anthem: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQ6zr6kCPj8
I consider the song “Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson a good song for various reasons. The reasons why I consider it a good song is the long period of time for which it topped the charts and the impact it had. Billie Jean topped the pop chart for seven weeks in March and April of 1983 which was considered a long period. It also paved the way for more uptempo black music to crossover after three years of post-disco blacklisting by pop radio. Another reason why I consider it a good song is the usage of its various hooks. One after another you’re subject to an onslaught of hooks. The drum beat, bass line, string stabs, funk guitar, vocal punches, and tiny horn runs. It is catchy to the point that everyone recognizes each one of these as being from that song. They share the traits of being independently strong, catchy, and also being significantly memorable. The story behind the song also adds to the charm of the song. According to Jackson’s biographer J. Randy Taraborrelli, “Billie Jean” was inspired by letters Jackson received in 1981 from a woman claiming he was the father of one of her twins. Jackson, who regularly received letters of this kind, had never met the woman and ignored those claims. A unit this song could have been featured in was Unit 3: Elements of Sound and Music. In this unit different parts that make up a song are mentioned such as beat, pitch, harmony, melody, vocal, timbre, texture, etc. I believe this song displays a variety of these skills and we could have broken this song down to identify each of these terms. For example, we could have seen how harmony was utilized in the song and what type of texture the song was played in. This would have allowed us to identify terms better and also see how it’s incorporated into popular songs.
A piece of “good” music that im familiar with and that hasn’t been discussed in class would be Man in the Mirror by Micheal Jackson. Micheal Jackson was known to be an American singer, songwriter, dancer, and so much more. This song goes on to highlight the injustices that occur within the world especially during the release time of this song. During the time Micheal Jackson was giving concerts in Yokohama and Osaka, he had dedicated this song in memory to the five year old young boy Yoshiaki Ogiwara from Japan who had been kidnapped for ransom and later murdered. The creation for this song was originally written by Siedah Garrett and Glen Ballard which would be the first outside song in two years he had accepted to sing. The song displays that inorder to make a change within the world it first has to start with yourself. When it comes to the start of the song the tone that is presented shows how his voice starts off slow and at a low sound and gradually gets a more projected higer tone as the chorus follows him throughout the song. While as for the tempo it does start off slow in the beginning as well as toward the middle of the song although his voice gets higer as we move to the mid- end around the sound his voice picks up along with the beat and the chorus that is supporting his voice but continues like this till the the end. A unit that could feature my piece of music as a listening example would be Unit 5:US Popular Music. I think it would fit in this unit because it was and still is an influential work of music today that many individuals are able to connect back to.
A piece of music that I consider to be good would be the song “The Perfect Pair” by Beabadoobee. This song has been trending recently on social media apps, but I learned about it because I have been following the artist Beabadoobee for a while since around the time of senior year, which would be around late 2021- early 2022. Her album that was released in summer of 2022, named “Beatopia” had a massive amount of hype by those who followed Bea and liked her music. She originally rose to extreme heights due to her involvement in the song “Death Bed” by Powfu as she was sampled in the song and many people discovered her off the song. The song now sits at millions of views and to me is a really good song.
Bea’s dynamics with her instrumentalists seems to be very balanced as her soft tones balances out with the chill melody that is constant throughout the song. She uses her voice to accompany the instrumentals rather than overpower it and steal the show, even allowing a little solo in the climax of the song starting around 1:58. She really lets the whole band shine while not straying away from her vocals. Her lyrics are also very relatable, and texture is cluttered yet comes out to be very structured even with the use of that many instruments. I think it would be great to show in Unit 5 as it is a popular song in the US, and social media as of 2022. It can help teach which songs were popular in modern day music, and it could help teach different instruments and how they work. Here’s a link to the song.
Piece Of Music: Allez by Teddyson John
Information About Piece Of Music: This is music a part of the Caribbean, falling under the genre of Soca Music.
What the artist wants the listener to understand from this song:
The gift of change, the capacity for forward motion, and the blessing of being able to get back up and start over again are what make life beautiful. Inevitable difficulties are supposed to strengthen you rather than to overwhelm you. Teddyson John tells us that as we bravely conquer negativity and pessimism and as we all want to live life to the fullest, life’s successes happen every day. The musician asks you to overcome any and all of your issues and go on into an amazing and triumphant future, but don’t go alone; instead, go together and walk the path of growing into something greater.
Two Musical Characteristics:
Rhythm = The rhythm of this song is what makes this song so memorable and catchy. The beats make you obtain that feeling of wanting to dance, jump up, and have fun, to enjoy life. The embodiment of what this song is about. The beats are all major keys, to supporting that uplifting feeling. The musicality in the pre-chorus and the chorus are what hype you up and gets you to want to dance.
Timbre (tone color) = The artist is singing in his higher range avoiding his minor keys. Since the song is supposed to be an encouraging and uplifting piece, singing in his higher notes will also contribute to the message he wants to portray.
How would it fit into the unit?
This piece of music would fit into this unit because the general idea is to convey what makes up a song. How it is organized, how the words and music work together, and how the concept of a song can invoke emotions and tell a story. In my opinion, “Allez by Teddyson John” can do a perfect job of identifying those connections based on the meaning behind the song, and how the song was put together.
What important concepts would it help teach?
The concepts it would teach…
- How lyrics can influence the interpretation of a song? (Lyrics speak about overcoming and always looking for the light/positivity)
- How music can affect emotions and feelings? (The beats of the song make you feel happy and empowered)
- What the structure or build-up of a song can do to the music? (The music is slowed down or cut down by half, before the chorus comes in, which builds up that tension. So, when the chorus comes in, it lets loose with the music, making you want to jump up or dance.)