introchapter 1chapter 2Interlude Achapter 3chapter 4chapter 5Interlude Bchapter 6chapter 7chapter 8Interlude Cchapter 9chapter 10chapter 11chapter 12chapter 13
Interlude A
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  • Musical form is the way sections are structured in a piece of music
    • Sections are structured so as to combine into larger sections of music
    • There is a relatively small number of kinds of formal design in music
      1. Most of the music created over all of time follows certain patterns of structural design
      2. This allows for analysis to be based on relativity to particular formal structures
      3. Rock and roll formal structures are limited to some basic concepts
    • Understanding of form helps you to comprehend the listening examples discussed in this text
  • Harmony Defined
    • Scales identify tonality, referred to as a "key"
      1. There are twelve distinct scales in music
        • Each scale is a set of ascending steps in a precise pattern of intervals from one note to the next
        • An interval is the distance from one pitch to another
        • The pattern is based on how many half-steps are involved to create an interval
        • On a piano, a half-step (also called semitone) is the step from a white key to the black key next to it
        • In Western European derived music, the semitone is the smallest pitch increment that can be played
      2. The set of intervals that generates a major scale is 2-2-1-2-2-2-1
        • Starting from any pitch, the second pitch in a major scale is 2 semitones from the first starting pitch
        • The third pitch is again two semitones above the second pitch
        • The fourth pitch is only one semitone above the third pitch
        • The fifth pitch is two semitones above the fourth pitch
        • The sixth pitch is two semitones above the fifth pitch
        • The seventh pitch is two semitones above the sixth pitch
        • The next octave begins again one semitone above the seventh pitch
      3. Each scale degree is numbered from 1 to 7 as a point of reference
        • All music scales are based on the first seven letters of the alphabet (ABCDEFG)
        • There are two additional symbols that provide alterations of the pitches: sharps (#) and flats (b)
        • Sharps raise a pitch by one semitone such that a C# sounds one semitone higher than a C
        • Flats lower a pitch by one semitone such that a Gb sounds one semitone lower than a G
      4. A scale that begins on G would have a pattern of intervals that would produce the following scale: G-A-B-C-D-E-F#-G
        • These pitches are the result of following the interval pattern 2-2-1-2-2-2-1
        • The next to last note is an F# (not F) because that pitch must be 2 semitones above e
        • F is only one semitone above E, so the next pitch must be used: which is F#
    • Harmony is two or more notes sounding together
      1. Harmony in music is built around combinations of three-note simultaneous pitch groups called chords
      2. Chords are built on the pattern of combining notes found in a seven-note scale
      3. Chords are usually built out of combinations of three pitches from a scale
        • These pitches are chosen based on a pattern of skipping one note in a scale and using the next note
        • An example of this would be the scale of C, where the pitches are C-D-E-F-G-A-B-(C)
        • The (C) is the beginning of the scale in the next octave as the scale continues upward
        • The pitches C, E, and G would constitute a chord in that scale
        • Another example of a chord in this scale would be the pitches F, A, and C
      4. Chords are numbered according to the degree of the scale on which they are built
        • In the key of C, there are 7 possible chords, each built on one of the notes in the scale
        • C=1, D=2, E=3, F=4, G=5, A=6, B=7
        • To construct chords, simply combine three notes in a "skipped" pattern to generate these pitch groups:
        • CEG, DFA, EGB, FAC, GBD, ACE, BDF
        • Each set of three pitches is to be played together simultaneously to produce a chord
      5. Chords are represented by their position in a scale using Roman numerals
      6. There are three major chords represented by upper-case Roman numerals: I, IV, V
        • Major chords sound "happy" because of the combination of intervals producing that particular chord
        • In the key of C, the three major chords are CEG (i), FAC (iv), and GBD (v)
      7. There are three minor chords represented by lower-case Roman numerals: ii, iii. vi
        • Minor chords sound "sad" because they consist of notes using a different set of intervals
        • In the key of C, the three minor chords are DFA (ii), EGB (iii) and ACE (vi)
      8. There is also one chord (represented as vii°) that is unique, called a "diminished" chord
  • The 12-Bar Blues
    • Common structural pattern in much rhythm and blues
      1. Twelve groups of four-beat measures
      2. Divided into three groups of four measures each, called a "phrase"
        • The first phrase often has a lyric that is repeated in the next phrase
        • The last phrase provides a lyric that completes the thought
    • A good example of a 12-bar blues in rhythm and blues is Joe Turner's "Shake, Rattle, and Roll"
      1. Same lyric occurs twice in a row for each of the first two phrases
      2. A new lyric appears in the last phrase
      3. Roman numerals indicate chords to be played in each numbered measure as follows:
        • I — IV — I — I IV — IV — I — I V — IV — I — V
        • First phrase is the question, second phrase is the same question, third phrase is the answer
      4. By using this number system, musicians can simply apply the formula to any key (scale)
      5. The form of "Shake, Rattle, and Roll" is simple verse-chorus
    • 12-bar blues is a pattern that is defined by its measure length, phrasing, lyrics, and chord structure
    • Jackie Brenston's "Rocket 88" and Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode" employ the 12-bar blues pattern
      1. "Johnny B. Goode" uses the 12-bar blues pattern and alternates verses and choruses
      2. "Rocket 88" uses the 12-bar blues pattern for verses only, thereby making it simple verse form
    • Little Richard's "Tutti Frutti"
      1. Uses the 12-bar blues, but varies the progression in the last four bars of each verse
        • Chorus: I — I — I — I IV — IV — I — I V — IV — I — I
        • Verse: I — I — I — I IV — IV — I — I I — I — I — I
  • Verse and Verse-Chorus Forms
    • Simple verse-chorus form
      1. 12-bar blues is distinctive pattern used to build larger forms
      2. The relationship of the verses to the choruses
        • A single pattern is used as the basis for both verses and choruses
        • Can also consist of a repeating pattern that is not 12-bar blues
      3. Carter Family's "Can the Circle Be Unbroken" is built on a 16-bar progression
        • It isn't a variation of the 12-bar blues pattern
        • The verse and chorus use the same melody and harmony
        • Only slight variations between the two
        • The song is difficult to count because of numerous abnormalities in the number of beats in bars
    • Simple Verse Form
      1. Song consists of only verses with no contrasting material that suggests a repeating chorus section
        • "That's All Right" uses simple verse form
        • Uses the chords found in 12-bar blues but not the pattern of the 12-bar blues progression
        • Actually each section (verse) is 18 measures long
      2. "Heartbreak Hotel" is a clear example of simple verse form
        • Each 8-bar verse based on the same chord progression
        • An abbreviated version of the 12-bar blues
    • Contrasting verse-chorus
      1. Verse section is distinctly different from the chorus section
        • Can employ different chord progression
        • Can employ different melody
        • Can even use a different number of measures
      2. Chuck Berry's "Rock and Roll Music" is such an example
        • 14-measure choruses
        • 8-measure verses
        • The chorus is the most memorable part of the song
        • This tends to be the case with most verse-chorus forms (simple or contrasting)
      3. Buddy Holly's "That'll Be the Day" uses contrasting verse-chorus form
        • 8-bar verse and chorus sections
        • The instrumental bridge uses the 12-bar blues pattern
  • AABA Form
    • Song form most associated with mainstream pop
      1. Most common in the decades preceding rock and roll in Tin Pan Alley songs
      2. 32-bar structure that combines four 8-bar phrases
      3. AABA shows the pattern of 8-bar phrases
        • The first two 8-bar phrases are very similar (AA)
        • The third 8-bar phrase is contrasting (B)
        • The last 8-bar phrase is similar to the first two (A)
      4. Some examples of songs that use this structure
        • "Over the Rainbow"
        • "I'm Sittin' on Top of the World"
        • "Hey, Good Lookin'"
        • "Blueberry Hill"
    • Reprise
      1. Usually all or some part of the AABA pattern is repeated
        • In a "full reprise" the entire AABA form is repeated
        • In an "abbreviated reprise" part of the AABA form returns
    • AABA can be expanded
      1. Jerry Lee Lewis's recording of "Great Balls of Fire" is a good rock and roll example
        • The A sections are 8 measures long
        • The bridge is 12 measures long
      2. The whole pattern is repeated
      3. Everly Brothers song "All I Have to Do Is Dream" uses 32-bar AABA with abbreviated reprise
        • The overall form ends up being AABA* BA (the A* after the B section includes part of the intro)
        • Notice that the song does not repeat the form in entirety, but is abbreviated


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