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Pop music composition

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Introduction

Solo Ballads ? BALLADS -tell stories, they have been around since at the 15th century. Back then a ballad was a long song with lots of verses that told a story. It's the type of thing that was sung by wandering mistrels. ? POP/ROCK - ballads still tell stories, they are often slow and sad and tell some kind of love story. Songwriters like to put a romantic or spooky twist right at the end to keep people listening. You will hear ballads sung in many different styles - a rock ballad accompanied by heavy drums and amplified guitars e.g. a folk ballad played on a acoustic guitar. Singer-songwriters are artists who write and sing their own material. They usually accompany themselves on either the guitar or piano and write a fair few ballads. � Bob Dylan's most famous ballad is an anti-war song called 'Blowing in the Wind'. � He sings a simple major scale, diatonic tune and plays a acoustic guitar. � All the verses are the same music and the same last line. ...read more.

Middle

He is going to a very dangerous part of the world and will be away for quite a long time. She sings of her love for him, her sadness at their parting and her conviction that he will return safely to her. I have used Cubase VST 5 to compose this piece as I could easily record the vocal parts as audio files above the musical accompaniment. The Piece is in the key of C minor. I decided a minor key would reflect Sophie's sadness and the way she longs for Michaels return. The instrumentation used in the scene is based on a small pit orchestra and consist of 2 flutes, strings and rhythm section (piano, bass and drums). Sophie is young, so her melody line would be in an alto voice. Despite this being an intimate scene (and there would be nobody else around), I have also decided to use a chorus to high-light Sophie's thoughts as she sings to Michael. The lyrics are below: Cm9 Am7b5 Abmaj7 Dm7b9 G7 1. ...read more.

Conclusion

The piece ends on an Eb Major 7 chord. The major chord is to symbolize the hope felt by Sophie that Michael will return to her. The drums play a rock rhythm which accents the off beat quaver of beat 3 performed by both the bass and keyboards. This drum rhythm happens throughout the piece. The strings perform a legato introduction which creates the mood of the piece they continue throughout the piece playing an ostinato phrase behind the rhythm section. There is a 4 bar flute riff, based on the Cm9 chord, repeated throughout each chorus, this changes to a descending Eb major scale which is performed in thirds in the chorus (ending on B and Eb which are the 3rd and the 5th of the Ab minor (major7) chord) The Chorus perform an off beat rhythm based on the chords of the chorus. I think the piece has worked well as it uses instruments found in a pit orchestra. The piece is also in the style of a love song and therefore is appropriate to the scene. Using Cubase software allowed me to record the vocals and the backing in an effective and professional way. ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

A good description of the composition and musical vocabulary is used well. I would wonder if the chord sequence was just a little bit too complicated but without hearing the composition it is hard to tell.

Marked by teacher Nathan Smith 19/03/2013

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