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Musical Growth

In: Film and Music

Submitted By tnokrah
Words 726
Pages 3
Theodore N Mcgrady

Prof. Christopher Hanover

Music 160

February 11, 2015

Music Analysis Assignment Musical growth in Taylor Swift’s Blank Space and Dan Emmett’s “De Boatman’s dance”. In this music analysis assignment, I am going to analyze two pieces of music. I will analyze first, “De Boatman’s Dance” by Dan Emmett and then “Blank Space” by Taylor Swift. I shall listen closely for instrumentation, texture, melody, and form and I will talk about the genre of each song. Instruments used in “De Boatman’s Dance” include: a tambourine, bones, voices, and a banjo. I hear several voices singing in different parts. In the vocal section, I hear only men’s voices. I noticed that the tenor singer sings solo in some part of the song. Upon listening closely, I noticed that the singers lower their voices every second time they sing, “I rode de boatman’s boat” in the chorus. I noticed most part of the song is sung in baritone as the chorus is sung in alto and tenor; we hear a little syncopation by the bone. The melody is shared between the banjo and the voices. The music is divided into quadruple meter and takes the form of A-B-C but then there is an intro before the “A” starts. This form is continued throughout the song. In Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space,” the instruments used are: keyboard, effects, drums, bass and her voice. The voice overall has a pleasant timbre that is very sweet and gentle, and can convey emotions well. The voice cuts through the heavy instrumentation. The voice is held for a long period of time with no wavering in pitch. In the part of the song where she says, “I can make a bad guy good for a weekend” she talks rather than sing. The texture of this song is thin in the beginning but as the song goes on, the texture becomes thicker. The melody in the voice is in the top layer, keyboard in the middle layer and the drums in the bottom layer. This piece has a very high pitch and a steady note. That is, she is able to sing at a very high key since she is trained to do so. The melody of this song is of high quality because Swift is a trained professional. In this song, she combines the pitch (how high the piece is) and rhythm in a way that makes the song very different from a piece from an artiste like Lady Gaga. This song is also in quadruple meter. The drum piece is basically the same through the whole piece with synthesis by the keyboard in the middle. The form of this piece is as follows; AABB (verse), CCDD (chorus), EE (bridge) and then back to CCDD. This pattern is repeated throughout the song. After two cycles, there is a break in the beat but it comes back at the same pace and the tune is continued to the end. The chords progression is still at the count of four. That is, at everyone count of four, there is a change in chord. De Boatman Dance was a popular song in its time because people could dance the cakewalk to it and since the cakewalk was a fad at that time, it caused Dan Emmett’s song to be liked by many. I will classify De Boatman’s as minstrelsy because as at the time of the release of this song, the “dance” was cakewalk and that dance was a way to mock the high in society but it can also be classified as a folksong. Taylor Swift’s Blank Space is also popular at this time for various reasons. “Blank Space” is popular because Taylor is very popular and it is an undisputable fact that “Blank Space” is played by multiple radio stations, categorizing it as a pop music. . It is also popular because people always want to hear the emotional songs she composes. In this century, there are many genres of music but Taylor tries to blend it all. “Blank Space” was composed in 2014. It tells a story with both the lyrics and the beat. Pop music are made to tell stories. “De Boatman’s dance doesn’t grow. That is, the texture remains the same from the beginning of the piece till the end. It is just a song created for dance.…...

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