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Path: Queen Songs - Forum - Song Analysis: Shifted accentsBookmark and Share

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PD: Shifted accents22 Oct 2002 11:54
Shifted accents are widely used in pop/rock music. The tipical pattern is 3+5. There are some Queen songs that shift the downbeats for more than one measure.
(4 + 4 + 3+4+5 + 4... or  4 + 4 + 3+4+4+5 + 4...  or 8 + 8 + 7+8+9 + 8...)

The related songs are: Killer Queen, (Brighton Rock), Now I'm Here, The Prophet's Song, Save Me.
Can anyone tell examples by other songwriters/bands?
Now I'm Here can be considered as a syncopation. Save Me and The Prophet's Song use this trick "stronger".
 
How would you transcribe Save Me: using 4/4 measures thorughout and threat the rhythm of those twisty passages as a special syncopation, or use bars in 7/8 > 4/4 > 9/8 ?
Can anyone of you perform Save Me with toe-tapping the 4/4 beats throughout?
1.Sebastian 04 Dec 2002 19:18
On Save Me I always toe-tap 4/4 but each part enters a bit earlier than I hit the beat. Look thta it's Brian the one who uses them a lot, it reminds me 'Yesterday' on the "I belive in Yesterday" part.
2.PD 06 Dec 2002 17:12
> On Save Me I always toe-tap 4/4 but each part enters a bit earlier than I hit the beat
Are you talking about the first phrases, or the last phrases of the Verse & Bridge?
The first phrases have simple off-beat accents / syncopations like the cited line from Yesterday, but the end of the phrases have that rhytmic gambit I reffered as "shifted accents", and it is definitely not used in Yesterday. I'm actually still searching for a non-Queen application of it.
3.PD 11 Mar 2003 10:40
Tool's "Lateralus" has a part (the Chorus?) that's 9/8 + 8/8 + 7/8.

In ABBA's Money Money Money there is a 7/8 > 9/8 figure.
4.PD 27 Nov 2006 10:59
I was looking for an example for what I treated as "shifted accent" in "Save Me" and some other songs. It's not that easy to find. The only example I've found so far is in J.S.Bach's Badinerie (from the "suite no2 in b minor").

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Check out m13-15:
For my ears that figure deceptively sound like the strong beats falling on the rising peak notes.
I mean my ears interpret the tune shaped like this:

1...
*   *
 * * * *...
  *   *

But it is shaped like this:
1
 *   *
* * * *
   *   *...

A case of shifted accents? I can't help my ear learning the latter interpretation as those high notes are hijacking my sense of downbeats for a few bars.
I would like to know whether you too are cheated by this piece of music, or just me?
5.PD 25 Jan 2007 09:24
I pop up this question again. You surely know the tune, a favourite of ringtones.
Stringsound.com

"I would like to know whether you too are cheated by this piece of music, or just me?"
6.PD 18 Apr 2008 13:12

An essay on Led Zeppelin's rhythmical tricks:

journals.cambridge.org/production/action/cjoGetFulltext?fulltextid=1584128



Post was edited on 18 Apr 2008 13:17
7.angel 19 Mar 2009 14:12

Recently I played Beethoven´s Pathetic sonata and I realized that in the main theme (after the introduction) there is the shifted accent. So it can be an example of usage of that shifted accent even before ragtime era.

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