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wiz eutropio: Help on classical quotes15 Apr 2003 16:08
Hi everybody.
I'm new on this forum and I found very interesting topics, especially regarding classical quotes on Queen music. Of course I already know about Leoncavallo in "It's A Hard Life", but I was very surprised with Vivaldi and Brahms: could anyone be more precise on this last piece? It was a piano-solo song or a lied?
I'm working on a book about Queen music (of course!) and I'll quote some of your articles, if this is not a problem for you. I'll even post here my studies, regarding song analysis and similars. For now I can tell you I found intersting quotes with Mozart and (in part) with Purcell. In the next days I'll wrote them down.
Cuold anyone add more examples of classical quotes in non Queen music? I found out that Michael Jackson in "Will You Be There" uses some parts of Beethoven's last simphony in his song introduction.
Good job to everyone.
1.PD 15 Apr 2003 17:11
Hi Wiz, wellcome to this board!

About Vivaldi: as far I know there is no direct quote from him in any Queen song, only a chord progression. To borrow a chord "classical" progression alone is not extraordinary (it depends on the progression). Even "Oops I Did It Again" has a chord progression that is similar to one ( www.torvund.net ). Classical quotes are quite frequent in progressive rock. Pop/rock examples also abound.
Back to Vivaldi - Flash connection. I don't think it's a case of direct conscious Vivaldi quoting. The progression probably was not even used first by Vivaldi. I would say it's a case of Brian's and Vivaldi's mind working similar way for some measures while. I suspect many less prestigous examples (inlcuding pop/rock songs) existing. The Love Of My Life analysis mentions a Haydn sonatina (that was Ognyan's addition, I admit I've never heard it - I tried to find its MIDI though), but I could have mentioned Blackbird by the Beatles (McCartney).

About the book: it's not quite "of course" thing to write about the MUSIC of Queen because nobody did it before. Of course it's a highly necessary book to write and also very difficloult due the lack of proper reference books. I would suggest to do it very careful and going not very far behind your level expertise. This is something I continuosly have to do here on this webpage/board, but I would not dare to write a book. Writing a book is something more lasting than some admittedly amateur articles on a webpage that I can modify correct regularly.
Could you tell me details about the concept of you planned book, and tell me/us something about your expertise?

non-Queen classical quotes:
www.google.com

More Queen related classical quotes:
Silent Night: performed live several (?) times.
Brian May's: "Il Colloso" (non-album track) quotes a couple of classical pieces.
I vaguely remember that one of the pre-Queen bands "covered" (probably just short quotes) Bach's "Toccata and Fugue in d minor".

I'm looking forward reading about Mozart and Purcell quotes that you've found.

About Brahms: his quoted Lullaby must have been originally a song with piano accompamiment. I don't kbow its year of "birth" nor its opus number.


Your studies are welcomed here, I think this is the best place to publish and discuss them.
As for quoting my articles: it's OK, I'm not a copyright-freak (who knows, maybe I should be). But I suggest checking every single thoughts and consequences by yourself before using them. My articles have some mistakes.
2.PD 24 Apr 2003 06:56
Wiz, I hope I didn't frightened you away from this board...
3.wiz eutropio 25 Apr 2003 14:40
No, no problem, but in the last days I had a lot of work to do.
Well, I'm an italian student of History of Music and Melodram, and I'm going to finish in the next months. About my book I can tell you that it will be entitled: "Forms and structures in the early Queen production (1973-1980): analisys of the musical dramaturgy in the album and in the concerts". For musical dramaturgy I mean the importance of the ORDER of the tracks in an album, similar to the different parts of an opera (think about "QUEEN II" or the medley in concerts).
There will be seven chapters with an analisys of ALL the Queen songs in the interested period; this includes a short text reading, the instruments used, the sterophonics effects and -of course- an harmonic section as well, even if less accurate and precise than yours; besides I noticed all the kind of structures (as A-A-B or A-B-C) used in the songs. I even put a lot of musical examples about Queen and others group, thanks to the music sheets so accurate i found via mail in England, originally published by EMI and with a LOT of musical details, such as chord, studio effects and instruments used. They're not 100% complet or perfect, but can give you a precise idea of the song: for instance I found out that Bohemian Rhapsody has more than 50 different chords.
About the classical quotes: of course with Vivaldi there's only a chord progression, but I think thai it is relevant because it shows how music is only ONE even during centuries, and therefore a lot of different compositions have their importance and different rule. About Purcell it was about the "Basso di lamentazione" used in Bohemian (I found it on your links), and for Mozart I found an indirect quote always in Bohemian: the "no no no no no no no" part is very similar to the "no no no" in the "Don Giovanni" opera, except for the direction (ascending and not descending) of the voice: in this part of Bohemian we even find 11 different notes of the total 12 of the scale. I thought it should be interesting.
More details later.
Sorry for my english and tell me what you think about my project.
Thanks a lot.
4.PD 25 Apr 2003 18:08
"Forms and structures in the early Queen production (1973-1980): analisys of
the musical dramaturgy in the album and in the concerts".

very nice title, I like it. Will you discuss Flash Gordon (1980) too?

I planned to write an article here on the Queen medleys on concerts: how the original songforms were shortened, how did they link together songs in different keys (eg. Death On Two Legs - Killer Queen).

Regarding the albums: it'snice to think about how differently the songs could have been sequenced. The "News" album starts with the two mega-hits which is tad risky because people after the first listen to may find the rest of the album boring. Beatles producer George Martin had the following philosophy:
groups.google.com

Queen's philosophy about sequencing LP-s is less clear for me. On "Opera" both album opener starts with fade-in, that must have been a conscious choice.
Stereophonic effects I hardly discuss in my articles. Except the hockets.

> besides I noticed all the kind of structures (as A-A-B or A-B-C) used in
> the songs.
Do you mean section-level structures or phrase-level structures. Both make sense.

> They're not 100% complet or perfect
One always has to be skeptic with transcriptions, including mine. The "official" transcribers use the same CD-s for transcribing as anyone else. It's impossibel to transcribe instruents perfectly that can be hardly heard, and it's a frquent problem on Queen records due the number of tracks.

> I found out that Bohemian Rhapsody has more than 50 different chords.
That's more than I expected. My analysis omits passing chords and line cliche chords, resulting in much less chords.

> I think thai it is relevant because it shows how music is only
> ONE even during centuries, and therefore a lot of different compositions
> have their importance and different rule.
Some chord changes and chrod progrsessions are used to creat the same effect in the listener. Some of these become cliches. I know some cliches that can be originated in classical music. (I admit I don't know about the classical origin of the 1-6-4-5 and 1-6-2-5 cliches.)

> About Purcell it was about the "Basso di lamentazione" used in Bohemian.
Pretty interesting. I admit I don't know what is "Basso di lamentazione". Which link have I to
follow?

> the "no no no no no no no" part is very similar to the "no no no"
> in the "Don Giovanni" opera, except for the direction (ascending and
> not descending) of the voice
I can't wait to listen Don Giovanni and find that part if I can. I admit my analysis misses one note (the sixth "no" in the top voice)

> in this part of Bohemian we even find 11 different notes of the total
> 12 of the scale.
That seven "no" is the craziest harmony that Freddie ever arranged in my opinion. It's based on a heavily non-diatonic weakly tonicized chord progression, but still sounds very "consonant".

> Sorry for my english and tell me what you think about my project
Your english is OK, mine isn't better either. The majority of the posters here live in not english-speaking country. The project is superb, I dare you to do it. If you need help just write a post here.
5.wiz eutropio 25 Apr 2003 19:40
Thanks a lot.
Yes, I will discuss even FLASH GORDON but in a shorter way.
The structure I analyzed is about section-level, even if I noticed very intersting things even in melodic phrases (such as the melodic bow of 'Dear Friends').
The "basso di lamentazione" is a figure which uses descending chords progression(s) to determine and "visualize" the sorrow of a situation (present in the text or in the drama); in italian "lamentazione" means properly "sadness", This harmonic figure was very frequent in 16th and 17th centuiries and has many classical examples. One of this is in Purcell "Dido and Aeneas". In 'Bohemian' the text says "just killed a man", and the piano part retakes and develops this figure.
About Mozart: it is in the sextect of the second act, ane even the dramtic situation is similar: Scaramouche (I think he is the protagonist of 'Bohemian') is surrounded by demoniac forces and tries to escape ("Will you let me go out'"); that's my interpretation. In Mozart, Leporello is surrounded by all the others charachters who wants to kill him; I think that there is a sort of dramatic parallelism that justificate the use of similar musical solutions; this is my opinion, of course, just an idea; I don't know exactly what Freddie wanted here.
The sixth "no" in the top voice shoul be a D.
6.wiz eutropio 04 May 2003 14:56
Weel PD, have you found the similarities between "bohemian rhapsody" and the "Don Giovanni"?
7.PD 04 May 2003 19:02
Not yet. Within an hour I'm going to listen to it in MIDI format and report what I've found.

Hours later:

I could only locate five movements/arias of DG in MIDI format. For first listen to these I could not found any close similarities between it and BohRap. Next week I may be able to give a listen to a CD, but you may share with us what similraties exactly have you found.
8.PD 12 May 2003 21:10
Since I failed last time to locate the similarities between a part of Don Giovanni and BoRhap, I'm waiting for you to let us know those.
9.wiz eutropio 13 May 2003 00:06
Well, the similarites can be heard well in a real registration, not in a midi file. In the sextect of the II act the voices of the charaters united in choir say clearly "No, no, no, no", in descending chromatic intervals, while in 'Bohemian Rhapsody' the choir says 7 "No" in ascending chromatic intervals. But in each of the examples there is always a pause between the declarations of the single words, and no instrumental support as well, so they're all a cappella. The dramatic situation is even similar (Leporello is going to be killed, and Sacarmouche is surrounded by evil forces) and this - probably - suggests to the composers Mozart and Mercury a similar approach to the situation. For Queen this is not a direct quote of classical music, but instead a way in approaching the dramatic plot with some points and elements that let me think that analogue dramatic situations determine analogue writing (in music, of course). In Mozart we don't have the all chromatic scale presented, while Mercury use in this part 11 out of 12 possible sounds (in Occidental and tempered music scale,of course): but while in 'Don Giovanni' the part is presented at least twice (so that too much non harmonic parts should hurt the listener's hear), in 'Bohemina Rhapsody' this element has only one appareance, and this permits the recourse at a full (and crazy!) harmony that leaves us wuthout words.
I hope this should help a little. Let me know something; if we could only put in the forum some images all the thing should be more clear.
10.PD 14 May 2003 16:41
Thank you Wiz, I liked your mini-essay. I hope I can listen to the music within a week.

As I remember the "No"-s in Bohrap are arranged for three voices and none of them ascends successively un chromatic steps.
11.Daniel Davies 14 May 2008 01:20
"Forms and structures in the early Queen production (1973-1980): analisys of the musical dramaturgy in the album and in the concerts". I'd love to read this. Is it available?
12.Sebastian 15 May 2008 17:59

Only in Italian, I think.

13.Sebastian 21 Jun 2008 14:22

Talking about Vivaldi, I think 'Millionaire Waltz' is somewhat related to the 'Autumn' concerto, not only in the key but also some phrases and 'tricks'. Quite paradoxically, Fred's 'Waltz' says 'there's spring in the air once again', and indeed I've always felt F Major to be a 'spring' key. But then again, Vivaldi's 'Autumn' is a joyful composition, and its accompanying sonnet implies a 'spring within autumn' sort of message. So there you go...

14.angel 21 Jun 2008 18:26

As I have been working on the Millionaire Waltz´s piano score these days, it seems to me to have been influenced by Chopin´s. It´s written somewhere here on this site that Roger said that Freddie would listen to Chopin. So maybe he heard Brilliant Waltz or One Minute Waltz?

Back to classical quotes. I found one perfect example. If I wouldn´t like Freddie, I would say that it´s a plagiarism :D 
Check the ending of Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18: No. 1, Moderato by Sergej Rachmaninov and compare it with the ending of The Fallen Priest on Barcelona album. Same key, (almost) same harmony, same tempo..... I personally think that this is rather a contribution of Mike Moran than Freddie himself, but I think it´s worth mentioning, though.

15.Sebastian 22 Jun 2008 03:08

No wonder why the track was originally called 'Rachmaninov's Revenge'.

16.angel 22 Jun 2008 08:41

Aha!:) I got the demo called Rachmaninov´s Revenge... But I never realized, that it´s a pre-version of The Fallen Priest... Anyway, I am going to borrow the original Rachmaninov score from our city library and compare the two bits and I´ll give you some further information concerning this.

17.Sebastian 22 Jun 2008 09:33

By the way, here's a Rachmaninov parody, called 'Concerto for Piano and Sin-Phonic Orchestra', credited to the ficticious composer Sergei Dmitri Mpkstroff. I remember watching it with my (then-toddler) daughter some years ago and laughing our arses off:

uk.youtube.com

18.angel 22 Jun 2008 10:16

LOOOL, that´s great :D

19.angel 14 Mar 2009 12:30

By the way, guys, there is the scene that wiz eutropio talked about: www.youtube.com . I probably wouldn´t compare those three "No"s to the Freddie´s one in a direct way, although there is a strong influence in the meaning (Leporello is surrounded, wants to escape, they want to kill him etc...)



Post was edited on 18 Mar 2009 14:10
20.angel 19 Mar 2009 02:01

Btw. In a few days my diploma project will be complete, so keep me fingers crossed...

sorry for the off-t

cheers
Fil

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