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Sebastian: Analysis Of (Semi) Classical Songs I06 Dec 2006 04:05
Those ones may be bloody hard (at least for me), but here they are:

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MOOD FOR A DAY
Composer: Steve Howe (1971)
Key: Bm/D
Metre: 3/4 - 6/8

Fragile was just the second Yes album Howe had participation in, but he'd already got a huge importance in the creative side. 'Mood...' is Steve's best known piece together with 'Clap', which he had composed for the album before this one (i.e. his debut in the band), and is one of his contributions to Fragile together with the music of 'Roundabout' (what a masterpiece!).

| Intro | AA | SCALE I  | BB' |
             | SCALE II |     | CC'C" | D |
| Intro'| AAA|                | CC"'C"| D'|

INTRO:

| G    F# | G     F# | G     F#7 |
b:VI   V  | VI    V  | V       V |
D:IV  V-vi| IV   V-vi| IV    V-vi|

| G    F# | G     F# | G     F#7...

Intro' is a variant of the last F#7 raucous bit.


A:

It begins with an ascending scale (F# G A# B C# D G) lasting a little more than one measure (the first 'G' enters on the first beat), followed by this chord progression:

| Bm     | A       | G    F#  | G/B  F#/A# |
b: i     | VII     | VI   V   | VI     V   |
D: vi    |  V      | IV  V-vi | IV    V-vi |

It's very nice how the same melody is repeated (so-so) with G>F#>B>A# bass.


SCALE I:

Beginning as a variant of "A", it uses the following notes (in pairs): F#G A#B C#D BD A#B AA# F#G EF# DE C#D and then BC# A#B GA# F#G four times before getting into a GF#E ostinato (is the term correct here?) for a while before finishing in F#. He varied it in live performances, but mostly the entire bit lasted a little longer than 10 measures (first G enters on the first beat).


B:

| Bm/D   | E7    | G     | D   |
b: i     | IV    | VI    | III |
D: vi    | V-V   | IV    | I   |

|Em/G    | Bm    | Gm/Bb | *   |
b: iv    | i     |  vi   |
D: ii    | vi    |  iv   |

Very interesting chord progression and bass. The first time he ends it up with a double stop of Bb5 and C twice (one measure). Second overlaps with the second scale:


SCALE II:

It lasts about 1 measure and consists of AG AG pairs and then F E D > C Bb A > G F E > D C B > A G F# run.


C:

| E   D | A   G | F#  Bm | F#/A |
b:IV III| VII VI| V   i  |   V  |
D:II  I | V   IV| V-vi vi| V-vi |

C':

| E   D | A   G | F#  Bm | F#/A Bm/A# | F#/E Bm | F#7+ |
b:IV III| VII VI| V   i  |   V    i   |  V   i  |  V   |  
D:II  I | V   IV| V-vi vi| V-vi   vi  | V-vi  vi| V-vi |

Very clever extension.

D:

| D    | G    | D     | G   |
D: I   | IV   | I     | IV  |

Some variants here and there...

1.Sebastian 25 Feb 2007 15:04
PASTIME WITH GOOD COMPANY
Composer: King Henry VIII (1527)
Key: Dm
Metre: 4/4

As a toddler, I was heavily exposed to 16th century English music. Listening to Sting's last album some months ago and realising that my daughter had become a Spice Girls fan urged me to hark back to those times and those pieces I was raised with.

Especially I remember hearing choral versions of John Dowland's 'Flow My Tears' and 'Come Again', Beatles' 'Michelle' (albeit done with a more classical touch) and this one, also known as 'King's Ballad'.

It's impressive that the King composed this one while being just 18. The original arrangement was for countertenor, string duet and clavichord.

Verse:

| Dm   | C   Am  | F     C | A*  Dm |
| i    | VII  v  | III  VII| V    i |

Very simple phrase done twice. Modern versions do have the "V" function, while the original sheet (preserved on the national museum) had it as "v" (Am in this case).

Bridge:

| Bb C   F   | Bb C    F | C     Am |
| VI VII III | VI VII III| VII    v |

| Bb C   F   | Bb C    F | C     A | Dm   |
| VI VII III | VI VII III| VII   V |  i   |

Nice 7-measure section with clever cross-references with the verse. Beautiful lyrics all in all, and again the "V" vs "v" gambit is present.

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GREENSLEEVES
Composer: Unknown
Original Key: Unknown (analysed here in Am)
Metre: 6/8

The legend states that it's also written by King Henry VIII for Anne Boleyn. The song wasn't patented and there are no surviving manuscripts so, from a journalistic and historic perspective, it's impossible to confirm or deny that. I personally believe that it is indeed from the King, considering notable similarities both lyrical and musical with the aforementioned 'Ballad'.

Verse:

| Am   C  (D) | G    | F    | Em  |
| i   III  IV | VII  | VI   | v   |

| Am   C  (D) | G    | F  E |  Am |
| i   III  IV | VII  | VI V |  i  |

There are several variations to this one (e.g. having "iv" instead of "IV" or "V" instead of "v"), but it's assummed that the original draught was like that. Usual AA' form.

Bridge:

| C  (D) | G    | F   | Em  |
| III IV | VII  | VI  | v   |

| C  (D) | G    | F  E| Am  |
| III IV | VII  | VI V| i   |
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