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Sebastian: Analysis of Non Queen Songs Part IV30 Oct 2004 19:41

One more attempt to revive this forum :)


(David Bowie)

Verse I` - Verse I - Verse I - Verse II - Verse II - Chorus - Break - Solo
------------------------------ Verse II - Bridge --- Chorus - Break - Solo

Interesting form. The song was composed in guitar (I guess), and there we have another pre-Bo Rhap video. The song was written in 1969 but the video is from 1975, still it`s a couple of weeks before Bo Rhap.

Verse I:

| I       | iii      | I       | iii       |
| vi  #7 7| IIadd9/3 |

Intro uses rather a strange IV/#7 instead of I.

Verse II:

| I       | iii      | IV       |
| iv   I  | IV       | (x2)


| IV       | iii     | (x2)
| ii    vi | iii  IV |


| I IV V VI |

Interesting folk syncopated rhythm and strumming. Those were the pre-glam days of Mr. Bowie. Actually glam uses a lot of raucous guitar too (maybe because both David and Marc had folk roots)


| IV*     | iii      | VI         | I         | II        | III         |


| V    III | vi   vi7  | IIadd9     | I       | V        |

Note: Different versions (original, re-issue, live) change some of the chords, e.g. III7 isntead of iii.

1.PD 02 Nov 2004 09:07
This song was remarkably progressive for 1969 standard - not really in terms of functional harmony though. Early influental root of space-related psychadelia were some Ventures tracks around 1961. BTW. "Space Oddity" makes me associate with the Tim Staffel penned "Earth".
Regarding the video: the novelty of BoRhap-video that it was originally taped onto video-tape.
I dont know how much was it really novel in those days, but I tend to overlook this "Queen-first" as being not very important in musical point of view.

"One more attempt to revive this forum"
For me the heavy interactivity and research is still just a distant dream. But I keep my eye on this board and on your fantastic site.
2.Sebastian 03 Nov 2004 10:35


Intro - Verse
Intro - Verse
Intro - Bridge - Outro


| I      | IV      | I        | IV       | (x2)


| I      | IV      | I        | IV       | (x3)
| I      | IV      | I        | IV       | IV        |


| I        | V-of-vi     | IV        | V        | (x4)


| IV        | I        | (repeat & fade)

3.PD 04 Nov 2004 10:22
Its a simple song. Worth to mention that the meter is 3/4 (shuffle beat).
From the top of head the I > III > IV progression also appears in No One But You, Dreamers Ball, My Melancholy Blues
4.Sebastian 04 Nov 2004 16:57

Yes it`s one of the simplest songs of the album, and one of my favourites too. I play it all the time. Now, to get back at classics, some comments about a couple of tracks by The Doors:

- Alabama: One of their most clever. It`s almost like two different pieces in one. The first one has three chords (Am, D7, F#m). Second one has five (not counting 7ths) and is in the key of C (I, bIII, III, IV, V).

- Break On Through: Two chords only (I & bVII). I love this one

- The End: Interesting changes of meter. The song uses just three chords, but they`re not the usual I, IV & V. Instead they are I, IV and bVII (which would be I, IV & V if we were in G). Great lyrics


Paul Simon

Intro - Verse

Simple form. Amazing lyrics and melody though:


| isus       | -         |


| isus       | -         | VII        | -          |
| III    VI  | -         | III    VI  | -          |
| VI     -   | III       | VI III  VII| i VII      |

I think it`s that way :)

5.PD 05 Nov 2004 09:15
"Break On Through":
The I-bVII groove makes me associate with "Tequila" (1958?) with identic harmonic rhythm. I wonder whether it was a direct or indirect influence.

"Sounds Of Silence":
there is a speed up when the drums join in. The Verse starts with a measure long upbeat hence the phrase starts with the VII chord. As I remember there are some half measures in the songs (see also in "Boxer"). The harmony I tend to interpret as a modulation to the relative Major key.
6.Sebastian 05 Nov 2004 10:40
Good point. I recently wrote a brief analysis of Angie for a magazine (hope they like it), and I interpreted the song all in C Major instead of A Minor, but it actually kind of shifts from one to the other.
7.Sebastian 07 Nov 2004 13:22


| Intro | Verse | Chorus |
        | Verse | Chorus |
        | Verse | Chorus`|
| Intro`| Chorus`` Fade  |

Intro (Gm):

| VI    | -     | i     | i      | (x3 in the last cycle)
| VI    | -     | i     | i      | VI |

The half measure at the end (accidental or planned) saves the section of being square. Interestingly the progression is the same as the intro of Space Oddity albeit the functions change.

Verse (Gm):

| VII    VI | VII    VI | VII    VI | i       | (x4)

Chorus (A)

| I    V | I    V | I    V | I     |
| I    V | I    V | I    V | I   V | I     | (in "normal" Chorus)
| I    V | I    V | I    V | I   V | I   V | I     |(in Chorus`)

Chorus`` just repeats the first phrase. Interestingly the structure is similar to the verse although the key is major. Correct me if I`m wrong but this kind of modulation (five degrees raised respect the one in intro & verse) is kind of usual in punk and/or new wave.



Guitarist and singer Graham Russell collaborated with the famous executive producer Carl Davis (not a musician, a lawyer) to write what was the biggest of the three first singles of Air Supply`s `Lost In Love` album. While Every Woman In The World was #5 in the States and Lost In Love #4 in the same territory, All Out Of Love gave them a top 2 hit, also charted well in the UK, and become really famous in Asia and South America.

|      INTRO |      VERSE |
|         A |      BCBC` |
|         6 |       17 |

|    CHORUS |      VERSE |
|        DD` |      BCBC` |
|        10 |         17 |

|    CHORUS` |      BRIDGE |
|        DD`` |         EE` |    
|         10 |         10 |

|    CHORUS`` (x4) |      OUTRO |
|         DD |           F |
|          8 |           5 |

A: | I | V | IV | I      V | I | I |
B: | IV | I | IV | I |
C: | IV | vi | ii | IV    V |
C`: | IV | vi | ii | IV | V |
D: | I | V | vi | IV    V |
D`: | I | V | vi | IV    V | I | I |
D``: | I | V | vi | IV    V | I | I     V |
E: | vi | V | IV   iii | ii |
E`: | vi | V | IV   iii | ii | vi | V |
F: | I | I      V | vi | IV   V | I |

The song-form is the ballad model (no wonder, it`s a ballad after all); this is one of those pop classics that combine usual devices (e.g. use of all and only the six diatonic, variation of the 1-6-4-5 cliche) with clever ones (section extensions, non-square phrasing). There`s no modulation although the bridge can be also considered to be in the relative minor. The outro can be partially inspired by Unchained Melody (a song famous when featured as the theme for `Ghost`); in fact Air Supply also covered that track, very beautifully by the way. Great band, although for some extent it`s true that all their material was using the same formula.


Now, the last one of the 1980 Trilogy :)



|      INTRO |       VERSE |     CHORUS |        CHORUS...  |
|         A |        BCBC` |        D |          D...     |
|         4 |     13 1/2 |        4 |          ...      |

A:       | I       | IV     | I       | IV    |
B:       | I    ii | I   ii | I    vi | ii  V |
C:       | V    ii | iii  V |
C`:      | V    ii | iii | V     |
D:       | I       | vi     | ii      | V     |

The way John could write such a fantastic song with just six chords, and the way that even with those weird Lennon-esque phrasing tricks it could be so catchy and lovable makes me conclude, once again, that he was the greatest rock musician ever. The world did lose a genius.

Interestingly enough, I see many connections with Super Trouper:

- Use of all and only the six diatonic
- The 1-6-2-5 cliche (also found in other songs by John like `This Boy`)
- Uneven phrasing
- Clever combinations of the basic chords
- Fade out of the chorus at the end

What`s also interesting is that Super Trouper was pretty famous at the time John was recording Double Fantasy, and at the time DF was released ST`s single was on top of the charts.

8.Sebastian 14 Nov 2004 12:46


| Intro | Verse |
| Intro | Verse | Chorus |
| Spacer| Verse | Chorus | Chorus|
| Bridge| Solo  | Chorus | Chorus| Intro`|


| IV     | ii     | IV      | ii      |
| vi     | ii  | vi V   |

6 1/2 measure section. The outro omits the last bar.


| I     | ii     | I     | ii  | iv  V  | (x2)


| I  V  | ii  V  | I  V  | ii V |
| vi IV | V      |


| I     | I     |


| vi     | V      | vi     | V        |
| I      | ii     | III    | III      |


C: | IV  V | III vi | IV  V | vi      |
Am:| VI VII| V   i  | VI VII| i       |

C: | IV  V | III vi | ii    | III     |
Am:| VI VII|  V   i | iv    |  V      |


Imo 90s music is more clever than 80s (at least in terms of rock/pop classics). This one was penned by Klaus Meine, who was like Freddie in the guitar: wasn`t able to put strange chord progressions or stuff like that, yet the songforms are unusual and yet catchy. I like the arrangement they did of `Dust In The Wind`, I guess the form was figured by him in that case as well.

9.PD 15 Nov 2004 09:51
This song had a moment in the Verse that has been disturbingly dissonant for my ears since day one.  From the top of my head I cant point out exactly which appoggiatura is that. There is a similarly disturbing (for me at last) dissonce in "Its A Hard Life".
 WOC is a nice song by the way with a predictable songform. The bridge is a typical bridge (like in Teo Torriate).
I would suggest the tempo of the beat is doubled up compared to what you have used, because the level of syncopations must (?) be the eights. I may be wrong...

Regarding the 90ies vs 80ies: I dont really know whather you are right. I guess the opposite.
10.Sebastian 15 Nov 2004 13:10
It`s interesting how verse and intro are basically variants of the same phrase. I haven`t heard the original version in years so I don`t know which part you mean, the way I transcribed the chords is the way I figured them out with the vocal part in my head, it`s possible that in the recording they (consciously or not) used slight different chords or alterations over the same melody.

The 80s vs 90s thing is of course almost impossible to determinate since there were tons of acts (and hits) in both. Also individual bands and artists had different process. Imo Metallica were more clever in their early days, while GnR is much more developed in the Illusion albums. Sting`s songwriting is more basic in late 70s and early 80s even though that`s the period when he wrote the majority of his best known songs. Elton John - not so much of a difference. Billy Joel - ditto. I find him being more a routine songwriter lately, there`s no further evolution. Michael Jackson - I find his 90s stuff is more interesting, even if it was just full of super hits instead of mega hits.

Some styles and sub-genres have become notably "better", in the sense that they`re more developed and valuable. I expect most alternative rock bands and Radiohead to be much more clever than all the first grunge movement (86-87) and the disco and new wave albums all over 80s. Also the production is much better although it isn`t related to songwriting at all.

Otoh, the oldies (even 80s which aren`t "that" old) preserve their legendary status which gives them the edge in any classic rock circles. Even if 80s are unpopular for many, still Eddie Van Halen is more respected than, say, Dave Grohl, or Depeche Mode are widely closer to a "super-band" than Green Day or Blink 182. It would almost sound as a joke to compare Travis with Cozy Powell or Tom Morello with David Gilmour even if they both have similar technical skills and make music with the same enthusiasm and effort.
11.Sebastian 05 Dec 2004 12:52


This one`s a classic I really really love, and one of the songs that made me start trying guitar (the others were Wild World, When We Was Fab and of course Stairway). Songform:

Intro - Verse - Chorus
------- Verse - Chorus` - Solo
Intro - Verse - Chorus``- Intro`

Kansas was one of those great authentic bands, which sadly was dismissed by critics and didn`t enjoy a particularly great success, except for this song and some medium hits (especially Play The Game Tonight in early 80s). While their intricate numbers are widely unknown to the world, their apparently most basic tune is a big favourite of millions of people including me.

That`s one of those brilliant examples of how to make clever music accesible. Kerry Livgren adorned the simple chord progression of the intro by adding chord alterations in the arrangement (major 7th, 9th, sus2 and add4). Even in an apparently simple and "routine" tune, he managed to put something different and make variants of the chorus, never repeating it the same way.

Part of the key of success is obviously conformed by the beautiful lyrics ("I closed my eyes only for a moment and the moment`s gone" is a line that took my breath away from day one) and the economical arrangement of the original version, formed almost exclusively by a very easy yet impressive two guitar - two violin score, and an utterly oustanding vocal counterpoint.



Another one of those I really like. I must say I got to know the original version "too late". I had Nevermind for donkey`s years but never had payed attention to it. This song was part of the "grunge crap" (as I called it) some friends at school used to sing. Once I woke up and "naturally" started to play and sing it. Then I did a (quite poor) home recording, which I still enjoy, and it was one or two years after that when I accidentally put Nevermind on the stereo and "met" it :) Anyway, as far as I remember, the form is something like this:

Intro - Verse - Chorus
------- Verse - Chorus - Bridge
------- Verse - Chorus - Outro

All sections except bridge are over this phrase:

| i     | III     | v      | VII      |

No wonder why there`s this joke that Kurt killed himself because he ran out of four-chord combinations :) The key in the bridge seems to be A Major...

| iii   | I       | bVII    | bVI      | (x4)

...but at the end goes to C:

A: | bVI    | bVII    | bIII    | -      |
C: | IV     | V       | I       | -      |



This one`s more famous (at least in both South America and Japan) in the unplugged version. No wonder: acoustic music was trendy in that time (even Hotel California seems to be more popular now in the flamenco-esque arrangement). Form is unsurprisingly simple:

Intro - Verse - Bridge
Intro - Verse - Bridge` - Outro

Intro, Verse & Outro are the same, except that (if I remember correctly) verse lasts twice as long.

What`s the key is a good question, since chords are basically power. Melody in the verse uses G natural and D natural, resulting in a Dorian/Aeolydian sensation. Bridge is normal:

Verse: | I     bIII | I     bIII | I      bIII | I     bIII|


| VI    iii | ii      | VI    iii | ii       |
| I         | IV  bVI |

12.PD 08 Dec 2004 11:29
I admit I hardly know Kansas, mainly because its not very well known/played over here. A few moths ago I listened to "Dust In The Wind" and "Carry on Wayward Son" only because I have seen these titles on many lists of favourite/overplayed songs in the US.
Rush is another hardly know band by me and I feel guilty for it.
13.Sebastian 10 Dec 2004 08:19
Yes in fact the classics vary a lot from one side of the Atlantic to the other. The acts ending or beginning in "ush" (Rush, Bush, Usher) tend to be ignored in the UK but ridiculously famous in the USA.
14.Sebastian 25 Dec 2004 06:49
PD: If Bo Rhap were out of the picture, which would you think would be the peak of "clever + accesible" songwriting in rock/pop? I asked that question myself and I thought perhaps The Logical Song. Wayward Son would be another good option although, unfortunately, that isn`t that big of a hit in my opinion.
15.Sebastian 25 Dec 2004 09:42

My xmas present :)


Chorus - Verse
Chorus - Bridge - Break
Chorusx3 - Half Chorus

* D Major key. six chords: I, II, IV, V, VI, bVII.


Intro - Verse - Chorus
-------- Verse - Chorus/Tag
-------- Verse - Chorus/Tag - Outro

* One of those I really like. Key of D major, all six diatonic are used, interestingly the last one in order of appearance is I. The first is ii.


Verse` - Verse - Chorus

* Key: F. Chords: I, II IV, V.


Verse  - Verse - Chorus
Bridge - Verse - Chorus - Outro

* D Major. Chords: I, bIII, IV, V, vi, bVII.


Verse - Verse - Chorus

* I was never so fond about this one. Same key as Liar, chords are I, V, vi, bVII


Verse` - Verse - Bridge - Verse - Break - Verse - Outro

* A major. Six diatonics


Intro - Verse x3 - Chorus - Bridge - Chorus - Outro

* A Major again. Four basic chords plus b7.  


Chorus - Verse - Chorus
Solo --- Verse - Chorus
Bridge-- Verse - Chorus - Chorus - Chorus - Chorus

* Love at first "sight". A classic. Keys are C (five chords, all major), and D in the bridge (tonic, sub-dominant and relative of dominant).


Intro - Verse - Chorus
Bridge-Verse - Chorus - Outro

* Bb Key, four chords: I, II, IV, V


Intro - Verse - Chorus - Bridge - Solo - Verse - Bridge - Outro

* A Major. Five diatonic chords (no iii) plus bVII.


Intro - Verse - Chorus
-------- Verse - Chorus - Bridge
Solo - Verse - Chorus - Alternate Verse - Outro

* I like the lyrics. Harmonically simple song, using the six diatonic plus bVII in the key of B Flat Major.

16.PD 03 Jan 2005 12:13
< If Bo Rhap were out of the picture, which would you think would be the peak of
"clever + accesible" songwriting in rock/pop?

Bicycle Race if it comes to the 3-minute category.

Non-Queen example? Its a good, hard and important question to answer. I admit I dont have single choices for the "best of the rest" category".
One of the most "extreme" hit songs is Bat Dance from Prince, but it seem to have failed to remain in circulation at least over here. Stairway To Heaven (not a hit single, but enjoys solid airplay) is also a complex radio song.
"Seeds Of Love" by Tears For Fears is also a complex work in term of form.
I pick up particular songs time to time to find out how complex they are. "The Riddle" is one of my favourites, while it is form- and phrasing-wise simple.
Estranged was also a clever single, but it also failed to keep alive in the air.
There are songs that are more clever than what its bubble-gum feel would make one expect, eg. "I Should Be So Lucky".

What are your suggestions? Also for sub-categories:
Rhythmically, form-wise, harmony-wise.
17.Sebastian 03 Jan 2005 18:38

Perhaps my suggestion is the theme from the Exorcist (especially the rhythm). But of course there`s not a "clear" winner as in the case of Bo Rhap, which seems quite obvious to be the peak (#1 single twice, central piece of a #1 album, third best selling single in the UK, usual top ten in best-song-ever polls around the world, plus the "well-documented" musical value).

Logical Song: Now that I take a closer look I understand that it looks more complicated than it actually is. The form is quite simple (especially for the band`s standards), and the harmony only includes three non-diatonic (bVII, II and VI). I think the title song of the album might be more "interesting"; Dreamer is interesting in terms of keys (D Dorian to C Aeolian, parallel modulation, then it looks like it takes a step up to C Mixolydian), but it isn`t more of a hit than, say, Queen`s Miracle (which too is very clever, but far from being a top 5 or so).

Prince: I admit I know only two songs from him, Purple Rain (almost entirely based over the same progression) and the one he wrote for Bangles, Manic Monday (same trick), therefore I never tried to research more. Bad prematurous judgement.

Stairway is imo the greatest rock song ever; I loved Bo Rhap from day one but it didn`t surprise me. Giving my musical background, back then I had the "happy thought" that all music was like that, therefore I found it so normal. I remember thinking it would fit nicely in Jesus Christ Superstar, mostly because Steve Balsamo sings not dissimilar to Fred. Stairway (and for some extent Fear Of The Dark) are the only songs I ever said "wow" to.

Do They Know It`s Christmas (2nd best seller single in the UK) is interesting in form, the verse is cleverly expanded in its second appearance, and shortened in its third. I think the form is like this:

Intro - Verse - Verse` - Verse`` - Break - Coda

Which is quite interesting and risky, especially in the context of top selling singles (besides Bo Rhap, they`re all very standard). Harmony-wise DTKIC uses just the seven usual chords (diatonic + b7); when I first heard it I thought it had been written by Bowie. The verse of We Are The World is a (well-hidden) rip off of this.

Dream On is not a hit-single but still very popular, and very clever as well. Phrasing is even but the melody is quite long, there are some strange chords (e.g. F# in the key of Fm); Janie`s Got A Gun is very nice as well but again not something you could call "the hit". The three or four Kansas averagely well known tunes (only one of them being top ten) are very valuable, but they failed to be recognised enough for the remianing four continents.

Metallica`s One would be another possibility, although I have no idea about its success as single, or if it was even released. GnR were very effective in bringing good albums and good singles and having relative success in both, never being away from clever song-forms. November Rain was recently voted all-time #1 in a radio station in Holland, leaving Bo Rhap at #2 and Hotel California at #3.

More Than Words (#1 in USA, Holland & Israel) is interesting in terms of melody, form (acyclic outro), and phrasing (chorus is 4+3+2). Seven chords are used, six diatonic plus iv. Tesla`s Love Song is very creative in form:

Intro I - Intro II - Intro III - Verse
                     Intro III - Bridge
                                 Verse - Chorus - Coda

Same as Extreme, Kiss and Damn Yankees, Tesla was a heavy band who had to struggle to get a hit... until they did a ballad. The single was top ten (just as Kansas` Dust In The Wind) and the album (Controversy) was double-platinum. Quite a good year for "pop-metal" considering Kiss hit the charts well with `Forever`, and one of its ex-guitar players was the producer of Eternal Flame.

Abba: Knowing Me Knowing You would be probably their most complex #1. I selectively checked about 30-35 songs from them (hits, album tracks, b-sides included) and found out that B&B have something against modulations :), except in the mini-musical, where there are some slight modal switches... I think. Thank You For The Music`s quite clever indeed, besides augmented chords here and there there are several non-diatonics (II, III, iv, bVI, VI). That one wasn`t a big success in the UK or USA, but it`s very popular in Spain and South America thanks to a big share of cover versions in Spanish, the first of which was by Agnetta & Frida themselves. Btw, one of Frida`s solo albums has one song co-written by Eddie Howell.

From the last ten years I think the most clever classics would be either Paranoid Android or Karma Police.

18.PD 10 Jan 2005 15:14
Logical song:
very repetitive lead melodies in contrast with "More Than Words" which is the other extreme. Logical song has some intersing half measures, some clever chromatic chords, features 3+3+3+3+4 rhythm, etc...
Knowing Me Knowing You, Thank You For The Music
could you post your analyses? That would be very helpful. Also for other songs.
Stairway: I admit, for me the best ("greatest") song ever is called "Dont Stop Me Now". That one can shake me up the best of all songs, even though it's not as clever and beautiful as "Stairway". BohRhap is even more complex piece IMO. Strangely it was never a top 10 favourite of mine. Stairway is genial from start to end. A perfect song. Just like BoRhap.

This Gerry And The Pacemakers song from 1963 (originally Richard Rodgers, 1945)
would be interesting to analyse functionally.

19.Sebastian 11 Jan 2005 00:27

I think Knowing Me Knowing You is posted already, in one of the four "Analysis Of Non Queen Songs". Now that I think about it, it`s not "that" complex, phrasing is square 4x4 in the verses, harmony is 6 diatonic plus II... but, still, there are some nice tricks with phrases in the chorus, which is the most catchy section as well. The form is simple, but the arrangements are splendid. Bjorn (who wrote this one) mentioned that they always were keen on focusing on each section and polishing it, and said he learned it from the Beatles.

Thank You For The Music:

| Intro | Verse | Chorus |
| Spacer| Verse | Chorus |
        | Bridge| Chorus | Tag | Outro |

Key: E
Meter: 4/4

Intro, first verse and outro are rubato


| E    F#m7   | A6    B7    | E    F#m7  | E            |
| I     ii    | IV    V     | I     ii   | I            |

|  A          | Aaug        | F#m7       | B7    A5-/B  |
| IV          | "VI"        |  ii        |  V      "V"  |

| E           | F#m7  B7    | E    EAug  | A     Am     |
| I           | ii    V     | I    "III" | IV    iv     |

| C#m         | C#augadd9   | F#m  /E    | B7    /Db /Eb|
| vi          | "IV"        |  ii        | V            |


| E      F#m  | B7      E   | C#m   /B    | F#/E   B7   |
| I       ii  | V       I   | vi          | V-V     V   |

| E      F#m  | G#     C#m  | A           | Am          |
| I       ii  | III     vi  | IV          | iv          |

| E      E7/D | C#7   /Eb /F| F#m (sus)   | B7          |
| I           | VI          | ii          | V           |


| E           | Am6/G       | F7sus4      | B7          |
| I           | iv          | bII         | V           |


| E     Am    | E     Am (fermatta |
| I      iv   | I      iv          |

| E           | Am          | E           |
| I           | iv          | I           |

| Am    G#    | C#m    /B   | F#m    F#m/E| B7   Gaugadd9 |
| iv    III   | vi          | ii          | V       "V"   |


| E     F#m7  | G6     Am   | E           |
| I      ii   | bIII   iv   | I           |

20.PD 12 Jan 2005 11:44
This is a recent paper written by Walter Everett. It includes some pretty interesting statistics regarding the usage of voice leading and harmony.

here you got another book edited by Everett:
Expression in Pop-Rock Music : A Collection of Critical and Analytical Essays (Studies in Contemporary Music and Culture)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description:
This collection of essays, written by ten leading musicologists and music theorists specializing in popular music, presents a wide range of scholarly approaches to understanding artistic expression in rock music. Covering such artists as Frank Zappa, U2, Genesis, The Cure, Tori Amos, and Sarah McLachlan, these writings provide fascinating insights into the music that are suitable for scholars, students, and popular music fans alike.
You can find an excerpt of this work that includes the index of the mentioned songs, albums and songwriters. According to this index the 350 pages book makes no mention of Queen or any Queen song only one mention of "Freddie Mercury". (The book mentions ca 400-500 songs).

Everett is a Beatles specialist. Here are some books of his:



a book by John Covach:

A useful link about: appoggiatura, escape tone, suspension, retardation.
Suspension and retardation is one of Brian May's trademark inside the band:
Procession, Dear Friends, Teo Torriate.
21.Sebastian 15 Jan 2005 08:07

Couldn`t resist it:


Intro - Verse - Chorus
Verse - Verse - Chorus - Break - Chorus - Chorus - Chorus`

The key is Cm. There`s an alternate verse ("too high...")

22.Sebastian 15 Jan 2005 12:54
Shakira`s first album in English was and still is very popular. Some notes on the harmony of a couple of tracks in there:

Underneath: Starts in Ab (chords used: I, iii, IV, V, bVI, vi), then modulates to B in the bridge (I, IV, V and vi), using Fm (vi of Eb, bv of B) as pivot. Cheesy lyric imo.

Objection: Nice music, poor lyrics. Key is F#, chords used are I, bII, bIII, IV, V, bVI, bVII.

Whenever: C#m key. Six diatonics.

The One: Ab. Diatonic chords plus iv.
23.PD 02 Feb 2005 10:57
Analysis of Pixies:
24.Sebastian 11 Feb 2005 18:53

Love Song, now in a more detailed analysis:

Studio version:

Intro I - Intro II - Intro III ---------- Verse
-------------------- Intro III-- Bridge - Verse
-------------------------------- Bridge`
-------------------------------- Bridge`` (fade)

Live Version:

"Pre - Intro" - Intro I - Intro II - Intro III ---------- Verse
------------------------------------ Intro III-- Bridge - Verse x2
------------------------------------------------ Bridge`x2
------------------------------------------------ Bridge`` (fade)

Bridge` has got different melody and is a clever variant of the one previously found. Bridge`` again includes different melody and is tagged. Harmony:

Verse (ABAB , key D major):

| ii      | vi      | ii      | vi    V |
| v       | IV      | vi      | I       |

Bridge (ABAB, key G major):

| I   V | I   V | I    V | I    V |
| vi    | IV    | V      | V      |

Bridge`` just repeats the first phrase over and over.

Bridge` (AAAA):

| I      | V      | vi      | IV      |

Even though the phrases aren`t the same, the same progression is used (G > D > Em > C) albeit with different durations. That`s why I put it as an alternate bridge.

The intro is flawless, one of the most magical I`ve ever listened, no wonder it`s everlasting quality.

25.Sebastian 13 Jul 2005 14:41
Some notes of the contemporary hits at the time Fred died:

- Black Or White: It was #1 at both sides of the Atlantic the day Fred passed away. Simple harmony, which is understandable due to Michael's basic piano knowledge. The key is E Major and the song basically uses the three major chords except in the rap part (written by Bill Bottrell) where harmony seems to swerve to Em.

- Stars: Simple five chord song in G Major (I, ii, iii, V, V-of-vi)

- Dizzy: Cover version by Vic Reeves and The Wonder Stuff, from a 1969 #1 hit. The song itself is a typical three-chord rockabilly, only that the key is shifted up several times (it starts in D but then goes to E, F and G)

- Driven By You: It entered the charts at #8 the week after Mercury died. Typical Brian: simple harmony, I>VI modulation (reminiscent of Father To Son)

- Smells Like Teen Spirit: Inspired by Pixies. The key I tend to interpret as F Phyrigian. I've never been deeply fond of the track although I don't dislike it.

- Live And Let Die: GnR cover of this classic of the McCartneys. Typical Paul with I>i modulation as in Fool On The Hill. I don't like very much the GnR arrangement, I think it's the only track of their entire discography that I don't love.

- Goodnight Girl: Wet Wet Wet's only original #1. It knocked down Bo Rhap of the top. Very interesting harmony, using unusual alterations here and there.

- God Gave Rock And Roll To You II: Kiss' release after Eric Carr died - the same day as Freddie -. Love this song, I think it was used in a film as well.
26.PD 14 Jul 2005 12:46
Teen Spirit: I dont think its a case of phrygian mode. The melody line uses natural 2nd degree.
God Gave Rock And Roll To You: A nice chord progression and songform. More details?

PS: the White Queen and Two Legs articles are soon to be updated.
27.Bohardy 14 Jul 2005 16:18
I think God Gave Rock And Roll To You was used at the end of Bill And Ted's Bogus Journey.
28.Sebastian 14 Jul 2005 20:59
Oh right ... Station!!!
29.PD 12 Sep 2005 12:51
An informative Bach analysis page
30.Sebastian 29 Aug 2008 21:53


4/4, F Major

Written by will.i.am, Taboo, Apl.de.ap, Ron Fair, Printz Board, George Pajon Jr, Mike Fratantuno, J. Curtis and Justin Timberlake in 2003, produced by Ron Fair.

Amongst the loads and loads of art pieces inspired and influenced by the 11th September incidents, we can find this marvellous collaboration between Black Eyed Peas and former 'N Sync frontman Justin Timberlake. Where Is the Love? stayed at #1 in the UK for six weeks, being BEP's only single to hit the peak in Britain, and actually Justin's first (though for legal reasons he's not mentioned in the credits). Mr Timberlake would be at the top three years later with Sexyback.

Most of the song is based on the I > V > vi > IV cliché, though there are some interesting details in the arrangement that avoids the song be monotone (also see Dammit by blink-182 for a similar formula).

Intro (0:01 - 0:20)

will.i.am recorded a guitar figure consisting on ascending arpeggios over an F > C6 > Dm > Bb6 progression, backed with synthesisers. On the second phrase, the recurring leitmotif is introduced. Such motif is repeated many times in the song using different keyboard presets (see Queen's Invisible Man for the same trick).

Sampled shaker, orchestral hits, backing warm-pads and drums form the backing wall of sound, very well-produced and not overwhelming.

will.i.am Verse (0:20 - 1:01)

Up until 0:39 the motif is done by a synth-bass, from then on it's the orchestral hit again. will.i.am raps with the other two BEP blokes and Justin joining for some tail-out bits (e.g. 'operates').

At the end the synth makes an ascending arpeggio over the BbMaj7 chord and a cymbal roll introduces...

Middle-Eight (1:01 - 1:21)

Motif's done by synth-bass again, and Justin Timberlake sings the section, multi-tracking himself in octaves. When touring by themselves, Fergie replaced Justin's part, while when singing it live with him they did the bit in unison.

Chorus (1:21 - 1:31)

A synth section (morphing between strings and brass) makes some chords, will.i.am sings lead except for the last line which is Fergie. Justin, Apl and Taboo form a falsetto 'love' backing choir in unison.

Taboo Verse (1:32 - 2:02)

Similar arrangement to will.i.am's verse, but Taboo takes over lead vocals and there are more synth-string ornaments, courtesy of Ron Fair.

Break (2:02 - 2:12)

The only section with a different progression, including some dissonances, a nice way to build-up tension for the triumphal middle-eight.

Taboo still sings lead there. Chords (one each minim): Bb, C7, Fadd11, Bb, C7, BbMaj7/D, Fadd11, Bb.

Middle-Eight & 2 x Chorus (2:12 - 2:53)

Similar arrangement as in the previous cycle, but chorus is done twice, and Fergie only singing in the second.

Guitar Connector (2:53 - 3:03)

Same progression as most of the song, and the figure's a rhythm one rather than a proper solo.

Apl.de.ap (3:03 - 3:44)

The progression is still the same but the arrangement changes, only featuring a motif variant during the second half. Apl sings lead and backs himself up.

Ending (3:44 - 4:32)

Human bass enters, playing some figures, as synthesisers keep dominating the backing track. Motif isn't done again verbatim, but there are some variants here and there.

Vocally, the five of them take turns in lead, including a sampled fragment from the middle-eight. At the end there's a sustained F chord.



Written by Richard Stannard, Matt Rowe and the Spice Girls

Key: B Major. Metre: 4/4.

| Hook' |   Verse |

| Hook  | Chorus|

              |  Verse |

| Hook  | Chorus|

| Hook  |

| Hook  | Chorus|

              | Chorus|

| Hook  | Chorus'|

First issued in Japan on 26th June 1996, and in the UK on 8th of July same year. Topped the charts in both sides of the Atlantic, earned diamond and platinum certifications worldwide, and after all these years it's still easily recognisable: a classic. The song's pretty basic in harmony, relying on V > vi > IV > I progression in the verses and choruses, and the famous hook elsewhere. The latter bears some similarities to You're the One That I Want and Summer Nights, from the musical 'Grease'.

While melody and lyrics were worked out by the girls, the producers brought the rhythm and harmony, having a looped drum-beat on an Akai MPC 3000, and with Richard Stannard putting some chords and monster-bass through synths.

You can see some patterns in the ten songs Richard and Matt produced for the group in terms of who-sings-what: only Emma and the two Melanie's sing lead on all ten numbers, and only the three of them ad-lib. And for all of those ten songs, there are parts with Emma singing in two-part harmony (Emma doing the high part) with somebody else:

- 'Now you know how I feel' (Wannabe - with Mel C).

- 'I need some love...' (Two Become One - with Geri).

- 'I didn't mean to be so bad' (Mama - with Mel C).

- 'Even when his eyes met mine...' (If U Can't Dance - with Victoria, in octaves).

- 'Slam it to the left...' (Spice Up Your Life - the other four do the low part in unison, Emma sings the high line).

- 'That's what you are' (Saturday Night Divas - with Mel C).

- 'Shouting but he's never heard' (Never Give Up On The Good Times - with Victoria).

- 'Maybe you've run out of time' (Never Give Up On the Good Times - with Mel C).

- 'Hasta mañana always be mine' (Viva Forever - with Mel B).

- 'The touch of ...' (Viva Forever - with Mel B).

- 'Promises made...' (Viva Forever - with Mel C).

- 'Feelings...' (Viva Forever - with Victoria).

- 'Take it away' (Goodbye - with Mel C).

- 'The times that we would...' (Goodbye - with Victoria).

- 'To go beyond...' (Headlines - with Geri).

- 'And words...' (Headlines - with Victoria).

Intro (0:00 - 0:04)

The famous stairway/laughter noise. There are eight steps in total. God knows what on earth it means!

Extended Hook (0:05 - 0:17)

Contrary to upcoming iterations, this one lasts a bit longer (six bars instead of four), since the motif is done thrice instead of twice. Lead vocals are a duet between Mel B and Geri, though in the film Geri's part is done by the four of them (Geri, Victoria, Emma and Mel C), and after Ginger left her part would be sung by Mel C.

First Verse (0:18 - 0:34)

Very simple eight-bar section with chords changing every minim (which means the V > vi > IV > I progression is done four times). The way vocals are arranged is very simple:

- 'If you want my future forget my past' - Mel C

- 'If you wanna get with me better make it fast' - Emma

- 'Now don't go wasting my precious time' - Mel B

- 'Get your act together we could be just fine' - Geri

As you can see, all but one (Victoria, Posh Spice) have lead lines there. However, I dare say Spice Girls are amongst the most democratic groups in that department, even if most of the songs are dominated by Emma and/or Melanie C, but each one of them has loads of importance both in terms of singing and celebrity status.

For a comparison, see how many songs by Boyzone or Backstreet Boys feature four lead singers... very, very few; five: even fewer (although there are some cases, like I Want It That Way or Drowning).

When the Spice Girls became a foursome, Victoria would sing the 'get your act...' line. The reason why no lead lines were given to her is that at the time of the recordings she'd gone to Torquay for a friend's wedding.

Hook (0:35 - 0:43)

Nothing special, just a four-bar connector between verse and chorus.

Chorus (0:44 - 1:00)

This bombastic section was written by Emma and Mel B, which is why they're featured more strongly than the others.

Back to the verse progression, with the five women singing in thirds (Emma on top, Mel B dominating the lead part), and Emma adding some 'echoing', so to speak.

Some live versions and the one in the film feature Emma echoing the 'never ends' line as well, and it sounds beautiful!

Second Verse (1:01 - 1:17)

The same four women sing lead, but the arrangement changes a bit: the second half of Mel C's part is done in thirds with Emma. 'Are you for real' is echoed by a two part by the two Melanie's (C-B from the top, C in falsetto).

Hook (1:18 - 1:26)

Same as the previous one.

Second Chorus (1:27 - 1:45)

The only difference with the previous one is that Mel B also has an ad-lib (for lack of a better term) in 'you've got to give'.

Break (1:46 - 2:02)

It's the same as having the hook twice (i.e. eight bars, doing the motif four times), and again it's Mel B and Geri who share the lead vocals. After Geri left, Emma would replace her.

Third Chorus (2:03 - 2:19)

Exactly the same as the previous one, except for Baby Spice's line, which lasts a bit longer.

Fourth Chorus (2:20 - 2:36)

Lyrics are completely different, repeating the 'slam your body down...' part they'd done at the end of the break, but the harmonic background is still the same. Very nice mix btw!

Ending (2:37 - 2:51)

Instrumental hook (four measures) plus an a cappella 'if you wanna be my lover', heavily reverb'd and then fading out. Note the non-rhotic 'lover', very convenient to avoid annoying feedback from alveolar trills.

31.PD 05 Dec 2008 10:30

I've found this great website that includes more than 200 jazz standrads with brief analses:



The header infos include a "movement" field analysing the motion of the melody line.
The form field refers mostly to the phrasing form.

Blue Moon analysis features the 1-6-2-5 progression is described with classical examples (Mozart) mentioned.

Many songs include modulations of various types.

Post was edited on 05 Dec 2008 18:26
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