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  • Prof: Okay.

  • Let us start, ladies and gentlemen.

  • We're going to pursue the issue of musical form today.

  • It's an important thing to talk about because it allows us to

  • follow a particular piece of music,

  • and we'll be--I am using this metaphor of a musical journey

  • and wanting to know where we are in music throughout the day

  • today.

  • Form is particularly important in all types of music--

  • popular music as well as classical music--

  • and we have this complex of material coming at us,

  • this sonic material.

  • And we try to make sense of it, and we say that it has a

  • particular form.

  • And we say it could have a particular structure even,

  • so we tend to use metaphors having to do with architecture

  • and things such as this.

  • What we are really doing here is taking all of this sonic

  • information that's coming into our brain and getting sorted,

  • and makes us want to dance around or clap or be sad or

  • happy, and make sense of it in terms

  • of a few rather simple patterns.

  • And musicians like to have forms because oftentimes it

  • tells them what they ought to do next and where--here--I'm here

  • but what ought to happen next?

  • Well, if you've got a tried and true musical form that other

  • musicians have used over the years,

  • you might be inclined to use it too because your know your

  • listener will be able to follow you.

  • Now the other day, I asked early on in the course

  • about the form in popular music, and I threw this out not really

  • knowing what the answer would be.

  • What's the most common form that one encounters when dealing

  • with pop songs?

  • And for the most part there was silence across the room,

  • but one student--I have tracked him down--

  • Frederick Evans, gave a very good answer--

  • really a better answer than I could have given.

  • So, clearly Frederick knew something about this idea of

  • what he I think referred to as "verse and chorus"

  • structure.

  • I might call it "strophe and refrain,"

  • but it's the same thing whether you have it in a Lied of Franz

  • Schubert or in a piece that I know nothing about.

  • And Frederick is going to show us--introduce us--to a piece

  • that I know nothing about.

  • I sent him an e-mail last night saying, "Frederick,

  • you gave a really good answer.

  • Why don't you pick a piece, come up and demonstrate

  • this?"

  • So this is Frederick Evans.

  • We're going--or excuse me.

  • Yeah, Frederick Evans.

  • He's going to come up here.

  • I'm told we have to give him a microphone and he is going to

  • introduce us to this particular piece.

  • Now you probably all know what this piece is.

  • How many of you have heard the piece we were just listening to?

  • Everybody knows it.

  • Who is the one person in the room that's never heard this

  • piece before--has no clue what's happening?

  • Moi. Okay?

  • So Frederick, tell me about this piece,

  • please.

  • Frederick Evans: All right.

  • This is a piece by 'N Sync--back when I was in fifth

  • grade-- and it's "Bye Bye

  • Bye," and the pattern that it follows is really the

  • archetype of a lot of popular songs.

  • It's half of the chorus or so when it starts and then there's

  • verse, chorus, verse,

  • chorus and then what I call the bridge,

  • which is like an emotional climax.

  • And then the last one is a really powerful chorus where

  • they just bring it home and then the music fades away.

  • Prof: Okay.

  • So it's this idea of changing text,

  • then coming back to familiar text and familiar music,

  • then changing, going back to the familiar new

  • text, and then coming back to the

  • familiar in terms of the chorus.

  • Is that a fair shake?

  • Frederick Evans: Yes, Sir.

  • Yes.

  • Prof: Okay.

  • So shall we play--what are we going to hear first?

  • Frederick Evans: So first you'll hear from

  • seconds twenty-four to forty.

  • This is an example of the verse where they have the beginning of

  • the plot and then you have the chorus at seconds--

  • about fifty-six--and that's where you get your repeating

  • idea, which is what the piece is

  • based on.

  • And then last but not least, you have the emotional buildup

  • where the background and the chord progression changes,

  • a little more solemnly, and then there's the last

  • chorus that just brings it home.

  • Prof: Okay.

  • Great.

  • Let's listen to the-yeah.

  • >

  • Okay.

  • Frederick Evans: Yep.

  • So that was the first verse and that's when they really get you

  • into what they're talking about.

  • >

  • Prof: What really interests me here is what

  • they're using is a baroque ostinato "Lament

  • bass" but that's-- we'll get on to that in another

  • week or so.

  • So that's--okay.

  • Now we'll go to the bridge, Frederick?

  • Frederick Evans: Yes.

  • There at the bridge is where they really sum up all their

  • emotions and they really just want to tell you what they're

  • building towards.

  • >

  • Prof: Okay.

  • That's wonderful.

  • Thank you, Frederick.

  • That's exactly what I wanted.

  • >

  • >

  • Okay.

  • How many want Craig to continue teaching this course and how

  • many want Frederick?

  • Let's hear it for Craig.

  • >

  • Let's hear it for Frederick.

  • >

  • I knew it.

  • Okay, but that's a good way of getting introduced to the idea

  • of musical form.

  • Let's talk about form now in classical music.

  • The forms are a little more difficult in classical music

  • because the music is more complex.

  • And before we launch into a discussion of these musical

  • forms, I want to talk about the distinction of genre in music

  • and form in music.

  • So we're going to go over to the board over here and you can

  • see that I've listed the standard classical genres.

  • What do we mean by genre in music?

  • Well, simply musical type.

  • So we've got this type called a symphony and this type of music

  • called a string quartet and concerto, and so on.

  • We could add other types: ballet, opera,

  • things such as that.

  • In the popular realm we've got genres too.

  • We've got--classical New Orleans jazz would be a genre.

  • Blues would be a genre.

  • Grunge rock would be another sort of genre.

  • A genre presupposes a particular performing force,

  • a particular length of pieces and even dress and mode of

  • behavior of the auditors--the listeners.

  • If we were going to listen to the genre of a symphony,

  • we would dress up one particular way,

  • go to Woolsey Hall and expect to be there from eight o'clock

  • until ten o'clock.

  • If you were going to hear the Rolling Stones play at

  • Toad's--where they do play occasionally--obviously one

  • would not come at eight o'clock.

  • One would come later, and one would dress in a

  • particular sort of way and one would behave,

  • presumably, in a different sort of way.

  • So that's what we mean by genre, a kind of general type of

  • music.

  • Now today we'll start to talk about form in music,

  • and what I need to say here is that each of these genres is

  • made up of a-- of movements,

  • and each of the movements is informed by a particular form.

  • So with the symphony we have four movements there:

  • fast, slow, then either a minuet or a

  • scherzo, and a final,

  • fast movement, and each of these movements can

  • be in one of the number of different forms and we'll talk