Music Analogy

“The final years of the 1970’s saw the emergence of a new
style of pop music that would continue in popularity into the
early 1980’s. This music was known, by its fans at that
time, as New Wave”
(http://www.erols.com/alloyd/adam2.htm). “New Wave”
had a particular style that utilized the synthesizer as a main
instrument. The synthesizer was a machine that
electronically produced music. It gave a certain artificial
and metallic feel to the music. The Cure and Erasure, bands
formed during that period of time, were some of the bands
that implemented the synthesizer into their music. Though
both bands fit into the category of “New Wave” the feel of
their music is somewhat different. To explain the difference
I would have to analyze their songs. Two examples of their
music that I will analyze are “Friday I’m in Love” by The
Cure and “Always” by Erasure. The song “Friday I’m in
Love” by The Cure had a 4/4 meter. The song began with
a pickup by the guitar and led into a backbeat by the
drums. The synthesizer played a continuous riff providing
the “tinging” artificial sound and there’s also bass in the
background. There were also sounds towards the end of
the song that sounded a lot like the “theramin.” The beat
subdivisions seemed to be triplets because the song
seemed to swing and the other subdivisions didn’t match.
The correct sequence and lengths of the sections in this
particular song can be best labeled as I8+8 A8 B8 C6 B8
Solo8 B8 C6 D8+8 A8 B8 Solo8 Solo8. The labels A and
B are to distinguish the two different verses, the label C
stands for the chorus and the label D symbolized the new
section (the bridge). The vocals within this song have a
deeper and a more wailing kind of voice than that of the
band Erasure. The song “Always” from Erasure also had a
4/4 meter, but unlike The Cure the song did not start out
with a pickup and instead of the guitar the song began with
the synthesizer. There didn’t seem to be any other
distinguishable instruments besides the synthesizer and the
drum, though I did seem to hear the use of the theramin for
the eerie effect. There were also these clicking sounds, but
I’m assuming the synthesizer made it. The groove of this
song was more harmonized and brings to mind the music of
the early Beatles. The subdivisions of this song were 8th
notes. The sequence and lengths of the sections for this
song can be labeled as I8 V8+8 C8+4 V8+8 C8+4
CFADE. The label V symbolizes the verse of the song and
the label C symbolizes the chorus of the song. Although
both these bands are categorized under “New Wave”, the
feel of their songs is very different. While Erasure’s song
had a more “spaced-out” feel to it, The Cure’s song
seemed to have a faster beat and seemed to be less eerie. I
think the difference was from the bands’ distinct way of
using both the synthesizer and the theramin. While Erasure
used the synthesizer throughout the song, as the main
instrument, The Cure used the synthesizer along with other
instruments. Therefore, The Cure’s piece was less
“artificial” and the beat fit in more with the category of rock
and roll. But the category of “New Wave” music is not
always associated with the artificiality of the songs, thus
The Cure’s interesting way of manipulating the vocal pitch
of the vocals (a kind of a deep wailing sound), the
“eerieness” of the music stands out.

Category: Music and Movies