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Musical Links Investigation

I.B. Music Theory H.L. Comparison between Bluegrass and Taiko music.
by

Trey Fox

on 13 April 2012

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Transcript of Musical Links Investigation

Bluegrass Taiko Choctaw Hayride
By Alison Crauss and Union Station Shake
By Kodo Medium Meter Melody Form Harmony Medium Meter Melody Harmony Form Nagado-Daiko The Nagado-Daiko is a low, booming drum that forms the base of the song rhythm and the backbone of the structure. It generally plays accented quarter notes, while also introducing a swinging, triplet feel and triplet rhythms later in the piece. Multiple are played within the ensemble. 0'00" Music Starts 0'06" The nagado enters, accenting with a low note on beat 1 every other measure and keeping a half note pulse under the shimi-daiko. 0'25" Nagado continues, with small variation at the end each four-bar phrase as the Shimi-Daiko improvises a solo over the basic rhythm. 1'09" A Nagado takes over the "melody", with an eighth-note rythmic figure, using syncopation and varied eighth note patterns. By Brian Adler 1'40" As the Shime-Daiko drops lower, the Nagado ensemble becomes more dominant, with a quarter note pattern, with occaisional swung eighth notes filling in the rhythm, growing more intricate as the phrases progress. 2'19" The Nagado soli ends, and they resume the rhythm that they began with. However, one Nagado begins to solo over top of the rhythms of the rest of the band. 2'28" A Shime-Daiko enters as a soloist alongside the Nagado, and they trade off rhythmic patterns in a call-and-response fashion. 3'17" The Nagado ensemble joins in the unison here, then returns to the "standard" beat for the song. They then finish with a flourish on the original Shime-Daiko Rhythm. Shime-Daiko 0'00" Music Starts 0'04" The Shimi enters, in solo, introducing the piece with a small tripalet rhythm to introduce the tempo, continuing on with swung eighth notes accenting the back beat. 0'25" 1'09" 1'40" 2'19" 2'28" The Shime enters as a soloist alongside the Nagado, and they trade off rhythmic patterns in a call-and-response fashion. 3'17" The Shimi returns to the "standard" beat for the song here, reiterating the melody that was played in the beginning. The Shime-Daiko is a small drum, wooden with leather streatched over both sides very tightly. It is played with the same drum sticks as the Nadado-Daiko, but generally plays faster rhythms and syncopated notes over the bass notes of the Nagado. It is a solo instrument in this song, but can be played in ensemble. The Shime-Daiko is generally viewed as the leader of the group. The new phrase begins with the Shimi soloing over the Nagado basic pattern, playing tripalets, off beats and syncopation in rapid patterns. When the Nagado takes over the "melody", the Shimi imitates the old Nagado line, accenting every quarter note in a swung eighth note pattern. The Shimi drops out even more, but sneaks back in a measure later, playing the quarter note rhythm of before with minor alterations on the placement of accents. The Shimi Drops out. 3'31" The Shimi plays the same call used in the intro to the piece, signalling then the end of the piece. Dobatsu 0'00" Music Starts 0'06" The Dobatsu enter, playing on beats two and four of the measure, with off beat flourishes at the end of four and eight bar phrases. 0'25" 1'09" 1'31" 1'40" 2'28" After the build up, the Dobatsu enter playing the back beats again. 3'17" They build up a crescendo again by playing quarter note tripalets, and then join in on the unison measure. The Dobatsu are Japanese cymbals, played piatti by hitting the two cymbals against each other. The provide a rythmic back beat texture to the preformance, most frequently keeping an off-beat time while other drums play more complex rhythms. The new phrase begins with the Dobatsu trasfering to a quarternote pulse, quielty playing behind the Shime soloist. The Dobatsu continue playing quarter notes, but join the Nagado in accenting beat four of every other measure. The Dobatsu take a quasi-solo, playing quarternote tripalets against the beat the other two instruments play, building up to the next phrase. The Dobatsu drop out. The piece is in standard four four meter, at about two hundred and eight beats per second. That means it was a quick pace, and each of the four and eight measure phrases went by quickly. The piece was also partially swung, using tripalets in some places and straight eights elsewhere. The underlying pulse is on the down beat, one and three. The way that melody manifests itself in drum music is with rhythm. The basic melody was carried by the Shime-Daiko, though all of the members of the ensemble had it at one point, whenever they took their solos. Quarter note tripalets, frequent syncopation and the use of what sound like American marching rhythms created melody that flowed from one instrument to the next. The harmony was inherent in the quarter note pulse that the drums played when not soloing or taking the melody, as well as in the Dobatsu almost all of the time. It allowed the syncopation during the solos to actually sound like syncopation. The peice followed no chord structure, being entirely rhythmic, however it had a primary "melody" phrase introduced by the Shime, then transitioned to solos by individuals and sections of instruments, all in eight bar phrases while being of varying length. It then ended by playing the primary melody once more, with a small addition on to the end. The form, even though it is instrumental, is a chorus verse form. It begins with and introduction by the Resonator Guitar and the Guitar, then moves on to use the same chord pattern during first a banjo solo, then a violin and a Guitar solo. It then changes to a chorus chord progression for a B melody, then plays the A melody once more before ending. The harmony is played by each instrument, when they aren't soloing or have the melody. They all follow a basic chord progression during the "verse", which is based off a minor tonic. For the "chorus" it then switches to a major key. The Bass plays the harmony by playing downbeat chord tones underneath everything.
The Violin plays off-beat "chunking" noises.
The Guitar strums the full chord in sixteenth note patterns.
The Banjo plays sixteenth note arpeggiations of the chord underneath the melody.
The Resonator guitar plays chordal fills behind the main melody. The Melody is primarily carried by the Resonator Guitar. A motif within the melody is the rhythm "four and one e" which moves from b to d to d to e. Each instrument takes a different approach to soloing, however. The Resonator guitar adds embellishments, sliding between notes because its played like a steel guitar.
The Banjo adds extra sixteenth notes between the notes of the melody.
The Violin plays a slower, drawn out verson of the melody, but with double stops.
The Guitar plays in his lower range and the higher range, with very fast sixteenth note runs between briefly held notes. The meter is a standard four four, at about one hundred and fourty eight beats per minute. This is compounded with the almost constant running sixteenth notes creates the feeling of being hurried. Resonator Guitar The resonator guitar is tuned exactly like a guitar, only its got a metal cone as it's resonating body instead of the wooden body of the guitar. It's played with the bridge facing you, with a steel slide in one hand and finger picks on the other. It carried the melody and played fills between the parts of the other people's solos. Guitar The Guitar enters first, driving the tempo with a repeated e-string rhythm. It strums the harmony and also plays arpeggios of the chords. It's solo is fast sixteenth note runs up and down the scale. Violin The violin primarily provides rhythmic accompaniment, using the bow to make a sound on the off beats. Its solo uses double stops to create flowing melodiic lines while also harmonizing with itself. Banjo The banjo primarily plays arpegiatted chords in sixteenth and occaisionally eighth note patterns. It is one of the primary players in Bluegrass because of its ability to fill the space in between beats, and the distinctive sound it gives. Double Bass The Double Bass, or Upright, provides the foundation of the sound and the chord, while playing down beats during the song. It does not solo, but rather drives the tempo and keeps the band together. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWnVRi_Ktxk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYhlXdxbAXc
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resonator_guitar
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guitar
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiddle
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banjo
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_bass
Works Cited
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