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Michael Jackson: Thriller
Transcript of Michael Jackson: Thriller
In 1965, Michael Jackson along with his 4 brothers formed a band called The Jackson 5. They performed several hit singles and became widely known around the 1970s.
Michael Jackson established as a solo performer through his album "Off the Wall" which debuted in 1979.
MJ was also a dancer and choreographer. He made the infamous dance step, "The Moonwalk" popular.
He died of cardiac arrest on 2009.
Also referred to as the "King of Pop" because of his success in the music industry.
About Michael Jackson
" is a disco-funk song; it was recorded by American recording artist Michael Jackson, composed by Rod Temperton, and produced by Quincy Jones. It is the seventh and final single from MJ's album of the same name. It was recorded in 1982 and released on November 12, 1983. The song, which has a voice-over from actor Vincent Price, had originally been titled "Starlight".
The structure of the song is a thirty-two-bar form (AABA). A thirty-two-bar form song/song section contains four 8-measure sections, with the "B" section, being musically different than the other three sections.
Harmony and Texture
Written in 4/4 time signature with a key of C-sharp major. The song has a light moderate tempo of 118.31 beats per minute and MJ's vocal range is from F2-E-flat6.
The underlying rhythmic element creates a sense of fear and uncertainty of what’s to come. This is enhanced by the tempo mimicking a quickened heartbeat. The prominent bass riff continues throughout the song keeping the mysterious atmosphere.
The song's instruments used were synthesizer, guitar, trumpet, flugelhorn, saxophone, flute and trombone. In the song, sound effects such as a creaking door, thunder, feet walking on wooden planks, winds and howling dogs can be heard, and the lyrics contain frightening themes and elements.
The lyrics build a story within the song. The first verse begins create a dark atmosphere. The lines “You try to scream” and “You start to freeze” are also reinforced with backing vocals.
Once the vocals enter the other instruments become more backing and less intense while the vocal line sits above all the other parts.
The verses maintain dynamic consistency and then the dynamics are raised slightly in the chorus. The dynamics are low in the first verse and start rising getting closer to the chorus and then on the chorus they are raised slightly.
The start of the song is given a crescendo in the synth, the whole song is written in metsoforte and there are crescendos at the start of each chorus.
Harmonisation is used to thicken the texture and reinforces the main melody. MJ is the solo singer through the song except for the choruses where the "zombies" voices are layered with MJ's voice at the same time. Also, at the end telling the lyrics was done by Vincent Price to create an emphasis on the mood.
" is written in polyphonic melody, which is a texture consisting of two or more simultaneous lines of independent melody.
Overall the lyrics, tempo and dynamics all contribute to the theme of the song, which is horror. The loudness of voices and raspy howls, door creaks, sound effects, lyrics, etc help set the mood and atmosphere relating to the theme. All the elements of music such as melody, form, dynamics etc accompany with the lyrics to emphasize the theme of the song.
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