“On a different note” Music: The Riddle With Too Many Secrets

For this piece we have an arrangement of different listeners all throughout the spectrum of musical analysis. Each of our listeners all have long standing credentials of music education and sound analysis. Listener # 1 named Mark Green is from Los Angeles and he is a Music Journalist responding to modern music from the last decade. He aspires with this project to take his knowledge to the next level by all means. Listener # 2 Brianna Claire is a trained musicologist for encompassing certain levels of music culture and history. Listener # 3 named Max Puder is an ethnomusicologist studying the social aspects of musical artists over time. Listener # 4 Abigail Winston is also an ethnomusicologist. Lastly Listener # 5 Andy Styles is a high school music teacher from Queens, New York. The song choice that they’ll be listening to is “Wonderwall” by Oasis from the year 1995. The following will contain personal dialogue from each of the listeners pertaining their reaction, what they hear and what they understand from it.

 

Listener # 1 (Mark Green) – “There are many instances where the instruments shift from one to another and overlay the vocals. It accomplished the 90’s feel to it sounding very alternative with rock and pop influences. Upon hearing it and replaying it over to dissect the meaning of the song I certainly had to rely on the vocal lyrics. For me personally it portrays a feeling of insecurity upon potential love for a partner. However the lead singer admits it indirectly and doesn’t know how to put it into words for his lover. Additionally, not only did the lyrics allow me to understand where the direction of this song is going to go but also the dynamics. While listening it builds up by becoming quiet gradually getting more upbeat and louder. The time the dynamics rises is when the vocalist admits how he truly feels about the person he loves. Overall it wasn’t the worst song ever but it wasn’t the best either. It is missing some diversity for its sound.”

 

Listener # 2 (Brianna Claire) – “The first thing I picked up on was its great assortment of various instruments. When artists do this it is particularly special. Typically with rock music you are accustomed to hearing guitars, bass , drums and a strong vocalist, however with this song other influences are apparent as well. There is a mixture of electric and acoustic guitars, piano, tambourine, drums, mellotron and cello. What interested me the most was the cello. Cello is one of those instruments most recurrent within symphonies and string quartet. Knowing that a rock song could capture movements of all these instruments amplifies its art. I found this song to be very interesting.

 

Listener # 3 (Max Puder)- “The practice of this song when I first played it gave me the impression that it wants to set a specific mood. The tempo starts slow and the instruments give a somber feel to it. However it rapidly changes during a lyric and when it does the beat uplifts. The melody of the song is heavily reliant on the singer’s raspy voice and it contains a low pitch. The somber and downbeat sound comes from the cello and the uplifting sound comes from the combination of acoustic and electric guitars. Since the song is played in a duple meter, with its dynamic being moderate soft and the incorporation of its instruments gives a feeling of sadness.I looked into the time frame of this song and considering the timing of this song’s release date I can tell it was trying to incorporate new sounds instead of conforming to the typical garage grunge sound of this era. It seems as if the story recounts a story of wanted love translated into a form of reluctance. The singer isn’t in tone with the person he loves thus he doesn’t know if he would reach happines with or without her. Music during this time were certainly experimenting with their sound and their meaning they tried to convey was filled with motivation and uplift.  This is a very complex song with listening to it repeatedly.

 

Listener # 4 (Abigail Winston) – “It was interesting to know that I had listened to this song in the past when this genre was increasingly popular and mainstream. However I had never pictured myself being in the scenario of giving my thoughts on it. Well I can start by saying that the song reveals accomplishment. What influenced me to think that way was its harmony. This era had three main categories in regards to the rock genre. There was either Alternative, Grunge or the residual classical metal that was still present. During this time music artists were blending sounds like never before. Also with the availability of new digital equipment there were ways into making sounds fit into their own genre most notably the Industrial rock genre. In the rock genre what was so interesting in the 90s were how there was a revitalization of British sound lead by Radiohead and the band of this song Oasis. When the instruments and vocals pair through the entirety of the song you can see the rise and fall of the mood of the song. For its texture the song has one primary melody and its accompaniments (instruments). Knowing this the listener can easily distinguish it from other sounds as being homophonic only. Each of the instruments work in a way to show the progress of the song. I obtained the feeling of romance and commitment within the song. The one thing that stood out to me was the ending. The piano alerts the listener the song is coming to an end as the vocals are gone. The piano ties everything up and allows me to feel relaxed as well.”

 

Listener # 5 – (Andy Styles) – “First thing I picked up on was how the genre of this song is different from the rest. The main genres that are compatible with this song would have to be Alternative, Indie Rock and Pop. One has to wonder why the song “Wonderwall” mixed all these elements into one. Other than that the song represents a ternary form with its three sections. It is shown because the first section is repeated after the second making it have three sections. The narrative lyrics are poetic and has no rhyme scheme. The form establishes repetition as well. I really enjoyed listening to this song.”

 

After listening to everything these musical analysts had to say about this song the majority each shared a common theme. All with the exception of one shared the feeling of the song being very complex with its various instruments and patterns. Each one of our listeners took note of the time frame for the song, the instruments, mutiple components, backstory etc of the song thus having each one listening to it differently we can now understand why this song became popular. With the allowance of mixing different elements it can allow listeners to know that music doesn’t always have to classify as only one sound but plenty. When artists combine these multiple sounds it reaches more people who have separate music tastes.

-DAVID WITT

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5 comments

  1. This piece by Oasis sounds like something I should listen to when I have the time. Each individual had similar opinions besides Green. But what about composers during the Baroque or Renaissance times, what do you think their opinions would be while listening to this piece from 1995?

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  2. Each individual sort of comes from around our times, but do you think the famous composer Beethoven would enjoy this piece? I understand he has his hearing lost, but do you think he would enjoy this unique piece? Would he like the different music for our times rather than his?

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  3. I really enjoy reading you SBP. I never really Listened to Oasis, until now. Weird, Oasis reminds me of The Beatles. So you think his style of music would be or possibly mainstream today?

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  4. David, this piece was very different from what other people have picked out. It definitely gave me the 90’s feel, however, not being familiar with any of these listeners made it a little hard to picture their reactions. For some reason, it reminded me of Gotye’s Somebody that I used to know. I suppose it could be the video or the tone of the music.

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  5. This was also my first time listening to Oasis and their music is very interesting. A question I have is what made you pick this song? Are you usually into 90’s music or was it just an interesting choice to work with?

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