Analysis Assignment- Stairway to Heaven

Topics: Heavy metal music, Led Zeppelin, Electric guitar Pages: 4 (1416 words) Published: February 24, 2012
Through ineffective manipulation of structure, timbre and melody, Victor Lopez’s short version of Stairway to Heaven fails to convey the same mood and effect on the listener as the original classic piece by Led Zeppelin. Jimmy Page, lead guitarist of hard rock band Led Zeppelin, and composer of Stairway to Heaven, once said with reference to the album this piece was released on, “My vocation is more in composition really than anything else - building up harmonies using the guitar, orchestrating the guitar like an army, a guitar army”. Victor Lopez’s variation of Stairway to Heaven unsuccessfully attempts to capture the same style and mood, given its complete change in genre and lack of sensitivity towards the original structure, timbre and melody. The structure of the original Stairway to Heaven plays a great role in determining the mood of this piece, the progressively revealed growth in all musical aspects surrounding the composition, helps to portray the gradual impressiveness of this imaginative piece. Stairway to Heaven develops depth and emotion throughout the entire song, starting very simply and gradually delivering more complexity and intensity from 2:14 onwards. There is a clear build up as the piece progresses with the addition of new instruments (2:14), an increase in tempo (6:44), and change in rhythm regularly from quavers in 4/4 time to semi-quavers (2:02). Although Led Zeppelin follow no particular genre of music, this spectacular piece begins as a significant contrast to their usual hard rock, blues rock, heavy metal style with an almost folk, acoustic introduction. The introduction holds one main folk riff that forms the theme of many variations to underpin the musically ingenious contrast as the guitar solo begins at 5:55, bringing back Led Zeppelin’s usual heavy rock reputation. Within Victor Lopez’s variation of Stairway to Heaven, there is no evidence of development or emerging energy and...
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