Analysis - Unsquare Dance and Strawberry Fields Forever

Topics: Rhythm, Syncopation, Meter Pages: 4 (1704 words) Published: March 1, 2008
(Start with hand clapping rhythm and tap the bass rhythm with foot from Unsquare Dance)
Good afternoon everyone. I am Tom and today we will be looking at how great composers use fascinating rhythm. Let's take a look at two fantastic songs, The Beatles, Strawberry Fields Forever, and the other by Dave Brubeck, Unsquare Dance. In 1961 American Composer Dave Brubeck wrote a piece called Unsquare Dance. Unsquare Dance is a jazz piece in 7/4. The fact that it is in 7/4 is very strange, as this is an uncommon time signature. This piece falls under the genre of free jazz, allowing the soloist to play whatever they want. Free jazz has no set structure to it, although Unsquare Dance does have a blues structure, this can be found in the bass line. Free jazz is the typical jazz of the early 60's. The time signature 7/4 has seven crotchets in it, and the pulses, or stronger beats fall on the 1st, 3rd and 5th beats. When counting 7/4, it is structured 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2, 3, for each bar. The stronger beats fall on the 1's. Unsquare Dance is exactly that, the opposite of a square dance, which is in 4/4. A square dance is a very rigid and structured dance with one beat per step, whereas Unsquare Dance is very free, sounding spontaneous. Unsquare Dance has a slight swing to it. The swing is in the piano part, and also in the drum rhythm. The swung beat is not there all the time; it only starts at bar 13 with the piano, and then continues throughout the rest of the piece. The piano drops out at bar 18, the drums take up the swing beat and as the piano re-enters at bar 31 the drums drop out. Unsquare Dance makes good use of syncopation. When music is syncopated it means that is puts stress on a weak beat or has rests on the strong beats. Syncopation is fundamental in and jazz piece. An example of syncopation is at bar 13 in the piano line, with the accent off the beat, also the hand clapping rhythm is syncopated because it has rests on the strong beats. An even...
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