November 12, 2012
The type of music style that I decided to focus my paper on is from the unique sound of folk-rock that derived in the sixties from the British Isle. I have enjoyed learning about this style in class and how it has originated. I appreciate that the singers/songwriters of this time focused less on political issues and leaned more toward their personal feelings and thoughts. Their feelings glow through their music. I decided to analyze a famous piece of Folk-Rock music by the prominent singer/song writer, Tracy Chapman. Her song, “Give Me One Reason,” was produced in 1995, reaching to number three on the pop charts. This piece is one of her more popular ones, because of her unique style that she uses, along with the musical elements that are effectively used. Although she has several music elements, I will analyze the rhythm, timbre, and melody used in Chapman’s piece.
The first dimension that I chose to focus on is Chapman’s use of her slow, easy-going rhythm. Her rhythm is simple and unique, but it definitely contributes to her music by her consistent rhythm and sounds. She uses an uneven beat subdivision that is used throughout her whole recording that makes up the type of polyrhythm. The tempo is approximately 94 beats per minute, and the meter consists of having four beats in each bar. Chapman contributes a tone of West African polyrhythm from the different rhythms of constant drums and guitar outbreaks.
Along with Chapman’s brilliant use of rhythm, her timbre is what makes her music “hip,” in my opinion. She definitely makes use of her talents through the musical instruments used in the timbre of this song. It is a huge thing to be just a “singer,” but Tracy Chapman could not be Tracy Chapman, without her awesome guitar skills as well. She is just a very talented artist and musician. At the beginning of this piece, a soft guitar intro catches the ears of the...