Music Analysis

Topics: Bass guitar, Electric guitar, Rock music Pages: 6 (1386 words) Published: June 12, 2014
Task 4. Musicology (core). 25548779
Music for radio, film, Television and Multimedia.
Analyses & listening log, Year 12 Music 1, Max Tuckerman.

1) Discuss why your chosen piece fits into its specific genre, style or musical culture.

My chosen piece for this analysis task is ‘Roll On’, (2001. Album: Roll On) by The Living End, an Australian ‘rockabilly’ icon from the suburbs of Melbourne. This song was the opening anthem for an American comedy film ‘The Cheats’ (2002). The song was chosen due to its attractive nature for a young rebellious audience. Quote Chris Cheney, “some of our songs are a bit juvenile” (FHOI, 2004). The youthful rebellion influences are seen in the early sounds of The Living End, combined with stylistic traits of the 50s Rock ‘n’ roll and late 70s-80s Punk genres. The lyrical topic of the song Roll On song was based on the ‘1998 Australian Waterfront Dispute’ at the shipyards in Melbourne. Lyrics to suggest this include:

First Verse,
“The shipyards are deserted on the docks on Melbourne town, The wharfies standing strong, They gathered round to see what the union had to say, There's too much work and not enough pay.” (Cheney, 2001)

Second Verse,
“We'll protest in peace keep the whole thing quiet, the last thing needed is a wage-fuelled riot.” (Cheney, 2001)

The classic ‘rock band’ culture and format of the band is contradicted by The Living End’s instruments, including a double bass and hollow body guitars. The Stray Cats were pioneers of the Rockabilly style, influencing The Living End heavily as they continued to develop within this alternative musical culture. Lyrically, and sonically the band’s music speaks to the working class audience of Australia. The songs topics reflect a ‘voice of the people’, a youthful rebellion, seen again in the early punk influences and the lyrics of not just ‘Roll On’ but the whole demographic of their track listings.

2) Analyse your chosen piece in terms of all the concepts of music.


Classic Aussie rock and roll Rock-Beat
“1,2,3,4” count in, sets up the simple, quadruple metre – with accents on the 1st beat. The rhythm section, in this case bass and drums, are providing a steady rhythm for the melodic and harmonic material to be played by guitar and vocals The regular tempo is approximately 144bpm

The time signature is common 4/4 time
The backbeat is emphasized with the bass drum on the 1 and 3 with the snare drum on the 2 and 4. At approximately 2mins, 58secs there is a diminution drum pattern, going from crotchets to quavers to create tensions and excitement before the end of the piece. The prominent drumbeat gives the song a sense of propulsion between sections. This is a mainstream song where people will want to dance, 4/4 is therefore a good choice by the composers in creating a very common and enjoyable metre.


A very rock influenced vocal melody, where there is a major key that also borrows from non-diatonic alterations such as flat 7ths and minor 3rds. Major Key (at times a Mixolydian mode with a b7th). Although the guitar is playing minor pentatonic riffs and the solo is played with notes of the A blues scale. The verse tonal center is A major, with the chord progression being power chords of: [ A | C | D ] The chorus tonal center is C major, again power chords of the root-notes: [ C | F | C | F | C | G | A | F G ]

At 0:30secs, there is the first example of 2 modulations from C.maj to A.maj for the verse. The Lyric “Sky” follows the chord progression of F-G-A, where as the melody follows major thirds A-B-C# to the roots of the chord progression, ascending in pitch, creating a consonant and prepared modulation between sections.

Dynamics and Expressive Techniques

The introduction is intentionally loud, a live energetic performance that sounds as if it’s performed on stage. This is achieved...

Bibliography: From Here On In 1997-2004, DVD, 2004,
Helene GALETTIS, Musical Concepts Music 1 Aural Skills. 2009. Publisher, Australia. - -
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