Monday, 21 November 2011

11:7 The Long And Winding Road (pt.3)

So we've looked at the lyrics and whole sackful of songwriting tricks. Today let's look at the cool way McCartney develops the main theme in the first, third and fifth lines of the verse.

Here's the opening phrase – chords above, melody notes below

        Cm                           Ab/Bb
The long and win - ding road
D     Eb   D    Bb     G     C

The Beatles repeatedly emphasis this as a hook by doubling the vocal melody on the piano and dropping out as a band (ticket 30). The melody is basically a descending Gm arpeggio (D Bb G ). But superimposing this over the top of the Cm chord transforms it into a Cm9 arpeggio – C Eb G Bb D.

Ab         Gm                       Cm
      Will ne - ver dis – ap - pear
      C     D    Eb  Bb   G     C

the third phrase is very similar the same five notes end the phrase, but the order of the D and Eb are reversed. This gives a real sense of familiarity, but now the D Bb and G appear over the Gm chord and the Eb becomes a dissonant passing note, so it sounds different at the same time.

Ab     Gm                         Cm
       it  al - ways leads me back
       C D    Eb    Bb     G   C

The fifth phrase is a carbon copy of the second, chords and all.

So could we formulate what Paul is doing into a songwriting ticket? How about this?

Ticket 48 repeat the same melodic idea over a changing chord progression.

Can you think of any other Beatles songs that do this?


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