Select a discussion posting in the Discussion Forum.
Listen to the described song, and comment upon both the song and your classmate’s descriiption, using terminology learned in this class. Hint: instead of simply agreeing , think about furthering their own descriiption by overlaying your take on the terminology(using terminology found in the Melody, Harmony, Rhythm, Form, and Texture modules.) from the course.
The song that I chose to go with is Kanye West’s “Through the Wire, released in 2004. This song is a rap song that features a sample from a song by Chaka Khan called “Through the Fire,” released in 1984.
To begin, the song opens up with the Chaka Khan sample, which proves a lot of the melody found in this song. Just from the open sequence, we can hear Chaka flowing from melodic steps to leaps as in some of her words she drags them to a higher pitch. For example, when she sings the line “I’d gladly risk it all” she drags out the “all” to a higher pitch. There are a lot of moments of this throughout this short sample that is played as the chorus to this song. Followed by these melodic leaps, Chaka tends to bring the pitch back down to the beginning pitch. This gives variation between the lines and displays the talent of her voice to be able to make these melodic leaps and instantly bring it back down.
This song uses the key of G Major and it creates an energetic and upbeat type of song. This song typically stays in the same key all throughout the song. The only part where I feel the song changes keys is during the chorus of Chaka Khan, in which she brings the key to a higher pitch.
When listening to the beat of this song, there are many instruments that immediately jump at you. Just from the opening you can hear the sounds of drum snares and bongos, he uses these throughout the chorus behind the sample of Chaka Khan. Another instrument you can hear is the bass, which immediately is heard throughout the song from the beginning. A lot of early kanye utilises these basslines and drums to give it that texture it needs to entertain.
This song has a tempo of 83 beats per minute, which is a slower pace than some rap songs. This rhythm allows Kanye to provide that chill beat that while slower, is still fast enough to groove to. The speed of this song can be referred to Andante, which translates as “at a walking pace.” This speed is perfect as it allows listeners to feel and understand all the lyrics while also being able to hear every hit and instrument in the beat.
The structure of this song follows a chorus and verse structure, while also containing an intro and outro. This song starts off with a quick intro of Kanye speaking over the Chaka Khan sample, which is being used as the chorus in the song, and smoothly switches to the first verse. After the verse it then becomes a common verse chorus verse chorus scheme. Kanye also occasionally speaks over the chorus of the song, just like with the intro of the song. This song then concludes the outro with Kanye speaking over instrumental.
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