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How Songs Tell Their Stories PART 3 (American Popular Song Today)
10:02
Matt Corriel

How Songs Tell Their Stories PART 3 (American Popular Song Today)

Every week on American Popular Song Today, we give you the tools to HEAR MORE in the songs you love. Whether you're here for music appreciation (how to listen to music, how to listen to lyrics, or how songs work), for songwriting tips (how to write music, how to write lyrics, or how to write a song), or just for the entertainment part of edutainment, American Popular Song Today will change the way you listen to music! This week, HOW SONGS TELL THEIR STORIES, PART 3: CUMULATIVE SONGS. TODAY ON AMERICAN POPULAR SONG TODAY: Episode 22: HOW SONGS TELL THEIR STORIES, PART 3: CUMULATIVE SONGS. LINKS I PROMISED TO PROVIDE: APST's Fourth of July Episode on the Star-Spangled Banner: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YztgCprsC4 TOPICS FOR THIS EPISODE: 0:24 RECAP FROM PARTS 1 and 2 1:02 I HOLD YOUR HAND IN MINE BY TOM LEHRER is an example of this third type of song: cumulative songs! 2:12 HOW CUMULATIVE SONGS WORK: As a cumulative song progresses, it reveals information that accumulates to change our understanding of a repeated phrase's meaning. In a cumulative song, the repeated phrase will always mean more at the end than it did at the beginning. 2:55 DON'T THINK TWICE, IT'S ALL RIGHT BY BOB DYLAN IS A CUMULATIVE SONG. Each verse enhances our understanding of what, exactly, is all right By the end, the words "Don't think twice, it's all right" mean more than they did the first time we heard them. 4:49 NEARLY ALL POPULAR SONGS HAVE A REPEATED PHRASE OR SECTION. But the meaning of that repeated phrase or section usually doesn't change. 4:57 CONTRAST: Our understanding of the repeated phrase in Kenny Rogers' "The Gambler"—"You got to know when to hold 'em; know when to fold 'em"— does not change during the song. It always means the same thing. On the other hand, our understanding of the phrase "I hold your hand in mine" changes during the Tom Lehrer song, and our understanding of the phrase "Don't think twice, it's all right" enhances during the Bob Dylan song. 5:30 CUMULATIVE SONGS ARE NOT A WORLD UNTO THEMSELVES. There are cumulative circular songs and cumulative forward songs. 5:38 "DON'T THINK TWICE, IT'S ALL RIGHT" BY BOB DYLAN IS A CUMULATIVE CIRCULAR SONG. Just like collecting 200 dollars every time you pass go in Monopoly, every time you cycle through the story in a cumulative circular song, your understanding of the repeated phrase gets a little richer! 6:07 "NORWEGIAN WOOD" BY THE BEATLES IS A CUMULATIVE FORWARD SONG. The repeated phrase—"Isn't it good Norwegian wood?"—accumulates more meaning each time we hear it. 6:55 "THE RIVER" BY BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN IS A CUMULATIVE SONG. 7:10 "I GO BACK" BY KENNY CHESNEY IS A CUMULATIVE SONG. 7:29 "MY NAME IS" BY EMINEM IS A CUMULATIVE SONG. 7:50 CALL FOR COMMENTS: What cumulative songs can you think of? Teddy and I wanna know! 8:01 FINAL THOUGHTS. Circular songs answer the question, "What?" Forward songs answer the question, "Then What?" Cumulative songs answer the question, "What do you mean?" 8:33 SONGS WILL NOT ALWAYS FIT NEATLY INTO THE CATEGORIES. THAT'S OK! 8:49 ART WILL ALWAYS FIND A WAY TO RESIST BUCKET-ORIENTED THINKING. 8:54 WHAT'S THE POINT? To give us some vocabulary to help us think about the diverse and wonderful ways that songs tell their stories. It can be hard to think about these ideas without some vocabulary at hand—but we have that vocabulary now! 9:32 SUBSCRIBE SONG. Subscribing is free! MATT CORRIEL is a songwriter and lawyer. He's written hundreds of songs and half-a-dozen musicals, including several shows for teenagers available through Dramatic Publishing Company (https://www.dramaticpublishing.com/authors/profile/view/url/matt-corriel). Matt is a graduate of Nanuet High School, Harvard College, and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. TEDDY ROOSEVELT is a cavagoldoodle, which is a mini-goldendoodle with a little cavalier king charles in the mix to keep his nose squat and his spirit fearless. He has many opinions. FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM FOR DAILY PHOTOS & STORIES! www.instagram.com/mattcorriel Or keep in touch on Twitter (@mattcorriel) or Facebook (@mattcorriel)! PLEASE SUBSCRIBE!
How Songs Tell Their Stories PART 2 (American Popular Song Today)
08:21
Matt Corriel

How Songs Tell Their Stories PART 2 (American Popular Song Today)

Every week on American Popular Song Today, we give you the tools to HEAR MORE in the songs you love. Whether you're here for music appreciation (how to listen to music, how to listen to lyrics, or how songs work), for songwriting tips (how to write music, how to write lyrics, or how to write a song), or just for the entertainment part of edutainment, American Popular Song Today will change the way you listen to music! This week, HOW SONGS TELL THEIR STORIES, PART 2: FORWARD SONGS. TODAY ON AMERICAN POPULAR SONG TODAY: Episode 21: HOW SONGS TELL THEIR STORIES, PART 2: FORWARD SONGS. TOPICS FOR THIS EPISODE: 0:40 CIRCULAR SONGS tell their stories right up front and then repeat that story again and again, even when the music and lyrics change. 0:56 FORWARD SONGS tell their stories bit by bit; the narrative unfolds throughout the song. 1:16 THE GAMBLER BY KENNY ROGERS IS A CLASSIC FORWARD SONG. Once the scene is set, things begin to happen, moving the story forward as the song progresses. Kenny Rogers is practically telling a campfire story, giving detail after detail about the action. 3:49 WE TAKE FOR GRANTED THAT ONE MEDIUM—POPULAR SONG—CAN ACCOMMODATE BOTH CIRCULAR AND FORWARD SONGS. 4:09 FORWARD SONGS allow for development, for change, even jarring surprises. 4:15 NORWEGIAN WOOD BY THE BEATLES IS A FORWARD SONG WITH A JARRING SURPRISE. Norwegian Wood tells the story of a man who goes home with a woman thinking he's going to get lucky. When things don't go his way, he sets fire to her apartment. 6:04 THE STORY IN NORWEGIAN WOOD TAKES THE WHOLE SONG TO TELL. 6:09 WE COULD REWRITE NORWEGIAN WOOD AS A CIRCULAR SONG. The whole story would be told right up front, then repeated two or more times. 7:04 FORWARD SONGS satisfy our desire to allow the story to progress. This is in contrast to CIRCULAR SONGS which defy that expectation. 7:25 FORWARD SONGS TAKE US ON A JOURNEY. 7:38 CIRCULAR SONGS ANSWER, "WHAT?" FORWARD SONGS ANSWER, "THEN WHAT?" 7:53 CALL FOR COMMENTS: What are your favorite forward songs? 8:01 SUBSCRIBE SONG And like the American Popular Song Today Facebook Page! MATT CORRIEL is a songwriter and lawyer. He's written hundreds of songs and half-a-dozen musicals, including several shows for teenagers available through Dramatic Publishing Company (https://www.dramaticpublishing.com/authors/profile/view/url/matt-corriel). Matt is a graduate of Nanuet High School, Harvard College, and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. TEDDY ROOSEVELT is a cavagoldoodle, which is a mini-goldendoodle with a little cavalier king charles in the mix to keep his nose squat and his spirit fearless. He has many opinions. FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM FOR DAILY PHOTOS & STORIES! www.instagram.com/mattcorriel Or keep in touch on Twitter (@mattcorriel) or Facebook (@mattcorriel)! PLEASE SUBSCRIBE!
How Songs Tell Their Stories PART 1 (American Popular Song Today)
10:49
Matt Corriel

How Songs Tell Their Stories PART 1 (American Popular Song Today)

Every week on American Popular Song Today, we give you the tools to HEAR MORE in the songs you love. Whether you're here for music appreciation (how to listen to music, how to listen to lyrics, or how songs work), for songwriting tips (how to write music, how to write lyrics, or how to write a song), or just for the entertainment part of edutainment, American Popular Song Today will change the way you listen to music! This week, HOW SONGS TELL THEIR STORIES, PART 1: CIRCULAR SONGS. TODAY ON AMERICAN POPULAR SONG TODAY: Episode 20: HOW SONGS TELL THEIR STORIES, PART 1: CIRCULAR SONGS. TOPICS FOR THIS EPISODE: 0:10 THIS IS THE 20th EPISODE OF AMERICAN POPULAR SONG TODAY! We have cake! Cookies! Sparkling water! THANK YOU to the American Popular Song Today community! 0:48 THIS WEEK on American Popular Song Today: How Songs Tell Their Stories, Part 1. All songs tell a story! 1:38 AMERICAN POPULAR SONG TODAY THEME SONG. 1:48 MANY POPULAR SONGS SPILL THE BEANS RIGHT AWAY. They tell their story right up front, by the time they hit the first chorus, or at latest, by the end of the first chorus. Because these songs cycle through the same short story many times, I call them CIRCULAR SONGS. 2:18 EXAMPLE OF A CIRCULAR SONG: ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK BY BILL HALEY & THE COMETS. The same story—we're gonna rock around the clock—gets repeated again and again without significant development. 4:26 EXAMPLE OF A CIRCULAR SONG: I WANT YOU BACK BY THE JACKSON 5. The story in I Want You Back—I didn't want you then; I do want you now—gets repeated again and again without significant development. 7:55 CIRCULAR SONGS ARE AMAZING. It's no easy thing to keep the song in one place: we want the story to progress, but circular songs manage to bathe in a single moment in time, in a single non-evolving emotion. Circular songs are also great for dancing. Everything you need to know about the story in a circular song is often distilled into one repeated phrase. 8:27 FURTHER EXAMPLES OF CIRCULAR SONGS. I Want To Hold Your Hand (Beatles); You Shook Me All Night Long (AC/DC); All About That Bass (Meghan Trainor); Stronger (Britney Spears); Get Lucky (Daft Punk); I Heard it Through the Grapevine (Marvin Gaye); Single Ladies (Beyonce); I Will Survive (Gloria Gaynor) 9:05 YOU DON'T HAVE TO LISTEN VERY CLOSELY AND YOU DON'T HAVE TO LISTEN VERY LONG TO KNOW EVERYTHING THERE IS TO KNOW ABOUT THE STORY KN A 9:12 NOT ALL SONGS ARE CIRCULAR. Some songs reward you for listening closely longer; others demand your attention all the way to the end. 9:27 PLEASE SUBSCRIBE AND LEAVE A COMMENT. What circular songs can you think of? 9:37 TIME TO EAT THE CAKE! 9:47 TELL A FRIEND! MATT CORRIEL is a songwriter and lawyer. He's written hundreds of songs and half-a-dozen musicals, including several shows for teenagers available through Dramatic Publishing Company (https://www.dramaticpublishing.com/authors/profile/view/url/matt-corriel). Matt is a graduate of Nanuet High School, Harvard College, and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. TEDDY ROOSEVELT is a cavagoldoodle, which is a mini-goldendoodle with a little cavalier king charles in the mix to keep his nose squat and his spirit fearless. He has many opinions. FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM FOR DAILY PHOTOS & STORIES! www.instagram.com/mattcorriel Or keep in touch on Twitter (@mattcorriel) or Facebook (@mattcorriel)! PLEASE SUBSCRIBE!
HEAR MORE in "Girls Like You" by Maroon 5 ft. Cardi B (American Popular Song Today)
11:35
Matt Corriel

HEAR MORE in "Girls Like You" by Maroon 5 ft. Cardi B (American Popular Song Today)

Every week on American Popular Song Today, we give you the tools to HEAR MORE in the songs you love. Whether you're here for music appreciation (how to listen to music, how to listen to lyrics, or how songs work), for songwriting tips (how to write music, how to write lyrics, or how to write a song), or just for the entertainment part of edutainment, American Popular Song Today will change the way you listen to music! This week, we'll HEAR MORE in "Girls Like You" by Maroon 5 ft. Cardi B! Other APST episodes I referenced in this one: Episode 7: Finesse by Bruno Mars ft. Cardi B https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8a77GcWRBhw Episode 15: Smooth Criminal by Michael Jackson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfmCqIxOvwY TODAY ON AMERICAN POPULAR SONG TODAY: Episode 19: HEAR MORE IN "GIRLS LIKE YOU" BY MAROON 5 AND CARDI B TOPICS FOR THIS EPISODE: 1:18 THE FIRST VERSE. The lyrics are not a beacon of clarity, but we can still discern that Girls Like You by Maroon 5 ft. Cardi B tells the story of a wayward man and the woman who endures him. 2:20 THE FIRST VERSE INCLUDES A BLATANT CONTRADICTION IN THE TIMELINE. Maroon 5's lead singer, Adam Levine, says he's been with the girl described in "Girls Like You" for the last 24 hours. Two lines later, he says they've spent the late nights, plural, repairing their relationship. That contradiction doesn't bode well for clarity! 3:06 THE RELATIONSHIP DESCRIBED IN "GIRLS LIKE YOU" SOUNDS TERRIBLE. He cheats on her. She cheats on him. They make up and do drugs. Great relationship! 3:21 DISAPPOINTINGLY, DRUG USE IS ROMANTICIZED IN "GIRLS LIKE YOU." Granted, Maroon 5 doesn't glamorizing hard narcotics in "Girls Like You" the way Camila Cabello does in "Never Be the Same," but still—disappointing. 4:00 THE CHORUS IN "GIRLS LIKE YOU" INCLUDES TWO WORDS THAT DON'T MAKE SENSE: "TILL SUNDOWN". Maroon 5 either separates men and/or women into the daytime and nighttime varieties, or the lyrics are nonsensical. 5:21 TEDDY INTERPRETS "GIRLS LIKE YOU" DIFFERENTLY. He thinks the words "till sundown" in the chorus of Maroon 5's "Girls Like you" implies that "girls like you" will be loyal to "guys like me" till the end. 5:45 IN ANY EVENT, THE CHORUS IN "GIRLS LIKE YOU" IS NOT CLEAR. Maroon 5 should have made the meaning clearer for us. 6:04 THERE'S A MISMATCH BETWEEN THE VIDEO AND THE SONG IN "GIRLS LIKE YOU" BY MAROON 5. The singer has to seek forgiveness from his girlfriend three times. Of course, couples fight all the time, but this relationship is particularly dramatic and volatile. From what we can tell about the girl described in the song, her most prevalent qualities are not the same as the most prevalent qualities exemplified in the accomplished and inspiring group of women assembled for the video of "Girls Like You" (Maroon 5 ft. Cardi B). 7:57 THE CARDI B RAP IN "GIRLS LIKE YOU" IS A PERFECT MATCH TO THE THEME OF THE SONG. Cardi B is giving voice to the woman described in the song, just like we discussed in Episode 15 (HEAR MORE in "Smooth Criminal" by Michael Jackson). 8:42 THE BIGGEST ISSUE WITH THE CARDI B RAP IN "GIRLS LIKE YOU" BY MAROON 5 IS CARDI B'S INSISTENCE ON BEING AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL. Cardi B hijacks "Girls Like You" and turns the vague relationship described in the song into a very specific relationship: Cardi B's relationship. "Write what you know" does not mean every word has to be autobiographical. 10:39 NEXT WEEK! For episode 20, we're starting a very special three-episode series on the three main ways songs tell their stories!! 11:13 SUBSCRIBE SONG MATT CORRIEL is a songwriter and lawyer. He's written hundreds of songs and half-a-dozen musicals, including several shows for teenagers available through Dramatic Publishing Company (https://www.dramaticpublishing.com/authors/profile/view/url/matt-corriel). Matt is a graduate of Nanuet High School, Harvard College, and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. TEDDY ROOSEVELT is a cavagoldoodle, which is a mini-goldendoodle with a little cavalier king charles in the mix to keep his nose squat and his spirit fearless. He has many opinions. FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM FOR DAILY PHOTOS & STORIES! www.instagram.com/mattcorriel Or keep in touch on Twitter (@mattcorriel) or Facebook (@mattcorriel)! PLEASE SUBSCRIBE!
“Five Britney Spears Classics; One Neat Trick” (American Popular Song Today)
12:51
Matt Corriel

“Five Britney Spears Classics; One Neat Trick” (American Popular Song Today)

Five Britney Spears Classics; One Neat Trick on American Popular Song Today. This week we add the "altered chorus" to our listening toolbox! Every week on American Popular Song Today, we give you the tools to HEAR MORE in the songs you love. Whether you're here for music appreciation (how to listen to music, how to listen to lyrics, or how songs work), for songwriting tips (how to write music, how to write lyrics, or how to write a song), or just for the entertainment part of edutainment, American Popular Song Today will change the way you listen to music! Episode 18: FIVE BRITNEY SPEARS CLASSICS; ONE NEAT TRICK TOPICS FOR THIS EPISODE: The Altered Chorus, with examples from Britney Spears (Oops! I Did It Again; Stronger; Lucky; Crazy; and ...Baby One More Time). 0:40 A WELL-MADE POPULAR SONG FINISHES RIGHT ON TIME. The five Britney Spears songs we're going to talk about all announce they are about to finish in a very special way. 1:14 OOPS! I DID IT AGAIN by Britney Spears. To see how Britney Spears announces the end of the song is coming in Oops! I Did It Again, we walk through the song section by section: the verse, the prechorus, the chorus, the unusual bridge, and the strange new section after the bridge and before the final two choruses. 2:45 THE ALTERED CHORUS in OOPS! I DID IT AGAIN by Britney Spears. The altered chorus is not the same as the chorus. 4:25 STRONGER by Britney Spears also includes an unusual bridge followed by an altered chorus and then two final normal choruses. 5:36 LUCKY by Britney Spears also includes an unusual bridge followed by an altered chorus and then two final normal choruses. 6:53 THE ALTERED CHORUS FOLLOWS AN UNUSUALLY LOW-KEY BRIDGE. The low-key bridge justifies and enables the altered chorus that follows. 7:30 (YOU DRIVE ME) CRAZY by Britney Spears also includes an unusual bridge (Britney literally stops the song!) followed by a super-fun altered chorus and then two final normal choruses. 8:34 THE ALTERED CHORUS DERIVES FROM THE OLD TRADITION OF THEME AND VARIATIONS. We hear the familiar melody in something that really sounds nothing like it. 9:23 ...BABY ONE MORE TIME by Britney Spears also includes an unusual bridge followed by an altered chorus and then two final normal choruses. 10:23 THE ALTERED CHORUS IS AN EARLY SIGNAL THAT THE SONG IS COMING TO AN END. The traditional signal -- a double chorus -- gives very little notice that the end of the song is coming. The altered chorus provides a lot more notice—more than two full choruses—allowing us to bathe in the final chapter of the song. 12:08 CALL FOR COMMENTS. Can you think of other songs with an altered chorus? 12:20 SUBSCRIBE SONG. MATT CORRIEL is a songwriter and lawyer. He's written hundreds of songs and half-a-dozen musicals, including several shows for teenagers available through Dramatic Publishing Company (https://www.dramaticpublishing.com/authors/profile/view/url/matt-corriel). Matt is a graduate of Nanuet High School, Harvard College, and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. TEDDY ROOSEVELT is a cavagoldoodle, which is a mini-goldendoodle with a little cavalier king charles in the mix to keep his nose squat and his spirit fearless. He has many opinions. FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM FOR DAILY PHOTOS & STORIES! www.instagram.com/mattcorriel Or keep in touch on Twitter (@mattcorriel) or Facebook (@mattcorriel)! PLEASE SUBSCRIBE!
“Why Taylor Swift Is So Catchy” (American Popular Song Today)
10:59
Matt Corriel

“Why Taylor Swift Is So Catchy” (American Popular Song Today)

Why Taylor Swift Is So Catchy (aka Taylor Swift Decoded!) on American Popular Song Today. This week we add Short Adjacent Melodic Repetition (short AMR) to our listening toolbox! Every week on American Popular Song Today, we give you the tools to HEAR MORE in the songs you love. Whether you're here for music appreciation (how to listen to music, how to listen to lyrics, or how songs work), for songwriting tips (how to write music, how to write lyrics, or how to write a song), or just for the entertainment part of edutainment, American Popular Song Today will change the way you listen to music! Links I promised to provide: Episode 9: THE MIDDLE by ZEDD, MAREN MORRIS & GREY https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zItyHFn4Cw TOPICS FOR THIS EPISODE: Short Adjacent Melodic Repetition, with examples from: Taylor Swift (Delicate, Look What You Made Me Do, King of My Heart, Gorgeous, Dancing with Our Hands Tied, This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things, I Did Something Bad, ...Ready for It?, Shake It Off, Blank Space, Wildest Dream, Bad Blood, Style, I Knew You Were Trouble, 22, Love Story, and Should've Said No) Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers (Islands in the Stream) Adele (Water Under the Bridge) Maroon 5 (Moves Like Jagger) Carly Rae Jepsen (Call Me Maybe) Kelly Clarkson (Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)) MATT CORRIEL is a songwriter and lawyer. He's written hundreds of songs and half-a-dozen musicals, including several shows for teenagers available through Dramatic Publishing Company (https://www.dramaticpublishing.com/authors/profile/view/url/matt-corriel). Matt is a graduate of Nanuet High School, Harvard College, and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. TEDDY ROOSEVELT is a cavagoldoodle, which is a mini-goldendoodle with a little cavalier king charles in the mix to keep his nose squat and his spirit fearless. He has many opinions. FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM FOR DAILY PHOTOS & STORIES! www.instagram.com/mattcorriel Or keep in touch on Twitter (@mattcorriel) or Facebook (@mattcorriel)! PLEASE SUBSCRIBE!
HEAR MORE in “The Star-Spangled Banner” by Francis Scott Key (American Popular Song Today)
13:13
Matt Corriel

HEAR MORE in “The Star-Spangled Banner” by Francis Scott Key (American Popular Song Today)

5 THINGS YOU DON'T KNOW ABOUT THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER on American Popular Song Today. Every week on American Popular Song Today, we give you the tools to HEAR MORE in the songs you love. Whether you're here for music appreciation (how to listen to music, how to listen to lyrics, or how songs work), for songwriting tips (how to write music, how to write lyrics, or how to write a song), or just for the entertainment part of edutainment, American Popular Song Today will change the way you listen to music! Episode 16: THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER (the national anthem) by FRANCIS SCOTT KEY SPECIAL APPEARANCES BY: Carrie Underwood, Mariah Carey, Luther Vandross, Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Dixie Chicks, Faith Hill, Jennifer Hudson, Kelly Clarkson, and Whitney Houston. TOPICS FOR THIS EPISODE: 1:10 THE STORY. We saw the flag waving over the fort yesterday and last night. Please tell me, do you still see the flag this morning? FIVE THINGS YOU DON'T KNOW ABOUT THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER 3:45 NUMBER FIVE: THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER IS AN AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL TRUE STORY. Francis Scott Key went aboard a British boat to negotiate the release of American prisoners, after which the British would not let him off the boat because they were about to attack Baltimore and they thought he knew too much about their strength and position. So Francis Scott Key had to sit on the boat and watch the British bombard Fort McHenry, the American fort defending Baltimore. When the sun rose and the smoke cleared, he could see the American flag still waving over the fort, and wrote a poem about what he had just experienced. 5:03 NUMBER FOUR: THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER IS A DIALOGUE. The singer makes a request: please tell me, do you see the flag? We all answer that question when we cheer at the end. If we really wanted to perform it accurately, the singer would look away or cover their eyes while performing, relying exclusively on their fellow Americans to answer the question. 6:50 NUMBER THREE: THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER ASKS TWO QUESTIONS IN ONE. It asks, do you see the flag? And, is the flag flying over a country that's still free and still brave? The answer should never be assumed. 8:31 NUMBER TWO: THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER HAS FOUR VERSES. There are controversial lyrics in the third verse that celebrate the defeat of American slaves who fought with the British to win their freedom. Since it's perverse, particularly as Americans, to celebrate the defeat of enslaved people fighting for their freedom, it's good that we don't ever sing this verse. 9:22 NUMBER ONE: THE TIME SIGNATURE CHANGES ALL THE TIME. Most people sing the Star Spangled Banner in the original 3/4. Some people begin in 4/4 and then change to 3/4 for the last line. Rarely can anyone pull off a 4/4 rendition all the way to the end, but is has been done! 12:53 SUBSCRIBE SONG. MATT CORRIEL is a songwriter and lawyer. He's written hundreds of songs and half-a-dozen musicals, including several shows for teenagers available through Dramatic Publishing Company (https://www.dramaticpublishing.com/authors/profile/view/url/matt-corriel). Matt is a graduate of Nanuet High School, Harvard College, and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. TEDDY ROOSEVELT is a cavagoldoodle, which is a mini-goldendoodle with a little cavalier king charles in the mix to keep his nose squat and his spirit fearless. He has many opinions. FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM FOR DAILY PHOTOS & STORIES! www.instagram.com/mattcorriel Or keep in touch on Twitter (@mattcorriel) or Facebook (@mattcorriel)! PLEASE SUBSCRIBE!
HEAR MORE in “Smooth Criminal" by Michael Jackson (American Popular Song Today)
13:12
Matt Corriel

HEAR MORE in “Smooth Criminal" by Michael Jackson (American Popular Song Today)

Smooth Criminal by Michael Jackson on American Popular Song Today. This week we add "singers inhabiting characters" to our listening toolbox! Every week on American Popular Song Today, we give you the tools to HEAR MORE in the songs you love. Whether you're here for music appreciation, for songwriting tips, or just for the entertainment part of edutainment, American Popular Song Today will change the way you listen to music! Links I promised to provide: MUSIC FIRST! https://www.musicfirst.com Music first makes learning and teaching music easy, accessible, and affordable. Teddy and I could not be happier to be part of this amazing program! Episode 15: SMOOTH CRIMINAL by MICHAEL JACKSON Thanks to Kate for suggesting that we do Smooth Criminal this week! TOPICS FOR THIS EPISODE (High-Level): Singers Inhabiting Characters: There are three ways a singer can allow additional personalities to have a voice in the song: 1. Add more singers. 2. Allow the music/sound effects to speak for the other personalities. 3. Voice the other personalities him- or herself. If the singer voices the other personalities him- or herself, there are three ways to do it: 1. Changes in the lyrics, like announcing the speaker's name. 2. Changes in the music, e.g., by shifting speaker with each new section of the song. 3. Changes in the quality of the singer's voice. TOPICS FOR THIS EPISODE (Detailed): 1:35 CHARACTERS IN A SONG. In the course of a song, singers almost always refer to other characters. Often, that's just a pronoun like "you," "he," or "she," but sometimes the characters have names. With examples from Little Richard (Good Golly Miss Molly), Bob Dylan (Mr. Tambourine Man), The Grateful Dead (Casey Jones), Rick Springfield (Jessie's Girl), Chuck Berry (Johnny B. Goode), Michael Jackson (Billie Jean), The Rolling Stones (Ruby Tuesday), Paul Simon & Art Garfunkle (Mrs. Robinson), Dolly Parton (Jolene), Dexy's Midnight Runners (Come On, Eileen), Derek & the Dominos/Eric Clapton (Layla), Billy Paul (Me and Mrs. Jones), The Counting Crows (Mr. Jones), The Beatles (Eleanor Rigby), and David Bowie (Ziggy Stardust). 2:36 VOICELESS CHARACTERS. The characters referenced in a song almost never get to speak for themselves, even though singers might quote what the characters have said. Rarely do we break free of the quotation marks. With an example from John Mellencamp (Jack and Diane). 3:16 THERE ARE THREE WAYS TO GIVE OTHER CHARACTERS A VOICE. 3:21 FIRST, ADD ANOTHER SINGER(S) TO VOICE THE OTHER CHARACTER(S). With examples from Ray Charles (Hit the Road Jack) and Ed Sheeren & Beyonce (Perfect (Duet)). 4:01 SECOND, LET THE MUSIC OR SOUND EFFECTS SPEAK FOR THE OTHER CHARACTERS. With an example from Jackson Browne (The Late Show). 4:39 THIRD, DO ALL THE VOICES YOURSELF. Don't quote the other characters; be the other characters. There are three ways to do this. IF YOU DO ALL THE VOICES YOURSELF, THERE ARE THREE WAYS TO ANNOUNCE A CHANGE IN PERSONALITY: 5:05 ANNOUNCE A CHANGE IN PERSONALITY THROUGH THE LYRICS. With examples from David Bowie (Space Oddity) and Eminem (Stan). 6:05 ANNOUNCE A CHANGE IN PERSONALITY THROUGH THE MUSIC. With an example from Billy Joel (Scenes from an Italian Restaurant). 6:39 ANNOUNCE A CHANGE IN PERSONALITY BY MANIPULATING YOUR VOICE. With an example from Biggie Smalls/The Notorious B.I.G. (Warning). 7:15 TURNING TO SMOOTH CRIMINAL BY MICHAEL JACKSON. In Smooth Criminal, Michael Jackson uses all three techniques to inhabit multiple personalities. In Smooth Criminal, Michael Jackson is the voice of (1) a detached omniscient narrator, (2) one concerned person on the scene, (3) a whole group of concerned people on the scene, (4) Annie herself, and (5) Annie's devastated lover. There's just nothing like it! 11:32 WHO IS MICHAEL JACKSON? Answer: Everyone! 11:44 WRAPPING UP. 12:00 CALL FOR COMMENTS. Can you think of any songs where the singer goes beyond referencing or quoting other characters and actually inhabits the other character(s)? Also: who are your favorite fictional characters in popular music? 12:22 NEXT WEEK. The Star-Spangled Banner! 12:45 SUBSCRIBE SONG. MATT CORRIEL is a songwriter and lawyer. He's written hundreds of songs and half-a-dozen musicals, including several shows for teenagers available through Dramatic Publishing Company (https://www.dramaticpublishing.com/authors/profile/view/url/matt-corriel). Matt is a graduate of Nanuet High School, Harvard College, and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. TEDDY ROOSEVELT is a cavagoldoodle, which is a mini-goldendoodle with a little cavalier king charles in the mix to keep his nose squat and his spirit fearless. He has many opinions. FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM FOR DAILY PHOTOS & STORIES! www.instagram.com/mattcorriel Or keep in touch on Twitter (@mattcorriel) or Facebook (@mattcorriel)! PLEASE SUBSCRIBE!
HEAR MORE in “Boo’d Up” by Ella Mai (American Popular Song Today)
13:58
Matt Corriel

HEAR MORE in “Boo’d Up” by Ella Mai (American Popular Song Today)

Boo'd Up Review on American Popular Song Today (Ella Mai). Harmonic complexity is just like ice cream! Every week on American Popular Song Today, we give you the tools to HEAR MORE in the songs you love. Whether you're here for music appreciation (how to listen to music, how to listen to lyrics, or how songs work), for songwriting tips (how to write music, how to write lyrics, or how to write a song), or just for the entertainment part of edutainment, American Popular Song Today will change the way you listen to music! Links I promised to provide: Episode 8: Meant to Be by Bebe Rexha ft. Florida Georgia Line: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ojgv0C2u8og Episode 9: The Middle by Zedd, Maren Morris & Grey: https://youtu.be/7zItyHFn4Cw Episode 10: No Tears Left to Cry by Ariana Grande: https://youtu.be/j6yYYrHRzWI Episode 11: Never Be the Same by Camila Cabello: https://youtu.be/S4w6C5XwVGE Episode 14: BOO'D UP by ELLA MAI TOPICS FOR THIS EPISODE: Harmonic complexity in Boo'd Up by Ella Mai! 2:20 MAJOR AND MINOR CHORDS are the building blocks of popular song, just like vanilla and chocolate ice cream are the building blocks of the ice cream dessert. With an example from Leonard Cohen (Hallelujah). 3:40 WE CAN ADD EXTRA NOTES TO THE BASIC CHORDS TO ADD FLAVOR. It's just like adding fix-ins to the ice cream! With examples from Bebe Rexha & Florida Georgia Line (Meant to Be), Ariana Grande (No Tears Left to Cry), Camila Cabello (Never Be the Same), Zedd, Maren Morris, & Grey (The Middle), David Bowie (Changes), Stevie Wonder (Isn't She Lovely?), John Lennon (Imagine), and Billy Joel (Just the Way You Are). 13:11 NEXT TIME: You Decide!! Leave a comment!! 13:34 SUBSCRIBE SONG MATT CORRIEL is a songwriter and lawyer. He's written hundreds of songs and half-a-dozen musicals, including several shows for teenagers available through Dramatic Publishing Company (https://www.dramaticpublishing.com/authors/profile/view/url/matt-corriel). Matt is a graduate of Nanuet High School, Harvard College, and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. TEDDY ROOSEVELT is a cavagoldoodle, which is a mini-goldendoodle with a little cavalier king charles in the mix to keep his nose squat and his spirit fearless. He has many opinions. FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM FOR DAILY PHOTOS & STORIES! www.instagram.com/mattcorriel Or keep in touch on Twitter (@mattcorriel) or Facebook (@mattcorriel)! PLEASE SUBSCRIBE!