Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Lady Gaga, and Why Music Lost Its Magic

I recently acquired a taste for Lady Gaga. Four years ago, I would have rather beaten my head against a cement curb, but my tastes have grown as I've aged, and now I'll listen to just about anything, whether or not I even like it. Lady Gaga infected my soul quickly, and Pokerface became a habit.

Listening to Pokerface on loop, I noticed something. The song had four distinct phases:
+ Introduction
+ Main Sequence
+ Breakdown
+ Conclusion
In fact, all of Lady Gaga's songs had this pattern. Each phase plays a particular role in the overall dynamic of the song:

+ The Introduction steadily introduces the main sequence of the song.
+ The Main Sequence is the main beat, chords, and refrain of the song. When one thinks of the song, this is what they remember.
+ The Breakdown conflicts the Main Sequence. It sounds strange and may be in a different key from the Main Sequence.
+ The Conclusion features elements of the Main Sequence, but with tones that make the song feel complete and concluded.

All of Lady Gaga's songs are patterned like this. But once I noticed this, I noticed it in nearly every song, ever. It's more subtle sometimes, but nearly every song has this pattern.

Take, for example, Beethoven's 9th. Oh yes, the 9th. It's in four parts. The third is distinctly different from the other three, and the fourth contains elements of the whole song to conclude it.

Listen for it. Listen to Lady Gaga first. Then put on your favorite songs. It's all over.

*Post script: This probably isn't new, and the musicians out there are going to tell me "yea, that's called X." Please, do tell. I'd like to do more research into this.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interestingly, Lady Gaga is actually quite talented. If she wanted to drop all the overproduced crap and go indie and acoustic, she could do it. She has the voice and she has the instrumental skills.

The thing is, the public doesn't want that. And she knows that. Therefore she puts on this show, and puts it on well, and makes millions. Her "music" is electrified bullshit, and her singing might as well be the product of Pro Tools, an i7 processor, and 8GB of RAM. It's not real. But it doesn't matter.

It's a business, and she runs it well.

Saturday, April 03, 2010 7:05:00 PM  
Blogger The Emperor of the Moon said...

I agree, except that her musical talent would allow for those tools to reach their maximum potential, where I as I would flounder with those tools. That, and I like Lady Gaga's music--I think she add creative vigor to pop music that's been missing for a long time.

Sunday, April 04, 2010 2:05:00 PM  

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