Grace - Section B Points (structure)

 

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Structure

Structure:

  • In 4 large sections

  • Structure is unusual as the outro takes the piece somewhere different instead of fading out

  • In a verse and chorus form with 3 verses and 2 choruses

  • Each verse has an introduction

  • Bridge after chorus 2

  • Song ends with a climatic coda based on the chorus

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Instrumentation

Instrumentation:

  • Vocals are accompanied by synthesisers, string, drum kit, bass guitars and guitars

  • Tuning on the guitars drops to ‘d tuning’ changing the lowest string

  • Drums and guitar play rhythmic patterns and broken chords, accompanying Buckley for most of the song

  • Synthesiser and strings are less prominent dropping in and out of the music

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Texture

Texture:

  • Strings used to add effect and vary the texture

  • Song is homophonic

  • Has brief polyphonic passages

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Rhythm, Metre and Tempo

Rhythm, metre and tempo:

  • 12/8 - a compound time

  • Bass drum plays on beats 1 and 3, whereas the snare drum plays on the ‘back beats’, beats 2 and 4

  • Buckley uses frequent syncopation through the vocal line and bass line

  • Buckley creates cross rhythms through the use of 2-against-3 rhythms

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Tonality

Tonality:

  • Ambiguity of the first two chords make the key signature unclear at the beginning

  • Key signature of Em is established in bar 3 through the use of a loud Em chord

  • Piece has a constantly shifting key

  • In the pre-chorus the song is in the E dorian mode

  • Ambiguous tonality

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Melody and word setting

Melody and word setting:

  • Vocal part has an improvised quality

  • Vocal part has a wide range of over two octaves

  • Most vocal phrases are falling, reflecting the melancholy mood of the song

  • Frequent ornamentation in the melody line, with glissandos between various notes

  • Most of the word setting is syllabic, although there are some long melismatic words to emphasise certain words

  • In the bridge section, there is a passage of vocalisation, in which Buckley uses falsetto

  • Buckley often uses word painting to highlight his bleak outlook on love


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Harmony


Harmony:

  • Harmony is unusual for this song

  • The standard I, IV, V chord progressions of rock music are avoided

  • Many chords are chromatic and more in parallel motion instead (semi-tone steps in the chorus)

  • Some harmonies are dissonant, particularly in the chorus creating tension - similar to tension Buckley has with love


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Mood

Mood:

  • Bleak outlook on love

  • Dissonant harmonies create tension, mirroring the tension Buckley has with love

  • Lyrics foreshadow Buckley’s death

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