Moby: Why does my heart feel so bad

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  • Uses two vocal samples.
  • Taken from a 1953 gospel choir.
  • Melody in verse is male.
  • Melody in chorus is female.
  • Samples have not been 'cleaned up'.
  • Icludes vocalisation of 'oohs' and 'ahhs'.
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  • Alternates
  • Pop structure
  • Simple
  • Based around two chord sequences
  • In 8 bar sections


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Harmony and Tonality

  • Whole song is based on two simple chord patterns.
  • Only six chords are used.
  • Piano intro and verse Am/Em/G/D
  • Chorus is C/Am/C/Am and then F/C/F/C....

Chord sequence1-verse-'why does my heart feel so bad'   Am x2   Em x2   Gm x2   D x2

Chord sequence 2a-chorus-(first half)- 'these open doors'   C   Am   C   Am

Chord sequence 2b-chorus-(second half)-'these open doors'   F   C   F   C

  • The notes in each chord are 

Am= ACE   Em= EGB   Gm= GBD   D= DF#A   C= CEG   F= FAC 

  • Harmony is diatonic and simple(characteristic of danse music).
  • Both vocal samples are in A minor but they harmonise differentey.
  • The verse uses more minor chords and the chorus uses more major chord, which gives the song a lift form the previous minor tonality and brightens the mood.
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Timbre and Texture

  • Build up due to instruments being added.
  • Electronic sounds, such as a piano and kit, which sounds rather unnatural and mechanical.
  • Ends with a vocal sample (ghosting) and uses a synth organ.
  • The start of the track builds.... 


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  • Use of loops.
  • Reverb on piano and vocals (Yamaha SPX990)
  • EQ
  • Telephone effect (EQ).
  • Delay (YAMAHA SPX990)/ echo in the breakdown.
  • Use of a filer.
  • Drum Machine (Roland TR909).
  • Sequencer.
  • Sampler (Akai S3200).
  • Synth/string pad sounds (Yamaha SY22 and SY85).
  • Bass synth (Roland Juno 106).
  • Technology was considered old fashioned for 1999, but preferred by Moby.
  • Ghosting
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  • Piano
  • Synthesizers
  • Drum machine
  • Synth pads
  • String pads
  • Vocal samples 
  • Most of the piece is made up of samples, as Moby uses two samples that are gospel singers (one male and one female) and a hip hop drum beat sample. 
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  • Starts quietly but becomes louder in verse one, as more parts enter all at once.
  • Dynamics remain the same until the bridge.
  • One bar of silence at the break.
  • Volume suddenly changes in last chorus as instruments re-enter.
  • Soft in the outro with only two instruments.
  • Oragn fades out at the end.
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Tempo and Rhythm

  • 4/4 tempo
  • Moderate tempo
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  • Dance music 
  • From the album 'play' released in 1999.
  • Moby is a electronica artist and uses ideas rom other types of music.
  • The piece has ambient, techno and hip hop influences.
  • Ambient music can be known as 'chill out music'.
  • Hip hop is music from the hip hop culture with jamaican and african american influences.
  • Techno sounds very mechanical and has a very fast beat. 
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