Context and Background
- Club dance music refers to the electronic music tpically played in nightclubs.
- Originated in 1970s.
- Key features incude:
- A 4/4 metre and a steady tempo.
- A prominent use of electronic sounds.
- A strong beat, emphasised by the drums and bass.
- Short phrases and repetitive, looped sections.
- 'Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?' comes from the album Play, released in 1999.
- Play has 18 tracks.
- Others include:
- South Side.
- Natural Blues.
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Samples and Melody
- Song is based on 2 samples taken from a recording made in 1953 of a gospel choir.
- First sample (A) is sung by a male singer and is used in the verses.
- Second sample (B) is sung by a female singer and is used in the choruses.
- Both samples have been manipulated to change the meaning of the words.
- They have a vintage feel because Moby hasn't cleaned up the surface noise on the recording.
- These samples are looped to create the melody, which as a result is simple and repetitive.
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Structure and Texture
- The song is based on a verse-chorus structure.
- The samples are looped to create the verses and choruses.
- After the second verse there is a breakdown - one bar's silence.
- The texture is built up as individual tracks are introduced one by one.
- After the breakdown, the texture becomes thinner as the piano and drums drop out.
- They re-enter for the next eight bars, then drop out until the end.
- Contrasts in texture are provided by:
- Varying instrumentation for each 8-bar section.
- The use of silence.
- Sections with just staatic chords for the accompaniment.
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Rhythm, Tempo and Metre
- The song is in 4/4, with a steady tempo of 98 bpm.
- Drum loop is made up of a breakbeat that Moby sampled from a hip-hop track.
- Bass drum plays onbeats 1 and 3.
- There are strong accents on the backbeats from the snare drum.
- Syncopation is used in the piano, vocal and synthesized string parts.
- Rhythms are vaied between sections to provide contrast.
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Use of Technology
- Moby used the following equipment to produce this track:
- Synthesisers - to produce the string, bass and piano sounds.
- Sampler - used for the vocal samples, as well as the breakbeat rhythm on the drum track.
- Drum machine - to create the drum track.
- Sequencer - to trigger the sampler and synthesizers.
- Various effects have been applied to the music, for example:
- Panning is used to place sounds in the stereo field.
- There are 'electronic ghostings' on the male vocal sample when it first comes in - these are remnants of the backing singers in the original sample.
- Reverb and dealy are used throughout the track.
- In the second verse, echoes of the voice are created through delay.
- The echoes have been processed with EQ to remove the lower frequencies.
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Harmony and Tonality
- The harmony is entirely diatonic, made up of three simple, repeated chord progressions.
- The first sample is set to the chord sequence Am, Em, G, D.
- The second sample is harmonised in two different ways: firstly to C, Am, C, Am, an then to the chords F,C,F,C.
- We can describe the verses as being in the Dorian mode on A, and the choruses as being in C major.
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