Samba Em Preludio

  • Created by: kamna03
  • Created on: 18-12-18 20:24


  • The forces used are – female voice, acoustic guitar and acoustic bass guitar.
  • The acoustic bass guitar is larger than an acoustic guitar and has four strings (tuned E A D G) similar to the bass guitar and double bass. 
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  • The introduction is monophonic (a single line of music) – apart from a couple of doublestops (two notes or more at once). 
  • The texture here is mostly homophonic (tune and accompaniment), but note that the bass part at times becomes almost melodic enough to be a melody in its own right. 
  • The passage at bars 89–104 is polyphonic (two or more separate melodic lines at once) as the two melodies of the piece are combined.
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There are two main melodies in this song, heard separately at first, and then combined at bars 89–104.  Verse 1 (A) bars 4–19. An eight-bar idea (bars 4–11), repeated with a different ending, in bars 12–19. A series a phrases, linked by a common rising arpeggio (broken chord) shape (bar 4). The first (or second) note of each phrase descends by a semitone or a tone in a long downward sequence. The music descends almost beneath the female vocal range, to a low E, at bar 11. The melodic line moves, unusually, mostly by leaps of a third and occasionally of a seventh, in bars 8–9. All phrases have a span of a seventh, apart from the first, which spans a minor sixth. Bars 12–17 is a repeat of bars 4–9, however, the melody is developed through rhythmic changes. The melody changes in bar 18, where a jazzy flattened fifth (F♮) is used to prepare for the descent to the tonic.  Verse 2 (B) bars 23–54. The note values have doubled here, with the increase in tempo at bar 19, so the apparent increase in phrase lengths is false. A 16-bar idea (bars 23–38), repeated (like (A)), with a different ending, in bars 39–54. In contrast to (A), this melody is almost entirely conjunct (stepwise) in movement. Bars 23–26 descend to the leading note (raised seventh note of the scale –A♯ here), answered by a rising and falling idea in bars 27–30, which in itself is related to the ending of verse 1 (see bars 17–18). Bars 31–34 are in sequence with 23–26, a fourth higher. Bars 34–35 repeat the flattened fifth idea (from the end of verse 1) twice, the second time in sequence, a note lower (this is to move away from the tonic, in order to set up the repeat). Bars 38–54 repeat 23–38, but with the last phrase (36–38) omitted.

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The tempo during bars 1–3 bars is very free and it is difficult to recognise a strong pulse. Verse 1 has a slow tempo, with much rhythmic rubato (freedom taken with the tempo). The tempo almost doubles at bar 19, where the bass guitar begins the bossa nova tempo. A free tempo returns at bar 114. The piece is (apart from two bars) wholly in 4/4 quadruple time, although the change of tempo from bar 19 onwards tends to make the piece from there on sound as if it is moving in two minims to a bar (2/2). The rhythms of the vocal melody in verse 1 are quite complex, although never syncopated enough to lose the sense of beat. There are frequent triplets, and rests effectively separate most of the phrases here. The bass part in verse 1 is complicated, making more use of syncopated rhythms than the vocals and only occasionally (bars 6, 9, 10, 14 and 17) using a typical bossa nova-type rhythm. In verse 2 the vocal line is mostly in longer note values, but the start of the notes tend to be off the beat, syncopated a quaver before the beat sometimes.  There are fewer triplets in this section. From bar 23 the bass part plays much closer to the ‘standard’ bossa nova rhythm – dotted crotchet and quaver pairs – although still with some syncopations and quaver movement. The guitar part also adds to the rhythmic interest, with both syncopated and un-syncopated passages. From bar 89 the vocal rhythms of verse 2 are less syncopated, perhaps in order to fit in more easily with those of verse 1 (in doubled note values).

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  • The key of the piece is B minor. 
  • Many bossa novas use minor keys. 
  • Despite the complexity of some of the harmony, the music does not modulate (change key).
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The harmonies are essentially tonal. They show the influence of jazz and of American popular song in being quite complex. Despite this, the movement of the chord roots is still based around chords I, II, IV and V. There are frequent chord extensions – where extra thirds are ‘piled up’ on top of the triad to produce sevenths, ninths, elevenths and thirteenths. Other types of chords are used – diminished seventh (bar 35); flattened fifth chord (bar 44). Chromatic chords (containing notes outside the scale of the home key) are used – C♯7 (bar 31) and C and F major chords (bars 27/28). Although cadences are not used here in quite the same way as in classical styles, the ends of sections tend to land on either chord V (bar 11) (at the halfway point of the verse), or on the tonic with a more conventional V–I perfect cadence (bars 52–53). The chord progressions sometimes create a descending chromatic (by semitone) movement in the bass line (bars 30–38).

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Bars 1–3 Introduction Florid bass guitar solo. Bars 4– 19 Verse 1 (A) An eight-bar idea repeated with changed ending the second time. The last note overlaps into the next section. Bars 19– 22 Link Bass solo picks up the tempo to move into the ‘bossa nova’ rhythm for verse 2.  Bars 23– 54 Verse 2 (B) A 16-bar idea, repeated and changed the second time. Bars 55– 88 Guitar solo Played over chords of verse 2. Bars 89– 104 Voice and bass duet Bass plays vocal part from 4–11 (A) while voice sings bars 23–38 (B). D.S. to end Coda section  Second half of verse 2 followed by repetitions of the last line. Guitar and bass play florid riffs during the last held vocal note.

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Ezperanza Spalding

Esperanza Spalding was born in Portland, Oregon, USA, in 1984. Active in music from an early age, she graduated from violin to double bass, studying at the Portland State University, and later at the Berklee School of Music. She has worked as a soloist and session player in a variety of musical styles, but is best known for her four solo albums Junjo (2006), Esperanza (2008), Chamber Music (2010) and Radio Music Society (2012). She has won four Grammy awards, including ‘Best new artist’ in 2011, where she was in competition with Florence and the Machine, Mumford and Sons, and Justin Bieber. Esperanza has wide musical tastes, and her own compositions show influences from jazz, blues, funk and Latin-American music – especially Brazilian styles. On the album Esperanza she sings in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

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