'Skye Waulking Song' - All you need to know

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  • Created by: esumner
  • Created on: 30-03-15 10:27

Background:

- Folk music

- Example of Celtic fusion - more than one musical styles and cultures have been blended together 

- Scottish band formed in 1983

- Album 'Nàdurra' (naturally) 

- Released 2000

- Lyrics take reference from a long lament called 'Seathen, Mac Righ Èireann' 

- 'Waulking' is a Scottish way for women to clean clothes, 'Waulking Songs' helped women keep entertained

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Forces and Instrumentation:

- Accordion, Synth - provides chordal accompaniement

- Uilleann Pipes, Fiddle, Wurlitzer Piano, Bouzouki  - provides counter melody

- Vocals - main melody

- Bass

- Drum Kit - keeps rhythmic pattern

- 'N.C' on the score means 'No Chord' - accompaniement drops out

- 'With modulation' on score mean modulation is applied to synth chord, fluctuating the pitch

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Structure:

- Opening chord is a 'cluster chord' -  all the notes are next to each other

- Intro - instrumental section

- Verse 1 - voice and accompaniement

- Verse 2 - voice and accompaniement

- Coda - short vocal phrases echo the end of refrain , accompaniement fades out

- Vocal line alternates between 4 phrases in a call and response pattern:

Phrase 1: call (Gaelic) starts on a high D

Refrain 1: response (vocables) starts on a mid B

Phrase 2: call (Gaelic) starts on a low D

Refrain 2: response (vocables) starts on a high E

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Melody and Word Setting:

- Instruments play short motifs and countermelodies based on vocal phrases

- Vocal line is pentatonic, unlike accompaniement

- Melody falls and rises regularly and remains on one note through several bars

- Vocal line is sung in low registers, sounding an octave lower than printed

- Voice alternates between gaelic and vocables (nonsense syllables)

- Mainly syllabic

- Vocal line creates a call and response pattern

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Rhythm, Metre, and Tempo:

- 12/8 (compound quadruple metre)

- Frequent syncopation in vocal line and instrumental countermelodies

- Time signature is ambiguous, sometimes feels 6/8

- Shaker and Hi-Hat play on every 2 beats, giving more of a triple time feel

- Hi-Hat creates cross-rhtyhms

- When voice enters, it sings with a characteristic lilting rhythm, continuing ambiguity of time signature

- In instrumental, instruments emphasise 2nd and 5th beats, adding rhythmic interest

- Mainly uses quavers, semiquavers, dotted crotchets, creating a syncopated rhythm with the use of rests in the accompaniement parts

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Harmony and Tonality:

- G major

- Entirely diatonic

- Chord progression is G, Em, C

- Has a modal feel because dominant chord D is avoided

- Begins with a sustained chord hinting at Em

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Texture:

- Begins homophoni

- After a few bars, when all the instruments are added, it becomes polyphonic

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Dynamics and Expression:

- Constant use of crescendos and diminuendos, starting quiet when voice comes in and gradually gets louder

- Crescendos also occur leading to climaxes and entries into new verses

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