Tupelo Honey

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  • Created by: Megan
  • Created on: 11-05-13 19:29

Background

  • Recorded 1971
  • Unusually long
  • Shows influence of soul (rhythmic freedom and fragmentary lines) and folk music (pentatonic writing).
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Rhythm and Metre

  • Quadruple (common) time
  • All parts, including lead vocal, freely throughout
  • Typical rhythmic features:
    -Syncopation
    -Cross-rhythms
    -Considerable variety in note lengths  
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Melody and Word Setting

  • Mainly syllabic with occasional short melismas
  • Vocal range of 11th
  • Highest notes come towards the close 
  • Vocal lines are pentatonic 
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Harmony

  • Harmonic rhythm is slow and regular 
  • Harmonies are built around a four-chord ostinato of Bflat-D minor-Eflat-Bflat with occasional use of the dominant (F)
  • Mainy diatonic with very occasional ornamental chromaticism 
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Tonality

  • Bflat major
  • No modulations
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Structure

  • Verse and chorus with introduction, instrumental, middle eight and coda 
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Texture and Performing Forces

  • Vocals
  • Flute and saxophone provide additional melodic interest 
  • Lead guitar plays mainly in upper registers 
  • Piano and organ provide chordal accompaniment
  • Bass guitar decorates bass throughout 
  • Drum kit provides continuous quaver pulse and fills 
  • The texture is frequently contrapuntal because of the web of improvised melody lines created in the course of improvisation around the basic material
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