'Why does my heart feel so bad?'


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Roots of club dance music

Modern dance music can be traced back to the fusion of toasting (DJs talking rhythmically over music, interacting with the audience) and dub from Jamaica with early hip-hop beats, electro from Europe and disco

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Originates from Jamaica

Music in this genre consists mostly of instrumental remixes of existing recordings

Dub artists can considered as the first DJ artists. They were employed in the 1950s to play music through their 'sound systems'.

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A technique of moving a vinyl record back and forth on the turntable to make a scratching sound

A type of percussive effect – creates a beat

You can rap or dub over the top

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Chicago House

Grew out of disco

DJs would take existing tracks and remix them with other tracks

Characterised by the four-to-the-floor bass drum (a strong reinforcement of 4/4 beat by a bass drum)

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Grew out of soul and R’n’B

More melodic than house

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Moby’s album Play (1998)

Wide range of styles

Use of vocal samples

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‘Why does my heart feel so bad?’

Moby uses two vocal samples from a recording of a gospel choir form 1953

The vocal samples are harmonised differently to how they were harmonised in the original

Both samples are in A minor

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Structure chord sequence 1 – Verse: ‘Why does my h

Bar 1 and 2 = Am

Bar 3 and 4 = Em

Bar 5 and 6 = Gm

Bar 7 and 8 = D

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Structure chord sequence 2a – Chorus (first half):

Bar 1 and 2 = C

Bar 3 and 4 = Am

Bar 5 and 6 = C

Bar 7 and 8 = Am

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Structure chord sequence 2b – Chorus (second half)

Bar 1 and 2 = F

Bar 3 and 4 = C

Bar 5 and 6 = F

Bar 7 and 8 = C

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Time signature is 4/4

Key is A minor

Tempo is 98 bpm

Song begins with chord sequence 1 played on the piano

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Verse 1.1

four repeats of chord sequence 1

First vocal sample is introduced with simple piano accompaniment - there are echoes, traffic and other noises in the background

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Verse 1.2

Drum/percussion loop is introduced and synth string pads fills out the texture with sustained chords

A simular sustained stnth (doubled by high piano notes) is the 'response' in a call and response texture with the vocal sample

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verse 1.3

A synth bass part is added and another synth sring pad fills out texture with long sustained chords in the mid-high pitch range

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verse 1.4

Same as part  three but main piano part plays a different rhthym and adds extra sus4 and sus2 chords to the chord sequence

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Chorus - a

chord sequence changes (chord sequence 2a) - dramatic lifting effect

Key is ambiguos - could be C or A minor and the second vocal sample is introduced

texture is similar to verse 1 - 4 bu the answering synth and piano phrases have been replaced with more subtle answering phrases in the right hand of the piano part

Synth string backing is a little more in the background, swelling towads the end of the phrase

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Chorus - b

Chord sequence 2b  and the key is clearly C major

The texture is the same as previose chorus - but the vocal sample is retriggered quicker so it answers itself in the call and response patteren

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Verse 2.1

similar to verse 1.4 but an echo effect is added to the vocal sample.

The echo part added has a 'telephone' EQ effect applied, making it sound much thinner. The echo is also delayed. 

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The same as 2.1

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All parts drop out for a single bar and all that can be heard are the dying repeats of the delay effect on the EQed vocal echo, A quiet delay repeat of the snare from the drum loop and the trailing off of the reverb applied to the other parts

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Chorus - a

vocal sample 2 is used with lots of reverb and delay - sounds distant and blends with the string pad playing the chords (also has lots of reverb)

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chorus - b

same as the previouse chorus - b but the reverb on the vocal sample has been reduced drastically

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Chorus - b

repeat ofpart b - Unexpected - teh effect of letting us know that the song is coming to an end

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Texture breaks down to just voacl sample 1 accompanied by a soft synth pad playing chord sequence 1

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+ 'Telephone' EQ effect


Originally used to make sound more original

Sophisticate tone control

Moby uses it to take out the bass and treble

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In dance music they are generally simple and repetitive

Only six chords used in the song

Moby doesn't use an analytical approach - chords are chosen for emotion

The D chord (containing F#) makes the F chord sound fresh. Strictly speaking, the D chord makes the piece modal (dorian on A) but sounds A minor

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Moby tried taking out the traffic noises from the samples but he liked the emotion they gave. The background noises also add an extra percussive texture to the piece. Effects are important in electronic music, developing the piece where melody and rhythm have otherwise done

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