You Can Get It If You Really Want - Desmond Dekker and the Aces

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Who was this set work written by?
Jimmy Cliff.
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When was the recording by Desmond Dekker and the Aces released?
1970.
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What is the style of this set work called?
Rocksteady (a subgenre of reggae).
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How can the lyrical content of this song be interpreted?
The lyrical content appears to contain a message about the fight for justice - a common subject for reggae songs. The lyrical content can also be applied to a variety of causes.
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Describe the voices in this set work.
Lead vocals (Dekker), joined in the chorus by female backing vocals, singing in rhythmic unison above the melody. The close harmony style here is influenced by 1950s American music.
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Name some musical features of the vocal line.
Vocal lines are highly repetitive and use a relatively small range of notes, especially in the chorus.
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When does the lead vocalist use falsetto?
At the end of verses 1 & 2, in the final bar of the instrumental, and during the fade out to end the song.
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Describe the instruments of the rhythm section.
The rhythm section consists of the usual bass guitar and drums, with the addition of two electric guitars and an electronic organ – an instrument often used in Rocksteady, Ska and Reggae.
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Describe the use of the trumpets.
Two trumpets are used, in unison and later in thirds, as at the beginning of the song.
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How are the saxophones in this set work used?
In the instrumental section baritone and tenor saxes play a simple line, which is then heard in parallel harmonies when the trumpets join in.
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When is the brass section most predominant?
They take over the main vocal hook in the fade out, letting the main vocalist improvise over them.
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How does the bass part fit the rocksteady vibe for this set work?
The basss guitar part it very repetitive and anchored to the beat, emphasising the first beat of the bar in particular. The bass predominantly sticks to the root of the chord.
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How does the drum kit contribute to the set work?
Tambourine semiquavers create excitement, and on beats 2 and 4, the bass and snare drum play a backbeat nearly continuously, a feature of both rocksteady and reggae. The drums also play fills at the end of phrases.
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How does the brass section contribute to this set work?
This section provides colour and weight, especially in the instrumental section.
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Give the bar numbers for the introduction to the set work.
Bars 1-4.
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When does the first chorus join the song, and when does it end? (Give bar numbers).
Bars 4-14 (the chorus overlaps the end of the introduction).
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Give the bar numbers of the first verse.
Bars 14-25.
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When is the second chorus heard?
Bars 26-14 (as this is marked as a repeat in the score).
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Describe the bar numbers for Verse 2.
14-25 (as this is marked as a repeat in the scroe).
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When does chorus 3 appear in the score?
Bars 26-36 (is overlapped by the Instrumental section).
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When does the Instrumental section appear in the score?
Bars 36-43.
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When is chorus 4 noted in the score?
Bars 44-53.
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When is the coda/fade introduced to the song?
Bar 54-end (repetitions of the main hook).
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Which structure does this set work follow?
Verse/Chorus, with an introduction and a middle 8 section.
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How is the structure of this song different from most songs which use the same structure?
The normal order is reversed, meaning that the emphasis of this song is mainly on the chorus, which appears four times.
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How is the structure defined throughout the set work?
The structure is defined by the repetitions of the chorus material, without significant contrast.
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When is the only contrast in this set work heard?
With the instrumental section, but the key remains in D flat major.
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What key is this set work in?
D flat major throughout.
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Describe the harmony for the majority of this piece.
Most of the piece is based around the three primary chords of D flat major, .
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How are chords used in the introduction of this piece?
The introduction uses semitone steps between chords (C-D flat), which is easily achieved by a guitar by using barre chords, and sliding the shape up a fret.
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Describe the order of the chords in the chorus using Roman numerals.
Mainly aternates between chord I (D flat) and chord IV (G flat), changing every bar, but ends with a V7 (A flat 7), IV (G flat), V7 (A flat 7), I (D flat) progression in bars 11-14.
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How do the chords in the verse differ from the chords in the chorus?
The verses use a slightly wider range of chords (I - D flat, IV - G flat, V - A flat), adding a the mediant triad (iii - F minor). The verses also intitially alternate between chords faster than in the choruses.
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How does the instrumental section use chords?
The instrumental section differs from the rest of the piece, as it uses non-related chords like E, D and B in a non-functional parallel harmony, and the bass also begins to move in whole tones.
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How does the main hook use pitches?
The main hook uses an idea spanning a major third, containing the notes F, E flat and D flat, and is varied per repetition by the ascent ath the end of the phrase.
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When are the remaining notes of the piece's pentatonic scale introduced?
In the second half of the chorus, the lower B flat and A flat are added.
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How does the verse differ from the chorus melodically?
The verse introduces the leading note of the D flat major scale (C) to the pentatonic scale, but retains most of the same ideas as the chorus, and the end of the verse contains a high falsetto passage.
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How long are most of the phrases in the piece?
Two bars, with the exception of the second half of the chorus, where one bar phrases (such as "But you must try...") are used. Many of these phrases begin on the second beat of the bar.
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How is the word setting in the piece used?
The word setting in the piece is mainly syllabic, but there are short melismas (i.e. the word "try" in bar 12).
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Describe the rhythm of the piece.
The piece uses a quadruple rhythm throughout, and characteristically, a strong emphasis is heard on beats 2 and 4 in some sections.
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Describe the tempo of the piece.
Medium slow - characteristic of rocksteady and reggae.
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How does the bass part not conform to the Reggae style?
The bass is used on the first beat, which is not characteristic to the Reggae style.
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Decsribe another feature of the accompaniment and the melody.
Syncopation is used.
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How is vitality supplied?
The semiquaver tambourine and muted guitar pickings.
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How do the drum fills conform to the Reggae style?
The drum fills feature triplet semiquavers, typical of both Reggae and Rocksteady.
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How is a "struggle" created in the melody?
The steady quaver rhythms are threatened by the triplets of crotchets in the word "try".
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Card 2

Front

When was the recording by Desmond Dekker and the Aces released?

Back

1970.

Card 3

Front

What is the style of this set work called?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

How can the lyrical content of this song be interpreted?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Describe the voices in this set work.

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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