Two measures… that is all there is to this object. But there is a lot of interesting information in these two measures!
First off, what key are we in? Are we in a key? Does it matter?!?!?!
Of course it matters!
Our ear is drawn to F as our tonic or central pitch. Notice the bass line repeating the F and leading into it with a chromatic ascent. Also the top voice always brings us back to F, first with the descending third, then with the semitone ascent.
Now that we have established F as our center, we have to deal with the tonality. The first measure can be identified as minor, with the E natural used as the leading tone back up to F to solidify our root.
You can see the mirror used between the top line and the bass line, a decent of a minor third followed by an ascent. Provides a nice contour for the object.
What about the second measure? It contains a B natural, not native to any mode of F. There are two ways you can look at it. Locally, this B natural serves as the leading tone back up to the fifth of the key. But taking the whole sonic picture out of context, where else do we hear such a sound? Blues! The F blues scale contains both Bb and B.
It is also worth noting that, by respelling the accidentals in this object, the minor thirds become augmented seconds, a sound we attribute to the harmonic minor scale. This sound is always associated with the exotic. While I’m not going to posit a semiological argument here, the fact that this map is a world of desert sands and pyramids could be the reason these intervals were included.
Multiple levels of modal mixture, intervals interpreted multiple ways, semiology, a firmly established tonic… and I did not even touch on the rhythm.
Two measures… who would have thought could be so interesting!