Sunday, November 20, 2011

Map Music: SMB3 – World 5

I love looking at the map music objects.  Because of their brevity, you can really dive deep into each object in a very short amount of time.

Notice that with this object, our second pulse wave track is significantly lower in pitch, requiring the use of a bass clef for notation.
The big question here is what key are we in????  Looking strictly at this object it is actually unclear.  In a later post, perhaps I will begin to examine some of the objects surrounding this one and looking at overall style to make a deduction, but right now we can either operate in the key of F (alternating V-I progression) or the key of C (a I-IV motion).
What I really love about this object is the heavy swing feel and the bass line, which steals the “melodic” element of the object.  Notice also that there is not a strong pulse on beat 1 of any of the top two lines and the bass only gets it on measures 1 and 3.  The harmonic motion between the two chords creates an overall pulse with significant downbeats on measures 1 and 3.
This is also the only object so far to have an introduction riff.  Why do you suppose the riff was included?  Well there are two possible explanations and I will leave it to you to determine which one or if both have any plausibility:
1) The introductory riff is included to give us a sense of pulse.  Since there are very few emphasis on the strong beats of measures, this riff allows us to feel this rhythmic dissonance by informing us as to the location of the meter.
2) This introduction draws our attention to the C major harmony as tonic with the non-pitch rhythmic introduction serving as a surrogate rhythmic dominant resolving to the tonic.  We can think of it as the end of a drum fill that resolves to the first measure of a new phrase, which is where tonic typically lies.
Now there is a thought… rhythms resolving… maybe there is somewhere I can go with that!

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