Offenbach – “Barcarolle”

This song was created by Jacques Offenbach, but is being performed by Anna Netrebko and Elina Garanca with accompanying orchestra and choir. I first heard this song in the movie “Life is Beautiful” and it has been a favorite ever since.

I had to do some intensive research to find the rhythm of this song because I could not quite put my finger on whether it was duple or triple meter. It happens to be a bit of both which is a 6/8 meter (compound duple meter). Julien Neel was able to help me figure out it was a compound duple meter in the description of his interpretation of Barcarolle.

After I found out the piece was a compound duple meter (I did not want to pretend that I full understood what it meant), I used wikipedia to find a better definition. According to what I found in wikipedia, a 6/8 meter refers to a meter with two beats divided into three. Here is an attachment video of what that compound duple meter sounds like, Compound Duple Meter.

The Timbre of this song is very smooth and calm. All of the instruments have a very clear sound along with the main singers and the choir. It sounds very crisp even when the singer sings louder at 2:30.

The Dynamics of this song are moderate as to try and paint a calm and relaxing picture.

The main Melody of this song are the two opera singers making this Texture a Homophonic song due to the vast amounts of accompaniments.

The instruments and choir are in excellent harmony with the singers, they all come together perfectly. This song is played in the major scale. This orchestra consists of mainly string instruments (Violins, Violas, Cellos and even a harp at 00:58) Although the flute plays throughout most of the song, it is the only brass instrument in the group. There is also a woodwind Bassoon at 00:15. The only percussion I hear is 2:13 by the sound of a Triangle (which is also where the choir joins the main melody)

I believe the form for this song is a binary form. It starts from the intro into the main melody (singing) at 1:03 until 2:13 where the main melody repeats itself until the end of the song.

Also, if you have not seen the movie “Life is Beautiful”, I believe that it was recently made available on Netflix. You will cry like a baby that just got slapped in the face. Enjoy!

Wikipedia’s Compound duple meter link –

Julien Neel’s Youtube video with description — (

Wikipedia’s Compound meter info — Latham, Alison (2002a). “Compound Time [Compound Metre]”. The Oxford Companion to Music, edited by Alison Latham. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-866212-2.

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