Category Archives: Elements Entries

Outsider – “Hypnotism” (Feat. K.Will)

Hypnotism is played in a semi-fast tempo. The song stays with the same tempo and speed until it hits the chorus. Outsider raps extremely fast which is why one could mistake the tempo for increasing after K.Will (Singer) does the chorus. With the claps it’s apparent where the down beat is and because of that you can tell very easily that the song is in duple meter.

Throughout the song, Outsider (rapper) raps vary in length, even though there are only 8 beats per measure the amount of lyrics he says or “Spits” is clearly different due to his speed. It’s clear that there in fact a violin accompanying the piano but it’s playing alongside the melody rather than having a melody of its own, therefore the song is a homophony.

Also, when listening to the song you can hear that there are 4 chords constantly played by the Piano. The Piano is clearly the main melody to this song and it’s repeated throughout the whole song. It also seems as though the song is being played in minor because if gives off that gloomy, sad feeling throughout.

Digital Mystikz- Anti War Dub

This is a prime example of the genre known as “dubstep” . The producers go by Digital Mysitikz (DMZ) but are individually known as Mala, Coki, and Loefah. They were extremely influential in the formative years of this genre in the early 2000’s .

As common throughout most dubstep songs, the beat is syncopated and slightly off tempo which creates atmosphere of extra space. You will also notice that there is very heavy bass. This type of music can only truly be appreciated through a set of high quality speakers with heavy emphasis on sub bass. This stems from the early influence of Jamaican dub sound system culture in the UK, where sound engineers were constantly equalizing the speakers during the show, tailoring it to each individual song. This same idea applies to dubstep shows.

This is a form of electronic music which makes it a bit difficult in describing the timbre since there are no traditional instruments being used. There is however, a lot of use of different types of percussion. Hand drums, and a regular drum kits are used throughout. There is a some string/violin use as well as what sounds like a distorted malled pad, and also another synth heard during the break down. There is heavy bass used which gives the driving pulse, as well as the vocal sample which is probably the strongest melodic element in this piece.

The texture of the song is homophonic and is written in a minor key, which creates a melancholic mood.

Animals – “House Of The Rising Sun”

The house of the rising sun is played in what seems to be triple meter, the song is quick but their is a steady tempo, which the bass guitars and the drums keep. Its really easy to identify the down beats because all the instruments play on it along with the singer, this happens throughout most of the song.

The chorus is steady as well, the singer brings up the main melody and he sings 3 beats per measure but the background melody played by the instruments seems to be at 6 beats per measure, so this song is homophonic. Most of the song is on a major scale but at certain points it seems to go into the minor scale around the 2 min 10 sec mark but then it comes back up later in the song to the major scale.

The song doesn’t have a lot of diversity in it, the piece is very steady with a build up and a fall throughout. That is what makes it very appealing to the ears, the chords alternate and they support this structure.

Within the song you can hear chords throughtout, they are part of the accompainment being played but it seems like their are only a few being played maybe 4or 5 different cords. The dynamics of the song change a lot throughout the song they build up then fall and build up again, this setup gives the song a very nice flow. Overall the song is steady, its structured around the chorus, and  it tells you a story.



Bruno Mars – “Liqour Store Blues”

Bruno Mars – “Liquor Store Blues”


This song is a duple meter with a moderate tempo.  The main instrument is a guitar with syncopation by drums which gives it a reggae feel. The speed of the beats remain constant throughout the song.

The music is clear, and lively. The guitar and drums are very clear. There are other percussion instruments like the cymbal which accentuates the downbeat with the drums. The music is in the major scale, which makes it feel bright and lively. The vocal is the main melody, performed by Bruno Mars who has a higher pitched voice than the Damion Marley who has a lower pitch. While the music has a major scale, which normally helps to create the feeling of joy. The words of the song speaks of drug use normally a very dark subject.

The music is harmonious with Bruno Mars and Damion Marley voice. As with traditional reggae music there the harmony is very simple using only two chords throughout the song.The music is generally laying in mp, but during the climax points the dynamic changes to f. Since there is just one melody with several accompaniments, then the texture of the music is homophonic. The song is in a binary form repeating each section.

Bon Iver – Calgary

The song is written in duple meter, with a slow to fast tempo in the key of E minor. At  01:17min the song increases from slow to moderate, and at  01:52min the tempo increases again from moderate to a faster beat, and at  03:17min it begins to retire to a moderate beat, and at  03:26min the calm tune returns. The melody begins with a piano, then some additional instruments begin accompanying the main melody, and at last drums that are added when the tempo starts further increasing. The dynamics of the song goes from piano at first to forte and back to piano. Whereas the texture of the song is homophonic as it has one main melody and accompaniment. The form of the song is Ternary – ABA’.



I like this song because even though it is a sad song about getting hurt, they still manage to put a melody that makes it lively and interesting, for its inspiring lyrics especially, the video.

Guy Sebastian starts the song with calm, peaceful and light voice and with a low pitch, then on 0:13 Lupe Fiasco sing the chorus with intense and powerful voice and with a high pitch. The tempo of this song is moderate to fast. They start it with a moderate tempo until 0:32, when Guy Sebastian starts rapping, then going back and forth to moderate to fast. It has consonant harmony, with homophonic texture.

This song is a triple meter. The song starts with the piano, with only 1 key repeatedly playing, then on 0:14 base starts playing together with the piano, then on 0:37 drums starts playing with all the other instruments.

Rush: Cygnus X-1 Book 2

Hey there everyone, my favorite song often changes, so I decided to use a song off of my favorite album that I listen to all the time. It’s incredibly long, do forgive me.

This song is in duple meter, and the rhythm, which is led by an electric guitar, is fairly easy to follow. The song starts off with a slow tempo, and then picks up, and throughout the song the tempo tends to fluxuate, at times being very fast, and at others slowing to a steady crawl.

There are only three members in this band, but there are five instruments. There is one guitarist (Alex Lifeson); a vocalist (Geddy Lee), who also plays the bass guitar, and the synthesizer; and a percussionist (Neil Peart).

The melodies of the song change often, but there is a general feel to the music. The band creates many harmonies throughout the song, one of my favorites being when the guitar is playing harmonics (2:01), and the bass plays a different rhythm for that section until a certain point where it begins playing the same notes as the guitar (2:32). This section builds into the main riff of the song, in which the vocalist and the guitar pair up, Geddy matching his voice to the key the guitar is playing in. (What amazes me is that he also is playing the bass while doing this!)

Another thing I can point out is that the part in the introduction of the song (1:05) where the guitarist alternates between those two chords (and then does a little lick, going down a scale), he also then arpeggiates those two chords (1:21). This becomes a recurring theme in the song, setting a somber sort of tone, backing the negative tone of the lyrical content. The music also gets more “epic”, so to speak, as the lyrics tell a story of a battle, and the energy is kicked up a notch (9:04).

For those of you who cannot hear the synth, a point where sort of takes the lead is at 11:29.

As for the form of the song, Rush is kind enough to divide their lengthy songs into sections, and even name them, and they are as follows:

I. Prelude (0:00)   II. Apollo: Bringer Of Wisdom (4:29) III. Dionysus: Bringer Of Love (6:59)                            IV. Armageddon: The Battle Of Heart and Mind (9:04) V. Cygnus: Bringer Of Balance (12:00)       VI. The Sphere: A Kind Of Dream (17:00)

This is a two part song, this being the second part, and if you enjoyed it, you should give the first part a listen in order to get a better grasp of the story. But long story short, the lyrics/song is about a man who gets lost on his spaceship, and somehow travels to a parallel universe, and is immersed in a war between two sides, one side believing in wisdom, the other believing in love, and he breaks up the war by saying the two sides can cooperate, thus becoming the god of balance “Cygnus”.

That’s all. phew.

Christina Aguilera – “Fighter”

First of all, I love this song because I think it is very inspirational.

This song is being played in duple meter and it is in minor scale. This song is in ternary form, ABAB. There are two main melodies here and 4 important sections to the song. Section 1 (0:00-0:22) is melody A which is a statement because it is a new idea. This section is being played by the piano and the violins. Section 2 (0:23-2:37), is melody B which is a contrast because it goes into a completely different direction. This section is played by the guitars and drums. Section 3 (2:38-2:54) is a repetition because melody A comes back. Section 4 (2:55-4:06) is also a repetition because melody B is being repeated. The violin is a bit sharp but the piano has a traditional sound. Together they put you in a sort of reflective and melancholy mood. The guitar have a very piercing sound and together with the drums, they empower you, like you can overcome anything. The texture of this song is homophonic because even though there are two main melodies, they are not being played at the same time. The tempo is moderato and the harmony is consonant. The dynamic is mezzo forte when the guitar and the drums are playing but mezzo piano when the violins and the piano are playing. The beginning is a recitative but the rest of the song is an aria.

kanye west – “Runaway.”


This song is in a triple meter, with a moderate to fast tempo. The rhythm is grounded by a steady C-minor scale of low pitch piano keys playing a low note.


The verses are all made up of 8 lines, and each line is 8 measures long. While the chorus is made up of 12 lines, each grouped in 2s, which means that it feels faster than the verses even though the tempo remains constant.

The type of texture used in the song is that of a homophony. With the piano keys as the melody while the cello, drums and percussion are its accompaniment

The song possesses a ternary form of three sections each starting from its downbeat.

The instruments used remain the same all through the song, however at the beginning of the song, the low pitches of the piano were the only instruments played before the accompaniments were introduced at 0:56.

But at 3:30 the drums and percussion were removed leaving only the cello, which could be heard more clearly as it gained strength and power being the only accompaniment of the main melody.

The song has a simple harmony as the pitches combine when played simultaneously. The keys are minor and are consonant with each other.


Nick Seitz – Nas “Memory Lane” Element Entry

Rhythm – After listening to the song, we can hear that the song is written in duple meter with 2 beats per measure. Given that this is a song that you may be able to steadily bop your head to, I believe it would be safe to say the song has an andante tempo.

Melody – The song never really reaches a point to where it really sounds joyful and cheery, rather it sounds a little more on the calm and somber side. That being said, I would say the song is written in a minor scale.

Harmony –  From the beginning, the instrumentation seems to sound like an organ along with a bass guitar, and after 10 seconds in, the percussion comes in as well to accompany the main melody. This would also determine the song to have a homophonic texture. In each one of the choruses (1:28, 2:58), there also comes a scratch from a DJ to accompany as well. Nas certainly does not vary in his dynamics in this song. He stays right in between of being loud and quiet.

Form – Not completely sure, however, with an educated guess, I would say the song is written in ternary form. Part A is repeated almost all throughout the song except, I believe, in the chorus, which would make up part B, and then goes back to A.

Timbre – To me the music sounds almost like a grimy, but at the same time, calming.