harbor - a great example of high-quality songwriting

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greg ralls
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harbor - a great example of high-quality songwriting

Postby greg ralls » Thu Oct 27, 2005 5:57 pm

wow, harbor is an incredibly complex song. i'm sure some of the musicians on here have been wowed at the time signature changes. as best as i can tell, the verses are in 5/4 (though they have an extra measure of 2/4 at the end), the bridge & outro are in 7/4 (or is it 7/8?), but i can't suss out the choruses.

anyway, i am quite impressed by vienna's songwriting right here. as a pianist/singer/songwriter, i've tried to write in 5 and in 7 - but it's always sounded contrived. kudos to vienna for getting the job done with such a beautiful song.
greg

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Postby Digital » Sun Oct 30, 2005 12:11 am

I have a recording where Vienna talks through the time changes. I'll see if I can find it.

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Postby Digital » Sun Oct 30, 2005 12:25 am

I found it. At Jammin Java last year in the second set, Vienna says,

"If you're a music geek, this is in 5/4, 7/4, ocassionally 4/4, ocassionally 3/4, and sort of changes all over the place just to keep things interesting."

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Postby greg ralls » Mon Oct 31, 2005 8:31 pm

that's great! thanks for posting that. i can hardly wait for album #3.
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Postby Scot » Tue Nov 01, 2005 6:10 am

You can also buy the sheet music online (here) and see for yourself!

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Postby greg ralls » Tue Nov 01, 2005 7:07 pm

hey, thanks scot! i'm still only 2 weeks into the vienna experience, so i guess i haven't fully dug around the site yet.
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Postby Scot » Wed Nov 02, 2005 12:58 am

greg ralls wrote:hey, thanks scot! i'm still only 2 weeks into the vienna experience, so i guess i haven't fully dug around the site yet.


Two weeks? Better be careful about hanging around here - you might soon be tallying up
500 posts, posting recipes, and following the tour around the world! (And we can't have you competing
with the rest of us nuts here, can we?) :>

scot
My little attempt at a Vienna Teng WWW page (Set lists, song info., and more...)

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Postby Ginny » Wed Nov 02, 2005 3:24 am

LOL We are an enthusiastic bunch. I haven't noticed how many posts I've made in awhile--I'm gonna look when I post this and then shudder in disbelief. ;) lol ~Ginny
"I'm going crazy a little every day. Everything I wanted is now driving me away." ~Sheryl Crow (Home)

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Postby greg ralls » Wed Nov 02, 2005 3:41 pm

it's hard not to be enthusiastic when you're following such a great talent as vienna. not that i'm the greatest musician by any means, by i don't think i've been this wowed by a musician or band since i heard radiohead's ok computer for the first time. her music is just so intelligent yet so emotional - it overwhelms me, but in a good way.

current vienna obsession: "shine"
greg

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Postby Steve J » Thu Nov 03, 2005 4:50 am

Hey there Greg. Well, obsession is not usually a healthy thing, but since it is Vienna's stuff causing obsessive behavior, I think you will be OK, especially since your obsession is bouncing around from one song to another. In MY case, I have heard Gravity, My Medea and Green Island Serenade; all three one after the other in that order, playing in my head 24 hours a day for nearly two years now. It's not obsession though :wink: I just like them a lot.

I'm NOT obsessed, I'm NOT obsessed, I'm NOT obsessed! I PROMISE I PROMISE I PROMISE!
:)
Loyal fan/groupie/friend/ETC. of Vienna Teng, Kyler England & Taylor Roberts Music (Now "Glorydive").

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Postby Ginny » Thu Nov 03, 2005 1:41 pm

You're not very convincing, SteveJ. I think if you leave off the last bit that repeats how unobsessed you are then you might have a fighting chance of convincing someone other than yourself! ;) ~Ginny
"I'm going crazy a little every day. Everything I wanted is now driving me away." ~Sheryl Crow (Home)

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Postby Steve J » Fri Nov 04, 2005 1:24 am

GRRRRRRRRRRRR Ginny got me again lol

Ginny always makes me feel like a real life Rodney Dangerfield, LOL.
Just when I'm feeling on top of the world, she GRINDDDDDDDDS me into the dirt again. sigh....
:wink:
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Postby dbeattie » Sat Nov 05, 2005 12:09 am

Digital wrote:I found it. At Jammin Java last year in the second set, Vienna says,

"If you're a music geek, this is in 5/4, 7/4, ocassionally 4/4, ocassionally 3/4, and sort of changes all over the place just to keep things interesting."
Scot wrote:You can also buy the sheet music online (here) and see for yourself!
And then, when I was writing up the sheet music, I had to figure out what time signatures things should be in, to be consistant across the whole song, and as easy to read and understand as possible! 5/4 and 7/4 would have worked fine, and been really just as valid as what we settled on, but I wrote it up in 5/8 for the verses and 7/8 for the instrumental interludes, then switching to 3/4 interleaved with 4/4 for the choruses. The advantage to this weirdness was that the eighth note could be the same speed across the whole song, and we wouldn't end up with any strange time signatures that people would be rather unfamiliar with (as if 5 or 7 beats per measure doesn't already do that?). I felt that "6/4" or "8/4" (to match the 5/4 and 7/4) could have been just plain weird, and harder to read. The other option would have been "3/2" and "4/2", respectively, but those time signatures are less common than 3/4 and 4/4. I also could have thrown in a transition of "quarter note = eighth note" at the choruses (to keep the time going right while moving from 5/4 to 3/4 with slower beats, and then reversed it ("eighth note = quarter note" when we went back to a piano interlude or a verse, to speed the beats back up again), but this seemed unnecessarily clumsy, so instead, I cut everything in half. Vienna didn't complain, and she seemed happy with it... so as a result, it got printed. And that's how the sheet music ended up the way it is. In any case, I agree, it's really cool!

Oh, and there's one really neat thing about the album recording that isn't reflected in the sheet music (for good reason!). On the album recording, there's a spot, after the 2nd chorus, after the piano interlude after the 2nd chorus, actually, where Vienna has 4 measures in 5/8, basically repeating the intro to the song as a lead-in to the 3rd verse. On top of that, Jim Batcho, the drummer, played 5 measures with 4 beats each--five 4/8 measures (or 2/4, or 4/4 or 4/2 or 2/2 depending on exactly what you think the beat is). In case that isn't clear, Jim has 5 slightly-shorter measures in the space of Vienna's 4 measures, and they start at different times than hers do (necessarily!). And yes, mathematically 5 times 4 does equal 4 times 5 equals 20 beats total for each of them, so this little discrepancy works itself out by the end of the figure, and then immediately when they get aligned again, Jim starts drumming in 5, as she starts the 3rd verse. It's bizarre and mind boggling. And really cool! Go listen to it!

Okay, so I'm a music geek. :)
--David

P.S. Yes, you should go get the sheet music. It's worth the $5 just to see it all on paper. ;)

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Postby Scot » Sat Nov 05, 2005 10:23 pm

dbeattie wrote:
Digital wrote:IOn the album recording, there's a spot, after the 2nd chorus, after the piano interlude after the 2nd chorus, actually, where Vienna has 4 measures in 5/8, basically repeating the intro to the song as a lead-in to the 3rd verse. On top of that, Jim Batcho, the drummer, played 5 measures with 4 beats each--five 4/8 measures .... It's bizarre and mind boggling. And really cool! Go listen to it!


Cool - my ear is not good enough to notice this on my own, but I'll
definitely try to find it now that you've pointed it out. Fun!

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Postby My_Name_Is_Daniel » Sun Nov 06, 2005 5:51 pm

Yeah I'd like to be one of those obsessed fans and go to tons of concerts but cant. :p Not only can't I drive yet, school keeps me busy.


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