I gave a musicology lecture the other days which focused on a number of techniques introduced by musicologist Phil Tagg. They are
Sonic Anaphone: Where the music extract resembles what it represents.For example motorbike sounds. For me this is similar to Charles Pierce’s ‘Icon’.
Kinetic Anaphone: Where the sound represents movement. For example here is an example of a piece that sounds like a moving train.
Tactile Anaphone: Where the sounds represents touch. For example soft string sounds or a gravelly voice.
Genre Synecdoche: Where a small aspect of the mix alludes to a larger genre. For example the following track by Shakti is not just a mix of european and Indian music – but alludes to the whole culture of latter also.
Episodic Marker: Where a musical sound or texture informs the listener that a new section in a piece of music is about to occur. This could be a drum fill, a guitar slide etc.
In the lecture we also examined Intentional or Extensional aspects of performance: essentially is the meaning of a piece of music related to a score (extensional) – or is musician interaction more important. Here is a great example of Pink Floyd involved in the latter.
Finally, we examined the ways in which time and place can impact a performance or recording. For example places such as Headley Grange (Led Zep) and Joe Meek’s recordings at 304 Holloway Rd – how did they impact the creative process and the sound of the recording.
Anyway – I would love to hear any indicative examples of these techniques.
I suppose this would be a good example of a Sonic Anaphone. The guitarist (Herman Li) is using the whammy bar on his guitar to create elephant noises along with video game noises and the motorbike. Bit over the top, but they’re pretty good examples! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qtUiQJc7ZMI
There are many here but I think the ‘Pacman’ one is the best.
Sonic Anaphone- War by Joe Satriani (Intro sounds like some sort of siren, played on guitar)
Kinetic Anaphone- Trains and Winter Rains by Enya (The pizzicato/ detached feel to the underlying instrumentation gives the feel of a train moving).
Jimi Hendrix- Crosstown Traffic- Kazoo gives the image of car horns (Traffic).
Tactile Anaphone- North by Paul Mounsey (Legato violin and vocals)
Genre Synecdoche- Our Day Will Come by Amy Winehouse- Beats on the 2nd and 4th elude to a kind of reggae feel.
Wonderous Place- The Last Shadow Puppets (The Doors esque, very 60s feel).
Episodic Marker- Black Waves/Bad Vibrations by Arcade Fire (Rallentando and Change to relative MINOR from MAJOR at around 1:32)
Apologies for the late comment, I’ve had a hectic week…
As soon as this was mentioned, I thought of this… I don’t know why and I’m not sure if many people will agree with me… but at 4.12 the bass slides up to a note and holds it temporarily, perhaps to make it sound like the “mooing” of a cow/bull… I’ve always thought it was intentional, but maybe its just me reading too far into it! haha –
Bulls on Parade – Rage Against the Machine
Another train example unfortunately, couldnt find anything else… The percussion (shaker/tamborine) resembling a train, also connecting with the title.
Station Approach – Elbow (starts at 0:47)
Use of an actual tray of gravel to represent walking. If you haven’t heard Meilir, he’s really good, plays in Cardiff a lot, he’s amazing. Massive influence of mine. All his stuff’s on Soundcloud too, some a bit less “unusual” that this.
Bydd Wych – Meilir
Caravan Palace combine Gypsy Folk/Jazz/Electronic Music. It’s amazing
Star Scat – Caravan Palace
I thought of dance music when this was mentioned, like when there’s a “Drop” in a song there’s usually signs to indicate this is about to happen. Unlike some artists who use a gradual build up of texture, London Elektricity indicates a drop through a drop in dynamics before the “drop”
Yikes! – London Elektricity
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9hLcRU5wE4 motorbike sound 6 mins 12 meatloaf, bat out of hell
Apologies for the late comment, I’ve had a hectic week!
Rage Against The Machine – Bulls On Parade
At 4.12 the bass slides up to a note that may resemble the sound of a bull “mooing”
Elbow – Station Approach
Another Train Example – Percussion (Tamborine/Shaker)
Meilir – Bydd Wych
Great Artist, If you havent heard Meilir’s stuff i strongly recommend you check him out, his EPs should be on Soundcloud. He uses a tray of gravel as percussion in this one, representing walking.
Caravan Palace – Star Scat
Combining Gypsy Folk/Jazz/Electronic Music. This is wicked.
London Elektricity – Billion Dollar Gravy
I thought of dance music when this was mentioned, as the music usually gears the listener’s up for a “drop” by building texture and the number of hits from the kit/percussion, to indicate a drop, however London Elektricity builds texture, then decreased texture to almost nothing before the “drop” at 0.53
Apologies if this posts twice, I lost the first draft and it may come up later.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBGNlTPgQII Kraftwerk, trans Europe Express, sounds like movement and a train too
… That Herman Li video ^ is ridiculous! haha!
Yeah it is Simon! This is another example of a sonic anaphone. Steve Vai’s ‘Bad Horsie’ showcases Vai using the combination of a whammy bar and Wah-wah pedal to create what sounds kind of like a horse whinny, along with the stomp of the bass and drums kind of reminding me of horse hooves. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5BrE1Pi5cU&ob=av2e
ACDC – Jailbreak: At 2:57 the Bon Scott gives a narration describing a man attempting to breaking out of jail. “heartbeats” is alluded to through the off beat guitar rhythm, “spotlights” (as if tracking back and forth) through the bending of the quitar note, “sirens” through dissonant, fast strumming, “rifles” (i’m not sure how guitarists make this sound)
Muse – Knights Of Cydonia: Drums, synths and palm muted guitar at 0:49 gives the impression of galloping horses.
Enya – On Your Shore: Soft synths and soothing voice allude to a calm sea
The Beatles – Tomorrow Never Knows: harmonic structure derived from Indian music and based on a tamboura playing a C drone.
Kasabian – Fire: Movement from verse into chorus -shift from crotchets to quavers, different level of vocals, drum fill.
Could be an example of Genre Synecdoche – at around 4.05, German operatic vocals are introduced, and they kind of stick out from the rest of the song and don’t really fit with the genre of the band. Having said that the band’s genre has been described as ‘experimental’, since they mess around with different genres and styles quite a lot. Around 4.00 you can also hear a short excerpt of acoustic guitar that sounds kind of Spanish in style.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1Boh5vbZyA&ob=av2e The very end of the piece changes and to me, it kind of represents movement – though despite the title I don’t think it sounds much like a procession.
Sonic Anaphone: Space Oddity –Bowie. The guitar with heavy reverb and a whammy bar attempts to resemble the space ship taking off.
Kinetic Anaphone: Crosstown Traffic- Hendrix. At the beginning there is some extreme panning from left to right in the mix to show the movement of the traffic to an onlooker.
Tactile Anaphone: A great example of an artist with a gravelly voice would be Kelly Jones. The example I was forward would be Handbags & Gladrags. Especially the chorus.
Genre Synecdoche: Within You Without You- The Beatles. After spending months in India, the band returned with an interest in the genre and was keen to play some Indian music on the Sgt. Pepper album.
Episodic Marker: An obvious example would be the drum fill in ‘In The Air’- Phil Collins. But another idea I would put forward would be any song that plays a dominant 7th chord that finally resolves to the tonic.
An example of where this technique is utilized can be found in the song ‘Estranged’ by Guns N’ Roses. At about 7.45 into the video, Slash uses the Stradivarius technique to emulate dolphin/whale sounds.
In the chorus of ‘Helter Skelter’ by the Beatles the descending riff gives the impression of sliding (i.e. down a helter skelter).
Arguably, the tender, ‘lullaby-esque’ vocals in the song ‘Porcelain’ by the Red Hot Chili Peppers represent not only a close proximity, but also the fragility of porcelain.
In the song ‘The Unknown Soldier’ by The Doors, the bridge section alludes to the music of military bands. Additionally, there is a sonic anaphone in the form of an amplifier (laden with excessive reverb) being dropped to resemble the sound of a rifle shot.
Feel like I’m cheating slightly with this example, but in the song “Crosstown Traffic’ by Jimi Hendrix the repeating motif (appearing at the very beginning of the song, which was referred to in our presentation as resembling the sound of a car engine) signals the beginning of each chorus.
Chambers Brothers – Time Has Come Today
The Cuckoo Clock – clock ticking and call of cuckoo. (Connecting with the title)
The Beatles – A Day in the Life
The clock ticking – Is time/space moving or a person is moving in time/space? Second half of the song resembles morning – getting out of the bed, in this case realising you have slept in etc.
Imogen Heap – Hide and Seek
Smooth Synth, Vocals.
Roy Harper – When an Old Cricketer Leaves the Crease
Roy Harper is English folk/rock singer-songwriter and guitarist, but the orchestral accompaniment is an example of the genre synecdoche.
Modestep – To The Stars (or simply dance music)
In the dance music the idea of introducing a new section in a song is very important. Techniques used – thickening (building up) the texture, building the tempo or dropping everything out and making a total contrast etc.
Great example of a sonic anaphone here in my opinion! – Guitarist emulates a dial tone through use of harmonics and the upper region of the neck
Hi all, I’d like some help with Tagg’s sign typology that haven’t been covered here yet. Such as episodic determinants, unidirectional sweeps, composite anaphones and others.
I would also love example of propulsive reiterations, finality markers, breaks, bridges and tails, systemic flags etc.