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TitleAllan Moore - Patterns of Harmony
TagsMode (Music) Minor Scale Pitch (Music) Musicology
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Total Pages35
Table of Contents
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		Front Matter [pp. i-iii]
		Israeli Rock, or a Study in the Politics of 'Local Authenticity' [pp. 1-14]
		The Smiths: Repressed (But Remarkably Dressed) [pp. 15-26]
		His Name Was in Lights: Chuck Berry's 'Johnny B. Goode' [pp. 27-40]
		Blues and Our Mind-Body Problem [pp. 41-52]
		The Jukebox of History: Narratives of Loss and Desire in the Discourse of Country Music [pp. 53-72]
		Patterns of Harmony [pp. 73-106]
			'Popular Music and Social Reality', International Association for the Study of Popular Music. 6th International Conference. Humboldt University, Berlin, July 15th-20th 1991 [pp. 107-109]
			A Farewell to Vinyl? [pp. 109-110]
			Review: untitled [pp. 111-115]
			Review: untitled [pp. 117-119]
			Review: untitled [pp. 119-121]
			Review: untitled [pp. 122-123]
			Review: untitled [pp. 123-126]
		Back Matter
                        
Document Text Contents
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Popular Music (1992) Volume 11/1

Patterns of harmony

ALLAN MOORE

Introduction

There are two seemingly self-evident truths concerning the harmonic practices of
popular music. The first, which finds clear expression in Adorno, is that such
music's harmonic language is both detrimentally limited and static. The harmonic
repertoire is considered to consist of a few formulae (Adorno deals with them in
terms of standardisation: see Middleton 1990, p. 45ff.), by means of which song-
writers string together their songs, uninfluenced by the song's content. For the
expert listener, therefore, popular music should be uninteresting: it is only its
psycho-economic dimension which makes it worthy of study. This tends also to be
the conclusion of established musicology, except that there it is felt such 'extra-
musical' speculation is best left to the sociologist. The second truth is that the
differences between Afro-American-derived styles are material, since our identities
are so strongly incorporated in the styles we use:
We mark out the differences between genres and styles partly by reference to contrasts in
the way this stock of techniques and sounds is used. (Middleton 1990, p. 88)

Since harmony is not only at the forefront of traditional analytical investigation, but
also forms an important initial focus for songwriters, it may well be assumed that it
is therefore an important factor in enabling us to distinguish, for example, 'rock'
from 'pop' from 'soul'. However, the material reality behind these differences of
style has rarely been subject to systematic investigation.

I have long felt that these twin beliefs are the result of speculation rather than
analytical insight, and the data presented here in the appendix is intended to shed
some light on the harmonic nature of such music. The data collection exercise
began as a pedagogical tool, aimed at enabling ab initio students to acquire the
beginnings of a sense of harmony. It is presented with this aim still very much in
mind, and it may therefore be of use to some readers of this journal. Needless to
say, the task is barely under way. Aside from enabling me to respond to these self-
evident truths, the practice of categorising the data has raised a number of import-
ant questions, consideration of which might be bypassed by those not particularly
musically literate.

I have subjected a wide variety of rock/pop/soul to harmonic analysis so far.
Some songs may be rather unfamiliar to some readers, and the range perhaps
unbalanced. The music used here has been almost randomly chosen, but with a
primary concern to evade the implicit construction of a central canon. I have
decided to make this work public at this time both for its pedagogic value and
because the range of data seems to be large enough to begin to support conclu-
sions, although the exercise clearly requires extending before such conclusions can
be considered properly definitive.

73

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88 Allan Moore

'in' crowd; Fleetwood Mac: Family Man; Led Zeppelin: Hots on for nowhere;
Steve Miller band: Shangri-La; Nashville Teens: Tobacco Road; T'Pau: Taking
time out

JAb. A: VII-I (BBAb) Emerson Lake S Palmer: Touch & go; Fairport Convention: Matty
Groves; Peter Gabriel: Shock the monkey; Jethro Tull: Working John working
Joe; King Crimson: 21st century schizoid man; Led Zeppelin: Immigrant song;
Gary Moore: Nuclear attack; Chris Rea: You must be evil; Roxy Music: For your
pleasure

JAc. C: VII'-I- Jimi Hendrix: One rainy wish
JAd. G: VII--I Madness: New Delhi

Class D: Submediant sequences

AAa. A: I-bI'-VI- Roxy Music: Chance meeting
AAb. C: I-M-VI George Harrison: Ballad of Sir Frankie Crisp
AAc. A: I'-IX-VI-V' Pink Floyd: Eclipse
ABa. C: I-VI Boomtown Rats: Living in an island; Elvis Costello: Miracle man; You

belong to me; Derek S Dominos: Why does love got to be so sad; George
Harrison: Awaiting on you all; My sweet lord; Buddy Holly: Maybe baby; Jam:
When you're young; John Lennon: Instant karma!; Little Eva: Locomotion;
Melanie: Ring the living bell; Steve Miller band: Bongo bongo; Monkees: Goin'
down; Searchers: Don't throw your love away; Paul Simon: Slip slidin' away;
Small Faces: Itchycoo Park; They might be giants: Sapphire bullets of pure love;
Vapors: Turning Japanese

ABb. A: I-VI Beatles: Eleanor Rigby; Boomtown Rats: Can't stop; Like clockwork;
Living in an island; Rat trap; Cure: Love cats; Tha Fall: My new house; Fleet-
wood Mac: Rhiannon; Led Zeppelin: Achilles last stand; Madness: You said;
Marillion: Script for a jester's tear; Police: Message in a bottle; Truth hits
everybody; Procol Harum: Conquistador; Roxy Music: Strictly confidential;
Siouxsie S Banshees: Arabian nights; Supertramp: Asylum; Crime of the cen-
tury; U2: Exit; Vapors: Bunkers; Wishbone Ash: Warrior

ABc. E: I-VI U2: Indian summer sky
ABd.D: I-VIm Doors: Light my fire
ABe. A: I-VIM Olivia Newton-John: Let's get physical; Procol Harum: Conquistador
ABf. A: I-VI- King Crimson: Heartbeat
ABg. A: I'-VI David Bowie: Suffragette city; Family: In my own time; Led Zeppelin:

Candy store rock; Transvision Vamp: Down on you
AC. G: I-VI-VII-V Jam: Absolute beginners; Level 42: Something about you
ADa. C: I-VI-VII-IV Thompson Twins: Hold me now
ADb. A: I-VI-VII-IV Police: Message in a bottle; Simple Minds: Take a step back
AE. A: I-VI-VII-III Smiths: Still ill
AF. C: I-VI-bVI-IV Roxy Music: Ain't that so
AGa. C: I-VI-V Big Country: Tall ships go; Elvis Costello: Hand in hand; Lip service;

Foundations: Born to live & born to die; Buddy Holly: Maybe baby; Orchestral
Manoeurres: So in love; Thin Lizzy: Wild one; Vapors: Waiting for the weekend

AGb. A: I'-VIX-V' Billy Joel: Storm front
AGc. H: I-VI-V Peter Gabriel: No self control; Peter Hammill: Sunshine; George Har-

rison: Art of dying; Jam: Precious; Madness: Mr Speaker gets the word; Chris
Rea: I just want to be with you; Toto: Takin' it back

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Patterns of harmony 89

AH. A: I'-VI-V'-VII-bV'-IV' Madness; Michael Caine
AI. C: I-VI-V-VI Clash: Something about England
AJa. C: I-VI-V-IV Fine Young Cannibals: Tell me what
AJb. C: I-VI-V"-IV Pink Floyd: Us & them
AK. F: I-VI'-V-II Beatles: Dr Robert
AL. A: I-VI-IV Abba: Voulez-vous; Jethro Tull: Rock island; Gary Moore: Hiroshima;

Neil Young: Southern man
AMa. G: I-VI-IV-VII Jam: That's entertainment
AMb. A: I-VI-IV-VII Bangles: He's got a secret; Def Leppard: Love bites; Gary Moore:

Run to your mama
ANa. C: I-VI-IV-VII Mission: And the dance goes on; Talking Heads: This must be the

place
ANb. A: I-VI-IV' -VII-V' Blondie: Atomic
BAa. C: I-VI-IV-V (FDD&IADa) Abba: Mama mia; Paul Anka: Diana; Arrival: Friends;

Beatles: Any time at all; I should have known better; Beautiful South: I'll sail this
ship alone; Song for whoever; Bon Jovi: I'll be there for you; Ride cowboy ride;
David Bowie: Ashes to ashes; Cygnet committee; James Brown: Try me; Johnny
Burnette: Dreamin'; Elvis Costello: The beat; Creedence Clearwater Revival: Lodi;
Deacon Blue: Circus lights; Love & regret; Diamonds: Little darling; Four Tops:
Walk away Renee; Marvin Gaye: Mercy mercy me; What's going on; Gentle
Giant: No stranger; Gerry S Pacemakers: I like it; George Harrison: Run of the
mill; Whitney Houston: I wanna dance with somebody; Isley Brothers: I guess I'll
always love you; Jam: In the city; Man in the corner shop; Strange town; Billy
Joel: Storm front; Ben E. King: Stand by me; Led Zeppelin: D'yer mak'er; Frankie
Lymon: I'm not a juvenile delinquent; Why do fools fall in love; Meat Loaf: For
crying out loud; Nazareth: Love hurts; Orchestral Manoeurres: Enola Gay; If you
leave; Pink Floyd: The thin ice; Elvis Presley: Return to sender; Pretenders: So
special; Queen: Somebody to love; Righteous Brothers: Unchained melody; Roxy
Music: Bitters end; Dance away; Del Shannon: Runaway; Simon S Garfunkel:
Mrs Robinson; They might be giants: Lucky ball & chain; Tina Turner: The best;
Van Halen: Pretty woman; Bobby Vee: Rubber ball; Take good care of my baby;
Marty Wilde: Donna; Stevie Wonder: I'm wondering

BAb. A: I-VI-IV-V Gary Moore: Rest in peace
BAc. A: I-VI-IV-V' All About Eve: Dream now
BBa. C: I-VI-IV-III Mission: Butterfly on a wheel; Spandau Ballet: True
BBb. C: I-VI-IV-III Emerson Lake S Palmer: Lay down your guns
BBc. C: IbVI-IV-III Adam S Ants: Ant music
BC. C: I-VI-IV-II-V Beach Boys: Darlin'; Electric Light Orchestra: Wild west hero; Peter

Gabriel: Solsbury Hill
BDa. C: I-VI-IV-I David Bowie: Oh you pretty things; Soul love; Eric Clapton: Let it

grow; Creedence Clearwater Revival: Looking out my back door; Roxy Music: Sea
breezes; Rod Stewart: Sailing; Thin Lizzy: Whisky in the jar; Vapors: Letter from
Hiro

BDb. A: I-VI-IV-I Elvis Costello: Lipstick vogue
BDc. C: I-VI-IV--I-V Beatles: Any time at all
BE. A: I-VI-III-VI Big Country: The teacher
BFa. C: I-VI-III-V Beatles: She loves you; David Bowie: Starman; Family: No mule's

fool
BFb. A: I-VI-III-V Alice Cooper: Poison

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Patterns of harmony 105

DF. A: IA-VIA-VIIA-VA-IA Alice Cooper: Poison
EAa. C: IC-IIIC Four Tops: Reach out; Pink Floyd: Free four
EAb. C: IA-IIIA Level 42: Lying still
EAc. A: IC-IIIC Eric Clapton: Easy now; Petula Clark: Don't sleep in the subway; lam:

Man in the corner shop; Kinks: Days; Simon S Garfunkel: Mrs Robinson; Who:
Pinball wizard

EAd. C: IIIC-IC Phil Collins: Behind the lines; Hand in hand
EAe. A: IA-IIIC Barclay lames Harvest: Summer soldier; Fleetwood Mac: You make

loving fun; Gentle Giant: Take me; lam: Butterfly collector; Madness: Not home
today; Gary Moore: Rest in peace; Slade: Far far away

EAe. A: IA-IIIA Bon lovi: Born to be my baby
FAa. C: IC-IIA David Bowie: Ziggy Stardust
FAb. F: IC-IIC Beach Boys: Don't worry baby; Fine Young Cannibals: Don't look back;

Gary Moore: Really gonna rock; Roxy Music: Dance away; limmy Ruffin: What
becomes of the brokenhearted?; Supertramp: Asylum; T'Pau: Only the lonely

FAc. A: IA-IIA lethro Tull: Something's on the move; Simple Minds: Theme for great
cities

FB. C: IA-bIIA-IIA-VIIA Madness: Tiptoes
GAa. C: IC-IA Beatles: Here there & everywhere
GAb. C: IA-IC Derek S Dominos: Why does love got to be so sad
HA. A: IIC-IIIC-IC Beatles: Lucy in the sky with diamonds

Class N: Progressive modulations

AA. C: IC-IIC After the fire: Laser love; Bon lovi: I'll be there for you; David Bowie:
Soul love; lohnny Burnette: Dreamin'; Phil Collins: It don't matter to me; Motor-
head: Damage case; Police: So lonely; Tina Turner: Be tender with me baby;
Vapors: Somehow

ABa. A: IA-IIA Stevie Wonder: Golden lady
ABb. E: IC-IIC Beach Boys: I get around; Dave Clark Five: Glad all over; Emerson Lake

S Powell: Learning how to fly; Fourmost: Hello little girl; Freddie S Dreamers:
I'm telling you; Isley Brothers: I guess I'll always love you; lam: English rose;
Nik Kershaw: Wild horses; Love Affair: Wake me I am dreaming; Supremes: The
happening; Stevie Wonder: For once in my life

ABc. E: ID-IID Nik Kershaw: The riddle
AC. A: IC-IIC-IIIC-IVC Who: My generation
BA. C: IC-IIIC Diana Ross: Ain't no mountain high enough
BB. A: IC-IIIC Doors: Hello I love you
BC. D: IA-IIIA-VA-VIA Siouxsie S Banshees: Playground twist
CA. C: IC-IVC Eric Clapton: Give me strength; Eagles: Already gone
CB. C: IA-IVA Gentle Giant: It's only goodbye
DA. C: IE-VE Stevie Wonder: Jesus children of America
EA. A: IC-VIC Beach Boys: Wouldn't it be nice
EB. F: IC-VIC-IVC lethro Tull: Son
EC. A: IC-VIC-IVC-VC Genesis: Afterglow
FA. C: IC-VIIC-bIC Five Star: Rain or shine
IA. C: IVC-IC-IIC Dexy's Midnight Runners: Come on Eileen
JA. C: VC-IC-IVC-IC-IIC Queen: Bohemian rhapsody

Page 35

106 Allan Moore

Class O: Wandering/chromatic modality

Beatles: Penny Lane; Be-Bop Deluxe: Blazing apostles; David Bowie: Life on Mars;
Neneh Cherry: Manchild; Doors: Touch me; Emerson Lake S Powell: The miracle; Step
aside; Genesis: All in a mouse's night; Gentle Giant: So sincere; George Harrison:
Beware of darkness; Icicle Works: Who do you want for your love; lam: Going
underground; Nik Kershaw: City of angels; Easy; Know how; You might; Madness:
Keep moving; March of the gherkins; Samantha; Sunday morning; Waltz into
mischief; Orchestral Manoeurres: If you leave; Procol Harum: Salty Dog; Queen:
Bicycle race; Roxy Music: Manifesto; Supertramp: Dreamer; XTC: Another satellite;
Season cycle

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