Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday night video: The Antlers - "Two"

This song was part of a sampler I recently downloaded from Amazon. The music leans toward the sad and wistful, the lyrics are dark, disturbing and tragic. These are already good reasons for me to include it here, but this song has a good example of a musical phenomenon that has always interested me and tugs at my soul: suspended notes. This might also be referred to as "drones," but I don't like to use that word because of the negative connotations it holds for many; "drone" is often equated with "boring."

I will probably not be able to adequately put into words what I'm getting at, but I'll try. A suspended note when used properly adds its own kind of depth to the music: the sweetness of the harmony when the surrounding chord structure fits the note, and the tension of an out-of-place note when the surrounding chords do not fit with that note. The given note remains the same, but its color changes as the chords around it change.

In this song, listen for the distorted guitar in the background that holds the same note throughout almost the entire song. I believe the song is in the key of A, and the note we're listening for is an E, the fifth of the scale (or a "So") in this key.

1 comment:

  1. The interesting thing about suspended notes is the emotional base they can give a song, and how you can listen to the music for a long time before you actually hear them. This happened to me with the version of "Salterello" by Dead Can Dance.