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S tarting in the M iddle : A uxiliary C adences in the B eatles ’ S ongs

S tarting in the M iddle : A uxiliary C adences in the B eatles ’ S ongs ABSTRACT Establishment of the opening tonic is one of the structural foundations of orthodox tonal practice regardless of period or genre. While this principle was almost always honoured, historically speaking, throughout the eighteenth century, nineteenth‐century composers sometimes chose to deviate from it, as did the Beatles in the rather different context of twentieth‐century popular song. The present discussion of non‐tonic beginnings in the music of the Beatles is based primarily on the Schenkerian concept of the auxiliary cadence. In the first instance, it explores the nature of such cadences located either at the opening of a song, or at the beginning of one of its inner subdivisions. In addition to illuminating the functional significance of the absent tonic, the commentary also proceeds to evaluate its purpose as a rhetorical device intended to amplify the meaning of the sung text. During the course of the narrative, a number of important distinctions are drawn between auxiliary progressions and regressions, open and closed auxiliary units, and short‐range and long‐range auxiliary progressions. Among the various songs examined in some detail are: ‘She Loves You’, ‘All My Loving’, ‘If I Fell’, ‘I’ll Follow the Sun’, ‘Help!’, ‘Strawberry Fields’, ‘I Am the Walrus’, ‘Hello Goodbye’ and ‘Happiness Is a Warm Gun’. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Music Analysis Wiley

S tarting in the M iddle : A uxiliary C adences in the B eatles ’ S ongs

Music Analysis , Volume 25 (1‐2) – Mar 1, 2006

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0262-5245
eISSN
1468-2249
DOI
10.1111/j.1468-2249.2006.00236.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

ABSTRACT Establishment of the opening tonic is one of the structural foundations of orthodox tonal practice regardless of period or genre. While this principle was almost always honoured, historically speaking, throughout the eighteenth century, nineteenth‐century composers sometimes chose to deviate from it, as did the Beatles in the rather different context of twentieth‐century popular song. The present discussion of non‐tonic beginnings in the music of the Beatles is based primarily on the Schenkerian concept of the auxiliary cadence. In the first instance, it explores the nature of such cadences located either at the opening of a song, or at the beginning of one of its inner subdivisions. In addition to illuminating the functional significance of the absent tonic, the commentary also proceeds to evaluate its purpose as a rhetorical device intended to amplify the meaning of the sung text. During the course of the narrative, a number of important distinctions are drawn between auxiliary progressions and regressions, open and closed auxiliary units, and short‐range and long‐range auxiliary progressions. Among the various songs examined in some detail are: ‘She Loves You’, ‘All My Loving’, ‘If I Fell’, ‘I’ll Follow the Sun’, ‘Help!’, ‘Strawberry Fields’, ‘I Am the Walrus’, ‘Hello Goodbye’ and ‘Happiness Is a Warm Gun’.

Journal

Music AnalysisWiley

Published: Mar 1, 2006

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