[Smt-talk] equal division of the octave in pop songs

Philip Ewell pewell at hunter.cuny.edu
Sun Aug 29 19:15:06 PDT 2010


Another great wholetone example is Stereolab's "Black Ants in Sound- 
Dust" from Sound Dust.  The piece is based on Scriabin's Mystic Chord  
(I verified this with Tim Gane via the band's manager, Martin Pike, a  
few years back), which is of course 5 of 6 notes from the wholetone  
scale.  Beginning with a clearly arpeggiated mystic chord on C4, the  
piece then has an ascending bass-line wholetone scale from C3 to C4,  
stated three times.  For the fourth statement, the G# switches to A,  
thus turning the wholetone scale into the mystic chord that began the  
piece.  The same thing happens with a descending wholetone line as  
well.  A nice interplay between the chord and the scale, I should say.

And Regina Spektor has a nice wholetone scale, also with centric pitch  
C, in "Twenty Years of Snow" from Begin to Hope.  Works well with the  
overall key of C major.



Philip Ewell, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Music Theory
Hunter College and the Graduate Center
City University of New York
695 Park Ave
NY NY 10065
Work: 212-396-6253
pewell at hunter.cuny.edu

On Aug 27, 2010, at 7:25 PM, arne0102 at umn.edu wrote:

> Hi everyone,
> I'm looking for examples of popular songs (any genre) that employ  
> equal division of the octave.
> Thanks,
> Mark Arneson
> University of Minnesota
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> Smt-talk at societymusictheory.org
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