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Posted: 13 Apr 08, 15:00 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Upon listening to The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra's interpretation of Innuendo, which actually followed quite closely to the original format, I realized just how sophisticated and classical the piece is in structure and context. From the rolling of the snare drum, to the epic of contemplation and pain, to the Spanish dance, to the return of contemplation and pain, this song, for lack of a better term, is beautiful. It's probably one of Queen's greatest musical accomplishments and should stand right up there along side Bohemian Rhapsody.


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Posted: 13 Apr 08, 15:10 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Never heard this version. Is it an official release ?

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Posted: 13 Apr 08, 15:15 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Check it out:

http://www.emusic.com/album/The-Royal-Philharmonic-Orchestra-Queen-s-Rhapsody-The-Hits-Of-Queen-MP3-Download/10813267.html


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Posted: 13 Apr 08, 15:47 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Thanks for the link

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Posted: 13 Apr 08, 15:56 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

You're welcome.


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Posted: 14 Apr 08, 06:01 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Thank you for the link, Steve - I always liked the RPO's take on rock and pop music, and I agree, it does highlight beautifully Innuendo's structure and complexity.

I must add, that song IS the reason I (re-)discovered Queen, and to me personally it stood (almost) on a par with Bo Rhap right from the start...


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Posted: 14 Apr 08, 07:26 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Actually, a close look reveals it's not even half as complex as Bo Rhap, except for the rhythm (no other Queen song has a section almost entirely in 5/4). But harmony and form are much simpler than those in Bo Rhap (or Millionaire Waltz, or March of the Black Queen and some others).


John hated HS. Fred's fave singer was not PR. Roger didn't compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Scotland's not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 voices.
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Posted: 14 Apr 08, 09:50 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Sebastian wrote:

Actually, a close look reveals it's not even half as complex as Bo Rhap, except for the rhythm (no other Queen song has a section almost entirely in 5/4). But harmony and form are much simpler than those in Bo Rhap (or Millionaire Waltz, or March of the Black Queen and some others).


I wonder why you think a 5/4 bar is more complex than the basic 4/4. It's like comparing oranges and apples - they're just different ways of organizing time in music. Dave Brubeck should count as one of the most complex composeres ever if we accept these criteria - and he's not, his music is quite simple and straightforward under any perspective.

On the other hand, most of what's considered daringly complex in music comes in the traditional 4/4...so I guess, at least here, you missed the point.

Harmony in Bohemian Rhapsody is not complex at all. It's fairly simple. If you take Millionaire Waltz, then, yes, I agree with you, the harmony is pretty cool and beautiful and it emulates counterpunctual lines and simple fugues - it's still emulation, let's not forget that, and that's why Queen has such a beautiful different sound: it's NOT classical music. And it doesn't have to be so to be both complex, difficult and extremely beautiful. Millionaire is just one example. The vocals in Melancholy Blues, for example, or pieces of some of Bach's Partitas for piano quoted here and there in Love of My Life, are stunning, and don't come as complex to many people.

Melancholy Blues is just Freddie and the piano basically. It's far more complex than Bohemian Rhapsody: intervals, dynamic range, modulation, all is far better explored in the first.

I think, just my humble opinion, people mistake the lavish and beautiful overdubbings of Bohemian Rhapsody for complexity and sophistication. It's quite the contrary, in my opinion, and there are several songs by Queen which I find way better and difficult.

Thanks for the post.


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Posted: 14 Apr 08, 10:31 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Wonderful post, Yara.

I agree with you upon your saying the harmonies in Bohemian Rhapsody aren't quite as complex as people make them out to be. I also agree with your comparison of 5/4 and 4/4 time signatures. As long as you understand the note values and how many beats go into each measure every signature is pretty much the same in difficulty level. I'd like to introduce all of you to a man, who you may already know. His name is Tolga Kashif and he took Queen's music and transposed it into classical form. You will find his final product here (well worth the money):

http://www.amazon.com/Queen-Symphony-Kashif/dp/B00006JC6Q

Mr. Kashif said that "In seeking to reinvent rather than purely orchestrate it, I have found that Queen's music inherently contains the language of the modern classical genre."

He also said that:

"In many respects, Queen's music is embedded in the juxtaposition of classic and rock genres; the sound may be rock-oriented but, when stripped down to the bare components, the core contains as valid a thematic basis for symphonic treatment as any work in this genre...The original Queen recordings naturally suggested an orchestral/choral canvas. Layered guitars resembled layers of orchestral strings; the diversity of solo expression in both voice and guitar-from extreme lyrical tenderness to rhapsodic exuberance-suggested the language of concerto or opera. The harmonic and melodic structures were reminiscent of Classical form, with intelligently woven counterpoint, while the chord progressions ranged from Medieval to Romantic influences."

Take his word for it!


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Posted: 14 Apr 08, 10:53 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Innuendo rocks! \m/


and ya cant stop rockin
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Posted: 14 Apr 08, 16:59 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

> I wonder why you think a 5/4 bar is more complex than the basic 4/4.

Well, more complex - less simple... you know what I mean.

> It's like comparing oranges and apples - they're just different ways of organizing time in music.

Yes, one of which is more complex (i.e. less simple) than the other.

> most of what's considered daringly complex in music comes in the traditional 4/4

Yes but its complexity lies on other things, most of the time.

> Harmony in Bohemian Rhapsody is not complex at all. It's fairly simple.

Yet much less simple than the one in Innuendo.

> Melancholy Blues is just Freddie and the piano basically. It's far more complex than Bohemian Rhapsody: intervals, dynamic range, modulation, all is far better explored in the first.

In terms of form Bo Rhap is much more complex (less simple); in terms of harmony, Blues may have some more exotic chords, but it's not 'far better explored' IMO.

> people mistake the lavish and beautiful overdubbings of Bohemian Rhapsody for complexity and sophistication.

While most of the parts are quite simple (parallel), there are some daring things too (for Freddie's standards), like the chromatic I > bII modulation, the 'no no no' counterpoint, the bi-tonalities... while not overtly complex, they're much more complex (less simple) than Innuendo.


John hated HS. Fred's fave singer was not PR. Roger didn't compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Scotland's not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 voices.
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Posted: 14 Apr 08, 22:19 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Sebastian wrote:

>

Well, more complex - less simple... you know what I mean.

...

While most of the parts are quite simple (parallel), there are some daring things too (for Freddie's standards), like the chromatic I > bII modulation, the 'no no no' counterpoint, the bi-tonalities... while not overtly complex, they're much more complex (less simple) than Innuendo.


Hi! Well, really, I don't know what you mean. To put it bluntly, 5/4 means only that you're playing an additional quarter note per measure. Does that mean it's more complex than 4/4? Depending on what you're playing, one could argue, and it'd make no sense either way, that 4/4 is more complex than 5/4. I guess the riddle here is: one beat more doesn't mean "more complexity", especially if the quality of the note played is the same (5/4 and 4/4). It's just that isolating time signature is meaningless, in my opinion - it means something as long as it's related to the song: it's about organizing time in music; for conveying certain music ideas, the use of 4/4 can be considered more complex than 5/4, you know that. For other ideas, which can happen to be quite simple, 5/4 is the best way to go. I mean, the song has to be analyzed on a whole, otherwise it doesn't make much sense.

That's what I mean. But I know what you were getting at, and then, yes, I agree, if we take the whole song and the rythm is coherent to its structure and yet irregular, then, yes, one could say that the song is more complex in regard to rythm. I think that was what you were trying to get at. But then, again, My Melancholy Blues is trickier than Bohemian. ;-)))

Well, there's no counterpoint in Bohemian Rhapsody, I think. The "no no no" is not a counterpoint, by no means! There's no bi-tonality either, there's a dominant tonal center and some modulation. But then, again, My Melancholy Blues, oh god, that one is complex in regard to tonality - the tonal palette is really generous, so to speak. Freddie is the complexity itself, he's the incarnation of complexity in that song. The singing, the piano and the interaction between both are just, I mean, outright wonderful.

I have heard decent interpretations of Bohemian by local choral groups and orchestras. I have never heard any decent rendition of My Melancholy Blues and, to be quite frank, most people I know wouldn't dare trying.

Just my opinion, of course. I respect yours and, what I like the most, we're just trying to sort out what's the most beautiful and rich song by Queen, and the competion is quite hard. So many great songs.

Queen was a great band, really. I look forward to listening to the next album.

By the way, I like Innuendo too, Steve! Very beautiful song.


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Posted: 15 Apr 08, 00:02 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

'No no no no no no no': Top part is escalating (1, b2, m3, P4, m7, M7, m9), middle bit is too but with mostly different intervals (1, M2, M3, TT, +5, M7, m9), and bass-voice is down a major second, then up a perfect fourth, then down a minor second, then up another perfect fourth, then down an augmented fifth, then up a perfect fourth. That's a first-species counterpoint, indeed.

'Blues': Omitting basic inversions and alterations (sevenths, extended...), it's got the following chords:

Eb: I
f: ii
g: iii
AB: IV
Bb: V
c: vi

edim: biidim
G: V/vi
gdim: iiidim
ghalfdim: "v"
ab: iv
bb: v
C: IV/V/vi
D: V/iii
ddim: viidim

'Bo Rhap' has, just in the intro:

Bb: I
c: ii
Eb: IV
F: V
g: vi

Cb:bII
C:V/V
dbdim: biiidim
ddim: iiidim
Ab: IV/IV
A: V/iii


John hated HS. Fred's fave singer was not PR. Roger didn't compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Scotland's not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 voices.
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Posted: 15 Apr 08, 01:55 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Dissonant intervals, unison before the ending, lack of contrary motion - consonance is achieved by similar motion, which prevails instead of contrary motion - insufficient autonomy between the voices, etc. Definitely not a first-species counterpoint, but, as I said, a good approximation and emulation which sounds extremely beautiful.

I mean, it doesn't have to be a strict first-species counterpoint to be good - it's quite thrilling.

As I said, I respect your opinion, but there's no way I can think of "no no no no no no no" as counterpoint. Consonance through similar motion just jumps right out into my face, I can't pretend it's not there, sorry. lol And it's not strictly speaking a dissonant counterpoint either. Only a juxtaposition of voices by overdubbing.

By the way, I love Bohemian. It's just that I prefer My Melancholy Blues: Queen is so good that we can chose among two amazing songs. The complexity of Freddie's singing in Melancholy Blues is just mind-boggling. It'd take a whole essay to describe it, it's serious. Its interplay with the piano, it's the work of a genius, no doubt. My Melancholy Blues is in my humble opinion one of the most impressive Queen songs, and there are many!

There are many Queen songs that are deceptively simple. And yet, if you take a closer look, they are more complex or rich than the overdubbing in Bohemian Rhapsody, which is pretty much what the unlikely "counterpoint" boils down to. It's just a juxtaposition of voices, not a counterpoint, and it's done in a very artificial way, but that's it, it's a great song all the same, I don't care. I love Bohemian, but I do think Queen has many other - and more -interesting songs.

A deceptively simple song: "Let Me Entertain You". Just like "My Melancholy blues" - it seems Bohemian is richer and more complex, but when you go for them...damn.

There's almost a counterpoint in Let Me Entertain You. I'll leave you with this riddle. And an imitative one, by the way. ;-)))

Thanks for the thoughtful post.




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Posted: 15 Apr 08, 08:52 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I think you misunderstood my 'no no' explanation. The sheet is found here: http://sebastian.queenconcerts.com/5/f-borhap-no3.gif, and the graphic here: http://sebastian.queenconcerts.com/5/f-borhap-no2.gif, which reveals opposite motion (i.e. counterpoint). But yes, it's not entirely a counterpoint - but it's halfway there ;)

I still consider 'Bo Rhap' to be much more complex (or much less simple) than 'Blues' and 'Innuendo' (which is the main topic anyway). 'MMB' has square phrasing, simple form (Intro - Verse - Chorus - Bridge - Solo - Bridge - Solo), and harmony's not that adventurous except for some chromatic progressions here and there, and there are no modulations.

'Bo Rhap' on the other hand, has some nice phrasing tricks (e.g. 4+3+2+2+3 in the intro, 3.5+3+4+2 in the sung part of the rock section, 5-bar phrases in the outro), a much more adventurous form, bi-tonality ('Galileo'), some stranger progressions (e.g. bvi > bV > V/iii > bVI > bIII > v > I), etc.

I'm not saying it's better, just, more sophisticated and musically advanced. By far.


John hated HS. Fred's fave singer was not PR. Roger didn't compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Scotland's not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 voices.
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Posted: 18 Apr 08, 07:11 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

> I wonder why you think a 5/4 bar is more complex than the basic 4/4.

>>Well, more complex - less simple... you know what I mean.





Hmm, I don't agree with that. It's just that 4/4 is such the standard, ask someone who is not a musician or a songwriter to make up a tune and you can bet it's a 4/4. And that's because it's the meter you hear in everyday life. On the radio, in tv tunes, jingles, commercials, somebody whistling on the street.

It's not that it's less complex. It's just that everybody is familiar with it. That would also mean that changing a pear to a mango in a fruit salad would make you a better cook. And make the recipe more complex, or hard. But it's just the same, only we are more used to pears than to mango's.


If you were born on a tropical island you would your mango's in your everyday salad and dinner. You wouldn't even think of using something strange as a pear.

This is the same with music, when you listen to jazz or progressive rock, or classical music more often it would be much easier for you to make a melody or drum rythm in, let's say, a 9/8.

It doesn't make it more complex, it's just changing the recipe.




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Posted: 18 Apr 08, 08:23 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Felixk wrote:

Yara wrote:

There are many Queen songs that are deceptively simple.
Why don't you go to the Bach community and talk about textbook counterpoints instead of bashing Queen?
... since when a compliment equals bashing, in English...?


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Posted: 18 Apr 08, 11:41 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

FriedChicken<br><font size=1>The Almighty</font> wrote:

ask someone who is not a musician or a songwriter to make up a tune and you can bet it's a 4/4.


Precisely because it's simple.

FriedChicken<br><font size=1>The Almighty</font> wrote:

And that's because it's the meter you hear in everyday life. On the radio, in tv tunes, jingles, commercials, somebody whistling on the street.


...because it's simple.

FriedChicken<br><font size=1>
That would also mean that changing a pear to a mango in a fruit salad would make you a better cook. And make the recipe more complex, or hard.



IMO that's not a correct analogy. It'd be more like this: rather than putting the fruit salad in a plate, you arrange it in a slightly more adventurous way. Not in a 'complex' one (e.g. a pyramid), but still, not as basic as the 4/4 plate.

FriedChicken<br><font size=1>This is the same with music, when you listen to jazz or progressive rock, or classical music more often it would be much easier for you to make a melody or drum rythm in, let's say, a 9/8.



Well, no: 4/4 would still be easier, as it appears a lot in classical, jazz and prog too. It's like: a neurosurgeon would obviously find it easier to cure acute coryza than influenza, even if both are (in most cases) 'basic' illnesses.


John hated HS. Fred's fave singer was not PR. Roger didn't compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Scotland's not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 voices.
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Posted: 18 Apr 08, 19:36 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

gnomo wrote:

Felixk wrote:

Yara wrote:

There are many Queen songs that are deceptively simple.
Why don't you go to the Bach community and talk about textbook counterpoints instead of bashing Queen?
... since when a compliment equals bashing, in English...?


Just ignore felix. He learned how to spell the word "pedantic" and just wants to use it to attack Yara.


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Posted: 21 Apr 08, 02:29 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

<font color=black face=jazztext>Steve wrote:

Upon listening to The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra's interpretation of Innuendo, which actually followed quite closely to the original format, I realized just how sophisticated and classical the piece is in structure and context. From the rolling of the snare drum, to the epic of contemplation and pain, to the Spanish dance, to the return of contemplation and pain, this song, for lack of a better term, is beautiful. It's probably one of Queen's greatest musical accomplishments and should stand right up their along side Bohemian Rhapsody.


yes, i think its easily as good as bohemian. A very good and deep song with alot of meaning. Basically summing up life and our existence here and bring up all the issues and how the species will "keep on trying"

very touching song. It just shows whats happened to music these days when you watch mtv and its basically a talentless bunch of half naked girls who cant sing or play an instrument to save their lives and they "sing" about the most meaningless stuff you can imagine, this world is going to hell...


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