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Analyze a Foreign Song - Essay Example

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[Name of Student] [Name of Instructor] [Course] [Date] Foreign Song Analysis The song under analysis is “Mitwa”, a Hindi song from the soundtrack of the 2006 Indian film Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna or Never Say Goodbye. The lyrics for this song were composed by Javed Akhtar and it has been set to music by the Shankar – Ehsaan – Loy trio of music composers…
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Download file to see previous pages (“Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna – Part 8”). “Mitwa” is a typical instance of popular Bollywood film music in contemporary times. It has a catchy, lighthearted tune, fuses Western and Indian styles of music and even has a few lines of English lyrics. E.g.: “Love will find a way” is part of the refrain verse. The time signature is a simple 4/4. There are three main singers: Shafqat Amanat Ali, Shankar Mahadevan and Carolisa. The texture is therefore a polyphonic one. The leading voice is a tenor. The orchestra and chorus are present throughout the song and contribute significantly to the song. The orchestra comprises instruments of both the Indian classical music tradition as well as the Western music tradition. For instance, the Indian Tabla and the electric guitar are both discernible in the refrain (ref. 1:47 of the song). The form of the song, like most mainstream Bollywood music, is strophic. The tune of the first stanza is repeated for later stanzas; there is a common refrain as well. The device of counterpoint is also used at times, notably around 2:15 when the singer sings a taan, or a rapid progression of melodic notes. “Mitwa” is different from the typical Western popular song in several ways. The instruments it puts to use, like the Tabla and the Indian keyboard Harmonium, are not heard in mainstream pop music in America. If one were to compare it with something like Eminem’s “Lose Yourself”, the difference emerges right away. “Lose Yourself” is entirely a rap song with words that are spoken rather than sung to a repetitive percussion. Melody and harmony are not integral parts of a rap song. In “Mitwa” however, the orchestral music and melody of the songs are crucial to the song. “Mitwa” also has musical interludes and refrains that are very different from the refrain in “Lose Yourself” which is primarily rap. Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin’” belongs firmly to the traditions of Folk and Country & Western music. Comparing it with “Mitwa” also reveals differences. Dylan’s song relies primarily on the content of his lyrics to carry it through. The song itself is sung simply with a minimalist acoustic guitar accompaniment. This is in stark contrast with “Mitwa” which uses an extravagant orchestra throughout. “Mitwa” can be contrasted against a Bluesy track like Cream’s “Crossroads” too. “Crossroads” has an eight-note riff in its rhythm section whereas “Mitwa” has a refrain that is dominated by the percussive sounds of the Tabla and the Interlude music. This song has several eclectic features. The uses of an orchestra ensemble, the fusion of Western and Indian music and the use of English words in the lyrics are all its defining features. In this it is similar to the Western tradition of the musical and call-and-response urban gospel music. In both these styles there is the presence of a chorus, usually there is also an orchestra ensemble. The polyphonic texture and importance of melody are also common features. “Mitwa” can be compared to a song like “I Will Follow Him” from the Sister Act soundtrack which has a similar buildup. It starts out with just the vocals; then there is the introduction of the percussion and accompanying instruments and finally the climax with the entire chorus and orchestra. I liked the song because of its lilting tune that slowly builds up into a catchier beat. I ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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