• ROCK HARMONY RECONSIDERED: TONAL, MODAL AND CONTRAPUNTAL VOICE-LEADING SYSTEMS IN RADIOHEAD

    Author(s):
    Brad Osborn (see profile)
    Date:
    2017
    Group(s):
    Society for Music Theory
    Subject(s):
    Music theory
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    harmony and voice-leading, rock harmony, Popular music, radiohead
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6BN9X265
    Abstract:
    A great deal of the harmony and voice leading in the British rock group Radiohead’s recorded output between 1997 and 2011 can be heard as elaborating either traditional tonal structures or establishing pitch centricity through purely contrapuntal means. This mode of hearing Radiohead’s music departs from theories of rock harmony that (1) focus on fretboard-specific melodic gestures, (2) highlight the role of modal scalar collections or (3) associate pitch centricity with hypermetric emphasis. Willingness to hear Radiohead’s contrapuntal practice – a keyboard-centred affair in this mature period – in such a prolongational way demands hearing non-tonic phrase beginnings and even entire formal sections in keys for which no tonic chord is present. Graphic techniques ultimately derived from Schenker (though adapted for rock music by Everett, Burns and Nobile) illuminate this comparatively conservative way of hearing rock harmony. Under this rigorous model, which privileges descending fifth motions and melodically fluent contrapuntal structure, Radiohead’s 1997– 2011 corpus reveals three distinct systems of voice leading and harmony: functional tonal, functional modal and contrapuntal.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    12 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
    Share this:

    Downloads

    Item Name:pdf osborn-rock-harmony-reconsidered.pdf
     Download View in browser
    Activity: Downloads: 224