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Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody

            When looking intellectually at songs of the rock and roll genre, it is rare for a song to stand up under close scrutiny. Many songs of said genre are little more than a catchy riff overly repeated and inane lyrics about relationships. When looking for a song that has been truly orchestrated the first and foremost song that comes to mind is Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody. This is a song in which the lyrics, not the music carries the song. Lyrically, Bohemian Rhapsody is a journey through the plight of a man tormented by a single ill-fated action. One of the most unique aspects of this song is that it does not follow the classic pattern of consisting primarily of verses and choruses, but rather five distinct parts, an intro, a ballad, an opera, a rock, and then ends with an outro. .
             First off is the Intro. The song opens with a harmonized and sweeping, dream-like acappella melody in which a choir of layered voices sings, "Is this the real life? / Is this just fantasy? / caught in a landslide, / no escape from reality." This verse seems able to double both as an immediate reaction to the man's act and a foreshadowing of his eventual and final state. During the intro Queen uses the technique of shifting the sound from the left channel to the right channel, which helps create the swaying, dream-like feel. The meter of the intro is an unusual 9/8 meter, which makes it somewhat difficult to count. For the first four measures of the song, there is no musical accompaniment. In the fifth measure a piano comes in and plays a few notes very softly under the vocals. Also, the meter switches to the standard 4/4, and remains for the rest of the song. The only other sound present is a synthesized swishing sound that lasts for about two beats. On the last downbeat of the intro the bass guitar comes in with a whole note, and continues to play whole notes through the bridge. The bridge between the intro and the ballad is one measure of piano that is played twice.

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