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markus heuger's
beabliography

Beabliography

 





 
  Abstract 0385
  Thompson, Gordon (2001), "Let me take you down ... to the subdominant. Tools of establishment and revealing the establishment." In: Yrjö Heinonen, Markus Heuger, Sheila Whitely, Terhi Nurmesjärvi and Jouni Koskimäki (eds.), Beatlestudies 3. Proceedings of the Beatles 2000 conference. Jyväskylä: University of Jyväskylä (Department of Music, Research Reports 23), 2001, 283-291.
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  George Martin has described "Strawberry Fields Forever" as his favourite Beatles recording (interview with Leeann Hanson, Sunday Edition, National Public Radio, 29 November 1998). John Lennon produced his escapist ode to childhood at a turning point in his career signalling a significant attitudinal shift in the seriousness of pop. While most listeners with a deep interest in the Beatles are aware that this recording is actually two different recordings spliced together, they are generally unaware of the social and musical tensions underlying the song itself.
  This article considers what musical analysis can reveal about one of the most important recordings of the second half of this century and about the social process that developed it. Musical analyses of official and unofficial versions reveal a developmental process in which Lennon and his musical compatriots wed the atypical to the typical and make a simple structure increasingly complex. This paper compares different versions of this song to track changes in harmonic progression, form, and key/pitch and to demonstrate that each individual contributed to the dialogue.
  The process is not that of one person, but several, each building on the contributions of others. One surprising discovery is that the song originally modulated to and ends in the key of the subdominant and that producer George Martin's scoring and manipulation of the final product attempts to bring it back to the tonic. However, the final versions of the song also show a harmonic battle between the two key areas and between Martin and the Beatles.
  Revealing the structure threatens popular bourgeois notions of an idealistic artistic naïveté for pop performers. In the rock/blues corner of the popular music universe, an uneasy interplay between the energy of innocence and the passion of technique drives the evolutionary structure and destroys the power of the medium. However, to the contrary, this analysis illustrates how collective interpretation can amplify a musical idea and the methodology of an experienced and dedicated songwriter.
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