Classical Gas, by California Guitar Trio and Cats in the Cradle, by Harry Chapin
841 Words4 Pages
A human being begins from one of the smallest cells in the body. We then, grow and evolve into extremely complex mechanisms made up of individual parts, such as the brain, the bones, and the heart. However, no matter how complex, a human is only one work, with individual parts working together to make it functional. Similarly, a work of art is composed of individual elements collaborating to create the overall work. Beginning with the colors chosen, to the way the artist swipes their brush in specific directions creating distinct textures, the work would not be complete without its most minute component. The same concept can be applied to musical pieces. A great musical work would not be complete without the original combinations of musical instruments, voices, lyrics, and meaning. Two examples of this idea are “Classical Gas” by California Guitar Trio and “Cat’s in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin.
In reference to music we can indentify specific aspects of pitch, including harmony and melody. Harmony refers to the relationship of sounds that happen simultaneously while melody refers to the relationship between sounds that occur one right after the other. “Classical Gas” has a melody, which means it has a hummable tune accompanied by a wide pitch range. Some notes are leisurely and low, while others burst into rapid, loud sounds. “Cat’s in the Cradle” also has a melody, however, its pitch range is much narrower than “Classical Gas”. It does have high and low notes, but the high notes seem to mostly come during the chorus of the song, rather than randomly throughout the piece. “Classical Gas” is mostly presented in a conjunct, or stepwise motion, however, some leaps, or disjunct motions are prominent and repeated throughout the song. F...
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...diate slight decrescendo when the chorus ends. In this case, I would argue that the instrumental background adds to the lyrics by giving it a specific beat and accentuating the sounds of the words, with sounds from the guitar or drums. The overall dynamic level in this piece is mezzo-forte, meaning somewhat loud.
“Classical Gas” by California Guitar Trio is consisted of three acoustic guitars. “’We’re kind of unique in the sense that we’re playing this progressive instrumental music on only acoustic guitars,’ [said Paul] Richards” (Cleveland). All three of the guitars combined together create a mellow, but still, exciting tone color. “Cat’s in the Cradle” includes a melodious electric guitar, as well as another string that allows the crescendos for the chorus to occur, it also includes a vocal instrument (Harry Chapin), and drums can be heard in the background.