I am beginning to notice problems, as I review my previous formal analyses, with structural labeling. In analyzing song structure, I am seeking to find patterns, which are more easily recognizable when categorical labels are applied to sections of a song. That way I can browse past analyses and compare how any given section is used between any number of different songs. But this labeling is a facet of analytical nomenclature and not necessarily reflective of the song itself. In other words, what you call something has no effect on what that something actually is. As William Shakespeare so eloquently put it, "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." And sure enough, my labeling a section as being a verse, middle 8, bridge, chorus, et cetera does not change the music in any way shape or form. What I am discovering, then, is that in applying labels to these sections, I am guilty to a certain extent of pigeonholing and abstracting the music to a degree that doesn't necessarily reflect the music itself. Of course this is inevitable - all analysis of this type must necessarily abstract generalities, otherwise no conclusions could ever be drawn - but at some point it becomes too abstracted to be helpful, and that is precisely the concern I am currently facing.
So, with all of that in mind, my formal analyses from now on will include a hierarchical outlining of formal structure in which the largest formal delineations will be the least indented (further to the left as you read it), and successively smaller formal articulations will be progressively further indented (further to the right as you read it). This won't solve the problem entirely, of course, but it will help illustrate the hierarchy of formal design, and I hope will assuage the problem of abstraction through labeling.
Formal structure of "You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)":
Section A 0:00-0:46
Section B 0:46-2:19
Section C 2:19-3:02
chorus (ext) 2:42-3:02*
Section D 3:02-4:19
chorus (ext) 3:51-4:19*
Comments: "You Know My Name" is similar structurally to "Happiness is a Warm Gun" (although I won't get to that one for another few weeks) in that they are both songs that adopt a four part macro-scale formal structure in which each section is characteristically independent of the other three. Each of those four can then be further broken down into subsections.
The subdivisions within each quarter use identical or nearly identical chord progressions to those subdivisions of the same name of the other quarters (i.e. all the verses listed above share a common progression, as do all the choruses). In other words, the music is the same from quarter to quarter, but the style and character of that music is completely different.
Notice that both sections C and D extend the final chorus (in fact, both use identical chord progressions in those extensions).
This blog is a workshop for developing my analyses of The Beatles' music.