Music can very loosely be broken down into two primary constituents: pitch (which is to say how high or low any given sound is), and rhythm (how short or long any given sound is). As I wrote in my 2013.01.26 and 2013.01.31 blogs, "Something" illustrates how George Harrison's compositional maturity encompassed pitch through the music of motivic unity and tonal structure. And where "Something" shows Harrison's developed sense of pitch, "Here Comes the Sun" shows his developed sense of rhythm.
Most music is written in quadruple meter, meaning four beats to every measure. In fact, that meter is so often used that it has earned the nickname "common time". "Here Comes the Sun" is mostly in common time, however at the end of each verse and especially in the middle 8, the meter changes. This is illustrated in the score example below.
A string of 3/8 bars helps conclude each verse, and reappear in the middle 8 along with a 5/8 bar. It is no coincidence that the climax of the song occurs immediately after the middle 8, with its constantly changing meters, as it transitions to the third and final verse. These changing time signatures help create tension, propelling the song to its climax.
This blog is a workshop for developing my analyses of The Beatles' music.