The other day I blogged about John Lennon's 1972 album Some Time in New York City, calling it "the worst album Lennon ever released ... musically and artistically abysmal." That being said, it still has moments of brilliance. One such moment is the vocal harmony on 'Born in a Prison'.
In pop music, harmony in parallel thirds are by far the most common type of vocal harmony. But in 'Born in a Prison', John and Yoko sing in parallel fifths (shown in blue in the example below) and parallel fourths (shown in red), giving the music an oriental character.
The Beatles typically used thirds, as well, but occasionally implemented fourths and fifths. This might be best illustrated in the bridges of 'Eight Days A Week' and in the choruses of 'Every Little Thing', both of which use both parallel fifths (blue) and fourths (red).
A more recent example is Lorde's 2013 'Royals', which uses parallel fifths in the choruses.
I return to Massachusetts tomorrow for the third of four consecutive "Band of the Sixties":
Thursday, 6 October 2016, 7:00-8:00 p.m.
Milford Town Library, 80 Spruce St, Milford, MA
The Beatles: Band of the Sixties
Explore the music of The Beatles in this 60-minute multimedia presentation (part history and part musical analysis) spanning the full 1960's: beginning with the band's seminal visits to Hamburg, continuing through Beatlemania, and concluding with Abbey Road. The program will be supplemented with audio clips of music and excerpts from interviews with the band members.
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This blog is a workshop for developing my analyses of The Beatles' music.