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Old 02-22-2015, 06:05 AM   #1
HaydenHohns
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Music Analysis for the Metal Fan 1

OK guys, as promised, I've written a short article on Inno A Satana by Emperor. I hope you enjoy it, learn from it or find things I could improve on (please criticise me if you can). I was going to include more figures but Sibelius was being a real pain to deal with so I need to sort that out for later articles. Here's a link to the file (~182 KB download) made with Drop Canvas (I think the download link will expire after about 14 days so keep that in mind). If there are any pieces in particular you think might be worthy of analysis then let me know (although I'll be going back to uni in about a week so another won't happen until a little while later). Otherwise I think I might do some Anubis Gate. Especially something from The Detached, that's probably my favourite album ever.

dropcanvas.com/8ha9d/1

Last edited by HaydenHohns : 02-22-2015 at 06:40 AM.
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Old 02-22-2015, 09:07 AM   #2
Knarrenheino
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It's long ago since I was a bit into musicology, so sadly your analysis is a bit above my head, although it's always interesting to see a metal track analysed in classical music terms, some of them really deserve that. Emperor sure is very high up in that list. What I didn't know is that there's also Norse folk influences in their music.

No request (since I can understand only a few bits anyway), but Satyricon is also worth a look, the Mother North song & album in particular. Compared to Emperor, stronger folk/medieval influences (a good example is the hurdy-gurdy style opening theme of Immortality Passion). A notable characteristic of Satyricon is excessive use of unusual rhythms (5/4 or 7/4), frequently changing bar lengths (like 6/4 - 6/4 - 6/4 - 8/4, or 6/8 - 2/4, or 9/8 - 4/4 - 7/8; forgive me if I'm incorrect, I have difficulties telling if something's a 6/4 or two 6/8 or two 3/4 etc.--my point is irregular beat counts), or just five- or seven-bar themes.

You probably know it already, but if not, I thought you might be interested in that.

edit: only the song's named Mother North, the album is Nemesis Divina
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Old 02-22-2015, 04:20 PM   #3
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This is written like it should be in a scientific journal haha. Well I'll give it a read but I know it'll be too much for my lack of knowledge. I think I'd only be mirroring everyone else's thoughts on music theory, so I'll just say I think it's pretty rad.

EDIT: It actually wasn't that inaccessible. Good stuff Hayden homes.
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Old 02-22-2015, 05:10 PM   #4
HaydenHohns
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@Knarrenheino: I am familiar with Satyricon but not that track specifically, I'll take a look anyway. If you like the Folk/Medieval influence in Black Metal, I highly recommend Darkenhold.

@severed-metal: Glad it wasn't too out of reach, I might keep adding stuff to it but I know Anubis Gate have written some very sophisticated stuff so I want to try transcribe some of their stuff. Artefact is another Black Metal band that do have some very interesting stuff so I'll have to try transcribing their stuff too.
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Old 02-22-2015, 07:21 PM   #5
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Fukk yes. This is something I've always wanted to be able to do, but I never have enough time to study music theory because of my classes. I took an introductory course on music theory which covered up to the circle of fifths, intervals, and building triads. Hopefully one day I will be able to learn enough to be able to analyze at this level.

I'd like to comment on the format as well. It's very sophisticated. It looks like it could be a rough outline of your music theory master's thesis.

Since you're into math and all, have you ever looked into the applications of pure math subjects, like abstract algebra, set theory, analysis, etc. to music theory? Since I'm majoring in math, that's something I would eventually like to at least investigate.
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Old 02-22-2015, 07:39 PM   #6
Knarrenheino
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HaydenHohns
If you like the Folk/Medieval influence in Black Metal, I highly recommend Darkenhold.


I don't really :P I lost interest in that long ago, Mayhem is more my cup of tea. But thanks anyway.
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Old 02-22-2015, 11:01 PM   #7
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This is way more complex than I thought it would be
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Old 02-23-2015, 06:04 AM   #8
HaydenHohns
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@Kytokinesis: Really glad you liked it and if there's anything you didn't understand in the article then I'll happily assist where possible. If you know how to construct triads then you're not far off more complicated chords and then that's where the more interesting melodic content comes into play.

In case you were wondering, I wrote this in LaTex, something I have used numerous times for some papers I've written and my assignments. If you do end up doing a thesis, then you must use LaTex.

Also, I thought you said you were Physics with a minor in Computer Science? Anyway, I'm not so great at Abstract Algebra but Analysis is definitely my game (along with its computational children in numerical solutions to PDEs, interpolation, Compressed Sensing, etc). Also, I have written a piece which used sequences to generate melodies and then used basic calculus to make variations on the piece. I only ended up recording the first movement but I attached a link below if you're interested. That was back when I had just finished high school though. I might revisit it and write a paper on it too.

https://soundcloud.com/haydenhohns/...dia-mathematica

Also, Mathematics > Science.

Knarrenheino: No worries, and Mayhem is cool too. I don't really have recommendations though since you probably already know the more popular ones and Mayhem are a fairly unique band.

@Ironic Maiden: Do you have any questions? Ask them while I have time (until start of March roughly).
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Old 02-23-2015, 08:12 AM   #9
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One thing I would suggest is a section about the overall structure of the song. You break it up into three movements, but you could explain the significance of that.

I found it a very interesting read and it certainly revealed things that I hadn't noticed about the song before. I'd like to see a comparison between that and something off Vikingligr Veldi.
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Old 02-23-2015, 03:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HaydenHohns
@Ironic Maiden: Do you have any questions? Ask them while I have time (until start of March roughly).

I'm actually familiar with everything you're writing about, I just didn't think it would be as complicated as it is, but I suppose Emperor is a bit more complex than other Black Metal bands.
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Old 02-23-2015, 06:10 PM   #11
Knarrenheino
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HaydenHohns
Knarrenheino: No worries, and Mayhem is cool too. I don't really have recommendations though since you probably already know the more popular ones and Mayhem are a fairly unique band.


No worries either I know a black metal band or two. I just thought that Satyricon, and especially the Nemesis Divina album, should be pretty interesting for musicology.
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Old 02-23-2015, 06:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironic Maiden
I suppose Emperor is a bit more complex than other Black Metal bands.


You could say that, I'm still amazed how diverse this sub-genre is. I mean, you have fantasy LOTR stuff with lots of synths, you have that viking or medieval thing, you have mental disorders like Mayhem, you have very sophisticated and complicated bands like Emperor and then you have extreme primitivism going as far as one-chord songs, and all is part of black metal.
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Old 02-23-2015, 06:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knarrenheino
you have fantasy LOTR stuff with lots of synths

ooo I request a Summoning analysis next!
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Old 02-24-2015, 05:00 AM   #14
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@Hoodoo Man: You bring up a good point, it was mainly for the change in tempo for each section that I divided it, and I know I learned a few things from writing it myself. I agree about the Enslaved comparison, I'll take a look into it when I have time.

@Ironic Maiden: Wait until I get to bands like Anubis Gate, Artefact, Beyond Twilight, etc. They take compositional complexity to a whole new level.

Knarrenheino: I totally agree, I feel that so many people don't give the genre credit when it demands it.

@Kytokinesis: I'm not really a fan of Summoning, but I might try and find something I like from them and do one.
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Old 02-24-2015, 07:03 AM   #15
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I've always felt that VV was more like typical black metal in the execution as opposed to the grandiose shown by Emporer. Most songs had 3 to 4 pieces that made up to more of the sum and although similar in aesthetic, they differ in execution.
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Old 02-24-2015, 08:27 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by progbass
I've always felt that VV was more like typical black metal in the execution as opposed to the grandiose shown by Emporer. Most songs had 3 to 4 pieces that made up to more of the sum and although similar in aesthetic, they differ in execution.

That's true. I think Enslaved are more similar to Summoning structurally, but the comparison with Emperor is made a lot, so I thought it would be an interesting subject.
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Old 02-26-2015, 01:21 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HaydenHohns
dropcanvas.com/8ha9d/1


Pardon me for opinion, but I will,


This is awesome. A lot better layout than I was envisioning from you, you have a gift.

But at times too analytical. That is good, but just analytics? It gives off the idea that this great song is really legible. I see where that is important/'useful' for study, but it comes off as 'simplifying without expanding upon' or something. The title is INNO A SATANA... where's the freedom??

Root to 5th, I see, this taught me a lot about the song in perspective I hadn't might 'truly' appreciated, theoretically-speaking,

but why not throw in some interps, I see thou hath the power to force any light in wane.

but holy shit, that part when it transfers over in the latter half 3inahalf min in,,, why are they chanting that?? forever bleed/praise hollowed, hallowed fkng chants, what is this - imperfect cadence too?

Obviously I'm drunk and dont really know what Im talking about that much, just friendly out-the-boxness eh. Too much left-brain in the writing; illegible it up a bit. Just friendly, deconstructive criticism
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Old 02-26-2015, 05:29 AM   #18
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@progbass: In execution maybe, but I don't think they're too far apart. Musically very different but still "grand" IMO.

@Fat Lard: Well regardless, I truly do appreciate your opinion and reply. There's certainly nothing wrong with some good old (de)constructive criticism.

I guess that's because I come from a Maths/Engineering background, there was and still is (nearly) no room for opinion, just cold facts. I guess I could add a little spice of opinion here and there in a document like this though.

Actually the voicings played by guitar 1 in the second half of the phrase imply some slightly more complicated chords but for the most part it's a VI - IV progression. Follow that with a V and you get 99% of all chord progressions in Iron Maiden (eg., Amin, Fmaj, Gmaj).
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Old 02-26-2015, 03:07 PM   #19
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If anything, I WANT Hayden to be the cold, metallic calculating ears that he is. He is the counterpoint melody to my bleeding hearts that I call ears. Let him exercise his specialty and lay it in bed, side by side, with mine. Watch them copulate to create a fuller, more satisfying product.

Hayden you have encouraged me to the furthest degree. I have been surprisingly busy this week but plan on getting in touch with you to see what we can provide each other in making a product with even more universal appeal for people of like mindedness. You with your Mentat calculations; I with my artistic zealotry.

I will submit an article to you for you to create a Drop Canvas for if you wish, or I will be create another thread or two. I have already worked out in my mind two subjects I will be touching. If you show interest in working together, I can make this weekly thing.
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Old 02-26-2015, 03:15 PM   #20
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This sort of approach is wonderful. It translates my "oooh, aaahh" moments into "So THAT'S what I was feeling right there!" I fucking love it. Killer job Hayden.
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