Hello guys -if there are guys, is this forum dead? I don't know- I'm here out of desperation and boredom and perhaps a little irritation? I have to write a paper for my Music Theory class (a half year elective with a final paper, bleh) (yeah I'm in highschool) and I chose to write it on E is for Estranged because I want to marry it. Despite being in this class I really don't know anything about music, and this paper is supposed to be a 2000 word analysis of the song but I spent 1,800+ words being like, Owen has a really cool haircut and you should Google some pix, so I should get to the analysis part?? I've been trying to find some dirrrt on this song but all I ever get are lyrics, so if anyone has some big fancy music words to say about E is for Estranged I'd appreciate it very much, and so would the sad sad teacher that has to read this paper. I'd be glad to do research to explain the technique and thingssss that he uses if I just knew what they were! Anyway this concludes my plea and Owen if you read this I'm sorry
For starters (sorry it isnt much!) the song appears to be in 6/8 time (which isn't exactly rare, but worth mentioning nonetheless, since most pop music is in 4/4) and has an extra measure to the main pattern, that being a total of 9 measures (since music typically has patterns that are multiples of four [namely four and eight]); coincidentally Lewis Takes Action is also abnormal in this aspect, having 5. If you need any clarification let me know, though despite knowing a decent bit on theory I'm certainly no pianist. Anyone who knows more, feel free to jump in.
Following on Sarpedon's 'irregular' patterns information, it'd be interesting to say this is probably Owen's way of breaking through his dependence on harmonic cycles—since his composition is somewhat tied to performance, and usually he performs with the sampler setup, meaning he has to play over a recorded, repeating pattern. So he does it in a distinct way, by going against the norm and making the whole experience feel less repetitive.
The general form of the song is Intro - A - B (chorus) - A - B - C (solo) - B' (solo over chorus) - Coda, which is a very common form in pop music. One of the things that makes Owen's music more accessible than art songs, for example, is the fact that he relies a lot on familiar forms. The texture is mostly accompanied melody, which means the instruments are all there playing a secondary role in comparison with the voice, which has a primary role. Owen chose the piano as a base accompanying instrument, which has a defined attack (think of a piano key hit) and the strings/winds as textural argument (think of an orchestra initiating a sustained note). His voice is soft and in opposition with the piano. The only important point this role is broken is at the solo parts. If I remember well, it's a violin solo, right?... the solo violin has a much more definite attack than a violin ensemble.
The song is in C-minor, by the way, and in 6/8 as Sarpedon said.
Without going into many technical details, you can also analyze the lyrics and how it relates to what's going on musically. How you feel towards the music is also important! Describe the colors he evokes with the orchestra and what you imagine out of the instrumental parts.
I hope you can take it from here. I'll check back. Good luck!
(By the way, I wrote this mostly from memory and late at night; musicians of the forum, please correct me in case I made any horrible mistake.)
Last Edit: May 14, 2012 0:30:38 GMT -5 by blandine