Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Sound Bank: 1) The Glissando

Is there more a thrilling way to start a song than this?


The answer, in case you're struggling, is NO. The first record I ever bought was Abba's Dancing Queen, the second was The Boomtown Rats' I Don't Like Mondays. Both of them start with a man (let's assume it's a man) running his finger from the very top of a piano keyboard to the very bottom. In essence, it's what any child would do when confronted with a piano. Place your hand at shoulder height, plonk your pudgy fingers on C7, run to the other end of the room making as loud a noise as possible, laugh so hard the blood drains from your head, repeat. That's why it sounds so joyous, and that's why it works perfectly at the start of a song.

DANGER: Do not start a piece of music with a glissando unless you are capable of matching that breath-taking swan dive down the octaves in the rest of the song.

Examples of tracks that achieve this include: The Jackson 5's I Want You Back.
Examples of songs that do not achieve this are: Anything that isn't The Jackson 5's I Want You Back.

Sound Bank is a series of blog posts I'm running in August while I'm on holiday. If you want to know more about it, there's an explanation on this page. Normal pop blog service will be resumed around 25th August

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