“Blow Wind Blow” is an example of the blues. This song is in duple meter, and the rhythms are syncopated throughout. The tempo is moderate, but the syncopated rhythms and faster notes make the tempo seem energetic. The melodic line, when it is found in the voice, is quite simple. It has a small range and moves primarily by step-wise motion. During the improvisation sections, the harmonica and the piano play more ornate melodies, with larger ranges and arpeggiated patterns.
The ensemble also contains guitar and drums. In terms of harmony and form, the song follows the typical twelve-bar blues progression outlined on page 380 of the textbook. One stanza of text (three lines) covers the entire twelve bars. Between each stanza, there is an improvised section based on the same harmonic progression. This video is a good example of a blues song. I liked being able to see the communication amongst the musicians. The harmonica player, in particular, seemed to be very focused on Muddy Waters.
2. Bernstein, “America” from West Side Story (http://www. youtube. com/watch? v=1QS7wWzwak4) Bernstein’s West Side Story is an example of musical theatre. “America” has a fairly complex rhythm, with groups of six notes being alternately divided into 3+3 or 2+2+2, and a fast tempo. The melodic line is also complex, with a large range and disjunct melodic motion, but it is very repetitive. The girls present a melodic line, and the guys respond using the same vocal line but with different words.
This song features a large number of voices accompanied by orchestra. Because this video comes from the filmed version of the musical, the orchestra is not visible; however, you can hear the wind instruments (especially the flutes) and the brass instruments (especially the trumpet). This song is in the major mode. I liked watching this video. I found that the English words and the fact that there is dance as well as singing made it easy to understand the complexities of the characters and their emotions.