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Moby: ‘Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad’ from the album Play (1999)

Updated on September 21, 2016

Moby: ‘Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad’ from the album Play (1999)

Revision notes for the Edexcel GCSE Scheme of work

The DJ Moby, born in New York is a popular singer-songwriter and performer who explored the use of electronic means of creating music. He was born in 1965 and plays keyboard, guitar, bass guitar and drums. He has produced and created many famous dance music tracks which sample music from other songs.

The song 'Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?' is a single from Moby's dance music album Play, released in 1999). Play has sold over 9 million copies. Other Moby albums include Hotel and Last Night, and more recently destroyed. Almost all of the tracks released by Moby are created using technology, and fit into the genre of dance music, club dance or electronic.

The tracks on Play were written and played by Moby and then recorded and mixed at his home studio. The equipment used includes synthesisers, a sampler and a drum machine.

Key Features

Date - 1999

Style: dance/ electronic - samples and loops, links to the night club scene, layered textures

(not that much to say about the key features...)

Chord Structure

Chord sequence 1 - Verse 'Why does my...'

Bar 1

Bar 2

Bar 3

Bar 4

Am

Am

Em

Em

Bar 5

Bar 6

Bar 7

Bar 8

G

G

D

D


Chord sequence 2a - Chorus (first half) 'These open doors'

Bar 1

Bar 2

Bar 3

Bar 4

C

C

Am

Am

Bar 5

Bar 6

Bar 7

Bar 8

C

C

Am

Am


Chord sequence 2b - Chorus (second half) 'These open doors'

Bar 1

Bar 2

Bar 3

Bar 4

F

F

C

C

Bar 5

Bar 6

Bar 7

Bar 8

F

F

C

C


MAD T-SHIRT

What is it?

MAD T-SHIRT is a tip for remembering musical features by going through 9 key parts of any musical piece.

They are:

Melody, Articulation, Dynamics, Texture, Structure, Harmony (tonality), Instrumentation, Rhythm, Tempo

MAD T-SHIRT

Why does my Heart Feel so Bad

Melody

- 2 main samples with added EQ effects

- 3 chord sequences, verse (C.S.1) chorus (C.S.2a/ 2b)

Articulation

- Not really applicable - heavy beats on four-to-the floor bass drum beat

Dynamics

- The individual parts are mostly of the same volume (telephone effect makes the sample seem quieter but is just the resulting effect of the effect), and dynamics are controlled by the number of parts playing

Texture

- Texture builds up during verse 1, breaks down in the break, and then drops in the outro

- Call and response between the synth strings and samples, or between the sample and echo

Structure

- Intro, Verse 1, Chorus, Verse 2, Break, Chorus, outro

- - Intro:

- - - - chord sequence 1 played on piano (8 bars)

- - Verse 1:

- - - - vocals enter in first 8 (untidy)

- - - - Drums and strings enter next, strings play a call and response with the sample (2nd 8)

- - - - Synth bass added and synth pad texture becomes thicker (3rd 8)

- - - - Syncopated piano chords added with sus2 and 4 chords (4th 8)

- - Chorus:

- - - - Chords change to sequence 2a creating an uplifting feel, second sample added, strings play a call and response with sample (1st 8)

- - - - Chord sequence 2b, call and response with itself (2nd 8)

- - Verse 2:

- - - - Call and response with echo and added telephone effect on echo (1st and 2nd 8)

- - Break:

- - - - Complete breakdown, echoes fade out and synth strings can be heard fading out

- - Chorus:

- - - - Sample 2 is added with lots of reverb and telephone effect which helps it blend with the synth strings, chord sequence 2a (1st 8)

- - - - Drums added with chord sequence 2b, vocals seem louder, but have only been cleaned up (2nd 8)

- - - - Repetition of section before, piece ending (3rd 8)

- - Outro:

- - - - Texture breaks down to first sample with synth organ playing static chords (last 8)

Harmony (tonality)

- The piece is in A minor

- Chorus sections could be C Major or A Minor, but resolves in C.S.2b to C Major

- 3 main chord sequences, played by piano, synth strings and synth bass

- The both samples are in A minor, but the 2nd gets harmonised to a major key because of the chords

Instrumentation

- Equipment:

- - Yamaha SPX990 Multi-effect unit – applies reverb and delay

- - Roland TR909 drum machine – Sound source for drum loops

- - Emu Proformance piano sound module – piano sound source (one from the Emu and one from an old Yamaha)

- - Roland Juno 106 – Synth bass sounds

- - Yamaha Sy22 and SY85 synthesisers – creates strings and synth pad sounds

- - Akai S3200 sampler – sampling the vocal sounds off the original record and any subsequent edition

Rhythm

- Time signature is 4/4

Glossary

- For all those words you didn't understand and more! -

Four-to-the-floor - constant heavy drum sound (bass drum) on each of the 4 beats in a bar

Intro - introduction to the piece

Verse - a part designed for a solo voice, or instrument. Often changes with a verse-chorus form, and normally comes after an intro

Breakdown - where most, if not all but one/two parts stay in, from a previous medium texture, to, normally, a much greater texture -

sometimes known as a bridge section

Reverb - adding an echo onto a sound

Sus2 Chord - the third is dropped and replaced by the 2nd (C chord, C-D-G)

Sus4 Chord - the third is dropped and replaced by the 4th (C chord, C-F-G)

EQ - short for equalisation, amplifies or removes specific frequencies

Sample - a recording that has been taken and used in the piece of music, could also have been changed slightly

Delay - adds an echo to the music

Synth Sounds - sounds created by a computer to replicate or simulate the real instrument

Listen - Get the track!

See if you can apply what you've just learnt!

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