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GCSE Music Notes - Moby - Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?

Updated on December 20, 2015


This set work comes from the album Play, published in 1999.The piece is made for clubs and the genre is club dance


This piece uses a traditional verse-chorus structure. This consists of an Intro, Verse, Chorus, Verse, Chorus and an outro. The intro establishes the chord sequences on piano. The choruses are in two sections, Bx and By, chorus 2 has two By sections. After the second verse there is a 1 bar breakdown, where there is silence apart from the echo resulting from the first sample.


The melody consists of two samples taken from a gospel recording in 1953. Moby manipulates and changes the lyrics in the samples. The first sample is a male voice while the second is a female voice. The first sample is used for verses while the second is used for choruses.


The instruments drops in and out throughout the piece, creating an overall layered texture. After the breakdown the texture becomes thinner as the piano and drums both drop out. The texture builds up in the intro as the tracks are added one by one

Instrumentation (Use of Technology)

Moby used an Akai 3200 sampler and a sequencer to trigger the samples. He used Yamaha synths (SY22 and SY85) and a Roland TR-909 Drum Machine. He also used a Roland Juno 106 synth to create the sub bass line. To create effects such as reverb he used a Yamaha SPX990, and the piano sounds are created with an Emu Proformance Module. Moby also uses panning, for example in the intro, where the bass note in the middle of the bar is panned to the right. In the second verse echoes are used, in addition to EQ, where the lower frequencies are removed from the sound.

Harmony and Tonality

The choruses are in C major while the verses are in dorian mode on A, which produces an F#. Chorus Bx uses chords C Am C Am while chorus By uses chords F C F C. The verses use chords Am Em G D. Each chord is played for two bars. The harmony is entirely diatonic.

Rhythm, Metre and Tempo

The song is in common time (4/4), and has a strong beat, accentuated by the drums and bass. The rhythm created by the drum machine is very syncopated. The song has a steady tempo of 98 bpm. The piano uses syncopation in the end of the first verse. The string synth counter-melody in the first verse also features syncopation, this time on the upbeat.


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      James 23 months ago

      This is really good, thanks man