Saturday, June 20, 2015

Mozart, Eminem 'n' Me

When you take the words out of rap, you're left with a form that Mozart would recognize instantly.

I discovered this when a student's family won my service as composer in the school's recent auction.  The boy wanted a rap song, but he wanted to play it on piano.  He assigned me some research into videos by Eminem and Lil Wayne.

I noted this structure to the pieces that I heard:
A "hook," a tune played on instruments the first time, sung later.
Two-to-four stanzas of rapping declaimed over a repeated bass line
Repeat of the "hook"
More rapping, different pattern over the same repeated bass line
Repeat of the hook

I noticed that the rapper squeezes more and more words into four beats as the song progresses. 

[Image: page one of rap for piano solo]
That's just a Rondo, such as Mozart's Rondo a la Turk:  ABACADA, where "A" is the familiar "hook," and B, C, and D are increasingly showy variations over the same root chords.

So, am I the last musician in the world to figure this out, or one of the first?

I've posted on my website a Midi file of the music, along with the words of the chorus and the scenario suggested by the student.

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