Skip to comments.Most Dissonant Musical Ending
Posted on 07/07/2014 11:28:36 PM PDT by CharlesOConnell
Cadence is something we all recognized in harmony, a kind of Amen that signifies completion and finality at the end of a musical phrase. This movie, 1936's Rose Marie with Nelson Eddy and Jeannette MacDonald, has a completely dissonant, unresolved cadence.
“Unresolved cadence.” Used to hate that on the Parade Ground.
And speaking of Gershwin, Ira Gershwin's Bunny Berigan - I Can't Get Started. I know very little about music -- being one of those who only "knows what I like" and am ignorant of the theory. Which brings me to the ending of Berigan's I Can't Get Started. The song is a ballad with a great trumpet solo. But the ending, while not dissonant, has long struck me as not fitting with the mood of the song as a whole. To my untrained ears, those final few uptempo, hurried notes just seem to be tacked on. It's one of my favorite songs and I still recall listening to it in my childhood days back in the 1940s. Even then, as a kid, the ending struck me a somewhat cartoonish way to wrap up a great piece of music.
“Hup, four, three, one...hup, one, four three...to your right, to your left, to your right, your right, your left...”
Obama close order drill
Interesting. I’ve never made it that far in “Rose Marie” to notice, but it sounds more like the final note of the soundtrack to an old Universal horror movie! :)
Have to agree-— the instrumentation is very much like that heard in some of those classic Universal monster films! Good ear!!!!
For dissonance, unresolved or not, one of my favorites has always been the ‘Oh, yeah’ at the end of ‘A Windmill in Old Amsterdam’ by Freddie & The Dreamers.
If it were not 4AM and I were not about to go back to sleep in my easy chair, I’d edit up a sample...
I made a wind chime that played an augmented chord. Gave it to a musician friend. I knew it would drive him to distraction, as he would always wait for the resolution that never came!
Did it diminish his sleep patterns?
I remember hearing that many times (My Dad was a projectionist and Mom was a member of the Nelson Eddy Fan Club..so we had this movie projected on the living room wall many times!). I always thought it was a “Stretch” or glitch in the 16mm film, on the soundtrack.
I can’t believe that it was INTENTIONAL, but I guess it WAS! hahaha
“Did it diminish his sleep patterns?”
That’s a key question! He probably modulated his sleep rhythms.
Well, since I am just a bass player, I won’t have to fret about it at all.
I’m a pedal steel player. No frets at all!
We live a fretless existence, you and I
It’s a deceptive cadence V-vi, which is unexpected (hence the term deceptive cadence) as it ends a piece written in a major key on the relative minor chord.
At least that’s what my ear hears.
Maybe the last chord is altered a bit, providing the dissonance.
Indeed, the ending of “I Can’t Get Started” does sound somewhat cartoonish.
I like the topical references in the lyrics—to the Spanish Civil War, FDR, and Hollywood movies—appropriate for a song from the early months of 1938.
Not being a musical expert, I wasn't sure if my perception was off base about the ending eight notes or so. If I were in charge (perish the thought!), I think Bunny Berigan's few notes of that superb trumpet solo would have been a nice ending, in tune with the overall mood of the song.
Yes indeed, the lyrics are quite the period piece from that era: Garbo, Metro Goldwyn, charting the North Pole and flying around the world in a plane. Still, the song holds up really well nearly 80 years later.