Esperanza Spalding: samba em preludio (Tempo, metre and rhythm (The tempo…
Esperanza Spalding: samba em preludio
Esperanza Spalding was born in Portland, Oregon, USA, in 1984.
Roberto Baden Powell Aquino (1937 - 2000) was a Brazilian guitarist and composer who played a major part in the bossa nova "explosion" in the 1960s.
Vinicuis de Moraes was not only a famous poet and the lyricist for some of the best know Brazilian popular songs, but also a career diplomat.
The song was written in 1962, is a bossa nova.
Performing forces and their handling
Female voice, acoustic guitar and acoustic bass guitar.
The vocal line is low in the female range, using the chest register, it covers a range of a minor tenth.
The bass part is active an does much more than play the root of the chord.
The acoustic guitar joins the accompaniment from bar 23 onwards and plays a virtuosic solo between verse 2 and bar 89.
They show the influence of jazz and of american popular song in being quite complex.
Despite this, the movement of the chord roots is still based around chords I,II,IV and V.
The harmonies are essentially tonal.
Chromatic chords are used, and C and F major chords.
The introduction is monophonic - apart from a couple of double stops.
The texture here is mostly homophonic, but note that the bass part at times becomes almost melodic enough to be a melody in its own right.
The passage at bars 89 - 104 is polyphonic as the melodies of the pieces combined.
The key of the piece is B minor.
Many bossa novas use minor keys.
Despite the complexity of some of the harmony, the music does not modulate.
There are two main melodies in this song, heard separately at first, and then combined at bars 89 -104.
An 8 bar idea repeated with a different ending, in bars 12 -19.
The first note of each phrase descends by a semitone or a tone in a long downward sequence.
Tempo, metre and rhythm
The tempo during bars 1 - 3 bars is very free and it is difficult to recognized a strong pulse.
Verse 1 has a slow tempo, with much rhythmic rubato.
A free tempo returns at bar 114.
This piece is wholly in 4/4 quadruple time, although the change of tempo from bar 19 onwards tends to make the piece from there on sound as if it is moving in two minims to a bar(2/2).
The rhythms of the vocal melody in verse 1 are quite complex, although never syncopated enough to lose the sense of beat.