• William Mann and Aeolian Cadences

    From Norbert K@21:1/5 to All on Tue Jun 15 05:13:29 2021
    In his 1980 Playboy interview, Lennon says something to the effect that the middle class did not listen to the Beatles until someone in the Times of London wrote that their music featured "Aeolian cadences."

    That claim by Lennon is silly. However, in a Times of London article titled "What Songs the Beatles sang," the critic William Mann did indeed ascribe an Aeolian cadence to one Beatles song.

    Here are some excerpts from Mann's article:

    The songs of Lennon and McCartney are distinctly indigenous in character, the most imaginative and inventive examples of a style that has been developing on Merseyside during the past few years. And there is a nice, rather flattering irony in the
    news that the Beatles have now become prime favourites in America, too.

    "This Boy," which features prominently in Beatle programmesis expressively unusual for its lugubrious music, but harmonically it is one of their most intriguing, with its chains of pandiatonic clusters, and the sentiment is acceptable because voiced
    cleanly and crisply. But harmonic interest is typical of their quicker songs, too, and one gets the impression that they think simultaneously of harmony and melody, so firmly are the major tonic sevenths and ninths built into their tunes, and the flat
    submediant key switches, so natural is the Aeolian cadence at the end of "Not A Second Time" (the chord progression which ends Mahler's "Song of the Earth").

    These are some of the qualities that make one wonder with interest what the Beatles, and particularly Lennon and McCartney, will do next, and if America will spoil them or hold on to them, and if their next record will wear as well as the others.
    They have brought a distinctive and exhilarating flavour to a genre of music that was in danger of ceasing to be music at all.

    [End of excerpts.]

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