Have you noticed throughout your years of music listening that Western pop and Asian pop, in broad generality, “feel” very different from each other? If you thought that there might be a certain harmonic disparity between the two, you’d be right. There is a specific harmonic unit that appears incredibly abundantly in the latter but rather rarely in the former, and it boils down to just three chords.
Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet Episode 8 – The Musical Component: The Strings in Fairlock’s Passing
Background: Episode 8 marks the death of Captain Fairlock, the skipper who succeeded in obtaining the loyalty of other sea captains to continue under his banner and journey with the Gargantia. In the aftermath of his death, Gargantia’s captaincy passes on to his foster daughter Ridget, who must contend with those who wish to secede from the Gargantia in pursuit of their own goals.
Analysis: Given its timbre, the violin, with its capacity to draw out a sense of melancholia, has been used to convey sadness borne out of a broken heart or a loved one’s death. It’s this latter aspect that’s worth touching upon for the purposes of looking at episode 8 of Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet, where we have quite a few violin pieces that mark a beloved captain’s passing. The use of violin music to convey the sentiments found in this moment isn’t without precedent; one of the most famous examples is Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings, which was played on TV when announcing the death of President John F. Kennedy and performed at the funeral of Albert Einstein. After all, death’s the final word, bringing a plethora of emotions that include pain, sorrow, and uncertainty. Pieces like Barber’s Adagio allow our emotions to manifest in musical form, a medium that can convey thoughts and feelings where words simply would not do. [Read more...]