OK, one more pop-music-oriented post. It’s obliquely related to the one on Leonard Cohen.
Remember long ago when I asked whether Phillip or other musical experts here could explain how “Hallelujah” worked, what it was about it that was so appealing? Phillip and many others rose to the occasion.
Well, I’ve got a tougher one today. This morning, I was listening to “One-Note Samba,” and wondered how in the world that could reach out and grab me or anyone else.
Maybe it doesn’t speak to you, but I’ve always had a thing for samba music ever since my Dad brought back some records from a trip to Rio when I was a kid (sort of the way Liverpool kids learned about rock ‘n’ roll from the discs brought into port by sailors). And obviously some people besides me like this one, since it’s been covered so often.
So tell me:
Why does it work? Why isn’t it too monotonous? Does it keep us listening purely because of the rhythm? Is that it? Or is it the fact that we know, as we endure the one-note parts, that it’s going to change, and that change is what rewards us? Or is it because of what the instruments are playing while the singer is stuck on the one note?
Just wondering. Because to me, music is just magic, and far beyond my ken…