The Other Barry Gibb

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The Many Facets of Pop Composition: A Few Music Theory Aspects

Together with his late brothers Robin and Maurice, and with such heavyweight arrangers like Albhy Galuten and Karl Richardson, Barry Gibb has created not only highly successful but incredibly well-made pop songs that have reached a world audience. Aside from purely enjoying the music, examining these from a music theory point of view can illuminate many facets of great pop composition. In referring to well-known Gibb hits (which have proven to be timeless both in composition and arrangement) and to a few more unlikely of songs, some of them performed by the Bee Gees, by Diana Ross, or by other distinguished recording artists, a cursory treatment of harmony and function is to add to a view of a tiny part of the Gibb oeuvre´s specialty. As can be seen, ingenious musical skills have led to creating great pop songs to which e.g., tonal ambiguity and fluctuating tonality are key ingredients. Such have made for an outstanding musical oeuvre. – (In parts of the following, abstraction requires nomenclature: Roman numerals refer to scale degrees.) Continue reading „The Other Barry Gibb“