Essay about Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes - Analysis

1385 Words Aug 18th, 2013 6 Pages
Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes

‘Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes’ by Paul Simon is a piece for a folk/rock band with a world beat feel to it. This song portrays a story between a poor boy and a rich woman. The piece being composed in 1986, the modern era, has its focus set on individual expressionism. The composer achieves this through the songs aesthetic expression and his unique style of writing. This has been influenced by previous styles, and in turn has influenced concurrent musical styles.

In the 1980s popular music was focused on pop/rock bands. ‘Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes’ however blends African traditional instruments mixed with a modern rock band in order to give it a folk sound. It also uses a small male
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Romanticism was the era of passion and feelings, and not just music for the sake of it. Music in the romantic era had a poetic and philosophical meaning. In the lyrics, the composer has tried to convey a story about a boy making sense of a satisfying yet confusing relationship with a rich girl. Simon sings with a passionate yet calm tone in his voice. This portrays the soft and rather philosophical story about money and love the lyrics try to convey. Romanticism has influenced the song since the delivery of Simon’s voice with the blending of the instrumentation support each other in the composer's message. This allows the message to be portrayed in more than one way. However, the biggest influence on this piece is not from romantic music, but from folk music.

Folk music is a traditional style of music that has existed for generations. It is worldwide and each country has its own type of folk music. African folk music is the strongest influence noticeable in the piece ‘Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes’. Folk music is a very traditional style of music, so it is evident through the Afro-cuban instrumentation in the piece that it has its origins in Folk. Furthermore, African folk music's main purpose is for dancing. This is evident in the upbeat rhythm with the bass drum playing on each beat, which makes the piece easy to dance to. Finally, folk music is rhythmic and melodic rather than harmonic in style. Simon has used this folk feel after the intro in the music (see

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