Musical Analysis - Jimi Hendrix

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Introduction The Wind Cries Mary was recorded by The Jimi Hendrix Experience in the United Kingdom. It appeared on their debut release Are You Experienced in 1967. Written by Jimi Hendrix, the song is based around an altercation between himself and his long time lover Kathy Mary Etchingham. The sixties was a defining decade for experimental music, fueled by the drugs musicians were taking at the time. Rock n Roll was a worldwide phenomenon and Jimi Hendrix became one of the main pioneers of the rock/psychedelic movement. In the sixties the hippie culture was predominant, with the long haired youth of white middle class society experimenting with psychedelic drugs and trying to change the world with peace, love, and music. As…show more content…
During the first bar of the verses the drums are playing a straight 4/4 groove with eighth notes on the ride, snare on 2 and 4 and the kick drum following the bass line playing on the 1, and 3, 4 and. In the second bar the kick is on the 1, a 3 and, 4 and, which accentuates what the guitar is doing. In the chorus’ the drums, bass and guitar shift into a sixteenth note feel played in bars 1 and 3, while in bars 2, 4, and 5, the drums play short fills and stops in unison with the band as well as accenting certain parts of the beat as shown in Fig. 4A below. Fig. 4A [pic] Rhythmically the song stays in the same format except for the guitar solo. In bars 1-5 the drums play a syncopated 4/4 groove with more accents and extra hits on the snare which really emphasizes the solo and sets the section apart from the rest of the song. Bars 6 – 11 drops back to a straight 4/4 groove but with drum fills thrown in to add flavor to the key changes and the end of the solo as shown in Fig. 4B. Fig. 4B [pic] Textural Devices There are four distinctive musical layers in The Wind Cries Mary consisting of drums, bass, guitar, and vocals. This song is a homophonic archetype because of its structural hierarchy, all the parts move together and the instruments support the melody. The song has two parallel strands (bass and drums) being
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