Berklee today

JUN 2013

Berklee today is the official alumni publication of Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a forum for contemporary music and musicians.

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Tenor Many YouTube videos of the studio version of this song are available for listening as you read the score. Visit: to see larger images of the score pages. hard to imagine any of them delivering as dramatic and powerful a performance as Garfunkel's on "Bridge." While recording in Los Angeles, S&G sang together at the top of verse three and got a good take. During those sessions, it was agreed that Garfunkel had nailed the vocal performance for the rest of the third verse— the most dynamic and emotional section of the song. He would record the frst two verses later in New York. In many interviews, Garfunkel has said that having fnished the climactic verse frst enabled him to better shape the arc of the song by understating the frst and second verses. In Michael Hill's liner notes to the 2011 commemorative Bridge album reissue, Garfunkel recalls that it was easy to sing the second verse, ramping up the intensity leading to the fnal verse on which he'd already pulled out all the stops. But the frst verse had to be a contrast, really delicate, and that challenged Garfunkel. "After about eight sessions of trying to get the frst verse right in its extreme delicacy, I had to take a break," he says. Garfunkel left the studio on Manhattan's 52nd Street and walked to St. Bartholomew's Church on Park Avenue and sat in one of the pews for an hour. "I invoked the larger powers, then went back to the studio and got it." The Score The production of the nearly fveminute track demonstrates ultimate restraint, building slowly and deliberately from beginning to end. As the score shows, the piano is the only accompaniment instrument for the frst minute and a half, from the introduction through the frst verse and turnaround to the second verse (bars 1 to 36) Knechtel plays a masterful intro— majestic from the frst chord—that quickly sets the gospel tone. It's replete with gospel chord movements. In the second half of bar 2 through bar 4, he plays a bass line rising from the root of the IV chord (A b ), up to a C7 chord by employing a series of unresolved secondary dominant chords. The A diminished chord on beat four of bar 2 moves deceptively to the I chord in second inversion. That I chord becomes a dominant seventh that also moves deceptively away from what the ear anticipates, to what sounds like it will be a V7/ii. But instead of going to the ii chord (F minor), that C7 resolves deceptively to the IV chord. During the last two beats of bar 4, the A b chord changing to A b minor, further mines the gospel style. For the last four bars of the intro, Knechtel plays a tonic pedal note on an E b and the chords above change from E b to E b 7 to A b . The fnal plagal cadence (from IV to I in bars 8 to 9) provides more of a church feel, and sets the stage for Garfunkel's vocal entry. Throughout the verses and piano interludes, Knechtel provides a full accompaniment that's confdent, relaxed, and has a solid groove. It's the perfect example of a well-crafted accompaniment capable of carrying the song and serving its needs without showboating. He inserts a gospel fair on walk-downs from the IV chord to the I, and then from the I down to the V chord as found in bars 16 to 17 and elsewhere. He continually varies the texture in the right hand, with long chords at the top of the verses and a mix of quarter, eighth, and sixteenth notes depending on the level of intensity needed. He adds variety jux- taposing rolled and block chords and brief pianistic fourishes as seen in the interlude in bars 31 to 36. To add spring to the rhythm, Knechtel inserts occasional syncopations in the left hand, playing doubledotted quarter and sixteenth notes (bars 12, 15, 27, 28, 39, 68, and so on), and in other places dotted-eighth- and sixteenth-note rhythms (bars 21 to 23, 40, 48 to 49, and 88). After dominating for nearly the entire song, the piano part thins out considerably, passing the baton to the strings and percussion to carry the coda (bars 94 to 99). The production begins its slow and subtle build at the top of the second verse. Simple chordal pads played on vibraphone broaden the instrumental texture and add a shimmer to the mix. It should be noted that transcribing music from a song's full mix (without access to the stems) is not an exact science. What's notated on the score is what is perceptible in the mix. It's possible that more notes on some instruments are present but masked by other instruments or by the reverb. The vibes part is a case in point. The vibes enter quite noticeably and then recede in the mix. In bars 37 to 42, I hear triads, but the part is heard intermittently beginning in bar 41, and alternates between triads and two-part chords from bar 43 forward. It sounds like an Summer2013 23

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