Saturday, October 4, 2014

Crescendo – Volume and Urgency

     In the dictionary of musical terms, “crescendo” is defined as a gradual increase in volume. Typically, a crescendo also involves an increase in urgency. Similarly, a gradual increase in urgency is typically accompanied by an increase in volume, but not always.

     “Crossroads” is a song from “Heartsong,” the debut album of Ruu Campbell. Looking at the Soundcloud waveform of the song, some increase in its height (volume) can be seen. But without listening to the song, the term “crescendo” probably wouldn’t be used to describe the impression given by the waveform. The sense of urgency in the playing of the instruments establishes the build, with the vocals only reinforcing that build. The guitar plays the major role. This is apparent when the “guitar urgencies” are compared at the time marks of 0:30, 1:30 and 2:10.  
     "Crossroads" by Ruu Campbell

Ruu Campbell is based in Somerset, U.K.

     The Soundcloud waveform for the song “Smarts” by Harrow is more consistent with the expectations of crescendo. The height of the waveform clearly evidences the gradual increase in volume, although the term “gradual” doesn’t apply to the energy jump at the 4:01 mark.
     “Smarts” by Harrow

The members of Harrow are Ross Harrow (vocals and guitar), Quinn Fenlon  (vocals and guitar), Grant Pittman (keyboards) and Javier Vela (drums). The band is based in Brooklyn, New York.

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