AbstractsPhilosophy & Theology

'All That Noise, and All That Sound:' Tonal Ambiguity andMelodic-Harmonic Disconnect in the Music of Coldplay

by Nathanael C Welch

Institution: Youngstown State University
Year: 2015
Keywords: Music; Coldplay; Rock; Music Theory; Popular Music; Britpop
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2063796
Full text PDF: http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=ysu1442761317


Within the music of Coldplay there often exists a disconnect between the melody (vocal line) and the harmony (chord pattern/structure). It is often difficult to discern any tonal center (key) within a given song. In several of the songs I have selected for analysis, the melodies, when isolated from the harmonic patterns, suggest tonal centers at odds with the chords. Because of its often stratified pitch organization, Coldplay’s music is sometimes in two keys simultaneously. Exploring the disconnect between melody and harmony, I will show how that can lead to tonal ambiguity in the sense that there is no one key governing an entire song. Rather, these songs often exemplify sectional centricity, where one or more pitches act as a tonal center in one section of a song. Advisors/Committee Members: Root, Jena (Advisor).