Presentation Title

Metal vs. Make-up: Analysis of the Musical Compositions in the Albums of Tool and Taylor Swift

Faculty Mentor

Daniel Siegel

Start Date

23-11-2019 10:00 AM

End Date

23-11-2019 10:45 AM

Location

205

Session

poster 3

Type of Presentation

Poster

Subject Area

interdisciplinary

Abstract

The musical compositions from two long-term Billboard-charting artists, Tool and Taylor Swift, show strong contrasts in song structure, texture, harmony, and melodic shape, in their respective 2019 albums, Fear Inoculum and Lover. Both artists released albums which charted to #1 on Billboard rankings, indicating dedicated fan and industry support. Both artists strongly define and are considered as innovators in their respective genres: Tool is a leading artist within the progressive heavy metal band genre, and Taylor Swift is a leading artist within the popular vocal-rock genre. Tool adds compositional elements with psychedelic and introspective themes, and Taylor Swift adds compositional elements with romance and country themes. Both artists use consistent compositional formulas in their song structures which mirror their respective genres: for progressive metal, a composition typically contains recapitulated motifs within long-duration, non-radio-friendly tracks and may include odd-meter rhythm; for popular rock, a composition typically fits the sing-along radio-friendly song formula of verse-chorus-verse in 4/4 rhythm, with an overall duration under three minutes. By use of diagrammatic and songwriting composition methods, the primary tracks on each artist’s respective album are analyzed to reveal the strong contrasts between their methods of artistic expression.

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Nov 23rd, 10:00 AM Nov 23rd, 10:45 AM

Metal vs. Make-up: Analysis of the Musical Compositions in the Albums of Tool and Taylor Swift

205

The musical compositions from two long-term Billboard-charting artists, Tool and Taylor Swift, show strong contrasts in song structure, texture, harmony, and melodic shape, in their respective 2019 albums, Fear Inoculum and Lover. Both artists released albums which charted to #1 on Billboard rankings, indicating dedicated fan and industry support. Both artists strongly define and are considered as innovators in their respective genres: Tool is a leading artist within the progressive heavy metal band genre, and Taylor Swift is a leading artist within the popular vocal-rock genre. Tool adds compositional elements with psychedelic and introspective themes, and Taylor Swift adds compositional elements with romance and country themes. Both artists use consistent compositional formulas in their song structures which mirror their respective genres: for progressive metal, a composition typically contains recapitulated motifs within long-duration, non-radio-friendly tracks and may include odd-meter rhythm; for popular rock, a composition typically fits the sing-along radio-friendly song formula of verse-chorus-verse in 4/4 rhythm, with an overall duration under three minutes. By use of diagrammatic and songwriting composition methods, the primary tracks on each artist’s respective album are analyzed to reveal the strong contrasts between their methods of artistic expression.