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Thread: song analysis of "Spies" by "Coldplay"

  1. #1
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    song analysis of "Spies" by "Coldplay"

    Spiesanalysis.midispies.pdfspiesanalysisaudio.mp3

    Hi folks. Was wondering if anyone was up to helping me with the harmony of this song. There is a part of it I am trying to analyze and I kind of get it but would like someone elses input please. I will attach the notation and the midi file so you can hear the segment yourself and don't have to fork out the song. (Please note that the bassline in my version is right, the one in the music notation is different to what is played in the song, not sure why but it is.)

    So, when I hear this, it sounds like a "line cliche" to me especially since if you look at the bass line it doesn't change until the last bar of the 4 bar sequence. My questions about this are:

    1) Is it worth even analyzing the chords in this sequence or are all the chords some version of C#minor and should this be seen as a "line cliche"? (the notation clearly labels the chords as C#min13, A, B 6/9 and Badd9 so would a simplified chord progression of this be C#min, A, B7, B7?
    2) Wouldn't it be better to leave the root A note from the second chord as well as the root B from the B 6/9 and Badd9 chords so that the bass line doesn't compete with them? (I mean it doesn't clash but from an arrangement point of view, wouldn't it sound cleaner without the root notes of the acoustics guitar or just leaving the C# in the root?) I have added a midi file so you can listen to this and then try remove the low notes leaving the C# as the root across all chords, to me it sounds more like what is playing on the record but I could be wrong


    thanks and hope to hear back soon!

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    I did a quick listen to the coldplay version https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QzDHPcNfrw

    I didn't hear "A" as the second root. 1:35 is where you're talking about?

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    Hi Ken. No it is at 1:18 in that video. I also added a clip of the section of the song in midi in my DAW as I was trying to recreate it from the sheet music. Does this help? In the recording it is kind of hard to hear the chords IMO

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    no help from anyone? C'mon now, chime in lads!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by armansrsa View Post
    no help from anyone? C'mon now, chime in lads!
    I guess you just missed Motherlodes response, It was up yesterday.

    If you want my opinion, I hear C#m, E and B. The different parts arrive at these destinations at different times though so it's more vague as far as when each chord arrives. The B at the end is perhaps slightly more obvious, but it has a massive F# going on.

    The octave guitar part arrives at B earlier than the high melodic part for example. Maybe C#m / C#m7 E/B / C#m7 Bsus / B to simplify things, but that's really looking at it through the wrong lens. I hear each part as having its own line and chord changes can look weird when that happens.

    Also if you like the arrangement of the sheet music then use it. Otherwise don't even give it a second look.

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    Just did this real quick as an example:

    Coldplay example.jpeg

    I'll re listen later, but that's kinda what I remembered

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    Alright I had time to listen to it again.

    The higher guitar is kinda doing two parts. It's hitting drones on C# E and B. The E and B notes being open strings are a great tool for that. Higher up it's doing the melody.

    The main part creating mass on F# at the end was actually just the octave guitar.


    Here's a more accurate labeling:

    Coldplay example 2.jpeg


    Again I feel that just labeling the chord change C#m9 ---- B isn't really exactly describing the melodic movement. Or put another way the multiple lines/melodies is the hook.

  8. #8
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    Ok here's an audio example of all the parts:

    http://freejazzinstitute.com/uploads..._Valentino.mp3


    I never felt like I needed an "A" note anywhere. In answer to your question:

    2) Wouldn't it be better to leave the root A note from the second chord as well as the root B from the B 6/9 and Badd9 chords so that the bass line doesn't compete with them?
    The "A" was the issue I'd drop it. And the B "Chord" has more F# on bottom.

    I also made a slight adjustment to labeling the bass line. I'll put that up shortly.




    Here's the parts individually:

    Bass line (done on guitar)

    Guitar Octaves

    Melody and drone guitar.

  9. #9
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    Here's the labeling that fits the recording.

    Coldplay example 3.jpeg

    Hope that clears things up
    Last edited by Ken Valentino 2; 07-26-2017 at 04:40 AM.

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