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Ever Get Spooked by a Beatles Song?
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2 March 2015
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Mr. Kite
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@Silly Girl said

Welcome to the Beatles Bible House! Have an apple: apple01You can introduce yourself herea-hard-days-night-paul-5

You're learning very quickly! Apple for you! apple01

Welcome @long long long... And what She Said She Said! a-hard-days-night-george-9

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2 March 2015
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Oyster Black Pearl said 

I fell asleep listening to Anthology 3. Thought What's The New Mary Jane was the most beautiful song ever written. Then I woke up. Oddly, I still have a fondness for the opening piano refrain.

I was napping lightly the first time I heard The Wall - that was pretty weird.

To get back to the Beatles, Helter Skelter used to freak me out because of the Manson connection, and I was about 5 when all that went down.  I'm cool with the song now though (thanks to you guys :).

I saw comments on youtube that several people were spooked by MMT.  I think there must be a lot of sharps/flats or something...which could contribute to the spooky nature of some of the songs. I could see Fool on the Hill, Your Mother Should Know, Blue Jay Way, I Am The Walrus, and Baby You're A Rich Man (maybe even Flying) weirding some people out. I see Fool on the Hill has a lot of minor chords. Amazingly, I couldn't find the tabs for them all searching on various keywords. Blue Jay Way only has the two chords C and D#, but a lot of the vocal notes are sharps/flats.  I don't want to go further because then the post might get relocated to the recording/musicology forum ;)   Some of the lyrics are pretty strange too, but they are one of the great things about MMT (and of course different people have different interpretation [e.g. drug references], some of which aren't weird at all).

Anyway does anyone feel "uncomfortable" listening to MMT?

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2 March 2015
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Silly Girl
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Matt Busby proclaimed from the town where he was born

<snip>

I saw comments on youtube that several people were spooked by MMT.  I think there must be a lot of sharps/flats or something...which could contribute to the spooky nature of some of the songs. I could see Fool on the Hill, Your Mother Should Know, Blue Jay Way, I Am The Walrus, and Baby You're A Rich Man (maybe even Flying) weirding some people out. I see Fool on the Hill has a lot of minor chords. Amazingly, I couldn't find the tabs for them all searching on various keywords. Blue Jay Way only has the two chords C and D#, but a lot of the vocal notes are sharps/flats.  I don't want to go further because then the post might get relocated to the recording/musicology forum ;)   Some of the lyrics are pretty strange too, but they are one of the great things about MMT (and of course different people have different interpretation [e.g. drug references], some of which aren't weird at all).

Anyway does anyone feel "uncomfortable" listening to MMT?

 I can't say it makes me "uncomfortable," but I must say, out of all the Beatles' experimental music, this album as a collective whole is definitely at the height of their psychedelic wackiness. (As for a particular song, well, that's difficult. "Only A Northern Song", anyone?) I think of Magical Mystery Tour as the climax of the weirdness. It makes even less sense than Sgt Pepper's! (After that, their music was far less psychedelic and more just experimental.) 

Actually, one second thoughts, "Blue Jay Way" did used to make me go all over funny when I was nine or so... ahdn_paul_02a-hard-days-night-george-9

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2 March 2015
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Bongo
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Matt Busby said 
does anyone feel "uncomfortable" listening to MMT?

Not really, but for once I have to agree with the N.A. Capitol recording of this instead of the U.K. Parlophone EP.  Adding all those 45's really made it a killer album.

- Strawberry Fields Forever

- Penny Lane

- All You Need Is Love

- Baby You're A Rich Man

- Hello Goodbye

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3 March 2015
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Linde
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Wild Honey Pie used to freak me out as a kid.paul-mccartney

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3 March 2015
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PeterWeatherby
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I've definitely been spooked by Beatles songs. I discovered them when I was 11, and after finding copies of Please Please Me and With the Beatles at the local library to rent, the next CD I was exposed to was The White Album. So, you know, I didn't really get the benefit of making that slow, natural transition into the later weirdness, which I probably would have if I'd listened to the albums in chronological order.

"Happiness Is A Warm Gun" unsettled me. "Helter Skelter" felt especially dark after having fed myself a steady diet of "All My Loving" and "Twist And Shout," etc. "Revolution 9" flat-out scared me with all of those groaning, yelling, screaming noises. And as someone else mentioned, George's ghostly moan at the end of "Long, Long, Long" left me feeling a bit disturbed.

I also distinctly remember listening to the "Blue Album" in bed one night, so all the lights were out, and "I Am The Walrus" came on. Those haunting, discordant strings, along with the weird bits of static monologue talking about death at the end really freaked me out. "Hello, Goodbye" is the next song on that album, and to this day, I think I especially love that song because of that night-time experience -- it was such a happy, chipper contrast to "Walrus."

After that, when I was about 12, I learned about the "Paul is dead" rumor, and any song that sort of played into that rumor kind of disturbed me.

But hey, I was younger then (so much younger than today). I really like "Walrus," "Helter Skelter," etc. now ... that being said, "Revolution 9" can still go cram it.

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3 March 2015
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Can't remember if I was ever spooked personally, but my sister was a bit freaked out when I spun my White Album backwards with a pencil to demonstrate the "turn me on dead man" bit. I did it about twice, and she wouldn't let me do it a third time. 

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One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!"
-- Paul McCartney

3 March 2015
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Silly Girl
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PeterWeatherby whispered into the dark park 

<slice slice>
 And as someone else mentioned, George's ghostly moan at the end of "Long, Long, Long" left me feeling a bit disturbed.
<trim>

I think that someone was me a-hard-days-night-paul-8

The "Yellow matter custard, dripping from a dead dog's eye" in I Am The Walrus used to disgust me. Still does, somewhat, although I know it's all just rubbish for the benefit of the f---ers, according to John.a-hard-days-night-john-5

"I never heard of such a thing in my life... but it sounds like uncommon nonsense." --The Gryphon, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland blue-meanie

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4 March 2015
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Oudis
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Matt Busby said

I saw comments on youtube that several people were spooked by MMT.  I think there must be a lot of sharps/flats or something...which could contribute to the spooky nature of some of the songs. [...] I see Fool on the Hill has a lot of minor chords. Amazingly, I couldn't find the tabs for them all searching on various keywords. Blue Jay Way only has the two chords C and D#, but a lot of the vocal notes are sharps/flats.  I don't want to go further because then the post might get relocated to the recording/musicology forum... 

Could you please elaborate, @Matt Busby? If you want to you can post your answer in the “Song structure analysis and terminology” thread. As far as I know –and according to my experience as a songwriter– minor chords create a sadder, more melancholic atmosphere, whereas major ones produce cheerful tunes (as a rule of thumb), but I had never thought of the effects achieved by sharps or flats… Further elaboration would be much appreciated.

Forsan et haec olim meminisse juvabit” (“Perhaps one day it will be a pleasure to look back on even this”; Virgil, The Aeneid, Book 1, line 203, where Aeneas says this to his men after the shipwreck that put them on the shores of Africa)

4 March 2015
4.42am
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Von Bontee
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I would think that throwing in unneeded (like, "improper") sharps and flats help to create an atmosphere of unease or even repulsion. The sense that something just isn't right. 

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4 March 2015
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Oudis
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Von Bontee said
I would think that throwing in unneeded (like, "improper") sharps and flats help to create an atmosphere of unease or even repulsion. The sense that something just isn't right. 

@Von Bontee 

Do you mean that they were throwing in sharps and flats that didn’t belong to the key the songs were in? Like dissonant, out-of-key notes?

Forsan et haec olim meminisse juvabit” (“Perhaps one day it will be a pleasure to look back on even this”; Virgil, The Aeneid, Book 1, line 203, where Aeneas says this to his men after the shipwreck that put them on the shores of Africa)

4 March 2015
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Von Bontee
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Oudis said

Von Bontee said
I would think that throwing in unneeded (like, "improper") sharps and flats help to create an atmosphere of unease or even repulsion. The sense that something just isn't right. 

@Von Bontee 

Do you mean that they were throwing in sharps and flats that didn’t belong to the key the songs were in? Like dissonant, out-of-key notes?

Yes, dissonance and tritones and that sort of thing. Like the piano in "I Want To Tell You"

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4 March 2015
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PeterWeatherby
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Von Bontee said
I would think that throwing in unneeded (like, "improper") sharps and flats help to create an atmosphere of unease or even repulsion. The sense that something just isn't right. 

Very much so. In music theory, that's why we say that those kinds of chords (like the diminished chords used in "Blue Jay Way") need to resolve to something else. The implication is that those chords create a lack of resolution -- or, to use your very appropriate word, "unease."

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5 March 2015
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Matt Busby
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Oudis said

Matt Busby said

I saw comments on youtube that several people were spooked by MMT.  I think there must be a lot of sharps/flats or something...which could contribute to the spooky nature of some of the songs. [...] I see Fool on the Hill has a lot of minor chords. Amazingly, I couldn't find the tabs for them all searching on various keywords. Blue Jay Way only has the two chords C and D#, but a lot of the vocal notes are sharps/flats.  I don't want to go further because then the post might get relocated to the recording/musicology forum... 

Could you please elaborate, @Matt Busby? If you want to you can post your answer in the “Song structure analysis and terminology” thread. As far as I know –and according to my experience as a songwriter– minor chords create a sadder, more melancholic atmosphere, whereas major ones produce cheerful tunes (as a rule of thumb), but I had never thought of the effects achieved by sharps or flats… Further elaboration would be much appreciated.

If you have access to a keyboard, this will be much clearer and you'll be able to hear the differences better.

Blue Jay Way was not written in a minor key, it's in the key of Cmaj.  Most pop/rock songs are written in a major key and contain some individually specified sharp or flat notes.

Cmaj contains the notes C-D-E-F-G-A-B, no sharps or flats.  The root chord is C-E-G.  Cmin (as it's used in classical instrumental music - there are a couple different types of minor scales, but they are all similar) has 3 notes that are a half step flat (E,A,B) flatter than Cmaj- the scale is C-D-Eb-F-G-Ab-Bb and the root chord C-Eb-G.  As @Von Bontee and @PeterWeatherby pointed out, you can put sharps/flats in manually (and that's exactly what they do in Blue Jay Way).  The syllables "a fog" are sung as Eb-F#, and the "A" in "L.A." is a 3rd, a natural C-E part-chord. The natural E even sounds a bit weird after the Eb a few notes earlier.

EDIT: I could swear the 'A' in 'LA' is the same note (F#) as "fog".  But 3 separate sheet music sites put it as E. so I dunno.

I think D#min is the only key that has D# (D# is same as Eb) and F#, but it would be cumbersome to write Blue Jay Way (or any pop/rock song) in it.  It's mainly used in classical and maybe jazz, afaik. It has 4 sharps in the octave.

The music genre "the blues" gets its name from flat notes, also known as "blue notes". Since the blues was the first modern music to use flats/sharps extensively, and frequently, that became its name. Jazz uses them a lot too. I'm not sure how the basic blues progression goes, but I suspect it has a couple flats (any guitar players want to verify that?).

Hopefully that clarifies it, @Oudis - if not, let me know what is still confusing you.  Everyone else, please correct me if I have any errors - I learned this a long time ago, and while I verified most of it online, I still could have easily made a mistake (it wouldn't be the first time)

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5 March 2015
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Silly Girl
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Von Bontee shouted through a faceful of green apple 
I would think that throwing in unneeded (like, "improper") sharps and flats help to create an atmosphere of unease or even repulsion. The sense that something just isn't right. 

The muzakall term for improper sharps and flats is "accidentals". And they do do what you said. 

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6 March 2015
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I'm not sure how the basic blues progression goes, but I suspect it has a couple flats (any guitar players want to verify that?).

I'm not sure if this is what you meant @Matt Busby but I've played quite a bit of blues and swing (a form of jazz) and the flat notes always depend on the key you're in. Most of the songs I know are in the key of Bb which has a flat B and E. I also use the key of F often, which only has a flat B. 

The basic 12-bar blues progression uses the I-IV-V pattern (the first is the root of the key you're in, then the fourth of that key and the fifth). Again, the sharps and flats depend on the key. If you're doing a simple blues progression, unless you're improvising, you don't really throw any odd accidentals in there. 

Hope this helps!

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6 March 2015
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To answer the original question, umm, no?

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6 March 2015
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Blue Jay Way is a really good example. George does uncomfortable so well. Alan Pollack says the melody is in an unusual modal scale, a cross between western Lydian mode and an Indian scale. It's typical George. I partly blame my wayward sense of scale to a lot of Beatles stuff and especially George's songs :D And the sequencing makes Your Mother Should Know a little bit freaky too.

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6 March 2015
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Matt Busby said
The music genre "the blues" gets its name from flat notes, also known as "blue notes". Since the blues was the first modern music to use flats/sharps extensively, and frequently, that became its name. Jazz uses them a lot too. I'm not sure how the basic blues progression goes, but I suspect it has a couple flats (any guitar players want to verify that?).

Interesting! I always thought it was the other way round, that blues music was known as blues music because of the nature of the song lyrics (sad, blue), and because that genre uses lots of flatted notes (explanation below), they became known as "blue notes."

But to answer your question from a guitarist's perspective, blues music uses lots of flats. A song in the key of E (maybe one of the most common keys for blues music) should, according to its key signature, has four built-in sharps: F#, C#, G#, and D#. But right off the bat, the first chord will inevitably be an E7, which flattens the D# note to a D. The second chord in the progression, A7, flattens the G# to a G.

So a typical blues progression will have at least two flats thrown in right from the start.

It's been a while since I played it, but I believe "Yer Blues" follows this progression - E7 to A7 and eventually on to B7.

Oddly, I've never been particularly "spooked" (to get back to the thread topic) by "Yer Blues."

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7 March 2015
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Matt Busby
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PeterWeatherby said

Interesting! I always thought it was the other way round, that blues music was known as blues music because of the nature of the song lyrics (sad, blue), and because that genre uses lots of flatted notes (explanation below), they became known as "blue notes."

<snippage>

Oddly, I've never been particularly "spooked" (to get back to the thread topic) by "Yer Blues."

I did some research and couldn't find any pre-blues music mention of blue as a mood or a flat note.  Apparently "blue" is one of the most often-colloquialized words - there were at least a dozen meanings I found.  In fact I found no mention of a flat note being a "blue note", but that's where the genre got its name (at least according to my jazz listening undergrad elective 

Thanks to those who gave me the bbp - 1-4-5.  Now all I do is just get myself an electric guitar and take some time and learn how to play...and in a week or two the girls will tear me apart 

I like Yer Blues and can relate to it...but I can see how the lyrics especially could spook someone.

What's The New Mary Jane is pretty creepy to my ears though.

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