• Deceptive love and denied endings: tropes in the music of Billy Joel

    Author(s):
    Sean Atkinson (see profile)
    Date:
    2018
    Group(s):
    Society for Music Theory – Popular Music Interest Group
    Subject(s):
    Music theory, Popular music
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Billy Joel, Topics, Deceptive Motion, Popular Music Studies
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/dgx7-0w42
    Abstract:
    The music of Billy Joel is long overdue for prolonged attention from the scholarly field. As Walter Everett has acknowledged (2000), Joel’s music is often more in line with common-practice systems than with popular genres, and when combined with his intuitive understanding of numerous popular styles, makes for a rich trove of harmonic interest. One of the common-practice devices Joel utilises effectively is the evaded cadence (also called a deceptive motion). His use of this harmonic motion reveals two tropes in his music: Deceptive Love describes the complicated nature of love in ‘She’s Got a Way’ and ‘She’s Always a Woman’, while Denied Ending describes the unfinished and unresolved quality at the end of ‘Miami 2017’. Uncovering these tropes in Joel’s songs leads to a better understanding of the lyrics and the harmonic progressions that underlie them.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    3 years ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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