March 5, 2013

The Phenomenon of Someone Like You

This full length Blu Ray Disc of Adele's concert at the Royal Albert Hall last 2011 is the latest music video that is being played at home. It contains 17 songs namely, Hometown Glory, I ll Be Waiting, Don't You Remember, Turning Tables, Set Fire To The Rain, If It Hadn't Been For Love, My Same, Take It All, Rumour Has It, Right As Rain, One & Only, Lovesong, Chasing Pavements, I Can t Make You Love Me, Make You Feel My Love, Someone Like You, Rolling In The Deep. Running time is approximately 100 minutes. Parental Guidance is advised as explicit language - the big F, is used  from time to time when Adele's monologuing.

Though all the music played were  in good taste, the most moving of  course is Someone Like You. Adele even told the story about how this song came to be.  She honors the man who was the inspiration of this song. The song brought tears not only to Adele and most of the audience, even my 7 year old youngest son cried.  After playing Someone Like You, Juancho said, "Mommy, it's napapaiyak", which Julia immediately corrected, "nakakaiyak not napapaiyak"

Why is Adele's Someone Like You so popular even for children who has not experienced being broken-hearted? Psychologist Michaeleen Doucleff in the Wall Street Journal said that it's all about appoggiatura:

An appoggiatura is a type of ornamental note that clashes with the melody just enough to create a dissonant sound. "This generates tension in the listener," said Martin Guhn, a psychologist at the University of British Columbia who co-wrote a 2007 study on the subject. "When the notes return to the anticipated melody, the tension resolves, and it feels good."

Chills often descend on listeners at these moments of resolution. When several appoggiaturas occur next to each other in a melody, it generates a cycle of tension and release. This provokes an even stronger reaction, and that is when the tears start to flow.

Chill-provoking passages, they found, shared at least four features. They began softly and then suddenly became loud. They included an abrupt entrance of a new "voice," either a new instrument or harmony. And they often involved an expansion of the frequencies played. In one passage from Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23 (K. 488), for instance, the violins jump up one octave to echo the melody. Finally, all the passages contained unexpected deviations in the melody or the harmony. Music is most likely to tingle the spine, in short, when it includes surprises in volume, timbre and harmonic pattern.

Aside from this psychologist's point, it is of no wonder that Someone Like You is very popular because listeners feel the pain and suffering of the song and the singer for at one time or another, many have been in the same situation - falling in love and falling out of love. 

The phenomena of Someone Like You can be attributed nonetheless to the writer and the singer, and that's ADELE!

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