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Thursday, March 06, 2008

Stephen Foster and Jeanie

Excerpt in Eb Major
m. 13 – V ii
m. 14 – I iv64 ii6
m. 15 – I V V-7
m. 16 – V7/V Vadd6 I64 iv
m. 17 – I III V7 I

Stephan Foster’s “Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair” is in quaternary form (AA1BA). The first line “ I dream of Jeanie..” ends with a half cadence in measure 4, which begins the second phrase (A1) which ends in a half cadence in measure 8. The bridge has a cadence at measure 10, however the piano part continues through the held cadence with an ascending scale to complete the bridge at measure 12 with another half cadence. The last phrase begins with the pick up to measure 14 and continues to then end of the song ending with a perfect authentic (V-I) cadence. I did not feel a shift change throughout the song. In the basic sense all of the cadences leading up to the bridge had been half cadences and then suddenly in the middle of the bridge there is a perfect authentic cadence. He also kept the same rhythms in each measure of the bridge as if to tie it all together and make it truly its own section. However this section could not stand alone without the A section. In measure 16 there is a new chord represented from chapter 26, a Vadd6 chord, where the extra note in the chord is a major sixth above the bass.
I absolutely love Stephen Foster songs, as silly as that may be. As a child I went to see the Stephan Foster Story performed in Bardstown, Kentucky. I fell in love with “Beautiful Dreamer,” and the story of Stephen Foster. His songs are something that hit home for me, and this one is another one that is a classic.

Check out the song performed in the movie “Stephen Foster”:

yay for youtube!

1 comment:

Scott said...

13: V7 - V9#5
14: I
15: I - V65 - vi
16: (fine, just change iv to iv6)
17: V864-753 - I

Don't forget performance ideas. Good thoughts on bridge section.