Pink Floyd: 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond'
Title: Shine on You Crazy Diamond (Parts 1 to 5)
Band: Pink Floyd
Composers: Gilmour, Walters and Wright.
Style: Progressive rock. This is exemplified by its length and complex structure, which in return gives it diversity and independence. Other factors, which contribute to its style, are its European sound, promotion of instrumental parts and the development of musical themes while using traditional rock instruments with new technology.
Key: G minor (all parts)
Structure: The song can be divided into five parts. See below:
Time Duration (13:31)
2:09 - 3:54
3:54 - 4:30
4:30 - 6:27
6:27 - 7:35
7:35 - 8:41
8:41 - 11:09
11:09 - 13:31
Part I (0:00 - 2:09)
The music fades in. The texture begins soft and spacey. There is no pulse, metre or rhythm section.
A low synthesizer bass note (tonic) is sustained which acts as a drone. The synthesizer strings are accompanying it, playing the tonic 3 octaves higher then the bass.
Once the piece has faded in, a motionless synthesizer solo takes place in the G minor scale. The synthesizer solo has a volume swell effect (The notes get louder a fraction of a second after the notes are played.)
The part contains two sound effects low in the mix. One is a crystal effect that comes in at various points and the other is a saw-teeth wave that is sustained throughout the whole part. Sound effects are one of the factors that contribute to the style.
Part II (2:09 - 3:54)
Part II is a variation of part I. A new texture is added. The guitar enters playing a gentle G pentatonic minor scale. The sound of the guitar is warm, thin and clean with some slight reverb. The ad-lib style solo is played in the same position throughout, never going out of the two octave range.
The synthesizer bass now follows the synthesizer strings in a contrary motion, and abandons its sustained pedal note. The harmonic structure has also changed:
From 3:40, the sounds and instrumentation fade to a low level, settling at 3:54.
Part III a (3:54 - 4:30)
The first four notes of the guitar establish part III. We will call this four note phrase- A. The phrase is in 6ths which is repeated five times during this section. The tone is louder and more distorted than the guitar in the previous part.
The crystal sound effect reappears in this section. There is a slight delay in its sound, so what originally appears in the left speaker appears a fraction later in the right, at a lower volume.
At 4:25, the drums enter for the first time, playing straight eighths with a crescendo for four bars.
Part III b (4:30 - 6:27)
It is clear now that the time signature is 3/4 and the tempo is allegro.
There are two sub-parts under this section which will be called sub-part 1 & 2. Sub-part 1 can be simply described as the band playing together, while sub part 2 is the moment the guitar solo begins.
The instrumentation contained in sub-part 1 is three electric guitars (one low in the mix and plays rarely), drums, bass guitar and a Hammond organ which is also low in the mix.
This section contains repetitions and variations of phrase A. The other electric guitar is playing inverted 3rds with vibrato on every 1st beat after every four bars. At 4:50, the bass guitar plays a chromatic run.
Chord Progression - Sub-part 1
Sub-part 2 begins at 5:13.The instrumentation is the same as sub-part 1, but with a solo electric guitar as a new texture. The solo guitar plays with a clean tone up to 6:05. The tone is then more distorted and slightly louder. At 6:15 the solo guitar plays using a G minor scale, one octave lower.
Chord Progression - Sub-part 2
At 6:06 a descending chromatic line takes place: G, Gb, F, E, Eb, D, D#, D; each note lasting for two bars.
Other features during this sub-part are that the synthesizer imitates phrase A and plays small fills during the chromatic session and the Hammond organ plays a wave sound towards the end of the tonic chords.
Part IV a (6:27 - 7:35)
The section is dominated by the synthesizer solo, playing in the scale of G minor. The solo is quite melodic with an organised and recognizable shape.
Two electric guitars are contained in the section. One is playing 3rds which last for 1 beat on the 1st beat of every 2 bars. The tone is slightly distorted. The other is playing short fills with a clean tone on the 3rd beat of the fourth bar then every eight bars up to 7:10. From this point, the guitar plays the chords between 7:10 and 7:21 and then strums the finally dominant chord in the progression. The guitar is panned to the left speaker. The bass guitar plays ascending chromatic run at 7:09.
The organ sustains the chords throughout the whole part. The organ, bass guitar, an electric guitar all hold on the dominant chord between 7:29 and 7:35 for 4-bars.
Throughout the part, the drums only played the high-hat when the snare was played. This made the part less intense.
Part IV b (7:35 - 8:41)
This section is dominated by the electric guitar solo. The solo displays a wider range of pitch than the ones in the previous parts. The solo is mostly played in the G minor scale. From 8:02 to 8:12, the performer plays in the G minor scale two octaves lower, then back to the original range. It then uses the C Dorian scale at 8:21 to 8:30, then back in the G minor scale. The solo is briefly harmonised at 8:27.
Two other guitars are contained in this section. One is playing 3rds which last for one beat on the 1st beat of every two bars, as in the previous part. The other is playing guitar fills at the same points as in the prior part, but not as a single-line melody. This guitar is also playing 3rds.
The organ sustains the chords as in the previous part. It is clearer this time that the organ switches between Major and Major 6ths chords from 7:35 to 8:17.
The progression is a variation of the previous part. The main difference is the III have been replaced by VI and the V has been replaced by the I. (the 8th chord in the progression.)
Other factors include the drums now playing the high-hat on the beat and the bass guitar playing an ascending chromatic run at 8:16 as in part IV a.
Part V a (8:41 - 11:09)
Vocals enter for the first time. Soft and low in pitch for the verses and louder and higher in pitch for the pre-choruses and choruses. They also seem slightly phased and fed with reverb. For the instrumentation, the verses go from piano to forte while the pre-chorus and chorus are just played forte. Bridge is played moderately loud.
The lead vocal is doubled in the chorus with two female backing singers. The female vocals also sing 'oohs' in the A2 and A4 and 'aahs' in the bridge section. There is no lead vocal in the bridge section.
The lead vocal for the verse has an antiphonal effect. The consequent is doubled. The instrumentation and volume is also built up. For the chorus, the vocals and cord progression descends and then ascends in conjunct steps, with a pause between the two. An imitation effect appears in B4.
The instrumentation is the same as the previous part - Organ, electric guitars, bass guitar and drums.
Verses, pre-chorus and chorus contain guitar fills. Guitar plays a fill using 3rds in B2. The guitar solo in the bridge section is harmonised in octaves. The drummer now plays the ride cymbal throughout the part and not the high-hat.
Part V b (11:09 - 13:31)
The saxophone makes its debut playing an add-lib solo which lasts for the whole part. It is scalic and quite low in pitch up to 12:00. At this point the time signature changes to 2/4 and the tempo drops to around andante. The saxophone is now higher in pitch with a brighter tone.
Phrase A makes a recurrence at 11:12. The guitar then plays legato sequences, which contains pedal notes.
The drum and bass come to an end and the synthesizer enters at 12:41. The song ends with the saxophone and guitar being faded out and a sound effect being faded in. The song ends abruptly as the sound effect bleeds into a new song.