TEARS IN HEAVEN is taken from the CD from the soundtrack of the movie Rush, performed and written by Eric Clapton.
Of any speed at which popular songs are played, we are looking right into the face of mean – mean in that it is the speed at which the song cannot make up its mind whether it wants to be slow or mid-tempo, and mean in that the bittersweet memories cited during these songs is always that of precious glory tinged with a bitter aftertaste. The group within meanspeed music theory, or “mean emotion,” called Bittersweet comes out with an average tempo of 77-78 beats per minute.
If you look back, listen back to the 1970s classic: Helen Reddy’s “You and Me Against The World,” you will find –
1) the song is played live in the studio at this odd speed;
2) if you play the songs back to back, it sounds to me as though Eric Clapton subconsciously borrowed the Reddy song, that 77 1/2 groove, the √60″ x 10-1 groove.
Eric might have heard it – but one cannot “steal” a speed, as Phil Collins defended himself in asserting that “Sussudio” was not intellectual theft of Prince’s “Little Red Corvette.” Beyond the feeling of the tug of a mean bittersweetness in both songs, which ties them together, the harmonies and melodies are completely different.
The most haunting element where the Reddy song foreshadows of a child dying before a parent no one speaks of the connection between these two songs. Eric Clapton is starting to talk about his son’s death, the inspiration for the song, 10 years after the accident. No one speaks of it because the idea of a 4-year-old falling 550 feet onto a city street. Such is respectful however, the taboo keeps people obsessing about this song. The song’s power lies in the territoriality of the speed and emotion. When the song is going through your head and you know why you are hearing a tear-jerker, you may feel a burst of self-control that never goes away. This happens for different people at different speed ranges. There are 1000s of studies that back same. Meanspeed Music, though, is the first, as far as I know, to publish in November 1992 in Washington and November 1995 on the we that a particular sequence was predictive of an emotive type of musical expression. Asserting that there exists such a speed range as this has not been disputed or denied in 12 years. That would be because when you just look at the lists on the pages, the truth speaks for itself. Not to be falsely humble, but mean speed music theory is one of those: “Why the xxxx didn’t *I think of that?!?!” ideas. Dumb luck? Huge factor – I was lucky along the way to defining these mean speed ranges, or “meanemotions.” It will become obvious to you. What humbles me the most is that I invented, created and built nothing – I was just the first that I know of to articulate the emotions could be broken down into time sequencing. There are some in the scientific community who say: “Emotion is an untestable variable, therefore the thesis fails .
Others hear and see the light. Be not afraid of the engineer behind the glass in the studio! Just know what the speed of that groove going round and round in your head is saying. Your self-control will be boosted immeasurably. Cost: $0.00, with the catch that you actually have to read a page or two that demystified some of your favorite songs. Up to you, dear reader, if you want to see the woman behind the curtain. Of course, the “no place like home” analogy carries as far as groove. Tempo is all good and well on its own, as the Wizard so maintains. But there is nothing like just rocking out live – see other posts for that, thanks. Your time will be repaid every day if you wake up to the song of a speed that contain the mood in which you want to find yourself – the “music playing in your head” – see, The Beatles, LADY MADONNA lyrics.
In the lyrics of Tears In Heaven we have a completely abstract story: the performer imagines that he goes to Heaven, meets someone (to whom we are not introduced) he knew many years before and wonders in song whether that person will still remember them.
The bridge of the song features has a 4-line poem about the lament of time passage itself. Clapton’s point seems that at times it seems like time, in and of itself, reminds you that one day death has your number.
Musically, this is a most basic and simple harmony. Along with the melody, I can imagine of some substituted the words, ‘asked in April” for “tear in heaven”, as in, “Would you marry me? If I asked you in April?” One can imagine another who speaks no English, learning the song from sheet music only, and making the mistake of making a proposal like that.
As to whether this song is more bitter than sweet, most online comments I read talked about one story after another about people playing this song, live many times, and crying their eyes out at funerals.
Mean Speed the theory is backed up with many “singer-songwriter” arena. In the area of grace, I hypothesized that James Taylor is successful recording songs in that range: 70-76 bpm. In the group of ceremony, Elton John dominates, and at the same time most of his popular songs lie in that category.
Clapton is as Bruce, Sting, Phil Collins, Paul Simon—used in this theory multiple times because they are “singer-songwriters” who have success at almost every speed in general, as I try to feature here. Clapton is successful in other categories. So said, like his “Let It Grow,”within this small 2 beat per minute range of 76.6-78.4 beats per minute, songs are indicative of bittersweetness. The Too long goodbye – the ‘better to have love and lost than not loved at all’ myth – the horror of desperately trying not in public to cry and failing, adding on to your unnecessary embarrassment.
The production of Tears In Heaven made use of a click track or metronome track or drum machine, so as you see in the charts, Clapton plays no measure faster than 78 or slower than 76. Therefore, from start to end the speed remains exactly the as a linear trend, and there is no overall acceleration or deceleration.
Maybe the relentless 76.8 beats per minute sequence only serves to make Clapton’s point: Time is the relentlessness (see, Billy Joel’s “2,000 Years) and a weight in itself is bitter – we are dead but we are in a good space now, heaven: sweet.
mean speed, or the speed of the song expressed as beats per minute= 76.8 beats per minute.
average beat= 915 milliseconds.
mean slow phase= 1.093 beats per second.
corresponding pitch in equal temperament=327.68 Hertz, found between the notes E4= 329.628 Hertz and much farther aways and D#4/Eb4=311.127 Hertz.
mean emotion according to meanspeed music theory=bittersweetness
Republished March 13, 2012, after WordPress® admittedly took my site down for a reason into which they had not inquired sufficiently enough to know that reason did not exist. IN SO DOING, the apologetic WordPress® said [I could have the site back] but all backups of text and images thereon were my backup problem. Fair enough. It is the first huge mistake WordPress® had made in my 6 years of using their Free service. For a free service especially, the customer service was surprisingly fast and the apology about the work needing to be re-uploaded was sincere. That impressed me more than I was angry that I was going to need to recreate the same thing. Luckily I have a wife, who by definition is smarter than I am, and I had everything backed up and most of the site re-uploaded from a Western-Digital® hard drive. That was a true nerdy blogger experience: meaning, I don’t “blog” or write about speed, music and emotion day after day because I need to apply my wonderful computer skills. No – the opposite! The main ideas on this page were copyrighted in November 1992, no computer graphics, not one chart needed. Everything was asserted mathematically from a 10,000 song database. Meanspeed®/meanpeed®, mean speed® and meanspeed® were service marked and trademarked in January 2010 after an August 2009 application for only meanspeed®. I thank the United States Patent and Trademark Office for coming to me and offering me the two variations on same – given what I was doing. This is an offer I could not refuse. It made me trust the legal staff especially at the U.S.P.T.O.
These trademarks were not sought and granted in order that I sell it or anything derived from it – though 9 out of 10 people who sell computer “apps”, in my opinion, would. The reason the website was blocked for 36 hours early last winter is because someone was complaining that I was “[trying to profit]” from my work. Uh – do you see any gift shop here? Is there a “donate here” button? No. If one is greedy, they can see where an idea that is kinda big IF it is correct, and it seems to be correct: they will look for ways to profit therefrom. However, I am only exhibiting a Pattern In Nature that I discovered through working very hard and getting very lucky, many times – and then many more times.
re-written on 3.12.12