Penny Lane Analysis

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Penny Lane released as double side with strawberry fields forever in February 1967 by the Beatles during the Sgt, Pepper sessions (Penny Lane | The Beatles Bible. (n.d.). It was originally written by Paul McCartney but credited to Lennon -McCartney song writing partnership. The song was about a street near Lennon 's childhood home in Liverpool, England. Penny Lane is in the key of B Major with 108 BPM and a time signature of 4/4. Paul McCartney accomplishes a difficult song writing task as he places the verses In the key of B and choruses in the key of A, then changes back to B using ' 'E ' ' as the pivot chord.

Paul McCartney • Lead Vocal • Three Pianos • Bass • Harmony George Martin • Piano • Orchestration • Production

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Goody, Manny W • Flutes • Piccolos

The melody narrates the story about Penny Lane over steady piano chords. John Lennon and George Harrison play the background harmonies whilst George Martin provides the score for both brass and woodwinds. Penny Lane has a similar chord progression to heart & soul by Hoagy Carmichael but with a walking base and a rolling melody (The Surprising Chord (n.d.). In the verse, Paul changes the key from B major to B minor which creates contrast. In a quiet and subtle way, the melody and harmony are flexible due to the constant key change between the verses and the chorus while the refrain has a melodic flat seventh.

John Lennon • Harmony • Backing Vocal • Two Pianos •
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Moving on to the chorus wouldn 't be smooth without the E chord as it would be a difficult transition to the first chord of the chorus if the verse was to end on an F#. The unpredictability and the fun mood of the song is caused by the E chord which is used as a tool to change the key of the song to A. all in major, the chords A, F# & D are the only ones played in the chorus and the smooth transition back to the verse is due to the chorus ending on a major F#. The mood is positively affected by a horn within the chorus.

Piccolo solo played by David Mason brings upon a perfect timbre and shows a different type of creativity as it plays a countermelody. The guitar played by George Harrison is blends in perfectly which also adds timbre while cello is added in about 2:04 and plays softly in the background creating contrast between verses. Piano and violins are in line with each other while the horn steadily plays offbeat in the ' 'though she feels as if she 's in a play. Through out the song, both string and horns come in without us noticing until the mood

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