Saturday, April 30, 2022

The Cadenza and Classic Rock Solo

 At a performance last night, I realized that the classical cadenza is the prototype for classic rock's virtuoso solo improvisations. Here are a few samples which readily come to mind from Led Zeppelin. And then there is, of course, Jimi Hendrix's Star Spangled Banner.

Bach, Brandenburg Concerto #5

Led Zeppelin, John Bohnam, Moby Dick

Since I've Been Loving You, Jimmy Page

Star Spangled Banner, Jimi Hendrix


In music, a cadenza (from Italian: cadenza [kaˈdɛntsa], meaning cadence; plural, cadenze [kaˈdɛntse]) is, generically, an improvised or written-out ornamental passage played or sung by a soloist or soloists, usually in a "free" rhythmic style, and often allowing virtuosic display. During this time the accompaniment will rest, or sustain a note or chord. Thus an improvised cadenza is indicated in written notation by a fermata in all parts. A cadenza will usually occur over the final or penultimate note in a piece, the lead-in (German: Eingang) or over the final or penultimate note in an important subsection of a piece. It can also be found before a final coda or ritornello.

The classic rock aficionado should consider classical music. Enjoy, for instance, the Bach Fugues! They sound great on the guitar, but, on the organ, divine!

Now hear the cleanness on the organ!

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