chapter  II
12 Pages

Books

WithThomas Robinson

A survey of the entire recorded output of Paul Simon, song by song. Bennighof focuses primarily on meter, form, and harmonic structure, examining the relationship of music and text. Working chronologically, he is able to track changes in Simon’s style over time. In a concluding essay, Bennighof discusses the synthetic nature of Simon’s songs. Often, before the words, chords, and melody are even composed, the song is conceived as a selection and assembly of disparate elements. The book’s chapters are organized by album, and a complete discography is included. Not only is there an extensive musical glossary, but also there is, for the novice musician, a 14-page tutorial on tonality; keys and harmonic progression; modulation; chords; and diatonic, modal, and chromatic harmony. Every song is analyzed, but no notated musical analyses are present; all musical elements are detailed in prose.