“As” / Stevie Wonder / SONGS IN THE KEY OF LIFE
I looked around the internet and beyond in 1988 for a book in which the exact speeds of songs were listed. I looked for years. Then I found Bruno Repp of the Hastings Lab, associated with Yale in New haven, who rightly told me that I had not “READ MUCH OF THE EXTANT STUDIES IN THIS AREA OF STUDY.” This was in 1990, very pre- internet, but I admit now he was right. But I have had many years to catch up to both the “extant” (I had to look that up – it means a ‘a heck of a lot’). Still, as the saying goes, the more you know the more you realize what you do not know. I think this song is archetypical of songs in 4/4 time – “As” being the perfect title to a speed where from 98-105 beats per minute the songs are predictably natural, easy, just: THERE. I try to describe the speed territories with nouns. So said, if one had to be a verb or verbal phrase (see Newman Tempo Chart on the right) it would be songs in this category, the working title of which and still ism to be candid, “CARPE DIEM.” As by Stevie means it is what it is, as, well, it is and that, as every American knows, and I know as the Hillary Clinton and Bill Clinton, as myself, attorneys who passed the bar in their home state and have moved around, what the meaning, in a given context, of what is is. This matter of defining a verb would be an element of journalism and not a laughing point on the part of non-lawyers if journalists would present themselves as either presenting fact, opinion, or a mixture of both.
The mean frequencies for the live version of “As” by Stevie Wonder are:
meanspeed=102.1 beats per minute
meanspace=588 milliseconds per beat.
meanspace=2351 milliseconds per measure.
meanphase=1.702 cycles per second.
meanpitch=435.627 Hertz, 82 cents above G#4/Ab4=415.305 Hertz, 18 cents below A4=440.000 Hertz.
/Ian Andrew Schneider/
meanspeed music school
June 14, 2009
revised and extended from information originally measured in July, 1988
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