The Psychology of the Speed of Foreboding and the Secret of Thomas & Santana's "Smooth" – Meanspeed calibrations, tempo maps, video example of a song that virtually defines the territory in which it sits (~114-117.7 bpm)

SMOOTH - Rob Thomas - Carlos Santana - meanspeed contemporary tempo map - the speed of foreboding 2
SMOOTHRob ThomasCarlos Santana – meanspeed contemporary tempo map – the speed of foreboding 2

 

 

The psychology of determinism and fatalism enters in to play because without the underlying un-ease that 116 beats per minute almost always brings to a song of that speed. The SECRET of “Smooth” simply the speed. Look at the list of hundred of songs at or with 114-118 bpm, on this page or anywhere else you can correct and vouched for as precisely right to an 80/81%  bpm, the pattern of foreboding expression smacks you in the face, as if to say this is clear to the point of obvious – how could no one have noticed this before? Here, right in the middle of this haunted speed, a rocking song about the anger a man has when argues woman he loves, casting a haunted, foreboding shadow both over their relationship and a shadow over the song itself.

 

SMOOTH - Rob Thomas - Carlos Santana - meanspeed contemporary tempo map - the speed of foreboding 2 copy

 

What is foreboding, anyway? Courtesy of Merriam Webster‘s Collegiate 11th edition: coined c 14 c.–an omen, prediction or presentiment esp. of coming evil: portend. Most useful: the descriptive word “foreboding”‘ is the presentiment or foretelling which indicates that the speaker/singer/musician feels an indescribable force–often, as noted, a bad omen. Then again, as anyone knows who has been in a situation where all hopes seemed dashed by a terrible sign of things to come, all matters about which you stress resolve with a positive ending .

 

SMOOTH - Rob Thomas - Carlos Santana - meanspeed contemporary tempo map - the speed of foreboding 1 copy
SMOOTH – Rob Thomas – Carlos Santana – meanspeed contemporary tempo map – the speed of foreboding 1 copy

 

The average beat, or the speed of the song expressed as beats per minute on this live recording= 116.1 beats per minute.
The average beat= 517 milliseconds.
The mean slow phase= 1.94 beats per second.
The corresponding tone= 495.36 hertz.

 

SMOOTH - Rob Thomas - Carlos Santana - meanspeed contemporary tempo map - the speed of foreboding 1 copy
SMOOTH – Rob Thomas – Carlos Santana – meanspeed contemporary tempo map – the speed of foreboding 1 copy

 

SMOOTH - Rob Thomas - Carlos Santana - meanspeed contemporary tempo map - the speed of foreboding 2 copy
SMOOTH – Rob Thomas – Carlos Santana – meanspeed contemporary tempo map – the speed of foreboding 2 copy

 

/Ian Andrew Schneider/
September 27, 2010

 

(Repost inspired by Santana Reunion and Carlos Santana’s kindness)

 

this  is an updated version of an article published here on October 12, 2007

 

 

 

Carlos Santana's star on the Hollywood Walk of...
Carlos Santana’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

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