Adele, whose single “Hello” debuted at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 list in 2015, performed at this year’s 58th Grammy Awards last monday. Year after year, one thing remains constant with the Grammy winner’s music: It makes the tears flow.
You may think her soulful lyrics are the reason songs like “Hello” and “Someone Like You” connects with our soul emotionally and makes us almost want to cry, but there’s a whole lot more going on in Adele’s music.
Surprisingly, it’s not the words that are really making you cry: Adele makes ample use of appoggiaturas or grace notes.The appoggiatura is a “non-chordal” or “nonharmonic” tone – a note that is not part of the harmony at the moment it sounds, but rather is a second above a harmonic tone.
Images for appoggiaturas here
How to recognize an appoggiatura (grace note):
The Grammy Awards marked the biggest appearance for the 27-year-old singer in four years. It followed the release in November of 25 , which broke US sales records and quickly became the best-selling album of 2015 with worldwide sales of some 15 million. The November release made it ineligible for Grammy consideration this year.
Accompanied by just a piano on the Grammy stage in Los Angeles, Adele sang her new single ‘All I Ask’. But the performance was marred by technical issues when a microphone fell onto the piano’s strings, and she turned in an uncharacteristically shaky performance, hitting sharp and flat notes.
According to music psychologists, returning to the melody from appoggiaturas relieves that tension, relieving the listener and that’s when you cry.
Her lyrics probably don’t hurt, either. Or, rather, they do. They hurt a lot. Alicia Keys may be a suspect here too.
Adele confirmed that immediately she heard the song was not going well she wished she had stopped and started the performance all over again.
“Next time I have any sound issues, I am gonna stop. I’ll be like, sorry that’s not working for me. If we have time to do it again, let’s do it; otherwise, bye!”
She also acknowledged feeling more pressure now to perform well than a few years ago. “The more successful I get, the more pressure there is, really,” she said.
Adele starts a nine-month-long, sold-out European and North American tour on February 29.
Compiled, edited by: Jimmy Adesanya (Facebook.com/LinkedIn)
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