REVOLUTION NUMBER 9
PT 10
BY IAN HAMMOND

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(c) Ian Hammond 1999
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In this article we deal with sections 3.2 and 3.3. We're getting very near the end.

Strip Time
3.1 5.00 Water Hoses
3.2 5.40 Fire & Shooting
3.3 6.20 Stretto & Close
3.4 6.55 Transition to coda

4.1 7.00 Coda
4.2 8.00 Outro

Section 3.2 (10) Fire & Shooting strip
In the diagram you see the standard home elements framing the strip and the Plunge in its usual position.

Lennon adds the defining character to the 40-second strip with two new elements: six seconds of fire followed by 26 seconds of shooting. Notice how the Unison Guitar (4) and Demo Crowd entries are stuttered to suit the strip.

5.40 45 50 55 6.0 5 10 15 20
+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+
Choir| @@@ | | | | | @@@
@Waltz@ | | | | | | @@@@
@@J&G@@ | | @@@@@@@@@@@ | | @@@
| ##Fire# | | | | | |
| | @@John@@@@@| @@ | | |
| | @@Plunge@@@@@ | | | | 1 = thud
| | |1 2 |2 2 | |33 | | | 2 = Guitar
| | | ##Shooting################ | 3 = "E"
| | | |4 4| 4 | |44 44 | 4 = Demo crowd
| | | | |@@Geoff@@@@@@ | |
| | | | | | | | |
+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+
5.40 45 50 55 6.0 5 10 15 20

Here are some details:

5.39 Bb7 F7 Palestrina choir
5:39 JL: In my broken chair, my wings are broken
JL: and so is my hair.
5.44 JL: I am not in the mood for wearing...
Sounds of flames

We come to the transition to the shooting area. The action is significantly different on the left and right channels.

5.49 (Eb-D) JL: Oon dah.
(Eb-C) JL: Ah ha [imitates shooting sounds]
5.50 (B) Plunge begins
5.52 C Plunge chord
(E?) Thump -- all stop except plunge
5.54 (E-B?) Shooting sounds. Crowd noises.
(A) Guitar unison -- broken-up like shooting
Crowd sounds
6:01 "Geoff" starting with Bulge and clarinet
JL: The dogs were dogging, the cats were
catting, the birds were birding,
6:05 JL: Wounded sounds
JL: the fish were fishing, the men were
mennning, the when for wimming [sic??]

L20?
6.00 (E) A harp in the background
bb: Clarinet doodle in background
6.01 (D) Electronic interference
JL: The Dogs was dogging, the cats were catting
6.03 JL: The birds were birding, the fish were fishing
6.05 (A-E) "Ssshh", Pluck; "Geoff"
(G) JL: [wounded sounds] (right channel)
6.07 (g#bc#)JL: The men for menning, the when for whimming!

6:10 Six seconds of shooting and crowd sounds
These fade out abruptly at 6:17
Shooting and crowd
6:17 Waltz and Palestrina Choir
GH: Only to find the night watchman unaware
of his presence in the building.
6:21 JL: Onion soup
6.19 voices

Section 3.3 Closing Strip
It's worth recalling that this strip originally formed the finale of R9. The "new" coda, from 7:00 onwards, was added later and is of quite different character to the first seven minutes.

The strip begins with a home group moving through a final stretto into an episode that recalls the children's crowd scene. The remainder is freely composed, finishing with a sequence that overlaps the beginning of the coda.

Home Stretto - Home+Kids Close Transition
"Number 9" "Take this"
6.20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60
+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+
@@Choir@@@@@@@@@@ | | | | | |
oo | | | @@Waltz@@@@@@ | | |
@@@ | @@ | @@J&G@@@@@@@@@@@ | | |
| 1| |22 3| 3 | | | | | | 1="Ah"
| @@Geoff@@@@| | | | | | | 2=Plunge?
| @Beethoven@ | | | | | | 3=Cymbal
| | | @@N9@@@@| | | | | | 4=Fanfare
| | | |444 | | | | | | 5=March
| | | | @@Kids@@@@@@ | | | 6="Take this"
| | | | | | | 566688 | 888| 7=Locks
| | | | | | | 779999| | 8=Piano
| | | | | | | | xxxxyyy x=Shooting
| | | | | | | | zz z y=pip echo
| | | | | | | | | | z=Yoko
| | | | | | | | #Echo##
+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+----+
6.20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60

6.30 (B-Bb) "Number nine"
stretto starts
6.39 stretto abandoned
childrens voices
composed ending
6.50 b: Waltz finishs

Note how Lennon lets the piano waltz finish completely before the brass march fragment enters. It's a replay of the how the waltz passes control to the strings in its first entry.

6.52 B*: March cadence (a quarter-tone flat)
Source: EMI effects library
Style: A military cadence from a small brass band

Lennon's touch for the right notes shows itself again with this dub of a small brass band to introduce the prophetic closing words. The waltz finished on B minor, this March is in B major.

6.53 (A*) Ono hums an A that's a little flat
JL: Take this brother, may it serve you well.
D C# Ab C, Bb Bb C B A

Lennon utters the immortal phrase, "Take this brother...", that ends the body in a Michael Caine "Alfie" voice. It's the kind of thing that might have opened the piece, or have preceded the Shooting strip. "Revolution 9" may have intentional temporal dislocation.

"Take this brother..." seems addressed to the hero of the piece: The John voice that makes the shooting sounds etc. In any case, it's the most direct form of speech so far. All the preceding utterances have been aimed at no-one in particular. The speech becomes more direct in the ensuing coda.

The combined affect of the B-minor close (piano) followed by the B major close (military band), nicely sums up the tonic of the first seven minutes of Revolution 9. I find it amazing that a so-called random piece finishs so up so cleanly on the tonic which opened and prevailed throughout the piece. Technically we have a Picardy close.

The B major is slightly flat. For what it's worth, so is the fast version of Revolution. We also hear B pulled slightly flat at one or two points during the body of Revolution 9.

In the original version the piece stopped unexpectedly after Lennon's phrase, without any 'western' form of closure. I'll discuss the transition and new coda in the next article.


IAN HAMMOND'S BEATHOVEN: PAGE 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, - Back To Revolution Number 9

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