As I was waking up today, I heard the song, “Bohemian Rhapsody” by the band Queen playing over an interlude when the local news were cutting to commercial. I thought to myself for a second, I’ve never heard this song in its full form before and I wanted to hear this song from beginning to the end.
Contemplating and carefully examining this song, I felt a sudden connection to an older piece of music to which both pieces share, indirectly and directly. That piece of music from which I am comparing Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody is Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. The most obvious observation of the two is that they both share the word “Rhapsody”. Both pieces of music have scattered patterns, different sections, and sporadic rhythms and counter melodies which seem to weave in and out to reach musical balance. Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody changes keys and meter a couple of times implementing a sporadic feel. Also a change in mood from the contemplative beginning to the very melancholy mid section to the equal strophic end, incorporates all the aspects of what classical rhapsodies do when they change textures.
Rhapsody in Blue does the exactly the same thing. Maybe you can’t hear an omitted sound because of the sheer range of the orchestra, but the piano speaks in episodes when it solos. The section of music before the introduction of the theme also has that rich spontaneous feel that all rhapsodies share.
Here is another video I found that sums my points up. It is the same name of this post.
I swear, I just found this video right now without knowing of its existence.