An Examination Of The Music Of Garth Brooks

2517 words - 11 pages

For generations, singers and songwriters of country music have been working to evoke emotions in listeners by performing and writing songs that the listeners will be able to relate to. Country music traditionally reveals stories of life, love, death, and values, all of which can be seen in the works of great singers and songwriters like George Strait, Alabama, Brooks & Dunn, and Alan Jackson. One artist in particular, Garth Brooks, forever left his stamp on country music and on the hearts of his millions of listeners with his hit songs, “The Beaches of Cheyenne”, “Callin’ Baton Rouge”, and “The River”. “The Beaches of Cheyenne” has a storyline containing themes of life, death, love, and regret. The themes of this song branch out much further than the reaches of country music, and makes this particular song relatable to each and every person. "The Beaches of Cheyenne" by Garth Brooks is the epitome of country music, and largely contributes to the success and popularity of country music by evoking emotions in listeners through means of a storyline that conveys strong emotions, relatable to each and every person. “Callin’ Baton Rouge” is fast-paced, upbeat love song that is able to evoke emotion in listeners because of the strong instrumentals in the song accompanied by meaningful lyrics. “The River” is a song about following dreams no matter what obstacles may be in the way, which makes it inspirational and very relatable to everyone that listens to it.
Peter J. Rentfrow, Lewis R. Goldberg, and Daniel J. Levitin reveal in their article, The Structure of Musical Preferences: A Five-Factor Model that, "It (music) is composed of specific auditory properties, communicates emotions, and has strong social connotations. There is evidence from research concerned with various social, psychological, and physiological aspects of music, not with music preferences per se, suggesting that preferences are tied to various musical facets" (Rentfrow et al. 2011 p. 1141). The authors go on to include that these “musical facets” include pace and tempo of music, volume, instrumentals, and vocals (Rentfrow et al. 2011 p. 1141). “The Beaches of Cheyenne” displays a wide range of attributes that appeals to individual preferences that Rentfrow, Goldberg, and Levitin discuss. There is a strong presence of the fiddle and steel guitar in the song which helps direct emotions, that is to say it helps guide how listeners should feel. The tempo of the song varies throughout, starting high, turning lower, and then returning high. The vocals of the song also vary, as Garth Brooks utilizes his ability to hit a wide range of musical notes. Lyrically, the song tells a story that conveys many strong emotions and themes.
"The Beaches of Cheyenne"- Garth Brooks

They packed up all his buckles
And shipped his saddle to his dad
And by the way the house looked
She must have took it bad
The workers come on Monday
To fix the door and patch the wall
They say she just went crazy
...

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