Analysis Question with Sample Response III Sinead OConnor

Analysis Question with Sample Response III Sinead OConnor

Sinead O’Connor, She Moved Through the Fair

Sample Response III

How is character created in the vocal part of this work?



  • the vocal part, which delivers the main melodic line establishes a relaxed yet longing character through the medium-high register, which sounds to be comfortable and thus relaxed in the lower range, however is more forced as the pitch increases, underlining the sense of longing


Jenn Gillan: It might be worth acknowledging a change in character from __ to __ which is created by this change in register and tone colour from ___ to ___


  • the slight use of vibrato at the beginning of the piece, which is then used more frequently as the piece progresses, assists in creating a sense of wistfulness


Jenn Gillan: Expand on vibrato. Yes it exists but describe it. Is it broad, wide, tight, narrow, changing – getting faster or slower, does it stay the same? Where is it used in the phrase? At the end/beginning/middle? Well done for acknowledging some trends (more frequent use as the piece progresses)


  • the thin and airy tone colour of the vocalist in what sounds to be a new section of the piece where she sings at a piano dynamic underscores further the wistful character


Jenn Gillan: Good locating your example. Clear link to character though mentioning the piano – does this enhance this? The question is about the voice. Talking about interaction with the piano might be worthwhile but you would need to expand on your answer more.

  • the sudden attack of notes at the beginning of phrases emphasises a feeling of desperation and longing within the piece, whilst the gradual decay of notes through drawn-out decrescendos at the end of phrases assists in providing a sense of calm

Jenn Gillan: Any influences or techniques used worth mentioning?


  • (a contour diagram was drawn)
    the repetitive rising and falling melodic contour contributes to the yearning character of the piece


Jenn Gillan: Nice to use diagams. Does rising and falling equal yearning? I’m not 100% convinced. Maybe combine this example with something else to strengthen it.


  • The even and regular phrasing of the vocal melody assists in underpinning the sense of calm within the except


  • The contrast between the more nasal tone colour of the vocalist at the beginning of the excerpt, established through the mezzo-forte – forte dynamic, and the airy tone colour created by the piano dynamic highlights the longing yet calm character


Jenn Gillan: Again, maybe saying that the character changes or intensifies might enhance your response? Overall some solid examples. Some of your links were a little tenuous but others were much clearer. Try to cover all expressive devices when discussing an open question such as this.