PHILOSOPHY

Words and Music by Ben Folds

This song contains several fmportant signature elements 01 Ben Folds' style. The piano influences here range from Elton John's early ballad style 10 the pounding rock 'n' roll 01 Little Richard to George Gershwin's concert jazz. All are well integrated into a tight arrangement.

The song is lold from the point of an architect Or construction foreman who has the ability to gaze at a vacant 101 and imagine a hiqh-rtae. The song is essentially about having a dream and carrying il through 10 reality, and having to deal with critics and oeeactors along the way.

Figure 1 - tntrc, Verse, and Chorus

"Philosophy" begins wUh a broken-chord plane intra, played in a high register and somewhat reminiscent of EILon John in his "Tiny Dancer" mode. This quickly develops Into a propulsive sixieerun-note, broken-chord pattern in the right hand, wllh pounding eighth~ note octaves in Ihe left, leading into the verse; During the verse, Ihe piano camps in pattarns built primarily cut of brock "Irlads and broken chords. The stxteenlh-ncte pattern returns near the end of the ve-rse to underlie the ChOfUS, which Includes bass accents on Lhe rhylhm pattern.

Fig. I

+ FtlllH:inli

., SlnwHcnlll Mo.:kml(' R(lrk J = 'lI4

Inll"(l C

Dnl7 (j Dm? G

'l ~~rn~~.FFF.l ~.2~-=-r -r"-~

:l.:I~LJ-fT=~ -~-.L4

·P-=T--- ~ ~-J~.--

.

5 C G/C ArnIe C+ Dm? G

~ -W1-~-~lli=:tW~~,ttB ~~=o--=-~: ------~--= ~i

mf

U::~-.~=. ~=-u_r r ,-l~:-r-'b =-~t

·ebo"'Io"JI.~!I! .. ~lk-..!!'J'~!I.;:;l..m-;;-:~i~"" .. It"!'lur ~ ~ ~

f

9 J

11 G

~

G

FIG

1-_-

!-'r .~II

W.ltII Yf.lI

V,'rsc~

13 C F C Em

ft-' t T_~n .. , M-I' G f~~ 1 ~ 1

I ~. ,,_ ~ i~i ". · ~ ~ ;: 1-~- '''i'~l l_""d_

?:~: j)~J ,J- D~P J j)

15 ~' IYI/F!l GSkJ!i4 G

_~ L ;;/-].=~=r cr i¥iCiJ ~. -i _ t ~-~~~ I

~'hL"l:k Llul_ III": re- n(.'("...tionll in _ my C~C;5 YC)II ~.:<!, th~.!'

1 ~=-j }'"P-----=-r: ~~m--d ~- ==r=...=J3 3~

!)_~=J==-----;-F:3l=-j 1-~ §'3~J i2-r::

17 C I~ C EIll7

~c_r 1~ P.c.-.-nJFi +-U-J~F-- _!__6! 1

al. wny~ u:;;,.'f.! _ III be _ ihcre, ;: • ~'ell ..... hen Ibis uLl_ wus {,!f!i!lo. ... _ :md I

~-H. -.~=-f==~ .~ 9~~ ~-

?: _-~~~I' -V-~D~ J~

19 F D7/F# FIG G Fmllji)

t-:=b...J;-('==l=-,,-r d§J:f '== ~B~,- n~ I

~tlllil and tl~!\~l!tl e.tcm a hith - rise._ I\ad you wen: IlI.u&h.iuj: til Illy

f:h.url.Ls[@ "Wlllil.'.\lj----·---~ __ ------.-- .. - .. ---- ••••••.•.•

25 G FIC C ClIlIIj7

I~_f - 11'f-="'=~-=LJ.i lJ1l.t~ I

~f:~1~1

&.~, ''''' .... " ....•• _ ..• _ •......... _. __ . ••••• _ .. __ . __ ._ ...•.•..• ~

10

:31 C6

t

1~7r~~~~i.

,",' ;,

C+

Um'

G

Illy

phil-u

33 Dm7 G G

_~Ibb..b!-brc~~ F= --~~~=""

wulk-iug I'.'II~II I 111 f~lli - ill!! __ .. 1I'~wl1

I;:;~·~}~~~j

11,',; 1~1_U1l-'------------- --------------,.----------------- -------------".-------------- ----------------------- ------ j

Figure 2 - Coda

The coda, which Is telegraphed by the Iyrfcs "and now it's time tor thls song to end,~ shows the high-energy. raucous side 01' the band to good effect, The piano part continues ill hard-driving, poundlnq. sixteenth notes, comple-te with Jerry Lee Lewis-style qussandos. (measure 5) and tremolos (measure 14),

The gfissando, 'Sometimes referred 10 as a gllss or slide, Is a classic blues .and rock 'n' ral~ Keyboard enect. II is a "tapid scale passage performed by quickly sliding the hence over the keys (usually over the white keys" although black key glissandos are also posslble). There are many possible ways to perform a ptlss:

i. Use lIiQ- back nail of the right midQla linger to ascenc 91"'1 the keys.

2. Use the back nail of the right thumb to descend en the keys.

3. Use the palm or the hand in a kind or "smear" effect' going up or down the keys.

4. Use multiple ling,ers lor a multiple gliss effect,

Be careful oct 10 skin the back or your lhumb or fingers, especially when you get rocking al full tilt.

A tremolo is a rapid altemallenbetweentwo-Ormofel1oles~Sometimes.this is also called a roll, The most commonly performed tremolos are ralls of either 3rds or octaves, bath of which are conlalnec In 'tl1is fi-gure, Tremolos of an octave are usually performed wtth fingers 1 and 5 {thumb and pinky). Rolls of a third can be performed with fingers 1 and 3 {thumb and middle finger) or tinf;lers 2 end 3 (index and middle finger).

StartEr1g at measure 18, Folds breaks aut in an overdri v en quote from George Gershwin's ~Rhapso~y in Blue."' I asked Folds if there was a particular reason he chose to slick a bil 01 Gershwin's classic at the end of this tune.

"NO. The-re's re symbolism to ir. It was improv tl,s firsl time. Like a cuote in a inrr song,"

-Ben Folds

The piano transcription in Ihe last live measures can. be considered merely an appmximetlon. Instead of hitting exact chords in this section, Folds is sometimes striking large clusters 01' notes. Clusters can be played using the palm or side of the hand. They can aJso be playac using an elbow Or both elbows. Some pianists have been known 10 even sit on the keybcardl Hey, whatever works ...

11

Fig_. 2 +11'111101111<1

• Sluwl)cmo CucJrl ~

1 DIl17 G FIG r,; FfG

~r.t.j-J::]t:~~-Ft=r --_--~ _- ~~~I

~nd nnw 11 .~ time fur thi:;: ~Ol},g In end

~-j .~~=~~~ -~ j-J#2 ~1 J-"j-J

7'- _-~-=J~-=:::=J-~ ~ ~-=-- ~~= -~_-J_::__~--" --

K~""' ... " .•. - .... __ ._ .. _. __ .•.. _ ..•.... _ .... _ .. _ ..•....•.. _._ .. _ ..... _.- •.••••. - .. - .... _ ..•..•.•..•..•...... _ .. _ ..•••..•.•.

~~ ~~-jj3lrn -m~~~[=Wl{~!~ - ,~~~Pr -f!f=~-IT~I·:~~

K, ... ~,,········-··-····_··_· __ ·_··_····_·_··_·_·········- •• -.--.- •• _ •• _._ •• _. __ •• _. __ ._._ ••••• _ •••• _.~.~.

12

re ~'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''I!''''''''-''-'--------------------------------------

=i? __ r=~=~. - ",- = ~.=~~ ~Eo=-G =~E~~~E~.= =Fo= .c=.Fo= ~.E ~~-=,~= =,~ .!~!;!.--' -! - s=: ! J~~'i-=-- -~c-m~-u:u--~~-~~~-

•• .~-~-~-~-~-~'--~-~ +,

?""'; -,; ~-~~

~{:~~- .. --.--.-- .. --.-.--.---~--~---.--.-----.--.-----_.~" ".i,~tl--------~~-----------~-----------~-=---.-. ~

!6"'N-····-_· _ _ .~ •. , ..•. __ .• L._ .. __ •.• _ •••.. ~_ •• L •••••• _ •• , ••••••••• _. __ ._. __ • __ • __ • __ ._. __ ._., Ni"ri--" _. __ ._._- •• -- ---- ---_._ ••

. ts -- , ... ,"'\ ~'+ ~

~~=~~=~Fttf~~U-='~~~~.-;11tJ~~I'-= "" ~-M- = - -

~-~. ~~=L~ ~ _,~ ~

... ,__L! !L;c .. ;c _!~if_~-~--tf- '~-f-e~1 qE: -fE~!o='.- ~!=!=!=!=!=!=!c=!

7=~==::-::-':-!!=~~=±' .~~-~-

1:11""·----·_--_····_···--------·_-----------------------._----- .. --_._----- ... --- ... -_._-- .. -------- .. --_._---.---.--.- .. -- .. ----- ..... -- .•..

a J~ G ~

l~.· ~.~~NM~~--n h1lJ, -]_. ~ J,~J. ~·l .. ~-j

I"iiilr, .

~'=W-r-r-J=~- J"'1 __ J F-~~~====i; ~ iC-

8m· .•.••.•.•.••.•..•....•..•.•.•..•..•....•... ~ 8m '~1'\"rr •• ~_. ~T.T_· ._.- _. __ ._.- .-_.--.- •.• - • __ ._ •• _ •• _.- •. - • __ •••.••.• _ ••• _ ••• _-

IJ,~, lli.i_i.i!l •••••••••• _ •• ~ •••.••••..•• _ .•• ~. r~ •••••• ~ ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• ~

13

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful