Edited By Albrecht Schneider and Arne von Ruschkowski
Jan Clemens Moeller: Comments about Joni Mitchell´s Composing Techniques and Guitar Style
233 Jan Clemens Moeller Comments about Joni Mitchell´s Composing Techniques and Guitar Style Summary The article (written to expand on findings reported in Moeller 2011) explores some of the musical and instrumental features found in songs of Joni Mitchell. Peculiar guitar tunings as well as chord structures that in part seem to have been derived from such tun- ings, are given special attention. Two songs, one from an early phase of her career (The Circle Game, 1969) and another (Refuge of the Road) from one of Mitchell's “classic” albums of the 1970s (Hejira, 1976) are analyzed. Transcriptions of parts of the songs are provided to illustrate features and textures of these songs. 1. Introduction Joni Mitchell (born November 7, 1943) no doubt is one of the most respected and at the same time perhaps the most underrated singer and songwriter of the last century. The “Rolling Stone” magazine even called her one of the greatest and most influential songwriters ever. She received countless awards, such like the Billboard Century Award and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and she also was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Nevertheless, there is a great difference between the early years of her career and the reception she found (or, rather, missed) in later years. While her song "Both sides, now" (1969) was covered more than 640 times, her album "Mingus" (1979) failed to attract the attention of a wider public and did not even see significant radio airplay. In regard...
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