ben folds: not your average musician

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Ben Folds: Not Your Average Musician. By Chase Beickel. Overview. Bibliography Composition History Listening Guide Closing/ Reference. Bibliography Overview. Who Ben Folds is. His life journey. What he has achieved. Who is ben folds?. Composer Song writer Gifted Musician - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


Ben Folds: Not Your Average Musician

Ben Folds: Not Your Average MusicianBy Chase BeickelIntroduction slide1OverviewBibliography

Composition History

Listening Guide

Closing/ ReferenceOverview2Bibliography OverviewWho Ben Folds is.

His life journey.

What he has achieved.Ben Folds is definitely not your average musician but he could just be one of the most gifted of his time. In todays day and age you have those who sing about love, heartbreak, partying, and fighting. Now Ben Folds is known for doing just about all of that and a lot of goofy songs. The truth is that you really never know what you are going to get from this musician.


Song writer

Gifted MusicianPianoDrumsGuitarvocalists

Who is ben folds?He wasnt exactly your typical kid; at the age of nine he got his first piano and began to learn to play by listening to such musicians as Elton John and Billy Joel. He found it easy to learn to play by ear, which is a gift in itself. During his high school years he played in several bands learning to play instruments such as the drums, piano, and guitar. 4Born Sep 12th, 1966 in Winston-Salem NC

Started playing piano at age 9

He got his girlfriend pregnant in high school

Dropped out of College

First Band was Majosha

Session Musician

Deal with Sony Music

Formed the Band Ben Folds FiveHis life journeyBen Folds was born on September 12th, 1966 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. (About Ben Folds)

While in high school though, he got his girlfriend pregnant and they had an abortion. Because of this experience, Ben wrote a song called Brick, which seems to be his most serious sober minded song and also his most popular. Ben gave a shot at going to college but dropped out after the first year and stuck with his dream of being a musician.

Ben Folds first big band was called Majosha, which only lasted about 2 years. After that he ended up in Nashville, Tennessee working for music executive Scott Siman. While in Nashville he primarily played as a session musician and formed a band called Jodys Power Bill. (Bumgardener) He played bass for a little bit with Mass Confusion but overall didnt accomplish much while in Nashville. Needless to say, Nashville didnt really workout for him. So Ben got a deal with Sony Music and shortly after moved to New York City. New York seemed to be a time where Ben really struggled, New York really sucked, Folds said. I ended up doing some theater work, and I enjoyed that to the point where I didn't want to keep pursuing a musical career. But since Sony was paying my bills, I kept doing showcases.(Bumgardener) 5What he has achieved.

Released three Albums with Ben Folds FiveBen Folds FiveWhatever and Ever AmenThe Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner

Releases after Ben Folds FiveRockin the SuburbsBen Folds LiveSongs for Silverman

Released several LPs and EPsFinally in 1994 Ben Folds moved back to North Carolina where he put together the band Ben Folds Five. By 1995, the band had released their first album called Ben Folds Five. It was originally only projected to sell between 5,000-10,000 albums but shattered those numbers just after a month. (Bumgardener) In 1997, the band had released their next album called Whatever and Ever Amen, featuring songs like Brick, Song for The Dumped, and Kate. The band only released one other album called The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner, which was released in 1999 and featured the song Army. (Ben Folds Five Biography) Ben decided that he wanted to pursue more of a solo career and in 2001 released his first solo album called Rockin the Suburbs. The album featured songs Rockin in the Suburbs, The Luckiest, and Not the Same.In 2002, he released an album called Ben Folds Live, which was comprised of his greatest hits and a couple other songs; Best Imitation of Myself, and Emaline. Between 2003-2004 he released three EPs (extended Plays) called Sunny 16, Speed Graphic, and Super D. It wasnt till 2006 when he released an LP (Long Play) of the three EPs called SuperSunnySpeedGraphic. In 2005, he released the album Songs for Silverman, which he didnt play most or all of the instruments and didnt seem to get as much attraction as his prior music. Ben has also worked on the soundtrack for the movie Hoodwinked. Way to Normal released in 2008 and Ben Folds Presents: University A Cappella! released in 2009 were the last albums released by Ben Folds. (Bumgardener)

6Composition HistoryThree songsBrick


Not The SamePreview of the three songs I will talk about.7Came out in 1997Album Whatever and Ever AmenAbout an abortion

True Story

Most Popular Song

None Political

brickBrick is one of the more depressing songs that Ben Folds wrote. It is featured in the album Whatever and Ever Amen, which came while he was still with the band Ben Folds Five. Its a based on the fact that him and his girlfriend from high school had an abortion. The interesting thing about this song is that for the longest time nobody knew what it was about. Finally Ben opened up and told his audience the story of how he got his girlfriend pregnant and they didnt want their families to find out, so they had an abortion. When Ben was asked about the song in an interview with Cindal Heart. He responded that, . someone was just asking me the other day if Christians were ever on my heels kinda biting me about that song. The answer's no, I seem to have a lot of Christian fans, despite the fact that I have a song about abortion. The thing about the song is it doesn't really take a stand about anything; it just paints a picture that's not political. (Heart) After listening to the song its hard to argue with his statement. It seems like when Ben wrote this song he was experiencing the pain of going through that situation all over again, which just may be the reason why its one of his most popular songs. 8Came out in 1999Album The Unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner

Based on a personal experience

ARMYArmy is the most famous song from the album The unauthorized Biography of Reinhold Messner, which was released in 1999. This was the last album released while Ben Folds Five was still together. Just like the song Brick, Army is about a personal experience of Bens, which he has told about before some of his concerts. He tells about smoking some pot in his room and then coming up with the idea of joining the Army to pay for college. So he decides to go tell his father his idea and his father replies to the effect that he is high. (Folds) The song has a very catchy beat and fits well with the 90s alternative rock bands. It has a little bit of rebellion and a guy making a joke about being high, which is exactly why its such a famous song from Ben Folds.

9Came out in 2001

Album Rockin the SuburbsBased on a True Story

Mix of Humor and Spirituality

Not the sameNot the same comes from the album Rockin in the Suburbs, which was the first album that Ben Folds released after breaking up with the band Ben Folds Five in 2001. Whats interesting about the album is that Ben played all the instruments himself, so it was definitely a one-man show. Ben has been known to explain exactly what the song is about at most of his concerts; (Not the Same) The song is about a friend of Bens who trips on acid and climbs up a tree at party, the next morning he climbs down a Christian. He makes a joke about it before he sings the song but the song seems to come across very serious. Nonetheless, the song is well written and extremely catchy.10Listening guideBrick


Not the Same

Preview page for the songs I will cover in the listening guide.11IntroductionMelodyRhythmTimbreTextureHarmony

VersesFormRhythmHarmonyDynamicsTimbreTexturebrick0:00 Introduction; The melody is played in a minor, where only the piano is playing. The rhythm is kept every forth note. The timbre is only the piano playing. The texture is soft inviting but still very sober. The harmony is back in forth on the piano, where the musician is holding a major key, then playing a minor.0:21 First Verse; The form is beginning to introduce the story to his audience. The rhythm is still the same but the melody has changed from piano only to now adding vocals. The harmony is very capturing of the audience. The vocalist is singing in the tenor range. The dynamics have stayed they same throughout the song to this point, still very soft. The timbre is now the piano and also the vocalist. The texture is still soft and inviting. 0:40 Every thing remains the same except that a string instrument is added, most likely a cello and the drums come in.0:51 Drums are now setting the beat, with the piano holding the rhythm. The cello is also playing the rhythm with the piano. Vocalist is still singing the first verse, while the texture still remains inviting.1:30 Chorus: The dynamics have become more dramatic. The beat has shifted. The melody has changed to a more intense feeling. The harmony is being kept by the cello, drums, piano, and vocalist. The form is now showing what this is doing to him inside. The tempo has picked up what sounds like a eighth note. 1:51 Music transitions back to the same as right before the chorus. Drums are now setting the beat, with the piano and cello holding the rhythm. Texture still remains inviting.2:40 Chorus; The dynamics have become more dramatic once again. The beat has shifted. The melody has changed to a more intense feeling. The harmony is being kept by the cello, drums, piano, and vocalist. The form as changed to show how the character is feeling inside.3:03 Verse three: The song is making a transition becoming softer but not returning to the exact melody as before the chorus. The

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