A (quasi) musical analysis of an unclassifiable masterpiece by Marianna Moioli
One million, one hundred and thirty-five thousand, eight hundred and nineteen… No, wait, I misread that. There are actually another three digits. As I write, that's one billion, one hundred and thirty-five million, eight hundred and nineteen thousand, eight hundred and twenty-four views on YouTube.
Fun fact: In 1975, the year the track was released, YouTube didn't exist. This means that these numbers, and a whole host of other mind-boggling figures, reflect a recent or even ongoing level of interest. If you're one of those people who has always admired the song and listened with interest, but without really understanding it, take a look at the truly unconventional structure of the rhapsody.
A song's musical structure—or form—is its skeleton. It is made up of interconnecting parts or sections that work together to support the expressive elements of melody and harmony.
The first great thing to note about Bohemian Rhapsody is that there is no chorus. That tried-and-tested, ultra-safe method of alternating between verses and chorus is blown completely out of the water. It's widely recognised that the whole thing can be broken down into five parts, but it's the difference between these parts that is truly astonishing. Let's take a look.
Here's the link to the video. Follow along, if you like.