Let’s take a look at each of these categories, one at a time. Texture refers to the way that different musical parts fit together—the overall effect of the instrumentation, the distance between the highest and lowest notes between parts, and the way the harmonic and melodic components fit together.
In “No One,” we have four main different parts, with other parts coming in briefly—the rhythm/drums, the piano, Alicia’s vocals, and the brass section. At times, backup singers come in, and towards the end, a guitar strums. This texture has an overall simplicity that emphasizes Alicia’s vocals, making the vocal part the centerpiece of the song.
Rhythm refers to the timing and duration of notes, while meter, a related concept, refers to the pattern of stressed and unstressed notes. This song has a simple, driving, 4/4 meter—four quarter notes per measure with the first note of each...
measure stressed or emphasized. Listen to the drum section, as well as the brass to hear this emphasis. The rhythm of Alicia’s vocals (mostly sung in quarter and eighth notes) fits neatly on top of this pattern, without much syncopation, or notes that fall off of the beat.
The melody—quite simply, the tune of the song— in the chorus hooks the listener by building higher and higher in pitch as Ms. Keys repeats the lyrics “no one.” In the verse, Alicia keeps to a simple melody, but ornaments many of the pitches with impressive vocal acrobatics that keep interest in the song, and add to the song’s overall soulful feeling.