I need help with describing the elements of music in the song "We're Blessed" by Fred Hammond. Elements include melody, rhythm, harmony, timbre, form, dynamics, tempo, pitch, and genre.

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Fred Hammond is one of the most popular gospel musicians today and his popularity is well-deserved.

Perhaps it is best to start with the genre and the form and move on from there to the other elements.

  • The genre is contemporary gospel also known as urban praise and worship music....

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Fred Hammond is one of the most popular gospel musicians today and his popularity is well-deserved.

Perhaps it is best to start with the genre and the form and move on from there to the other elements.

  • The genre is contemporary gospel also known as urban praise and worship music. In this genre uptempo songs usually rely heavily on a funk/soul feel, while the slower songs use an adult contemporary R&B.
  • This song clearly falls into the uptempo funk style.
  • The meter is four and the form of the song is verse/chorus. It starts with an eight measure introduction, using the main word of the chorus: blessed. It then moves into the eight measure verse. The drummer often inserts a small fill to delineate four measure phrases. The verse is followed by an eight measure chorus, which is also separated into two four measure phrases. It then repeats these parts. It must be noted that Fred Hammond often improvises within the form and readily adds impromptu sections of rehearsed call and response. The basic form is as follows:
  1. Introduction: 8 (measures)
  2. Verse 8
  3. Chorus 8
  4. verse (9)
  5. Chorus 8
  6. Bridge 8
  7. Chorus accompanied by only drums 8
  8. Chorus full ensemble 8
  9. Chorus 8
  10. Chorus 8
  11. Coda 8, 8
  12. Instrumental 8
  13. Coda II 8 to fade out
  • The harmony can be distilled down to three descending chords: I vii7 vi7. The bridge is II iii V.
  • The melody of the verse is very loose and sung by Mr. Hammond alone. He freely improvises over the chord changes. The melody of the chorus and the bridge is sung by the choir and is firmly set, but even here Mr. Hammond improvises around the melody.
  • The rhythm is aggressive, very syncopated, and repetitive. The repetition is used to drive the message and the feeling of the song deeply into the listener.
  • The timbre of the song is forceful but elegant. The high level of musicianship makes the pounding repetition seem very smooth.
  • The dynamics are loud for the most part.
  • It is difficult to describe the pitch by itself. The melody and harmony both use multiple pitches.
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