Beatles essay 2 - Murugesan Prakash 998891347 The Beatles...

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Murugesan, Prakash 998891347 The Beatles, MUS321, spring 2016 Prof. J. Kippen 1552 words 30-03-2016
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The Philosophy of the Beatles The first time the Beatles encountered anything remotely similar to Indian culture was on 5 April 1965 while shooting for the movie Help! ( The Beatles Anthology 2000 ) . This chance occurrence however would eventually go on to re-orient the way the orient was viewed in the minds of western culture for a considerable amount of time. Comparing the cover of the first Beatles album Please Please Me and their fourth album Beatles for Sale it becomes immediately apparent the change in their mood- from wide eyed cheerful smiles to exhausted grim expressions poking fun at their own status as a commodity. Beatlemania forced them to stay locked in hotel rooms for their own safety and made them grow tired of performing to crowds that could only hear their own screams over the hard worked music of the band ( Spitz 2005: 524). The Beatles became increasing frustrated at the irony of becoming role models for a restless generation seeking a means of self expressions, when they themselves could not take part in this movement. Indian music and philosophy became a means of escapism in the lives and music of the Beatles. This theme of escapism pervaded many issues that the Beatles were struggling with at the time such as relationships, Beatlemania, drugs and their bourgeois life. It can also be seen how the role of Indian music and philosophy transitions from a passive tool for escape, to an active liberator that eventually manifests physically in a form of metaphorical symbolism on the Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band record. This transition is illustrated through examination of songs such as “Norwegian Wood”, “Tomorrow never knows”, “Love you to”, and “Within you Without you”. We begin with “Norwegian Wood”, a song that is very unlike the conventional tune that marked the Beatles at the time. As opposed to the multitude of chord changes usually
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employed by the band through a four-minute song, the entire first verse of “Norwegian Wood” sustains a single chord. The guitar’s sustained tonic is reminiscent of the Tambura an Indian drone instrument. In this regard, this can be regarded as their first attempt at a form of mimicry of Indian music, seen as exotic by the Beatles at the time. By the time Rubber Soul came about Lennon had grown tired of his marriage that “felt confining and oppressive” and of the “mush
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