Music education always & always looking forward.

Ascending Major Sixth Interval in Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe"

Intervallic study in one of the most enduring pop songs of the century.

carly rae.jpg

Music media and the general blogosphere has become infatuated with Carly Rae Jepsen, who is seen to some as dark horse among pop darlings. As the internet slang goes, I am Here for It. Lacking the celebrity beef or high-profile romantic partners of some of her contemporaries, this Canadian bop queen seems to be the workhorse among the pop sirens of her generation. She actually put out a debut album in 2008, which is laden with more acoustic guitar strum-taps rather than the retro future-pop synths of 2015's E•MO•TION, but the songs are still solid and her vocals are impressive. 2012's "Call Me Maybe," brought her to international consciousness (and got her second album distributed outside of Canada), and half a decade later, the song remains as infectious as ever today. Her extremely prolific output continues. Jepsen apparently wrote 200 songs prior to the much-lauded E•MO•TION, released a full album's worth of B-sides the very next year, and, according to Rolling Stone, she has written 80 new songs for her upcoming album, slated to be released this calendar year. I can't wait for it. Until then, I can't see a future where people don't enjoy "Call Me Maybe." 

For grins & giggles, I also arranged this tune for my students, and it served as a wonderful syncopation exercise. 

Intro: An alumni of both Canadian Idol and the Canadian College of Performing Arts, Carly Rae Jepsen hit the international scene in 2012 with the massive success of "Call Me Maybe." Co-written by Jepsen & Tavish Crowe as a folk song, Josh Ramsey assisted in production and modified into a pop song. A phenomenon was born, and "Call Me Maybe" topped charts in 16 different countries, from Venezuela to Ireland to South Korea. The song has sold over 18 million copies internationally, was nominated for two Grammys (Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Vocal Performance), and is listed as the top-selling Billboard single for 2012. 

Analysis: Although the melody of the song features some significant intervals, the major sixth interval occurs in the second line of the chorus, between the words "is - cra-zy" (appearing for the first time at :31 in the above recording). It reappears again between the words "to - chase". That mini-motif, first heard in "is - cra - zy" actually outlines a I (2nd inversion) chord in the song (D-B-G, or "sol-mi-do", which is also recognizable as the same intervals "N - B - C" tag). 

Considerations for Teaching: A true bubblegum pop song, "Call Me Maybe" contains no offensive lyrics or even offensive themes. The male star of the video appears shirtless for most of the video, but that's the worst thing I can think of. 

Ascending Perfect Fifth in Taylor Swift's "I Knew You Were Trouble"