Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay Analysis

“(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” was first performed by Otis Redding in 1967. The album “On The Dock of the Bay” was released on January 8, 1968 on a vinyl record. Otis Redding sang between 1960 and 1967. Some of his other famous songs include “These Arms of Mine” and “I’ve Been Loving You”. His career suddenly ended at age 26 in a tragic plane crash while traveling to Madison, Wisconsin for a show. The male voice (Otis Redding) has the melody in this piece.

The phrases are one to two measures in length. The verses are extremely conjunct, and the chorus is somewhat disjunct. This piece has a moderate range with a wavelike contour. “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay” is extremely different from the basic form of popular music. It has eight measure phrases instead of thirty-two measure phrases. Also, unlike the usual AABA form, the piece has various types of phrases including AABB, AAAB, ABCA, and AAAA. Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay has quadruple meter, with accents on beats one and three. Towards the end of the song, the whistle during the coda is syncopated. There is no harmony in this piece because there is only one voice singing. There also aren’t any key changes throughout the song. I thought this song was really unique because of the wave sounds in the background in the intro and every time the lyrics “watching the tide roll away” are sung.

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