New techniques require new approaches in analysis. However, like most other analysis topics, some clearly defined rules apply. Also, caveats need to be defined very clearly.
A big part of Raja’s music includes the singing bass. There are several hundred songs that use Raja’s signature singing bass line. Such singing bass lines will not be considered as the background melody that will define a PolyCaRe arrangement. Though technically a call and response arrangement with a background singing bass qualifies as a PolyCaRe arrangement, there are two difficulties with this:
- Most listeners do not have good stereo equipment to decipher the singing bass and
- there are too many such compositions.
As a result, singing bass based compositions featuring a call and response do not qualify.
Let’s next discuss the rules of PolyCaRe analysis. We will borrow the same rules of the Call and response arrangement and add the polyphony rules on top of it.
Here is the method that we will use, though there is no theoretical or technical compulsion to do so:
- The call must be made by a single instrument with a small melody. When this call is happening, there must be a melody in the background playing in counter to it
- The response must be made by a single instrument with a small melody. When this response is happening, there must be a melody in the background playing in counter to it. It must be the exact same background melody that got played when the call was made
- The call must be repeated at least twice
- The response must be repeated at least twice
- Point 3 or point 4 must be valid. Sometimes, the response for the second time may be with a slightly modified melody compared to the first response
We will also avoid C&R arrangements that have too many synthesizer tones that are hard to tell one from the other. Some of the modern compositions of Raja are so densely arranged with synthesizer banks, it is hard to tell the foreground from the background melodies. The saving grace in this activity is that Raja keeps one of his tunes very simple and writes complex melodies on top of it. The simple melody will navigate the entire PolyCaRe composition. This is the background tune that we need to anchor to ensure that we understand the PolyCaRe composition.