T his weekend, the Wall Street Journaltried its hand at music theory, and it wasn’t pretty. (NPR ran a similar story on Monday’s episode of All Things Considered.) In the article, WSJ writer Michaeleen Doucleff claims that “science has found the formula” to why Adele’s ballad “Someone Like You” makes everyone cry, and it’s not that it’s sad or Adele’s a badass or anything like that. No, Doucleff says, it’s because of a marvelous musical device called an appoggiatura! The appoggiatura, she claims, is that little ornament of the held-out “you” in Adele’s chorus “never mind, I’ll find someone like you,” where it dips down for a split second mid-note. Take a listen:
Well, there’s something there, but it ain’t an appoggiatura.
And it wasn’t just me who noticed this error. I’m not sure about the Wall Street Journal, but NPR received an onslaught of…
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