A Song Wall What is the meaning behind "[Intro]"? Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen - A Song Wall

What is the meaning behind “[Intro]”? Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen

  • by imrk
  • March 25, 2023

The intro starts with tight acapella harmonies, all multi-tracked by Freddie Mercury . The leading part is the second from top, as it is usual in barbershop harmonies. The harmony during the “easy come…” part is only three-parted, and this is the motif that will show up in the opera section in both this and an altered form. The rubato -flavor of the first phrase originates from the syncopations without rhythmic backing and the 9/8 meter. The latter switches to 4/4 for the second phrase. Let’s go through every phrase of this intro: strong First Phrase The first phrase features a chain of fifths root-motion with heavy use of seventh chords. strong Second Phrase In the second phrase enters the piano that features pre-downbeat accents (on the word “see”) followed by an on-downbeat entrance of a piano motif that is a shortened version of what will close the first verse, but also will show up in the outro (both in E♭ Major). strong Third Phrase This phrase features chromatic oscillation around the tonic in a modified form, that will recur in the opera section. The progression has a vague “IV-I-V-I” flavor created by the cross relations of E♭-D and A-B♭. The open ending is nicely resolved by the opening chord of the next section. strong Fourth Phrase This begins the opening arpeggiated piano riff, the same that starts the verse and features appoggiatura on the 6th degree. On the downbeat enters the bass, and then begins the first verse.