Listening Log

Ad jingles
– Compser: several, mostly unknown
– Years if composition: 1990-2005

I found it difficult and less efficient to write a listening log entry for every ad jingle I’ve listened to. As already stated in my Learning Log, they mostly have simplicity and their way of being catchy in common.
A small fraction of the jingles I’ve listened to involved the following brands: McDonalds, Kitkat, Colddrops, Burger King, Pizza Hut, American Family Ensurance, Klondikr Bar, TJ max, and Telus.
Most of them consisted of one or more accompanied voices. In terms of the word setting some only said the name of the brand whilst others presented a small catchy slogan.
I want to lift out some jingles in particular as I found the way of presenting them especially interesting.

1) Colddrops: The composer of the jingle created a small theme, using an open chord, followed by a short general rest before the name of the brand is sung, also closing the open tension again.

2) American Family Ensurance: This one slightly stood out as well, as it featured only one female voice unaccompanied. Even without any underlying harmonies the melody line seemed to complete itself.

3) Mcdonalds, Tjmax and Telus:
Those three had a similarity in word setting. As all of them initially use “randomly” chosen syllables (for example “Ba”) before the name of the brand is presented at the end if the short piece.


  • Composer: Charlie Chaplin
  • Year of composition: 1936
  • Performed by: Nightlife
  • Instruments: Accapella
  • Listened to: 23.0.2022

    I found the way most pieces arranged or written for barbershop quartets are really entertaining. The most interesting features are probably the tight harmonics and that almost every sung syllable has its own 4 note chord.
    Nonetheless, at least with this piece, there is always one voice, which sticks out more than the other three. Not only in dynamics but the leading voice seems also more agile than the others.
    Throughout the piece the main voice is passed on several times but always ends up with the highest voice at the end.At the end of the piece the highest voice stays on the same note creating a high pedal note, whilst the other voices slowly move towards the tonic chord.
    A short enjoyable piece.

    Come back to me
  • Performed by: Midtown
  • Instruments: Accapella
  • Listened to: 23.03.2022

    This piece starts with a percussion-like part, nonetheless it is still completely accapella. One of the singers introduces the piece by placing some consonants near to one another, letting it sound similar to a percussion instrument.
    The mood is generally brighter, mostly caused by the fast pace and swinging rhythm.
    Again, almost each syllable seemed to have its own chord. In comparison to the previous piece, the leading voice was also emphasized more by the echoing notes following after short phrases.
    A feature they used again, is passing the melody around the 4 different voices. Within the centre of the piece some phrases for the main voice where also just accompanied by  scat singing. This created an interesting contrast against the syllabic harmonized parts.
    Towards the end of the piece, the pace gets slower and the chords seem to create more tension. This is released again once the tempo changes back to its original form and the refrain “Come back to me ” is sung lightly by one leading voice again.

    Runnin’ Wild
  • Composer: Arthur Harrington Gibbs; Joe Grey and Leo Wood
  • Year of composition: 1922
  • Performed by: The insiders
  • Instruments: Accapella
  • Listened to: 23.03.2022

    I personally thought that this piece wasn’t as catchy as the previous ones. Interestingly, they seemed to focus more on progressing harmonies as the leading voice stayed longer on certain syllables, allowing the accompanying voices to move around and create new chords. Something that worked exceptionally well within this piece was that the lower voices stuck out more and I didn’t only perceive them as accompanying voices.

I’m dreaming of a white Christman

  • Composer: Irving Berlin
  • Year of composition: 1947
  • Performed by: Bing Cosby
  • Listened to: 31.03.2022

The piece is introduced by a vibrato played by the stings. One can notice by the audio quality, that the recording is quite old, nonetheless, really enjoyable. Some other instruments can be heard before a a soft male voice (Bing Cosby) starts singing. Mainly staying in a low range, the piece has a (suitable) slow pace and overall really cozy character. One outstanding feature is also the double bass introducing the bass note in pizzicato for the following chord. After the first verse, which is sung solely by Bing Cosby a choir repeats the verse. The male and female voices seem to be alternating with the leading voice, at the end Cosby’s voice can be heard, accompanied by the choir for the last few phrases.

Geographical Fugue

  • Composer: Ernst Toch
  • Year of composition: 1930
  • Performed by: Turtle Creek Chorale
  • Listened to: 31.03.2022

The text of the fugue evolves around several geographical terms and uses their rhythm to create the structure of a fugue. Seeing that it is written for 4 voices in recitative, the rhythm and the contrasting tone colours is the only texture the structure can rely on.

The piece is notated for a four – voiced choir for SATB, although each voice is only notated on a single rhythmic line instead of the usual note stave. The theme of the fugue is initially presented by the Tenor, followed by the Alto, Soprano and Bass. Within the last few bars, the rhythms get more compact, creating tension not only with a crescendo, leading to a final chord sung unison by all voices.

Funnily enough, I expected something completely different, but noticed that I already knew the piece from somewhere. Really enjoyable.

Raua Needmine

  • Composer: Veljo Tormis
  • Year of composition: 1970
  • Performed by: Nederlands Kamerkoor
  • Listened to: 31.03.2022

The text is a mixture of sung and spoken words, at least for the currently leading voice, which seems to be passed around different choir voices. Almost throughout the whole piece, the rest of the choir accompanies this leading voice with long sustained noted. Partially imitating other instruments, and partially echoing the leading voice, this form of accompaniment gives the piece its really unusual, slightly unsettling, yet antique sounding character. The only instrument used is a shaman drum, playing relentlessly almost throughout the whole piece.

I really enjoyed listening to this piece as I privately started listening to similar music roughly a year ago. The style of the band Heilung, which produces nordic – ritual – folk – bar comes really close to the mysterious sounding character of Raua Needmine.