Steven Sharp Nelson - PowerPoint Presentation

Steven Sharp Nelson
Steven Sharp Nelson

Steven Sharp Nelson - Description

Myranda Larsen Salt Lake Community College Image httpiytimgcomviGefykNNEcEUmaxresdefaultjpg Biography Born in Salt Lake City Utah in 1977 Began his music tutelage on the violin later switched to the cello Violin Student 2014 ID: 466159 Download Presentation


melody cello song nelson cello melody nelson song plays good cellos dark percussion music http note piano harmony jpg

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Steven Sharp Nelson

Myranda Larsen

Salt Lake Community College



Born in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1977.

Began his music tutelage on the violin – later switched to the cello (Violin Student, 2014).

Worked as a real estate agent until 2006 when his music career took off.

Cellist for

The Piano Guys.


Cello wars was written by

Steven Sharp Nelson and is a



video. The song features classic themes from the original Star Wars soundtrack, as well as some new melodies written by Steven Sharp Nelson. This song is performed by Steven Sharp Nelson, and himself – in an epic battle of good versus evil. Slide4

Cello Wars – listening guide


00:00 – Enter Steven Sharp Nelson (good force), and Steven Sharp Nelson (bad force). The song begins with silence, as the two players take their seats.

00:18 – Introduction. Good Nelson begins by playing “percussion cello”, or hitting the cello to make sounds instead of actually dragging his bow across the strings.

00:25 – Dark Nelson begins and takes percussion beat as good Nelson fades out.

00:41 – Good Nelson makes a comeback, this time using his bow. He plays a five note melody repeated eight times, and then is joined by Dark Nelson.

00:55 – Dark Nelson has the melody now. He plays the familiar “da








da” melody that we are all so familiar with. The use of cymbals in this song works to give the feeling of light sabers clashing in a n epic battle – which of course, is what this song is all about. Meanwhile, Good Nelson takes the back seat and accompanies the dramatic melody of Dark Nelson.


Cello Wars - Continued

1:10 – A clash of cymbals tells the listener that the battle is heating up, and the music fades back to the same five note melody that we heard earlier in the song.

1:18 – It’s Good Nelson’s turn to take the melody. He pulls the bow across the strings of his cello, while Dark Nelson plays harmony.1:33 – Back to the original 5 note melody. This plays eleven times, gathering speed the last three repetitions, and then ends in a final blast on both cellos – as if a major clash of light sabers has brought the battle to a whole new level.

1:48 – The melody takes a dramatic turn, and slows down. You hear a dramatic, three-note melody played first by Good Nelson, then by Dark Nelson, and finally harmonized between the two.

2:03 – Six seconds of silence (deep breathing by Darth


) works here to build tension and emphasize the magnitude of the dramatic melody we just heard. You almost hold your breath during this silence in anticipation of what is going to happen next. 2:09 - In an unexpected, comical twist, Vador pulls out an accordion and proceeds to play a “circus” version of the five-note melody. He plays this twice before trailing off.

2:18 – More silence for effect.

2:26 – Good Nelson begins playing the Star Wars Theme on his cello, shortly joined by Dark Nelson as the accompaniment.

2:35 – The melody switches to Dark Nelson while Good Nelson plays in part harmony, part accompaniment.

2:56 – The battle starts back up, but this time somewhere in the background. The two cellists play the five-note melody from the beginning, with plenty of cymbals, the introduction of many electric sounds to make the battle more vivid, and also human voices singing in harmony.

3:05 – The cellos come back from the backstage and find themselves, once again, at the forefront of the music. Dark Nelson takes center stage with the melody while good Nelson again “thumps” on his cello.

3:13 Good Nelson plays harmony to Dark Nelson’s melody.

3: 20 – The melody is taken over by Good Nelson, and Dark Nelson accompanies with the original melody.,

3: 40 – The pitch of the cellos climbs higher and higher until the blast of one last light saber ends the battle – and the song. Slide6

The Cello Song

This song is an adaptation of Bach’s

Unaccompanied Cello Suite No 1. Prelude. Nelson, again, plays this song with himself. He achieves this by recording himself playing each individual part, and then overlaps them to create one song. It is pretty brilliant, and very fun to watch/listen to.


The Cello Song – Listening Guide

00:00 – The tune is introduced with a single cello playing a simple melody. The melody is repetitious to play on the listener’s need for familiarity. It is played in the major key, and is homophonic. High tones add a carefree-nature while low, deep tones add depth and warmth.

00:17 – Enter cello #2. This cello is plays percussion-cello.

00:48 – Chorus. All seven cellos pitch in to give the chorus some pizzazz, creating low tones, high tones, percussion tones, and everything in between.

1:32 – Both the melody and the harmony fade out as a new phrase of the song begins. Two of the cellos drop out, and the remaining five carry out the melody. Long notes are carried out in rhythmic succession, gradually getting higher and higher, while the accompanying cellos play notes in quick succession, both with the bow and with the cello-percussion style. This works to create tension in the song. The listener feels a sense of anticipation here, and is prepared for the next sequence of music.

1:53 – The chorus is back again, with all seven cellos.

2:04 – A very abrupt pause in the music creates drama, and allows the listener to hear the one, underlying cello who will now take the melody.

2:05 – We are back to our two original cellos working in harmony to create the melody.

2:15 – All seven cellos are back again with the original chorus.

2:38 – A lone cello breaks off from the rest of the group and plays a short, descending scale, immediately followed by the rest of the cellos doing the same scale, but using higher, staccato notes. The chorus continues.

2:41 – Now, the cello-percussion takes the melody. You can really hear Nelson hitting the side of his cello, and plucking the strings. This adds texture to the music.

2:57 – A single cello plays an ascending melody, climbing up the scale, creating a sense of anticipation.

3:02 This cello is joined by his partner from the very beginning of the song, bringing it full circle, except this time the cello plays a much higher melody while the second cello continues on with the same basic countermelody that we have been hearing throughout the song.

3:11 All cellos end together in one harmonic display of resolution. Slide8

This song was inspired by Beethoven’s

Moonlight Sonata

and his 7th Symphony, 2nd Movment


This song has a classical fell, but with a great twist as Nelson uses his electric cello to “revamp: an old song. By doing this, he achieves all the elegances of classic, with the edginess of the modern century – arguably making the piece more accessible to the modern generation.


Moonlight – Listening Guide

00:00 – Nelson introduces his song by plucking away at the strings, creating a staccato melody that is easy to follow and easy to recognize. 00:31 – Interestingly, Nelson decides to take the melody to the piano, an instrument that is not normally his expertise, but definitely adds some tone to the song. He continues to add depth and texture to the music by strumming his cello and using it as a make-shift drum.

00:51 – A cello is added to harmonize to the piano, in a much deeper, richer tone.

1:08 – The piano exits, and all that can be heard is the cello-percussion of Nelson using the cello in every way imaginable except the traditional way for which it was built.

1:24 – Two cellos make up the harmonic melody in this section of music while several others continue playing cello-percussion in the background, keeping the beat which adds familiarity to the song.

1:40 – Again, a brief moment of percussion-only as a bridge to the next segment. 1:43 – A single cello plays a quick, inverted melody to


into the climax of the song. The climax is marked by forte dynamics and increased emphasis on the cello being played the traditional way – along with a rather modern set of drums to give the song an almost “rock” type feel.


Moonlight - Continued

1:56 – Cymbals crash on a high note, wile the background fades ever so slightly. I like how this gives this moment some emphasis; like a moment of rebirth and new beginning. The song is very upbeat.

2:15 – The cello strikes the same note eight times while the tension builds and builds, and finally a cymbal crashes and our solo cello takes the original melody again.

2:28 – A second cello is added to give harmony to the first.

2:35 – Sudden silence. The listener is almost tricked into believing that the song had a sudden, abrupt end, but then the melody starts back up again in a dramatic twist of melody, harmony, and counter melody by the crash of a single cymbal. Here we get back the whole ensemble. We can distinctly hear the piano, the cello on melody, the secondary cello, the drums, and maybe even a third or fourth cello playing percussion as well.

3:18 – Everything fades to the background as a single cello and piano take the lead. The piano plays many notes in quick succession while the cello plays long notes. The two compliment each other.

3:35 – The piano abruptly stops. Some sort of electrical device is used to distort the sound of the cello, making these last few notes sound like only an echo as the music fades out and eventually ends.


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