Tori Amos Research Paper

Length: 6 pages Sources: 6 Subject: Music Type: Research Paper Paper: #35417906 Related Topics: Tap Dancing, Biography, Musical Genres, Italian
Excerpt from Research Paper :

Tori Amos

In music, most artists will face a number of challenges. This is because there are struggles they will endure to become successful. At the same time, they have to be able to remain relevant and adapt with the music. This means creating a unique sound which can combine a number of elements together. In the case of Tori Amos, she was able to create a one of a kind genre that took the traditions of the singer -- songwriter from the 1970s and augmented them with an alternative -- punk sound. This created a new form of women entertainer, who wanted to use this as a way to highlight social messages in their songs. While at the same time, it is giving women a sense of empowerment in the way they carried themselves and performed.

As a result, there will be an examination of the influences of Tori Amos and how she is redefining modern music. This will be accomplished by looking at: her personal / music life, the album The Beekeeper and comparing two songs with each other. These different elements will provide the greatest insights as to how Tori Amos was able to redefine modern music.

Biography of Tori Amos

Tori Amos was born on August 22, 1963 in Newton, North Carolina. Her father was a Methodist minister and moved the family to Baltimore when Tori was 2 years old. At an early age, she was musically talented by: playing the piano and singing in the choir of her church. A quick learner, Amos was offered a scholarship to Peabody Conservatory. While a student there, she became obsessed with Rock and Roll (Led Zeppelin in particular). After losing her scholarship, because of this interest in popular music, Amos kept writing. In her mid-teens she moved to Los Angeles to peruse a singing career. In 1987, she was signed by Atlantic Records and released the album called Y Kant Tori Read. This was combination of heavy metal and punk rock. The album was a failure from: not attracting popular radio airplay or a large following. Frustrated, Amos kept going and working on her own songs.

In 1990, she created a new sound involving the use of a piano and her deep lyrical tone. These elements were augmented with her talking about some kind of deep seeded personal issues. In this case, she was reflecting on rape and the impact that is having on women. This led to the release of the single Me and Gun in 1991. The song received tremendous amounts of sales in the UK and began to crack into the Billboard Top 100 in the U.S. In 1992, Amos released her second album titled Little Earthquakes. The majority of the songs she co-wrote and worked in collaboration on the music. The album was a tremendous success in both U.S. And UK. The reasons for her success are Amos was able to take these elements and combine them with the message to create new genre. Since that time, she has continued to collaborate on a number of albums using the same kind of formula to include: Crucify, Under the Pink, Boys for Pele, To Venus and Back, Strange Little Girls and the Beekeeper.

Recently, Amos has switched record labels and released a new album titled Abnormally Attracted to Sin and she is currently in the studio working a follow up.

These elements are important, because they are showing how the failures and challenges in Amos' personal life made her more determined to be successful. This is when she would use these situations to change her sound and discuss issues that were of significance to her in the music. The way that this was accomplished was through taking ideas from the past (such as the use of the piano) and incorporating it with the controversial


Once this happened, is the point that she created a new kind of singer-songwriter, who is talking about problems which mattered to women (in an entertaining format). This is what helped her to take these personal experiences and use them to create a new genre of music.

The Bee Keeper

The Beekeeper was released on February 22, 2005. This was Amos' ninth album. What made it so unique is by: taking the style she had used in the past and augmented it with an even deeper social message. Several of the different themes that are discussed in the lyrics of the songs include: the search for truth in a complicated world and the political corruption of America. These messages are then combined with instrumentals and other tactics to add even greater emotional meaning.

Once this takes place, is when the listener can see and understand these messages from a deeper perspective. This is the point that the song can have an impact on the beliefs of each individual. These elements are important, because they are showing how the album is about using different tools to support the underlying messages.

An Analysis of Parasol and Sleeps with Butterflies

In Parasol, Amos is talking about coming to terms with the truth and the challenges that will be faced in doing this. This is accomplished by accepting responsibility for what is happening and dealing with these issues. At the same time, is it illustrating how women are at the forefront of these changes. The way poetry is used in the song is through continuous repetition. There is an emphasis on the melody and the song, with everything rhyming three times in a continuous pattern.

There were approximately two voices in the background vocals. At the same time, there is a combination of: a snare drum, the use of an electric guitar, a keyboard / organ and piano that are used in conjunction with each other. The poetry to melody association is syllabic with the music and words integrating to one another. The words were crafted to impact the listener. This is using devices such as word paintings, to highlight, the emotions and feelings they are going through.

When it comes to the melody, the conjunct will apply. This is because it: seems memorable, has contour, there is a range of high / low sounds.

There is one recognizable melody. The long phrases are used in conjunction with specific instrumentals to give more feeling to the music. The rhythm is prominent enough to tap your toes. The meter / subdivision are obvious with the different skips in the beat. There is also dotted rhymes with specific instruments playing louder at certain points (then fading away).

In the case of the tempo, the tune remains at slow pace then picks up at select times. These shifts occur very gently throughout the entire song. The speed of the temp is perfect. It seems like Amos was responsible for setting the tempo and possible changes. The volume is set at a medium tone with changes taking place gradually. The texture of the songs changes when there is a transition to the lyrics and in the kinds of instruments that are used. The most prominent text is with the repetition of the seated women. This is when the instruments will change and new sounds will emerge. The mode is set in major with slight changes throughout the work. This is appropriate with the way it is used in these songs. The different groups of words are organized in binary pattern. The song is considered to be a think piece that is supposed to challenge everyone's views subtly. This piece is classified as ballad. The reason why is because the tempo is set at medium to slow tone and the volume of the instruments will remain consistent. Moreover, there are subtle changes in the lyrics. The combination of these factors is used to highlight emotions throughout the song.

In Sleep with Butterflies, Amos is using similar kinds of tactics to discuss the underlying meaning. The way this is occurring is to show how a woman is longing for her man and wants to change her life by settling down with him. The problem is that he does not appreciate her and she is not aware of what he is up to until it is too late. In this aspect, Amos is talking about self-empowerment and women being strong enough to deal with these changes. Lyrically, the song has less repetition and the main emphasis in the melody is the words: fly, butterflies, pens / needles and airplane. The performers are playing an important part by providing direct vocal for certain words such as fly. The text setting is considered to be melismatic (which is different from Parasol). The composer has crafted the work to the meaning. The way this is accomplished is to use word painting to illustrate the various emotions. The melody is memorable, it has contour and there is one recognizable element throughout the song.

The rhythm is prominent enough to slow dance to. The meter and subdivision are obvious with gradual…

Sources Used in Documents:


"The Bee Keeper." Tori Amos. Last modified 2011.

"Parasol Lyrics." Song Meanings. Last modified 2012.

Cite this Document:

"Tori Amos" (2012, February 26) Retrieved June 16, 2021, from

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"Tori Amos", 26 February 2012, Accessed.16 June. 2021,

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