Here is a great song, mellow for this rainy morning, with lots of ostinato happening. It sort of lulls you into a state of relaxation. I’m not sure if this is how Pinback does it, but in college, I performed this song in a talent show with the guy I was dating, and we played it with two bass guitars. One of us played the higher part (eighth notes in intervals of a 6ths, 5ths, Perfect 4th, 5th, and 3rd). The other one played the lower, more melodic line.
As I was thinking of this song, a piece by Gustav Holst came to mind**. It is the movement entitled “Ostinato,” from the St. Pauls Suite (below).
If you listen to Loro, at 1:54, you will her the singer copy the top notes of the intervals heard in the ostinato bass part. The “lyrics” in that section are “4, 9, 5, 3, 1”. The “4” represents a Major 6th in relation to the bass note. The “9” is a 5th, the “5” is a Perfect 4th, the “3” is a 5th, and the “1” is a Major 3rd.
In the Holst piece, the melody does something very similar – a dancing, light melody, which begins with the same first two intervals – a Major 6th, and a 5th. The funny thing is that although the pieces contain similar elements (ostinato, and a similar beginning to the melody), the melody in the Holst is similar to the ostinato in Loro, not the melody.
**Major props to my co-worker’s friend, Linda, who recognized the name of the piece based solely on a very poor notation of the melody and ostinato that I did. Super duper impressed by her!!