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Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad? by Moby Analysis – Anthology of Music

Dance music has many different genres and sub-genres, each of which has its own set of influences and developed on its own unique musical path. On the whole, modern dance music can be traced back to the fusion of toasting (where a DJ would talk rhythmically over the music, interacting with the existing song lyrics often in a boastful and rather rude was, so as to hype up the audience) and dub from Jamaica with early hip-hop beats, electro from Europe and disco.

In his music, Moby covers a wide range of styles. He had albums with genre dance and rock. When he works on an album or song, he takes a very long time over it, coming up with the initial idea quite quickly, but spending a long time tweaking and fine-tuning every detail. Moby spent the majority of 1998 working on the tracks of Play, releasing three singles from the album 1999. This didn’t get much attention but his fourth single from the album ‘Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?’ reached number 16 in the UK charts and was received with critical acclaim. Here is all the key features of ‘Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?’:

  • Uses sampling vocals from 1953 gospel choir.
  • Chord structure for ‘Why Does My..‘ follows as Am, Em, G, D.
  • Chord (first half) Structure for ‘These open doors‘ follow as C, Am, C, Am.
  • Chord (second half) Structure for ‘These open doors‘ follow as F, C, F, C.
  • Time signature is in 4/4 (four crochet beats in a bar).
  • Tempo at 98 beats per minute.
  • Uses reverb and delay (delayed repeat)- the reflection of sound off surfaces to give the impression of space.
  • Uses sub-bass which has a frequency to low for us humans to hear but provides vibrations onto the dance floor so there is an emphasis on the beat so it is easy to dance to.
  • Use of echoes as vocals are re-triggered (repeated recordings).
  • Moby’s vocal sample has been not clean producing a distorted sound.
  • Uses EQ effects to make some sounds come out of different speakers (left and right speakers): made it stereo.
  • EQ or equalisation made the recording become more equal to the original sound source. Can adjust relative volume of treble, middle and bass frequencies.
  • Makes a ‘telephone voice’ effect in verse two.

Closer look at the Technology used in ‘Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?’

  • Yamaha SPX990 Multi-effects unit – to apply reverb and delay to tracks.
  • Roland TR909 drum machine – sound source for drum loops.
  • Emu Proformance piano sound module – Piano sound source (there are two piano sounds on the track, one from an old Yamaha synth and another from the Emu).
  • Roland Juno 106 – Synth bass sounds.
  • Yamaha SY22 and SY85 synthesisers – String/synth pad sounds.
  • Akai S3200 sampler – Sampling the vocal sounds off the original record and any subsequent editing. 


  1. Anonymous December 1, 2011
  2. Will Green December 1, 2011
  3. Anonymous March 28, 2012
  4. Anonymous October 15, 2015

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