a gorgeous unfurling tune

Couch Tomato

Senior Member
Russian & Dutch
The album showed Bedrock to be skilful magpie collectors and observers, and a cunningly versatile team of songwriters. At their most obvious, they went larkily after traditional English preoccupations such as sunbathing and Sunday afternoons. But the album's real strength lay in the gentle melancholy depths it plumbed on tracks such as 'So Low', a gorgeous unfurling tune loosely hung around the theme of meteorology, and 'To the Brink', a ballad that allowed no smirking at the back.
(Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English 2 - Student's Book with Answers)

What do you make of "unfurling tune"? Do they mean that the tune develops gradually?

Thank you in advance.
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    I suppose that is what they mean, Couch Tomato. It's fairly common to run into odd phrases when people write about music. This is especially true when the language is not technical and not written for musicians to read. In my opinion, all tunes "unfurl" as they progress from the first measure to the last.
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    Thanks, owlman5.

    I suppose so... well, except for John Cage's 4'33" :D.
    That's a good point, Couch Tomato. Perhaps the writer used "unfurling" to describe a tune that reveals new material over time rather than relying on the repetition of some phrase or the random noise generated by people shuffling their feet, coughing, etc. I suspect many would argue that Cage's 4'33" isn't a tune at all, which probably would have made him laugh.
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