The One and Only Reason That People Stop Listening

I remember a university prof years ago asking us fledgling students a question: What is the one thing that all pieces of music ever written have in common? You might think that it’s a pretty easy question. Obviously, all music involves sound, right? No. John Cage’s “4’33” is a work in which the performer (usually […]

The Bee Gees

Chord Progression Transitions Between Song Sections

With most good chord progressions, there is a sense that the progression is making one chord (the tonic) sound like a kind of musical target. As each chord happens, you hear that tonic chord approaching, and when it finally happens it sounds musically satisfying. Example: C  Dm  G  Em  Am  Dm  Gsus4  G7  C (I […]

John Newman - Losing Sleep

Constructing the Bridge Section of Your Song

I’d be in favour of a name other than bridge to describe the optional song section that occurs after the second chorus. Maybe “section 3.” A bridge implies that its main job is to transition from one thing to another newer thing, and to make that a smooth connection. But a song’s bridge most often takes the […]

Gotye

Lyrics Need to Support the Form of Your Song

When you look at a song’s lyric as displayed on a website or written down on paper, you’re not often aware that the nature of the lyric changes as the song progresses. But it does, and it’s important to get this right if you’re the lyricist. When we talk about a song’s form, at least in […]

Changing Up the Form of Your Song

When we talk about the form of a song, we’re usually talking about the arrangement of its basic elements such as verse, chorus and bridge. That word form, though, can refer to other things: aspects of the lyric, the design of a melody, or how keys are established and changed as a song progresses. Listeners to […]

Eminim - Lose Yourself

Making Your Song Intro More Captivating

Intros are meant to identify a song, and, more importantly, entice people to keep listening. They do this usually by setting up the mood, the key and tempo (though not necessarily, as you’ll see below). A good intro acts an identifying banner or flag for the rest of the song. If you find yourself always […]