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TAXI ROAD RALLY November, 20141 Song Structure By Charles “Casey” Hurowitz

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Presentation on theme: "TAXI ROAD RALLY November, 20141 Song Structure By Charles “Casey” Hurowitz"— Presentation transcript:

1 TAXI ROAD RALLY November, 20141 Song Structure By Charles “Casey” Hurowitz

2 TAXI ROAD RALLY November, 20142 Song Building Blocks Intro Verse Refrain Pre-Chorus/Rise/Climb Chorus Bridge Solo/Instrumental Break Outro/Coda/Ad Lib

3 TAXI ROAD RALLY November, 20143 We’ll Discuss… Song Structures: AAA (Verse Verse Verse) AABA (Verse Verse Bridge Verse) VCVCBC (We’ll focus on this, the most popular hit song format today) Verse / Pre-Chorus / Chorus / Verse / Pre- Chorus / Chorus / Bridge / Chorus (Pre-Choruses optional but recommended)

4 TAXI ROAD RALLY November, 20144 Verse Establishes rhythm, meter, tone, style for the song Sets up and tells the story States the problem or situation Evolves the story as song progresses through multiple verses in most cases Multiple verses usually have same rhyming scheme and phrasing

5 TAXI ROAD RALLY November, 20145 Refrain A repeated phrase usually at the end of each verse in songs with AAA format (“AAA” format to be discussed later) “…the sound of silence” “The times they are a changing” The hook in AAA format songs

6 TAXI ROAD RALLY November, 20146 Pre-Chorus (aka Rise or Climb) Differs musically from the rest of the verse Leads/Builds the tension into the chorus Often provides melodic lift to chorus Lyrically “connects” verse and chorus Usually short

7 TAXI ROAD RALLY November, 20147 Chorus The “Hook”, the most memorable part of the song Contrasts with verse musically Repeated more than once More intense, more energy Often higher notes than verse Lyrically expresses the main message of the song, the “conclusion” to what is stated in the verses Usually begin or ends with the title

8 TAXI ROAD RALLY November, 20148 Bridge Breaks up the monotony. A welcome change-up! Music is different than verse and chorus often using chords not previously used Lyrically says something not said elsewhere in the song. Adds a new dimension to the story Allows for the ear to enjoy the return to chorus with tension and release Can bring song to an emotional climax Used in verse/chorus songs as well as “AABA” format to be discussed later

9 TAXI ROAD RALLY November, 20149 Outro (aka Coda) / Ad Lib A “tail” section to the end of a song that differs from the rest May be a variant of the verse or chorus or part, a series of repeat phrases with lyrical variations, or even totally unique

10 TAXI ROAD RALLY November, 201410 AAA Structure Rarely used for hit songs today Usually a series of verses that repeat with a refrain at the end Examples Gentle On My Mind – Glen Campbell The Times They Are A Changing – Bob Dylan The Sound Of Silence – Simon & Garfunkel

11 TAXI ROAD RALLY November, 201411 AABA Structure Verse / Verse / Bridge / Verse Each verse may start or end with the title Not as popular as it once was. The Beatles used it a lot! Examples Something – The Beatles Just The Way You Are – Billy Joel Superman (It’s Not Easy To Be Me) – Five For Fighting

12 TAXI ROAD RALLY November, 201412 VCVCBC Structure Verse / (Pre-Chorus) / Chorus / Verse / (Pre- Chorus) / Chorus / Bridge / Chorus Lyrics: Verse 1: Introduce the story/situation Chorus: Summarize/Conclude/Make the Point! Verse 2: Expand on the story/situation Chorus: Summarize/Conclude/Make the Point! Bridge: Introduce something new, a new dimension, aspect, etc. Chorus: Summarize/Conclude/Make the Point!

13 TAXI ROAD RALLY November, 201413 VCVCBC Structure Verse / (Pre-Chorus) / Chorus / Verse / (Pre-Chorus) / Chorus / Bridge / Chorus Music: Verse : Somewhat repetitive theme Pre-Chorus: Variation from verse theme to prepare listener for chorus. Often a melodic lift Chorus: Rise and shine and make it memorable. Often higher notes than used before and change in cadence/phrasing to differentiate Bridge: New melodic theme to break up monotony. Often uses chords not used before in the song. Sectional contrast important!

14 TAXI ROAD RALLY November, 201414 VCVCBC Structure Study this to write great songs! Examples: Come To My Window – Melissa Etheridge Jar Of Hearts – Christina Perri Since U Been Gone – Kelly Clarkson Behind These Hazel Eyes – Kelly Clarkson Half Of My Heart – John Mayer Don’t Speak – No Doubt Picture To Burn – Taylor Swift (Subtle Pre-Chorus)

15 TAXI ROAD RALLY November, 201415 Listening Session Your CDs and Lyric Sheets !

16 TAXI ROAD RALLY November, 201416 Questions and Discussion

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