The basis of popular music is the “verse” and “chorus” construction. More superior writers use a simple “verse, hook, verse, hook, bridge, hook” methodology. Each verse usually employs the identical melody (probably with some slight modifications), whereas the lyrics usually change for each verse.
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The idea that musical emotion arises from little violations and manipulations of our expectations seems the most promising candidate principle, but it is rather onerous to check. One reason for this is that music simply provides a lot opportunity for creating and violating expectations that it’s not clear what we should always measure and examine. We anticipate rising melodies to proceed to rise – however maybe not indefinitely, as they never do. We count on pleasing harmonies rather than jarring dissonance – however what sounds pleasing today may have appeared dissonant two hundred years in the past.
We anticipate rhythms to be common, but are surprised if the jumpy syncopation of rock’n’roll all of a sudden switches to four-sq. oompah time. Expectation is a complicated, ever-changing interaction of how the piece we’re hearing has gone thus far, the way it compares with similar pieces and styles, and the way it compares with all we’ve ever heard.
- Drums were scorned by early nation musicians as being “too loud” and “not pure”, however by 1935 Western swing big band leader Bob Wills had added drums to the Texas Playboys.
- In the mid-Nineteen Forties, the Grand Ole Opry didn’t need the Playboys’ drummer to look on stage.
- Bob Wills was one of the first country musicians known to have added an electrical guitar to his band, in 1938.
- Although drums had been commonly used by rockabilly groups by 1955, the much less-conservative-than-the-Grand-Ole-Opry Louisiana Hayride saved its occasionally used drummer again stage as late as 1956.
The chorus (or “refrain”) normally consists of a melodic and lyrical phrase that repeats. Pop songs could have an introduction and coda (“tag”), however these parts are not essential to the id of most songs. Pop songs often connect the verse and refrain by way of a bridge, which as its name suggests, is a section that connects the verse and refrain at one or more points in the music.
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Why should we care, although, whether our musical expectations are right or not? Ah, says musicologist David Huron of Ohio State University, but maybe once it did.