You often hear this at the end of songs when the lyrics end and it becomes a 'wall of sound' for want of a better term. Here's an example:

Here's another example:

It's very common in live music.

Does it have a musical name?

  • 3
    I can't answer your question, but I want to point out that neither of those examples are really using a chromatic scale. They are both using a handful of chords outside the key (sometimes called chromatic chords).
    – Edward
    Commented Aug 3, 2022 at 22:53
  • Mostly it’s just going for a climax at the very end, even if using a somewhat repetitive structure. A similar principle as here, in probably one of the biggest endings ever conceived: youtube.com/watch?v=ObqeWK7lKc0&t=3940s
    – Lazy
    Commented Aug 3, 2022 at 23:50
  • Personally I call it a grand finale. ("Finale pronounced in the Italian way, with three syllables.) I don't know if there's a special term in pop music, though. Commented Aug 4, 2022 at 19:43

3 Answers 3


These could be in line with what Brad Osborn coined "terminally climactic forms" in this article. He states that a TCF is

not a chorus but a single, thematically independent section placed at the end [that] functions as the song's most memorable moment. (23)

Although an ascending chromatic scale is not a requirement in a TCF, Osborn does state that these climaxes often include, among other things, the highest and/or lowest pitches in the song. As such, an ascending chromatic scale is simply one manifestation of this standard parameter of the TCF that helps make it so memorable.

I invite anyone interested in this to read the article. Brad's a terrific scholar, and it's some great research.


There could be more than one way to notated a much sudden wall of sound. Crescendo with molto or subito. Meaning much and suddenly. Crescendo could be omitted and replaced with a molto and subito Forte


No, there isn't an accepted term.

You could call it a 'Rock-out' perhaps? As distinct from a 'Fade-out'. (Though a recording might do both at once!'.

  • You don't like 'Rock-out'? Fair enough. But it IS an answer.
    – Laurence
    Commented Sep 3, 2022 at 17:47
  • Will prefacing my suggestion with 'No, there isn't an accepted term.' make you happy? OK, here you are.
    – Laurence
    Commented Sep 3, 2022 at 21:03
  • I didn't vote, but... You could call it a rock out. But no one would know what you're talking about without an explanation.
    – Edward
    Commented Sep 3, 2022 at 23:43
  • @Edward Which, is why I led with 'No, there isn't an accepted term.'.
    – Laurence
    Commented Sep 4, 2022 at 13:56

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