I literally know nothing about music, so this will probably seem like a very novice question. Is there a word for the part of a song where many of the instruments drop away very suddenly? To give you an example, I'm referring to moments like the one featuring from 1:19-1:23 in The Batman Trailer Theme:


Here, many of the instruments suddenly stop playing, but you get the sense they're about to start up again. Would it be correct to call this a 'rest'?


  • Hi @Aaron. Yes, that's great, thank you. I think I scanned over this when looking through previously asked questions because the title seemed to focus on tempo, but it does actually fit and the bit about 'the drop' was also very helpful.
    – Angie
    Nov 20, 2022 at 2:32
  • There's a lot of room to think about how silence (or sudden reduction in instrumentation) can be used in music. The Batman example reminds me of the first episode of the podcast "Pitch," about "the Clearmountain pause" as featured in the song "Closing Time." Sadly, it looks like it's hard to find today, but it did a good job of exploring how inserting a brief pause (a "fermata" of negative space) just before the final chorus made the song more effective. Nov 21, 2022 at 13:44

1 Answer 1


Rest: when an individual instrument plays, is silent, then plays again. The silence is called a rest.

Break: when all or most of the instruments drop out, usually before a climactic moment.

The part of the piece referenced in the question is a break.

From Wikipedia: Break (music)

In popular music, a break is an instrumental or percussion section during a song derived from or related to stop-time – being a "break" from the main parts of the song or piece. A break is usually interpolated between sections of a song, to provide a sense of anticipation, signal the start of a new section, or create variety in the arrangement.

  • In that case, and many others, I'd call that a drum break.
    – Tim
    Nov 20, 2022 at 8:31

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