I remember seeing this term on Genius at one point in time and can't for the life of me remember what it is. I Googled it and went to a Wikipedia page and remember it defined it as something along the lines of, "A second part to a song that has a significant style or tonal difference than the first. There is a quick change or shift in style." I'm fairly certain it started with an "S" as well.

The term describes the specific section that has a significant style change.

If you’ve heard

King’s Dead around 2:30 the entire song shifts to a totally new style and never returns to the original. That’s what I’m getting at.

  • Was this geared towards popular/rock music specifically?
    – Richard
    Commented Mar 15, 2018 at 1:28
  • It was related to Hip Hop. And I’m 100% certain that it started with an S. It was a term that gives a name to the section of the song with a different style. Sorry if the question didn’t describe that well enough. Commented Mar 15, 2018 at 1:45
  • Is it "sabi"? This is a Japanese term which means a climax(?) section in the middle of a song. I don't understand this well enough to write an "answer", but this might be a clue. Commented Mar 15, 2018 at 4:11
  • Nope. Sorry again. I would recognize the word if it came up. If you’ve heard [“King’s Dead”] (youtu.be/VwAnsAUYnw4) around 2:30 the entire song shifts to a totally new style and never returns to the original. That’s what I’m getting at. Commented Mar 15, 2018 at 4:17
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    Genius is not an authority on anything.
    – Stinkfoot
    Commented Mar 15, 2018 at 4:37

10 Answers 10


In the context of rap this is almost definitely a "beat switch". Term doesn't apply outside that genre.

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    This gets the gold star. It appears to be an established term, and perfectly describes what the OP is looking for, better than their self-answer or any other here. Commented Oct 25, 2021 at 17:59

That’s the called the bridge. Especially in hip hop. The Godfather James Brown called out loudly and often for the bridge in many of his songs.

See also: https://beat.media/genre-guide-structure-of-a-hip-hop-song


There's a list of song terms on this site you might have heard of called Genius:

Introduction (Intro)



Pre-Chorus (Climb)











Instrumental or Solo

Ad lib




It's obviously not scratching, sampling, or solo.

A skit is a separate section that could be anywhere in the song during which some kind of action happens like in a play or radio drama.

A segue is always at the end of a song but is a short section that is linking material between one song and another song. Segues are not always a significant style change, some of them actually connect the two styles of the songs and have hallmarks of both styles. Segues are also not always music. They can be quotes, sound effects, or almost anything.

It could also be called a pivot or key change.

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    With a bridge, the song eventually returns to the chorus, or even another verse. With the term I’m describing, the track stays with the new style until it ends. The term was used in a Geniuses track info panel, not a forum discussion. Commented Mar 15, 2018 at 3:55
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    @MichaelPayne : Genius is not an authority on anything.
    – Stinkfoot
    Commented Mar 15, 2018 at 4:37
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    @MichaelPayne Well that sounds like a coda or outro, but I can't think of a word starting with "s". Unless it's a segno which means "sign", which is a mark sometimes used to indicate a jump to a bridge or coda. Also, many times the word bridge is used even when the music doesn't return to an earlier feel or style. Commented Mar 15, 2018 at 6:38
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    For the record, "bridge" was in common use before any hip-hop artist's parents were out of diapers :-) Commented Mar 15, 2018 at 14:36
  • @CarlWitthoft if you include the German word "Steg," it was in use before the word diaper was out of diapers.
    – phoog
    Commented Oct 25, 2021 at 7:48

In classical music we'd speak of the second (third, fourth...) movement.

  • Is it common for movements to segue into each other with no break, pause, or other division?
    – gidds
    Commented Oct 25, 2021 at 16:10
  • @gidds Not in the majority of cases, but it isn't uncommon. It's usually notated with the word atacca. Examples include transition from the fourth to the fifth movement in Mahler's Fifth symphony. Commented Apr 7 at 10:33

Okay, sorry for all the confusion. The term that my brain was thinking of was "Interpolation." Yes, I know that's not what I'm describing, but let me explain.

On a the Genius page for Post Malone – White Iverson Lyrics, there's a box that gives the track information.

Under that box there is a credit titled, "Interpolates":

Genius Track information

This is the Wikipedia article that came up after I Googled, "music interpolation."

You can see that it talks about "an abrupt change of musical elements, with the (almost immediate) resumption of the main theme or idea." My brain seemed to have not remembered the second half of the description and associated the first with another word, "Satz" somehow.

Anyway, thank you for all your help. I know interpolation is nothing like what I described, but I found my solution. Thanks!

  • But, doesn't an interpolation return to the main theme? Yet OP question says: "the entire song shifts to a totally new style and never returns to the original." This does not seem like a satisfactory answer to the question that was asked.
    – user39614
    Commented Oct 24, 2021 at 22:28
  • "I am fairly certain it starts with an S."
    – Divide1918
    Commented Oct 25, 2021 at 3:01
  • @Divide1918 -- and also "I’m 100% certain that it started with an S", and later "I specifically remembered that it started with an S.". But, finally "I know interpolation is nothing like what I described, but I found my solution" at the end of the self-answer.
    – user39614
    Commented Oct 25, 2021 at 3:42
  • I'm lobbying to close the whole mess down.
    – user39614
    Commented Oct 25, 2021 at 3:43
  • @exnihilo Although I just pulled a similar stunt, we are all aware this question (and answer) is 3 years old, right? Commented Oct 25, 2021 at 17:42


From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gcide]:

Trio \Tri"o\, n. [It., fr. L. tres, tria, three: cf. F. trio, from the Italian. See {Three}.]


  1. (Mus.)


    (b) The secondary, or episodical, movement of a minuet or scherzo, as in a sonata or symphony, or of a march, or of various dance forms; -- not limited to three parts or instruments.


I'm fairly certain it started with an "S" as well.

Now I realize that you subsequently realized that the word didn't start with S, but I would add this to Todd Wilcox's answer suggesting bridge:

According to Wikipedia's article on Bar form, the beginning of the Abgesang was known by the Meistersinger as the Steg, which in modern German denotes a particular type of bridge. Wikipedia further claims (without evidence) that this is the source of the modern sense of "bridge" as an element of musical form.

Bar form is an AAB form in which the last phrase of the repeated A section is frequently identical to the last phrase of the B section (Rundkanzone). Therefore, the first part of the B section is heard only once.

The A section was typically shorter than the B section, and the two instances of the A section were sung using different words. The A section wasn't necessarily half the length of the B section, but one may indulge in a bit of anachronistic comparison by noting that making the A section 8 measures long and the B section 16 measures long yields something very much like the classic 20th-century 32-bar popular song form, with the "middle eight" or bridge occupying precisely the same position as the Steg as a point that offers contrast where repetition is expected. Indeed, the Wikipedia article on Rundkanzone linked above notes that Rundkanzone may be described as ABABCB or AABA, with the latter being the usual schematic description of the 32-bar form.

The "Bar" in Bar form isn't the same "bar" in 32-bar form. It couldn't be, because Bar form was established several centuries before the development of modern metrical notation using bar lines. Wikipedia says

The word Bar is most likely a shortening of Barat, denoting a skillful thrust in fencing. The term was used to refer to a particularly artful song – the type one composes in songwriters' guilds.


One common description is simply that the piece is in multiple parts.

For example, the album/long version of Eric Clapton's ‘Layla’ ends with a piano-based instrumental section which was called ‘Part II’ (or the ‘Piano Exit’).

Similarly, many Jean-Michel Jarre albums are divided into ‘parts’ that are joined seamlessly.

And the two halves of an album-length piece that had to be split in order to fit onto a vinyl LP (such as ‘Tubular Bells’) were often described as ‘part 1’ and ‘part 2’. (In some cases they were rejoined into a single seamless track when mastered onto CD, showing that the break wasn't desired.)


In Rock Music It's called a Change-Up, it's where the riff completely changes


If it began with an s it could have been syncopation, sorry if someone already said that. syncopation is when the rhythm of music changes and more stress or exaggeration is put on a specific aspect of it. Well that's how I can best describe it.


Probably rhapsody. It's defined as an episodic sequence of elements in one connected movement. Prominent examples titled as such are "Rhapsody in Blue" by George Gershwin and "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen.

  • Nope. I specifically remembered that it started with an S. It was defined as "A separate section of a song that is inherently different than the rest." It was credited under the "Track Info" section on Genius to some guy. And no, it's not a bridge. Commented Mar 15, 2018 at 1:08
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    Umm, yeah, it Is a bridge Commented Mar 15, 2018 at 14:37
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    @MichaelPayne - again: Genius is not a valid authority on anything. If you are look for a "Genius" term, this probably isn't the right place.
    – Stinkfoot
    Commented Mar 15, 2018 at 15:07
  • @Stinkfoot I understand that, but the actual term was defined by numbers sites and sources. Commented Mar 15, 2018 at 17:26
  • @MichaelPayne - all useless and meaningless.
    – Stinkfoot
    Commented Mar 15, 2018 at 20:03

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