Questions tagged [pop-music]

Pop music (a term that originally derives from an abbreviation of "popular") is a genre of popular music which originated in its modern form in the 1950s, deriving from rock and roll.[1] The terms "popular music" and "pop music" are often used interchangeably, even though the former is a description of music which is popular (and can include any style).[

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What are some common patterns used when playing the piano/keyboard in a pop/rock band setting?

I've been trying to learn to play the keyboard for a few years now and think it would be cool to eventually get to the point where am able to play as part of a group. The problem is that I really ...
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4 votes
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M / M7+ / M7 / M6 or m / m7+ / m7 / m6. How do you call these kind of progressions, what is it?

Several songs have this kind of progression: M, M7+, M7, M6 or m, m7+, m7, m6, for instance: First verse of Sinatra's "My way": And n[D]ow the end is n[D7M]ear and so I f[D7]ace the final ...
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How is an "eight-bar blues" different from just eight normal measures of music?

Just about everyone knows the twelve-bar blues, a common example of which would be something like: I | I | I | I | IV | IV | I | I | V | IV | I | I || I completely understand how this can be ...
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What instrument in a drum kit is played on the second and fourth beat of a song during a verse or pre-chorus?

I've tried to locate this particular sound in a drum kit, but I can't figure out what it's called. It's equivalent to hitting your drumsticks together on every second and fourth beat of a song during ...
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-2 votes
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Did Agnetha and Anni-Frid always sing in unison? [closed]

I was listening to some ABBA songs that I hadn't paid much attention to since my childhood, and it occurred to me that, even though they are known for being a multi-singer group, they never really ...
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Next steps for playing the piano [closed]

I've comfortably played Nuvole Bianche and Fur Elise by watching youtube videos, I can sense patterns between keys and I think have developed some musical sense(I can pick up new song, only with the ...
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How else is Girls' Generation "Into the New World" related to Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 in E minor, "From the New World"? [closed]

I've been listening to Into the New World (song) since 2008. But I didn't realize until today that Mindblown. : SNSD the opening phrase in ITNW contains the same sequence of notes as the first theme ...
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2 votes
4 answers
144 views

How to use a diminished triad in 1st inversion in a pop-music chord progression

I have not seen a lot of 1st inversion diminished chords (e.g.: D F B) in popular music and was wondering how this chord might be used in some standard pop chord progressions. Examples would be most ...
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Is the I - IV - vi - IV music progression common in pop music?

So I just started studying music theory, so for fun I thought I would practice by analyzing a song I remember enjoying. Marianas Trench's satirical song "Pop 101": ...
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The ambiguity of certain chord qualities in Roman numeral Analysis

Roman numeral analysis uses capitalization to disambiguate Major from minor, so the paradigm is not entirely based on inference. There seems to be a double standard as to what is explicit and what isn'...
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How do Mashup Makers Get Access to the Separate Tracks?

Mashups are pretty popular for music, such as this one that combines vocals from "Uptight" with elements of "Unchained." But in order to make these, it seems to me that the people ...
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Why do some songs change while fading out? What is it called?

I noticed that some songs repeat a theme and then fade out at the end, but before completely fading out the song "changes". For example, the singer sings different words (that don't appear ...
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1 answer
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What would you call these song sections between the Verse and the Pre-Chorus?

I have attempted to identify the sections of this song, but I am not sure what to call the section between the Verse and the Pre-Chorus. I have labelled it as the Refrain. Is this correct? [Verse] I ...
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Why do so many modern pop songs use the trap beat (tu ti ta ti)?

I apologize for the ambiguous “tu ti ta ti”, but that’s the best way I could describe it. I’m not a fan of modern pop in general, but my observation has been that Most modern pop songs are of 4/4 time ...
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When To Register With Peforming Rights Organization, such as PRS or BMI?

I am a newbie freelance musician. I make music of various genres but my main work will be in ambient type music I will be uploading on my own Youtube page and Spotify. I will also be making a range of ...
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2 votes
5 answers
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Middle 8 Confusion in "Yesterday"

In my understanding the middle 8 should provide contrast to a song with verse/refrain form. From the titles i've looked at, many middle 8's (and more generally, bridges) end on dominant harmony to ...
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"Maybe tomorrow - Stereophonics", is my analysis right?

I'm an amateur, self tought, musician whos's struggling to learn music theory without knowing solfège. I'm trying to make harmonic analysis of easy pop tunes to practice and learn. This song in ...
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8 votes
1 answer
217 views

Compositional techniques in top-line melody writing

I want to start this post off by mentioning that I have seen the 1/16/2017 post on a similar topic; That post related more to the lyrical/prosodic elements of the melody, and I am more interested in ...
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Is B♭ chord in C major related to Neapolitan chord?

I know what a Neapolitan chord is and know how to use it in some usual ways. But I want to talk about the B♭ chord in C major. I think B♭ here is very "Subordinate". And we can see it always ...
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Simulate "modern pop sounds" on grand piano?

Recently I saw a couple examples of people using an acoustic guitar to create music that sounds similar to the kind you would hear from a whole band, i.e. one with guitar, percussion, and melodic ...
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Would you describe 'Skyfall' by Adele as atonal?

I was watching the James Bond movie Skyfall and I noticed that the opening theme, performed by Adele, sounds quite strange in some sections. I think it's a beautiful song, but it doesn't seem to stick ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Contemporary pop vs. early rock composition techniques

I feel as though the most significant difference between composition of contemporary pop and oldies is form. Contemporary pop music (whoever is currently on the radio) is typically verse-chorus form, ...
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chorus construction in pop and rock

At the moment, I feel like my choruses are, in fact, just a slight and arbitrary variation in harmony from the verse. Switch to the ride cymbal and maybe play straight eight notes on the guitars, and ...
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Non-repeating chord progression in pop verse progression

I am having trouble understanding a pop song verse progression that I came across. Please see the following screenshot of the sheet music: Here are the two main things I notice: 1) The first "...
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3 votes
3 answers
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You are the sunshine of my life: how is this off-beat singing called?

Stevie Wonder sings in a typical style I‘d like to know the english term. I wonder as I wander through Stevie Wonders style. What is this style called? Just syncopated? And when came this style up? (...
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3 votes
2 answers
667 views

Most useful piano exercises to memorize for playing by ear?

I'm not talented at all but I consider myself very dedicated and with a good ability to learn and memorize new material through my hands (not ears) I'm playing the piano on my own for 2 years, ...
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Is there a way to record music with a collaborator remotely and live?

Is there a way to record music with a collaborator remotely and live? Appreciate the help!
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2 votes
3 answers
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Are the printed editions of pop songs usually in the original keys?

To help someone who wants to identify and quantify the pitch ranges of songs, I wonder whether the printed editions of pop songs are commonly in the original key.
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5 votes
1 answer
919 views

From whom did The Beatles steal the extra beat in "Don't Let Me Down?"

It's well known that The Beatles made good use of every existing musical idiom in their work, a side-effect of talent borne from constant live performance. In this case, I'm curious if anyone can ...
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2 votes
2 answers
284 views

Are there fewer rhymes in contemporary popular music? If so, why? [closed]

Vsauce mentions a study by Joan Serra showed contemporary pop music is less complex in its musical motives than it was, which he explains by a wider diversity in form and genres. While complexity of ...
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Difference between new-age classical and traditional classical as far as theory?

I'm wondering what the differences between new-age classical (Yiruma, Dustin O'Halloran, etc) versus classical (Bach, Beethoven, etc) are as far as theory goes. Traditional classical always seems ...
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3 votes
2 answers
850 views

Is there any significance of key change of 3 semitones in pop songs?

I was listening to Nightwish's Nemo and noticed they have a key change of 3 semitones from Dm to Fm out of the blue that just sounds pretty good/unnoticeable: And ...
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4 answers
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What exactly is a Christmas carol?

I looked up differences between Christmas carols and other Christmas songs. Generally about carols being about nativity or some other traditional songs not necessary religious while other Christmas ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Why are triple meter pop songs so rare?

Most popular music is in double, quadruple, and occasionally sextuple meter, but there are quite few pop songs in triple meter. My impressions is that songwriters write their songs in triple meter ...
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1 vote
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Term for chorus that sounds like pre-chorus

I'm not good with musical terms, but I like to listen to songs that have odd and strange parts while maintaining "good" structure. There's a song called Remember Me by Oh My Girl. To my ear, the ...
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Trouble feeling rhythm in section

The song is in 4/4 but this section is giving me a hard time feeling the rhythm. Clearly it can be divided into 16ths, but the pattern feels like triplets after the first note. For example after the ...
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0 votes
2 answers
3k views

Term for 'key change' when going for the chorus

There are songs that change key midway. The most common one I've heard is they change the key when going for the chorus. After that, when the song goes back to the verse, they change the key back. ...
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What if musical piece not ended with tonic chord?

I've a chord progression G, A, Bm, A, repeating itself throuh whole song in a key of B minor....i mean How it will affect the listener and how they feel ..
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1 vote
2 answers
243 views

What are these non-chord tones in the Jackson Five's "Want you Back"?

for example could u play a neighbour tone twice or got from a chord tone to an nct then to another nct. I was looking at jackson 5's want you back and this appeared to be the case this is written in ...
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14 votes
1 answer
799 views

Is there a name for the extra measure that they like to put into country songs?

The song that made me think of this is Amarillo by Morning, made popular by George Straight, but it's quite common in a lot of country and pop music. In the verse at the end of the second 4 measure ...
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3 answers
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Does pop music ever make use of modulation? [closed]

When I am playing the music of J.S.Bach, my friends often mistake it to be a piece of pop music. However, they often realize they are wrong the instant the music modulates. I haven't listened to much ...
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6 votes
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Is it helpful to study jazz when I like pop?

Recently I started an online jazz course, and and I enjoy studying it (all the chords and extensions). But at the end of the day, I don't know why I study jazz. I don't really like jazz, and it's hard ...
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14 votes
3 answers
4k views

Significance of pop songs with progressions that alternate one chord with one that's three semitones below it

I've noticed a couple of pop songs that use one chord progression that alternates between swapping one chord (either fifth or fourth) with one that's three semitones below it (to third or second): ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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What contributes to an artist's melodic "signature?"

Studying the vocal melodies in recorded pop music, from a theoretical perspective, I have the impression that there are certain musical characteristics that make up the melodic"fingerprint" of an ...
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2 votes
2 answers
470 views

What are the methods used while writing pop music that make it so recognizably pop

I used to think that it's the four chord structure. But in reality many genres have four chord songs (e.g. Rock and Country) and pop isn't always limited to four chords (e.g. 2U). I used to think it's ...
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1 vote
1 answer
1k views

Why do some parts of a song sound better than others?

Disclaimer I have no sophisticated taste in music, I most of the time listen to what's on the radio (which is mostly pop and charts). I have a basic understanding of what a note is and what ...
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How to put chords (POP-EDM) under a given lead vocal melody (starting from a good knowledge in music theory)

I have quite a good knowledge in music theory, scales, modes, and all different kinds of chords (basic triads, sus, add, all extensions, slash, inversions, ...), but I'm having a tough time when it ...
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4 votes
1 answer
4k views

How do I describe the rhythm in these songs?

Pop music, and especially house, seems to be enamored of this beat on top of the "4 on the floor" and the closest I can get to a description of it is "tropical" which is unsatisfactory. I'm looking ...
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1 vote
3 answers
1k views

How to use modes in popular music?

Can a pop song be written using a specific mode for the vocal melody, and another for the chord progression, when both of the modes share the same key signature? (Please note that I am not referring ...
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2 votes
4 answers
2k views

Do Most Pop Songs Have An Instrument Play Chords While The Singer Sings The Melody

I'm very curious if most instruments play a melody at the same time, and work in counterpoint, or it's just a singer playing a melody while some instruments play chords.
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