Here’s one of my favorite on the list! One of Michael Jackson’s most uplifting melodies ever, his lyrical ramp up to the title refrain in “Man in the Mirror,” actually gets a jump start with a downward interval of an enormous major sixth gap! At 1:06, when he sings, “I’m” and “start,” you can hear how energetically it leads into the ascending melody. Top-line composers, take note!

We look at Ligeti’s famous composition in order to decide how much, or how little, the use of music’s foundational parameters really matter in composing.

Continue reading “Dance grants”

“Killshot”: Dang, so this song broke YouTube’s record for most plays in its first 24 hours with 38.1 million views. Do not mess with Slim Shady. Or, I mean, do. Because “we need a little controversy, and it feels so emp-ty without.” Hey, speaking of controversy, I’m making the call for a rare 2/4 meter here — reason being that if you think of it in 4/4 (at 53 BPM) and cut the measure in half, the measures are the same (at least to start, although there are places where this isn’t true). The loop motifs all sound to me like they’re only two beats, phrase-wise. Form-wise, it’s just one rimfire cartridge, one gunpowder-filled 120-ish-bar capital V Verse. Pow.

To really understand why, let’s look at one song where the verse and chorus really do act differently and serve different functions, and look at how they interact with each other; let’s take a look at “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by late great Whitney Houston.

Continue reading “Best 2000s rap songs”