Thursday, July 26, 2007

Song structure & the art of arranging

Verse/chorus/verse. That was the working title of Nirvana's last studio album 'In Utero'. That & 'I hate myself & want to die' - no kidding, it really was.
Interesting that someone who was a master of arranging would be digging at the most common form of pop song structure - verse/chorus/verse/chorus/bridge/verse/chorus. I guess it showed his growing apathy toward his craft, but that's another blog altogether..

Song structure is where it's at. The ability to surprise, to take your listener somewhere they're not expecting to go. Why not throw your bridge in after the first chorus? Throw out the chorus's altogether and only have verses. This is what's meant by song structure, arranging the different parts of the song.

You might start with a riff which over time develops into your verse. This might lead into a chorus, so to break the song up you develop a bridge which might change the rhythm of the song - slow it down, speed it up, give it more depth, whatever. So then you have your different parts which then need to be arranged into a coherent order, hopefully in a way that keeps the listener interested and can show them something they weren't expecting.

Song structure, the art of arranging your song.

For a masterclass in songwriting, arranging & song structure check out the first track on Nirvana's 'In Utero' - 'Serve the Servants'.

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