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VengefulTikiGod
09-10-2008, 08:27 PM
Excellent NY Times songwriting blog. Very interesting, the contributors talk about the intricacies of songwriting, the creative process, structuring tunes, and more. It includes multimedia of songs (the authors are songwriters) and just generally gives you a cool perspective into how they approach songwriting. This link is to a favorite article of mine, "Words and Bridges", which in which the author shares his thought process in developing lyrics and using bridge sections in songs. Very cool. The comments at the bottom are pretty insightful too, as they are mostly written by other songwriters.

http://measureformeasure.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/07/09/words-and-bridges/

redsedge
09-10-2008, 11:10 PM
Interesting article which raises a question for me - is a bridge a different beast from the middle eight? Can a middle eight be the bridge? In what ways are they different?

I guess it's one of those 'shades of grey' areas, but I'd really like to understand more. (As far as songwriting goes, I am a baby.)

VengefulTikiGod
09-18-2008, 01:00 PM
Interesting article which raises a question for me - is a bridge a different beast from the middle eight? Can a middle eight be the bridge? In what ways are they different?

I guess it's one of those 'shades of grey' areas, but I'd really like to understand more. (As far as songwriting goes, I am a baby.)

A middle eight implies a section that is eight bars long. The best example I can think of is the one in the Beatles' Eight Days a Week. The middle 8 there is the part that goes

Eight days a week
I lo-o-o-o-ove you
Eight days a week
Is not enough to show I care

I guess you could say it's shorter and less "tension-building" than a bridge. The function of a bridge is usually to make a variation and build up tension before coming back strong with a verse and/or chorus after it (often the last verse and/or chorus of the song). A middle eight usually doesn't fulfill that function quite the same way as a bridge. At least in Eight Days a Week, it doesn't so much build tension as serve as a brief variation/change-up. In that middle eight, you can see that it's a change-up in terms of rhythm and space between notes from the verse. It breaks up the song, keeps it from seeming repetitive by offering a variation--but just short enough to not be a bridge.

Something like that.