Active Listening

Tip 27: Practice Hearing Song Structure

Being able to pick out the structure of a piece of music by ear is a skill which you have to learn. Start with simple pieces – most pop songs have quite a simple structure (there are a few exceptions – like ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ by Queen!)

Try this: Jot down the letter A when the song starts. When something new happens – a chorus for example, write down B. Whenever a section is repeated, use the original letter, whenever something brand new occurs use a new letter.

You will probably find a lot of pieces are written with a form like ABABCABB – what other forms do you notice occur frequently?

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