Where's that confounded bridge?

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Where's that confounded bridge?

Post by Dawg » Fri Oct 13, 2006 12:26 am

So can any of you music theory geeks tell us the purpose of a bridge in a song? What's the use? Why's it needed? Is it falling by the wayside as a conventional song component?

And on a similar note, what are some of the more memorable bridges in songs? Off the top of my head, that mid 90's song by Space Hog "Meantime" had a great one. Whatcha got?

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Post by steve-o » Fri Oct 13, 2006 9:05 am

It can sometimes be a part of a song that acts as a "bridge" between the verse and the chorus (think of the "I wanna bite the hand that feeds me..." bridge from "Radio, Radio." In the context of song that runs ABAB, a bridge is also used to give the chorus or the main hook in a song a little more dramatic effect when the song returns to it towards the end (i.e. think of the bridge from "Every Breath You Take".)

It a little early to be wracking my brain on particular songs, but you'll find that a lot of more pop edged songs that have an ABAB song structure tend to use bridges to break up the repetition. In my own music, we use bridges a lot for that purpose. It's still really, really common in most pop music, both mall-emo and Top 40 uses it a lot.

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Post by miss carol » Fri Oct 13, 2006 9:10 am

Is this the same as the middle eighth? If so, lots of instances in Beatles' songs. Can't think of examples, tho.

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Post by Lep » Fri Oct 13, 2006 9:19 am

Yes, it's the middle eight (bars). Though not always eight measures.

I like the slow bit in "Suspicious Minds" that ends with "You know I'd never lie to you" before it builds back up again.

It doesn't have to have singing - like the baroque(ish) piano solo in "In My Life."

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Post by Jake » Fri Oct 13, 2006 10:35 am

Some of my favorite bridges:

Young and beautiful, but some day your looks will be gone.
When the others turn you off, who'll be turning you on?
I will! I will! I will...


Why, tell me why did you not treat me right?
Love has a nasty habit of disappearing over night.

and of course the gorgeous "bah bah bah bah" bridge in "Never My Love" by the Association.

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Post by beginthebegin » Fri Oct 13, 2006 6:47 pm

A good bridge is consistently my favorite part of many songs. A well-written bridge adds another shade and texture to a song, and often takes it from good song to great song in my mind.

Favorite bridge of all time: "Driver 8" by R.E.M. A good song, but could easily verge on tiresome until you hit that wicked bridge.

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