Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Song Structure workshop: Verse-Chorus vs. EDM

I just learned that EDM song structure is a thing.

Let me back up.  I've been writing and releasing electronic music for a little over a decade.  While "electronic" is an important part of that, my influences and core genres have not been Dance-related.  I'm more in the Ambient, Ethereal, New Age, Chillout, Downbeat arena.

When I started getting serious about electronic music production, I was pretty happy with short bits of music I was coming up with...the sort of thing that I would now look at and say "ah, this will make a good chorus."  The big picture stuff was eluding me: how much repetition of my core idea I should use, how many complementary ideas I needed, and in what order.  So, I got some books on song writing, did a bunch of critical listening to my favorite albums, and developed a pretty good concept of Verse-Chorus song structure.

Occasionally I've heard reference, in relation to an EDM track (i.e., Trance, House, Dubstep, that kind of thing), to "Breaks," "Drops," "Risers," etc.  I've always been pretty fuzzy on what these were, and sort of frustrated that I couldn't mentally square them with the Verse-Chorus model I have in my head.