March 7, 2011 2:30 PM   Subscribe

What is this musical technique / style (?) called? Consists of a simple pattern that becomes more complex as the song progresses till it reaches full maturity.

I know nothing about music theory so I've provided some examples that exhibit this.

Death From Above 1979 - Romantic Rights
She Wants Revenge - Tear You Apart
The White Stripes - The Hardest Button To Button
Blood Red Shoes - It's Getting Boring By The Sea

Where may I find more like this?
posted by Upal to Media & Arts (11 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: In general, and sometimes in music theory, that process is called accretion.
posted by StickyCarpet at 2:37 PM on March 7, 2011

Best answer: You could add "Love Like a Sunset" by Phoenix, and "The Bell" by Mike Oldfield (in a particularly pedagogical example).
posted by holterbarbour at 3:00 PM on March 7, 2011

Best answer: Thematic Development?
posted by benzo8 at 3:04 PM on March 7, 2011

I think I'd refer to it as 'build-up' but I'm not sure that's a real term.
posted by Rhomboid at 3:06 PM on March 7, 2011

Best answer: I studied music composition, and I thought I knew what you were getting at when I read the question, but I just listened to 3/4 of your examples and I wouldn't describe any of them the way you did. In general, the process of instruments entering and exiting a song throughout its duration falls under the umbrella of arrangement or orchestration. This is something that a large percentage of music in every genre does, though. I don't hear anything really distinctive that these songs have in common compositionally other than being straight, driving rock songs.
posted by Anatoly Pisarenko at 3:21 PM on March 7, 2011

Best answer: 'Memphis Soul Stew'?
posted by box at 5:41 PM on March 7, 2011

I'm with Anatoly. Your description doesn't really match the songs. They have conventional verse-chorus-bridge etc. structures. They may start with a simple riff by itself and more instruments join in later, but that's hardly unusual in rock music.

Also, what does that E-|-9-9-9 stuff mean in your title?
posted by AmbroseChapel at 9:43 PM on March 7, 2011

Agreed, that doesn't seem to be what you're describing. (2 years of music theory in high school and one in college, so not the best qualifications here.)
posted by Brian Puccio at 5:55 AM on March 8, 2011

Best answer: Reading your question my first thought was that Autechre does an awful lot of this (a sample), but I have to agree that your examples don't quite hold with where I thought you were going.
posted by JaredSeth at 8:26 AM on March 8, 2011

Response by poster: @Anatoly
Were you thinking of something like Bolero?

The E|-9- is the tab for link no. 4.

No, I agree. I have no musical knowledge so I'm pretty much grasping at straws here.
posted by Upal at 7:30 AM on March 10, 2011

Best answer: Were you thinking of something like Bolero?

Yes, that's precisely what I thought you meant. And on first glance I saw The White Stripes and assumed you were talking about Seven Nation Army, which would've fit with my reading of the question. I was going to suggest the term ostinato and recommend the song All My Friends by LCD Soundsystem.
posted by Anatoly Pisarenko at 10:37 AM on March 10, 2011

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