Hip Hop & Beat Making
Course 16: Form

Question: What do the best novelists and music producers have in common? Answer: Control of form. Much like a great novel, a good song requires a solid foundation to support the body of work as the listener is led along on a musical journey. We’ll learn more about the various sections of songs in western popular music, the 32-bar AABA form, sections of a song (hook, pre-chorus, chorus, verse, bridge, outro) as well as using skeletons or references during the songwriting process.

In this course, you’ll explore the ingredients that make up a song, and learn how to put them all together to create something wonderful! You’ll cover topics such as the structure of a song, using different forms of instrumentation to create different feels and moods, and exploring sound mixing techniques. We will also look at how lyricism can be used to convey powerful messages through words and melodies.

Remember, good song form enables you to take the listener on an exciting sonic experience which will keep them hungry for more! Knowing how to set a good foundation will help you organize all of the elements you use and create a dynamic, enticing song that really moves. After this course, you’ll be able to identify the building blocks that make up modern music, understand the importance of the different sections of an arrangement, and analyze the form of your own music.

Along with the course review, blog entry, and quiz, you’ll listen to Damn by Kendrick Lamar and parse the pacing and form of his song while paying close attention to the instrumentation. In the digital field trip, you’ll watch episode 8 of Hip Hop Evolution and see how jazz, psychedelic, and Latin influences left their mark on the genre. You’ll also start building out your social media platforms in market time.