googled06bb313055e587a.html Rock N Roll Rehab for the Control Of Rock and Roll Starring Greg Piper and The Tooners: The Song Writing Mystery of the Missing Middle Eight

The Song Writing Mystery of the Missing Middle Eight

    My favorite part of writing a song is writing the middle eight. Some people call it the bridge but I think of a bridge as a piece that bridges the verse to the chorus as in the No Doubt hit Don’t Speak. The middle eight is the break in the middle of the song where it goes somewhere else all together and then returns. It’s called the middle eight because it is often eight bars in length. 
    What’s great about the middle eight is that it doesn’t have to be there. These days it seems to have fallen out of style since few modern rock songs have one. It may be because it’s the most difficult part of a song to write.
    What the middle eight has to do is flow naturally from the verse or the chorus, go somewhere completely different than the verse or the chorus and then segue seamlessly back into the verse or chorus while building up toward the end of the song.  Sometimes it is a powerful turn in the song that builds energy and sometimes it’s a gentle break that takes it down before building back up.
    The best examples of middle eights link the verse and chorus thematically and helps define the overall musical structure of the song. It is the third part that creates the pattern, without it you simply have two elements that may or may not seem all that related. It is the third element that is related to both other elements that ties everything together and gives the song its overall character. The middle eight is usually a vocal part but may be an instrumental. Some excellent examples of middle eights in  Beatles songs (The Beatles always make good examples) are;

* Back In The U.S.S.R. - The middle eight here with its Beach Boy harmonies brings most of the satire when a song about the U.S.S.R. becomes very U.S.A. sounding. Although called the middle eight it can be used more than once as it is here.

* A Hard Day’s Night - The key change in the middle eight  complements the thematic shift from working hard during the day to coming home at night to a loving spouse.

* With A Little Help From My Friends -  The middle eight here is call and response section where the “friends” enter into conversation.

* A Day In The Life - Perhaps the most famous middle eight is the Paul McCartney contribution to this classic. Throughout the song John talks about the world around him as it appears in the newspaper and in motion pictures shown at the local movie house but Paul takes the song into the privacy of his home and his own dreams.

    A good way to think about middle eights is as a conversation between three people. Two of the people, the verse and the chorus, are talking to each other about the same subject, generally agreeing and reinforcing each others point of view. Occasionally the third person, the middle eight, joins in to make a point or introduce an idea that accentuates the others' comments. The third person doesn’t interrupt unless he or she has a good reason and a fresh perspective to offer.
    Two is a pair but three is a pattern and it is much easier to see the logic in a pattern so try to come up with yet one more idea to add to your family of musical themes when writing your next song. A middle eight will add structural strength and a richer musical texture.

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