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Encyclopedia > Hook (music)

A hook is a musical idea, a passage or phrase, that is believed to be appealing and make the song stand out; it is "meant to catch the ear of the listener" (Covach 2005, p.71). This term generally applies to popular music, especially rock music and pop music subgenres such as dance music. For other uses, see Music (disambiguation). ... In music a phrase (Greek φράση, sentence, expression, see also strophe) is a section of music that is relatively self contained and coherent over a medium time scale. ... For the music genre, see Pop music. ... For other uses, see Rock music (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Pop music (disambiguation). ...

A hook can, in general, be either melodic or rhythmic, and often incorporates the main motif for a piece of music. Characteristics of a melodic hook include skips in the tonal line; however, details of what makes a tune "catchy" are difficult to describe. A rhythmic hook can be equally catchy by employing syncopation or other devices, but there are still examples of rhythmic hooks which are very straightforward. Look up Melody in Wiktionary, the free dictionary In music, a melody is a series of linear events or a succession, not a simultaneity as in a chord. ... Rhythm (Greek = flow, or in Modern Greek, style) is the variation of the length and accentuation of a series of sounds or other events. ... In music, a motif is a perceivable or salient reoccurring fragment or succession of notes that may used to construct the entirety or parts of complete melodies, themes. ... In music, syncopation is when a stressing of a normally unstressed beat in a bar or failure to sound a tone on an accented beat occurs. ...



The hook of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" (based on an mbube folk song) uses a background chorale of "a-weem-o-weh, a-weem-o-weh, a-weem-o-weh, a-weem-o-weh" as its hook. The Four Seasons song "Let's Hang On!" features several hooks, from the call and response ending of each verse with the counterpoint of the backing vocals to the repetitive structure in the chorus sung in falsetto. In "Be My Baby", performed by The Ronettes, the hook consists of the "be my baby" lyrics over the conventional I-vi-IV-V chord progression of the chorus (ibid). The drum fill on Blue Monday by New Order is another example of a rhythmic hook. The guitar intro to Sweet Child o' Mine by Guns N' Roses is a guitar hook. The Lion Sleeps Tonight began as a 1939 African popular music hit Mbube that, in modified versions, also became a hit in the US and UK. Mbube (Zulu for lion) was first recorded by its writer, Solomon Linda, and his group, The Evening Birds, in 1939. ... Mbube is a form of South African vocal music, made famous by the South African group Ladysmith Black Mambazo. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Lets Hang On! is a song composed by Bob Crewe, Sandy Linzer, and Denny Randell that was popularized by The Four Seasons in 1965. ... The term Call and response may refer to Call and response -- a type of musical phrasing Call-and-response -- a type of communication Call and Response is a Californian pop band. ... For other uses, see Counterpoint (disambiguation). ... Falsetto (Italian diminutive of falso, false) is a singing technique that produces sounds that are pitched higher than the singers normal range, in the treble range. ... The Ronettes first album The Ronettes were a girl group of the 1960s from New York City, best known for their work with producer Phil Spector. ... A chord progression (also chord sequence and harmonic progression or sequence), as its name implies, is a series of chords played in order. ... A refrain (from the Old French refraindre to repeat, likely from Vulgar Latin refringere) is the line or lines that are repeated in music or in verse; the chorus of a song. ... Audio sample Blue Monday is a dance pop song recorded and released as a single in 1983 by British band New Order. ... This article is about the alternative rock/electronic band New Order. ... Appetite for Destruction track listing Music sample Sweet Child o Mine Problems? See media help. ... Guns N Roses is an American hard rock band, formed in Los Angeles, California in 1985. ...

Hooks also occur in much classical music, though the term is rarely used for them; instead they are called "motifs". Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 21 (featured in Elvira Madigan) uses a prominent motif to add a sense of identity. The first theme in Beethoven's Fifth Symphony uses a simple and memorable rhythmic motif combined with a descending interval of a third which is used throughout the movement. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (January 27, 1756 – December 5, 1791) was one of the most significant and influential of all composers of Western classical music. ... Wolfgang Amadeus Mozarts Piano Concerto No. ... Elvira Madigan (artists name) alias Hedvig Antoinette Isabella Eleonore Jensen (real name) (December 4, 1867 – July 20, 1889) was Danish ropedancer and trick rider, born in Flensburg in Germany. ... Ludwig van Beethoven Ludwig van Beethoven (baptized 17 December 1770; died 26 March 1827) was a German composer of classical music, who lived predominantly in Vienna, Austria. ... The coversheet to Beethovens 5th Symphony. ...

The concept of a musical hook is the subject of the 1994 Blues Traveler song "Hook", in which the band ridicules itself for playing a nonsensical song reliant on a catchy hook. Conversely, it is also the subject of the 2003 hip-hop song "Wat Da Hook Gon Be" by artist Murphy Lee, in which he states in the chorus, "don't need no fucking hook on this beat," implying that the song's lyrics are catchy enough that he need not employ a hook. Ironically, the music beneath the chorus is used throughout the whole song, and therefore the chorus is itself the hook. The song climbed to #17 on The Billboard Hot 100. Blues Traveler is an American alternative rock/blues rock/jam band formed in Princeton, New Jersey, in 1983. ... Wat Da Hook Gon Be is St. ... Murphy Lee, a. ... The Billboard Hot 100 is the main U.S. singles popularity chart used by Billboard magazine. ...


Hooks are often used in music research by radio stations and record companies to gauge the popularity of various songs. Often radio stations conduct "call out" either on the Internet or via telephone or a music test (either online or in an in-person setting) to test the music. Stations may use the services of a professional hook service such as Hooks Unlimited or Autohook or prepare the materials themselves. A hook is typically seven to ten seconds long. Techno music in particular has distinctive, and catchy, hooks.

See also

In popular music, a lick is a rock term [meaning]...something like a stock pattern or phrase (Middleton 1990, p. ... Riff is also an alternate spelling of Rif, a region of Morocco. ... In Jazz, a vamp is simply a repeating bass figure. ... In music, a theme is the initial or primary melody. ... Look up melody in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In music, an ostinato (derived from Italian: stubborn, compare English: obstinate) is a motif or phrase which is persistently repeated at the same pitch. ...


  • Covach, John (2005). "Form in Rock Music: A Primer", in Stein, Deborah: Engaging Music: Essays in Music Analysis. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-517010-5. 

Further reading

  • Gary Burns (January 1987). "A Typology of "Hooks" in Popular Records". Popular Music 6 (1): 1–20. 

  Results from FactBites:
hook: Definition, Synonyms and Much More from Answers.com (1969 words)
A grappling hook is a hook attached to a rope, designed to give traction on a distant object (such as a wall, tree or a vehicle) by snagging on its edge or corner when thrown.
A hook in music is a catchy musical passage.
A hook is a diacritical mark used in the Vietnamese alphabet.
Hook (music) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (317 words)
A hook is a musical idea, a passage or phrase, that is believed to be catchy and helps the song stand out; it is "meant to catch the ear of the listener" (Covach 2005, p.71).
The hook of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" (based on an mbube folk song) is considered to be one of the catchiest of all pop hooks.
The concept of a musical hook is itself the subject of the 1994 Blues Traveler song "Hook", in which the band ridicules itself for playing a nonsensical song reliant on a catchy hook.
  More results at FactBites »



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