How To Find The Background Music Of A Youtube Video Songwriting – The Effective Use of Tension and Release in Ingrid Michaelson’s "Keep Breathing"

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Songwriting – The Effective Use of Tension and Release in Ingrid Michaelson’s "Keep Breathing"

Ever wanted something a bit different for your music? Is there a growing release time? Ingrid Michaelson creates one of these moments in her song “Keep Breathing”. Check it out.

You can access the song on YouTube if you want to follow. The time I refer below (for example, 2:41) refers to the approximate minutes and seconds in a song.

The song begins with two short verses ending in “Keep Breathing” denied.

Verses 1 and 2 (excluding denials) tell us:

Verse 1: The storm is coming, but I do not care for the dead, I close my eyes

Verse 2: I want to change the world, instead I sleep, I want to believe more than you and me

So it’s concise and straightforward … it’s a common language that doesn’t care and says, “I can do nothing. “Will not do anything about it.”

But what happens next is interesting. When the second verse ends and goes into the second denial (“All I know is that I’m breathing …”), we have exactly two minutes in a song that is less than 3 seconds long. Half a minute. “Who cares?” You may be asking. Well, the last two minutes are almost entirely the phrase “all we can do is keep breathing” over and over again. There is a slight difference in the wording of the phrase, and after the second rejection she clings to the word “now” a little, but other than that it is “all we can do is hold our breath” for Balance of tracks!

Usually a lot of repetitive songs and melodies mean you won’t need Ambien tonight … but not here. Here it really works. Let’s see why …

There are two main things that happen after the first two verses of this song that make repetition work. Well. The first is that what is happening under the voice is changing dramatically. And not only does it change, but it creates stress.

At about 2:07 a.m., almost all the instruments came off the song as she said, “All I know is I’m breathing.” Then, each time the phrase is repeated, more instruments begin to come under the sound. It starts to create stress. Trap drums have big hands in this. As it bounces off and intensifies, we are creating a strong tension that requires release. This is going to break soon, right? And it will lead to big things, right?

So what happened? The tension dissipated at 2:41 a.m. when the snare drum beat ended and went back to normal drumming. At the same time, a harmonious shout “Ah” kicks in the back. Tensions have officially eased. So let’s see what the leaders say at this point, because it has to do something different now …. no. Still “breathing.” Exactly the same as before the stress was released. But we still feel liberated because of what is happening under the word.

But there is more. There is a second thing that makes the ending of the song work well, which is how the meaning of the text binds. To music. “Huh?” You ask. Think about it … what happens when you keep breathing through your lungs? That’s right … repetitive words. No matter what happens in the world around you, your breath keeps happening. And … whatever happens in arranging this song under the words (drums, guitar. Same as before breath).

When you stop breathing, you are dead. When the song stops repeating, it is over.

So now we can see why almost two minutes of the same lyrics and melody work here. Because the whole world is changing under the lead. And at the same time, the repetition of the leading sound is strongly related to the meaning of the word.

Now good writing (and preparation). It is a structure that supports the meaning of pulling out big time. (Invisible, but I clap my hands).

What should be noted here is that what broke this song (and Ingrid’s career) was that it was Filed in the final episode of Season 3 of Grey’s Anatomy. The finished song is a perfect fit for the mood of the last scene in the episode. I can not post the link here, but you can search on YouTube for “Grey’s Anatomy Keep Breathing” to see the view. It was a (almost) wedding suit.

Well … it is Almost Perfect fit. As Robin Frederick points out in her book. Shortcuts to songwriting for movies and TVThe song is expanded to fit the scene. As anyone who watches TV knows, it is rare. The song is usually cut short to fit a scene. This is not to say that what is expanded here is existing and more repetitive than usual. We learned in the paragraph above. But still, the repetitive words of “all we can do is keep breathing” seemingly insufficient for those in charge of Grey’s Anatomy music. They extended it even more! It just shows you how well it works. It shows you how it fits the mood of the scene, which is the main reason why the song will be put on TV for the first time. Because a song is included in a scene on TV to tell us how we should feel at the time. And it’s clear that the song embedded it for that last scene.

Oh, and notice how they align the break in the tension of Ingrid’s song I discussed above with the actress’ phrase “I’m free … damn it” (at 2:34). In Gray’s Anatomy). .. before she panicked and took off her wedding dress. Yes, it is not a coincidence.

Great song and well put on TV. See if you can incorporate this type of time into your own music. If done well, it can be a great experience for your listeners.

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