Do you like songs with one chord?

The first time I was shocked by music when I was young was when I saw Michael Jackson’s “Bad” on TV. I can’t understand the lyrics, but I feel the rhythm is good. Since then, I seldom listen to slow songs. Later, I discovered that I like rap music and dance music.

Through SCALER, I have mastered a lot of chord knowledge. But I found that many songs that I and the people around me like actually have only one chord, and it is one chord from the beginning to the end.
There are too many examples of this.

Now the problem is, if there are too many chord changes, I don’t find it interesting. Instead, songs with simple chords allow me to play and dance. I find that a lot of hit songs these days have simple chords as well. why is that?Is this an improvement or a regression?
Sometimes it feels like songs with simple chords go viral. I love so much. How do you like it?

the secret is the arrangement and production. there are many many examples of 1, 2, and 3 chord songs. and with those, adding sus, sus4, 7th, maj7, 9th etc you expand on those chords as well as basslines (slash chords) so you may have two chords and use descending bass (or ascending bass) to move from one chord to the other and back. not playing the chord also counts in the arrangement. :slight_smile:

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It is true that the melody is not limited to only one chord tone.
However, the bass from the beginning to the end is only one chord, and if the chord changes, it feels uncomfortable. very strange.

According to NYU professor and author of “Dilla Time” Dan Charnas, the key change has faded out of popularity alongside the often slow and emotional ballad, which he calls a “bastion of key changes.” Meanwhile, hip-hop has taken center stage.

“Hip-hop is a rejection of a lot of the tropes of traditional musicianship,” Charnas says. Music composition has also changed, prioritizing rhythm and texture over individual notes and chords.

There are some numbers from the late 80s, like Michael Jackson’s 1988 hit “Man in the Mirror,” where the key change can be seen as both a mark of beauty and a cliché.

“You can look at that song in two different ways. On one level, it’s a perfectly constructed song, a beautiful piece of songwriting. A lot of craft goes into it,” Charnas says. “In another view, it’s tropey, maudlin and completely manipulative.”

While the key change was once a mark of musical sophistication, many now consider it a crutch. Dalla Riva says a lot of his peers think using the key change is lazy.

“It’s just like you get to the last chorus and you’re like, all right, we need to inject some more energy. Let’s just shift the key up a half-step or a whole step.”

Always been fascinated by what makes a repetitive riff/sequence annoying vs hypnotic (remember track below in extended version in clubs).

Descending bassline at around 1 min is key for this to work I think. Not even sure if the topline is a gated chord or a single note.

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The song you post is kind of like the rap part of the 《Scooter - Weekend》 song

Yes, Scooter sampled it.
Hip Hop by Dead Prez another interesting one, 3 bass notes (with some bending) repeated throughout whole song.

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Thanks for your recommendation.

This song reminds me of one thing. About 14 years ago, I made a drum and bass piece on the computer, and then recorded a 3 minute rap about life in my city. Unexpectedly, many people liked it. Sometimes the accompaniment doesn’t need to be too gorgeous, the content of the lyrics is also very important. The most important thing is to express what you want to express.

I’ve been using a lot of chords recently, trying to make some nice and interesting accompaniments to match my lyrics.

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Currently composing my game soundtrack and i often use dyad and single notes since chords sound worst and distract the listeners. I tried changing a few dyad to chords and the sound is horrible so i keep it this way to great effect.

Chords maybe good for other music genre but in history dyad were the king for a very long time.

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Music based on a drone often (but not always) uses one chord tonic (it might have sus variants), as does most Carnatic based music (somewhat earlier than hip-hop / rap). Endless examples.

Here’s another - the Butthole Surfers …

What’t mean dyad?

2 notes only but some give it other name like interval.


What kind of music is this?

I have sent the MP3 here, please download and listen to it.

It feels chaotic, but the rhythm is good, and it feels good.
This is the C chord, right? It’s not like normal music, but it sounds good. What type is it and how is it made?

Where did it come from? Is it yours?

It says it’s an mp3, but the download is an .exe of unknown origin and for an opaque purpose - that rules it out for me, I’m afraid.

Hmmmm. Same here. Pass.

This is not an EXE, it is an audio file MP3 that I edited

Haha, this is not the first time we have communicated. I often send audio here to ask questions. Maybe you forgot!

This is what I get when I click the link ‘free download’

I get asked to save the file

Doesn’t look like an mp3 to me (why does it say ‘.exe’ ?), but I’m not risking downloading and re-naming.

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No I remember you. It’s just this download site is strange. I’m not going to give them my E-mail just to download a file. Maybe try Mediafire or

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