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What's a Middle Eight?


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Old 03-03-2007, 20:26
Star Attraction
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I've recently come across the musical term "Middle Eight". I know what the terms "verse" and "chorus" are, but what exactly do they mean by a "Middle Eight"?

Does anyone know?
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Old 03-03-2007, 21:04
BadgersCrossing
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Yes i do...my boyfriend has one
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Old 03-03-2007, 21:08
Omah
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A middle 8 is so called because it is a section in a song that tends to happen towards the middle of the song, and tends to be eight bars in length. The purpose of this section is to break up the simple repetition of a verse/chorus/verse/chorus structure by introducing new elements into the song. This can be a new chord sequence and melody, maybe a big change in the arrangement of the song, or even an instrumental solo. These new elements in the song help to keep the listener interested in what's happening, much like a subtle twist in the plot of a novel or movie.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/soldonso...g_middle.shtml

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirty-two-bar_form
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Old 03-03-2007, 21:08
megane_man
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The middle eight is just another term for the "bridge". It is the bit that links the verse to the chorus. For example in Wonderwall by Oasis, the bit that starts off "And all the roads we have to walk are winding ......" is the middle eight.

Hope that makes sense!
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Old 03-03-2007, 22:51
dugq
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Originally Posted by megane_man
The middle eight is just another term for the "bridge". It is the bit that links the verse to the chorus. For example in Wonderwall by Oasis, the bit that starts off "And all the roads we have to walk are winding ......" is the middle eight.

Hope that makes sense!


I think thats classed as a pre-chorus and fits the pattern verse-prechorus-chorus-verse-prechorus-chorus- instrumental-chorus. Wonderwall doesn't really have a bridge, but like many rock songs has an instrumental instead. The typical bridge occurs after the second chorus as in Verse-Chorus-Verse-Chorus-Bridge-Chorus, a good example is the "Strange fascination fascinating me. Ah, changes are taking the pace I'm going through" in Bowie's changes. The Bridge is meant to stand out from the rest of he song and ease the repetitiveness of the verse-chorus structure, as well being a new melody it often features new chords, and modulating bridges will change key, before returning to the original key.
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Old 04-03-2007, 17:23
cathrin
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I think the most effective middle eights are the ones that take the song (and ideally the listener too) into a whole different mood. Sometimes it can crank up the drama level into something more intense (like the Police's Every Breath You Take when the song suddenly takes right off: "Since you're gone I'm lost without a trace") Or it can create a perfect "climactic" moment, like Marcella Detroit's spectacular high note in the middle of Shakespeare's Sister's "Stay". Sometimes the middle eight can usher in an instrument or group of instruments that wouldn't have "fitted" in the verse/chorus section; like Judie Tzuke's gorgeous "For You"...the first two verses are 7-part a cappella vocals, and then the string quartet comes in during the middle 8 ("Pretty tunes don't mean a lot when I'm singing just for you/Don't have to say a lot but it's all that I can do..." Then there are a few bars of just the string quartet (beautiful stuff) and then the a cappella vocal comes back in. Mmmm! I'll have to go and listen to it now!

Sorry...got carried away a bit there...but this is such a great subject! I love threads like this!
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Old 04-03-2007, 17:55
Star Attraction
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For your information, these lyrics are where I first saw the term "Middle Eight".
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Old 04-03-2007, 18:10
mike blair
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In the classic three minute pop single the middle eight was the instrumental bit in the middle - some of the best examples are Hqank B Marvin playing in the middle of the early Cliff Richard singles.
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Old 04-03-2007, 20:40
Si's Gal
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So would the instrumental bit in Robbie Williams' Angels be the middle eight?
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