Bridge (music)

In music, especially western popular music, a bridge is a contrasting section that prepares for the return of the original material section. In a piece in which the original material or melody is referred to as the "A" section, the bridge may be the third eight-bar phrase in a thirty-two-bar form (the B in AABA), or may be used more loosely in verse-chorus form, or, in a compound AABA form, used as a contrast to a full AABA section.

The term comes from a German word for bridge, Steg, used by the Meistersingers of the 15th to the 18th century to describe a transitional section in medieval bar form.[2] The German term became widely known in 1920s Germany through musicologist Alfred Lorenz[3] and his exhaustive studies of Richard Wagner's adaptations of bar form in his popular 19th-century neo-medieval operas. The term entered the English lexicon in the 1930s—translated as bridge—via composers fleeing Nazi Germany who, working in Hollywood and on Broadway, used the term to describe similar transitional sections in the American popular music they were writing.

Jazz standard bridge
The ragtime progression (E7-A7-D7-G7) often appears in the bridge of jazz standards (Play ).[1] The III7-VI7-II7-V7 (or V7/V/V/V - V7/V/V - V7/V - V7) circle progression leads back to C major (I) but is itself indefinite in key.


The bridge is often used to contrast with and prepare for the return of the verse and the chorus. "The b section of the popular song chorus is often called the bridge or release."[4] For example, the B of AABA in thirty-two-bar form, with the verse surrounding the whole. While the bridge in verse-chorus and other forms is C, for example: ABABCAB. Lyrically, the bridge is typically used to pause and reflect on the earlier portions of the song or to prepare the listener for the climax. The term may also refer to the section between the verse and the chorus, though this is more commonly called the pre-chorus or link. The lyrics of the theme, "The Song That Goes Like This", from the musical play Spamalot spoofs the abuse of the bridge in romantic songwriting: "Now we can go straight / into the middle eight / a bridge that is too far for me". Similarly, in the Axis of Awesome song "This Is How You Write a Love Song", the lyrics humorously map the movement of the song from chorus to chorus using bridges. In the song "Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine", James Brown asks if he can "take the band to the bridge". Led Zeppelin makes an in-joke regarding the use of bridges in popular music in their song "The Crunge", asking, at the end, "Where's the confounded bridge?" The song, humorously, does not have a bridge.

Classical music

A bridge in J.S. Bach's Fugue in G major BWV 860, mm. 17-19.Play 

Bridges are also common in classical music, and are known as a specific Sequence form—also known as transitions. Formally called a bridge-passage, they delineate separate sections of an extended work, or smooth what would otherwise be an abrupt modulation, such as the transition between the two themes of a sonata form. In the latter context, this transition between two musical subjects is often referred to as the "transition theme";[5] indeed, in later Romantic symphonies such as Dvořák's New World Symphony or César Franck's Symphony in D minor, the transition theme becomes almost a third subject in itself.[6]

The latter work also provides several good examples of a short bridge to smooth a modulation. Instead of simply repeating the whole exposition in the original key, as would be done in a symphony of the classical period, Franck repeats the first subject a minor third higher in F minor. A two-bar bridge achieves this transition with Frank's characteristic combination of enharmonic and chromatic modulation. After the repeat of the first subject, another bridge of four bars leads into the transition theme in F major, the key of the true second subject.

In a fugue, a bridge is, "...a short passage at the end of the first entrance of the answer and the beginning of the second entrance of the subject. Its purpose is to modulate back to the tonic key (subject) from the answer (which is in the dominant key). Not all fugues include a bridge."[7]

An example of a bridge-passage that separates two sections of a more loosely organized work occurs in George Gershwin's An American in Paris. As Deems Taylor described it in the program notes for the first performance: "Having safely eluded the taxis ... the American's itinerary becomes somewhat obscured. ... However, since what immediately ensues is technically known as a bridge-passage, one is reasonably justified in assuming that the Gershwin pen ... has perpetrated a musical pun and that ... our American has crossed the Seine, and is somewhere on the Left Bank."[8]

See also


  1. ^ Boyd, Bill (1997). Jazz Chord Progressions, p.56. ISBN 0-7935-7038-7.
  2. ^ Horst, Brunner (2000). "Bar Form". New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  3. ^ Lorenz, Alfred (1924). Das Geheimnis der Form bei Richard Wagner. Berlin.
  4. ^ Benward & Saker (2003). Music: In Theory and Practice, Vol. I, p.318. Seventh Edition. ISBN 978-0-07-294262-0. Emphasis original.
  5. ^ Songstuff Music Glossary
  6. ^ Collins Music Encyclopedia, London 1959, article "Symphony"
  7. ^ Benward & Saker (2009). Music in Theory and Practice: Volume II, p.51. Eighth Edition. ISBN 978-0-07-310188-0.
  8. ^ An American in Paris & "george gershwin's an american in paris piano solo" [sic], Warner Bros. Publications Inc., 1929 (renewed), p. 36

External links

Art Building (University of Texas at Austin)

The Art Building (ART) is a building located at the northeast corner of San Jacinto Blvd. and 23rd St., on the University of Texas at Austin campus, in the United States. The building houses the Department of Art and Art History and the Visual Arts Center.

Batts Hall

Batts Hall (abbreviated BAT) is a building located on the University of Texas at Austin campus built in 1952-1953, and named after former law professor and Board of Regents chairman Robert Lynn Batts.

Biological Laboratories

Biological Laboratories (BIO) is a building on the University of Texas at Austin campus, in the U.S. state of Texas. The building was completed in 1924.

Bridge Music

Bridge Music is a public sound art installation. Additionally, there is an album of the same name featuring music from this installation.

Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History is an organized research unit and public service component of The University of Texas at Austin named for Dolph Briscoe, the 41st Governor of Texas. The Center collects and preserves documents and artifacts of key themes in Texas and United States history and makes the items available to researchers. The center also has permanent, touring, and online exhibits available to the public. The center's divisions include Research and Collections, the Sam Rayburn Museum, the Briscoe-Garner Museum, and Winedale.

Hassard Short

Hubert Edward Hassard Short (1877–1956), usually known as Hassard Short, was an actor, stage director, set designer and lighting designer in musical theatre

who directed over 50 Broadway and West End shows between 1920 and 1953. Theatre historian Ken Bloom called him "one of Broadway's greatest directors and lighting designers", while theatre writer John Kenrick described him as a "groundbreaking director and choreographer".After 25 years acting on stage and in films, Short turned to directing and designing in 1920. He made many innovations in stage lighting and design, including the first permanent lighting bridge (Music Box Revue, 1921) and first the use of a revolving stage in a Broadway musical (The Band Wagon, 1931). He continued to direct until 1952.

Hex Rally

Hex Rally (sometimes Texas Hex) was a pep rally at The University of Texas at Austin that occurred in the week before the annual football game between the Texas Longhorns and their in-state rivals, the Texas A&M Aggies.


Interlude may refer to:

a short play (theatre) or, in general, any representation between parts of a larger stage production

Entr'acte, a piece of music performed between acts of a theatrical production, or a short play-within-a-play within a larger theatrical work

a section in a movement of a musical piece, see: Bridge (music) or Break (music)

a piece of music composed of one or more movements, to be inserted between sections of another composition: see also intermezzo, and for the Baroque era, sinfonia

J.T. Patterson Labs Building

The J.T. Patterson Labs Building (PAT) is a building on the University of Texas at Austin campus, in the U.S. state of Texas. The building was completed in 1967.

Jackson Geological Sciences Building

Jackson Geological Sciences Building (JGB) is a building on the University of Texas at Austin campus, in the U.S. state of Texas. The building was completed in 1967.

Joseph Bertolozzi

Joseph Bertolozzi (born 1959) is an American composer and musician with works ranging from full symphony orchestra and solo songs to immense sound-art installations. With increasingly numerous performances across Europe and the United States to his credit, his music is performed by groups ranging from the Grammy-winning Chestnut Brass Company to the Eastman School of Music, and he himself has played at such diverse venues as the Vatican and The US Tennis Open.

List of 2005 This American Life episodes

In 2005, there were 26 This American Life episodes.

Episode 280 – "In Country"

Show description: On the experiences of United States National Guard reservists and Marines in post-invasion Iraq

Act 1: When Weekend Warriors Work on Weekdays – Ira Glass

Act 2: Marine Life – Jack Hitt

Episode 281 – "My Big Break"

Show description: On personal struggles leading to unexpected success or failure

Act 1: Take My Break, Please – David Segal

Act 2: What Happens in Baghdad, Stays in Baghdad – Jen Banbury

Act 3: Oedipus Hex – Shalom Auslander

Episode 282 – "DIY"

Show description: An entire episode of a story about the wrongful murder conviction of Collin Warner. After 21 years in prison, Warner's friends managed to prove Warner's innocence and free him from jail.

Act 1: Untitled – Anya Bourg

Act 2: The story of Collin Warner continues

Episode 283 – "Remember Me"

Act 1: Thinking inside the box – David Wilcox

Act 2: Where's Walter? – Starlee Kine

Act 3: Giving up the ghosts – Shalom Auslander

Episode 284 – "Should I Stay Or Should I Go?"

Act 1: The Karachi kid

Act 2: Not far from the tree – Amy O'Leary

Act 3: Because I'm the mommy, that's why

Episode 285 – "Know Your Enemy"

Act 1: The Minister Meets the Martyr

Act 2: I Am Curious, Jello – David Segal

Act 3: Eight Percent of Nothing – Etgar Keret

Episode 286 – "Mind Games"

Act 1: Untitled – Ira Glass

Act 2: The Spy Who Loved Everyone – Jorge Just

Act 3: Invisible Girl – Scott Carrier

Episode 287 – "Backed Into a Corner"

Act 1: Working Class Hero Sandwich – Shirleen Holt

Act 2: Don't Drive Like My Brother – Jonathan Menjivar

Act 3: Confessions of a Not-So-Dangerous Mind – Brian Montopoli

Episode 288 – "Not What I Meant"

Act 1: Froggy Goes A-Courtin' – Gabrielle Galanek

Act 2: Cat Got Your Tongue – David Sedaris

Act 3: Romance Languages – Ben Karlin

Episode 289 – "Go Ask Your Father"

Act 1: Make Him Say Uncle – Ira Glass

Act 2: My Favorite Martian – Paul Tough

Episode 290 – "Godless America"

Act 1: The Substance of Things Hoped For

Act 2: God Said, Huh? – Julia Sweeney

Episode 291 – "Reunited (and It Feels So Good)"

Act 1: Not Your Parents' Parent Trap – Nazanin Rafsanjani

Act 2: If By Chance We Meet Again – Ira Glass

Act 3: French Kiss – Sarah Vowell

Episode 292 – "The Arms Trader"

Prologue – Ira Glass on the Lackawanna 6

Act 1: Petra Bartosiewicz on the arrest and conviction of Hemant Lakhani

Act 2: continuation of Act 1

Episode 293 – "A Little Bit of Knowledge"

Prologue: Ira Glass and Nancy Updike

Act 1: Small Thoughts in Big Brains – Alex Blumberg

Act 2: And Daddy Makes Three – Dan Savage

Act 3: Sucker MC-Square – Robert Andrew Powell

Act 4: The Art of Adult Conversation – Alexa Junge

Episode 294 – "Image Makers"

Act 1: Dewey Decibel System – Alex Blumberg

Act 2: Goldstein on Goldstein – Jonathan Goldstein

Act 3: Hearth Shaped Box – Julie Hill

Episode 295 – "Not What I Signed Up For"

Act 1: The Double Whammy – Ira Glass

Act 2: Small Fish, Smaller Pond – Nick Hornby

Episode 296 – "After the Flood"

Show description: Stories from survivors of Hurricane Katrina.

Prologue: Ira Glass interviews William Nichelson about the role of state and federal authorities

Act 1: Middle of Somewhere – Ira Glass interviews Denise Moore, a hurricane survivor

Music interlude: Memphis Minnie, When the Levee Breaks

Act 2: Forgotten, But Not Lost – Alex Blumberg interviews Lorrie Beth Slonsky and Debbie Zelinsky about an occurrence at the Pontchartrain Expressway bridge

Music interlude: Fats Domino, Walking to New Orleans

Act 3: Social Studies Lesson – Alex Blumberg interviews Ashley Nelson

Ray Charles, Them That Got

Act 4: Diaspora – Cheryl Wagner

Act 5: Displaced Persons Camp – Lisa Pollak interviews survivors of Hurricane Charley in Florida

Episode 297 – "This Is Not My Beautiful House"

Show description: Stories from the Houston Astrodome and New Orleans about survivors of Hurricane Katrina.

Act 1: Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow – Jane Feltes

Act 2: No Place Like Dome – Ira Glass

Act 3: Land Grab – Lisa Pollak

Act 4: The Long Way Home – Nick Spitzer

Act 5: Water Bed – Alex Kotlowitz

Episode 298 – "Getting and Spending"

Act 1: Mothers of Invention – Alex Kotlowitz and Amy Drozdowska-McGuire

Act 2: That Guy – Diane Cook

Act 3: Mall Rat – John Hodgman

Episode 299 – "Back From The Dead"

Act 1: In the Event of An Emergency – Ira Glass

Act 2: 'P' Is For Porta-Potty – Sarah Koenig

Act 3: Friday Night Floodlights – Lisa Pollak

Episode 300 – "What's in a Number?"

Act 1: Truth, Damn Truth, and Statistics – Alex Blumberg

Act 2: Not Just a Number – Ryan Gist

Act 3: What do we do with these numbers anyway? – Ira Glass

Episode 301 – "Settling the Score"

Air date: November 11, 2005

Prologue – Ira Glass

Act 1: One Good Deed – Erin Einhorn

Act 2: The Things That Money Can Buy – Beau O'Reilly

Episode 302 – "Strangers in a Strange Land"

Air date: November 18, 2005

Prologue – Ira Glass

Act 1: Not Just Tourists, Tourists Who Care – Chris Tenove

Act 2: Johnny Get Your Mouse – Amy O'Leary

Episode 303 – "David and Goliath"

Act 1: Lab Rugrats – Ira Glass

Act 2: Dreams of Distant Factories – Rachel Louise Snyder

Act 3: Adventures at Poo Corner – David Sedaris

Episode 304 – "Heretics"

Act 1: Rise – Russell Cobb

Act 2: Fall

Episode 305 – "The "This American Life" Holiday Spectacular"

Act 1: Twas the Morning After – David Rakoff

Act 2: No Tenenbaum, No Tenenbaum – John Hodgman

Act 3: My So-Called Jesus – Heather O'Neill

Act 4: An Animal Farm Christmas – David Sedaris

Act 5: Christmas at Valley Forge – Sarah Vowell

Act 6: What Would Joseph Do? – Jonathan Goldstein

Mid-Hudson Bridge

The Mid-Hudson Bridge (officially the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Mid-Hudson Bridge) is a toll suspension bridge which carries US 44 and NY 55 across the Hudson River between Poughkeepsie and Highland in the state of New York. Governor and local resident Franklin D. Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor attended the opening ceremony on August 25, 1930. The bridge was renamed the "Franklin D. Roosevelt Mid-Hudson Bridge" in 1994 though the span is rarely referred to by its official name.

The bridge is 3,000 feet (910 m) long with a clearance of 135 feet (41 m) above the Hudson. At opening, it was the sixth-longest suspension bridge in the world. The chief engineer was Polish immigrant Ralph Modjeski, who had previously engineered the strengthening of the nearby Poughkeepsie Railroad bridge. Primary contractor was the American Bridge Company of Ambridge, Pennsylvania with steel from Carnegie. The span is unusual in that stiffening trusses were intentionally constructed on top of, not below, the deck.

The toll for passenger vehicles is $1.50 (cash) and $1.25 (E-ZPass) for eastbound traffic only.

Music Building and Recital Hall

The Music Building and Recital Hall (MRH) is a building on the University of Texas at Austin campus, in the U.S. state of Texas. The building was completed in 1969.

Nollaig Casey

Nollaig Casey (also known as Nollaig Ní Chathasaigh ) is an Irish fiddle player, and has an international reputation as one of Ireland's finest fiddle players. By the time she was eleven years old she could play violin, piano, tin whistle and uilleann pipes. During her teenage years she learned to play in both the classical and traditional musical traditions. She won several All-Ireland titles for fiddle and traditional singing culminating in the award to her in 1972 for the best all-round performer.

Painter Hall

Painter Hall (formerly the Physics Building) is an academic building located on the University of Texas at Austin campus. Named after Theophilus Painter, the building was constructed in 1933, expanded in 1957 and remodeled in 1974.


A refrain (from Vulgar Latin refringere, "to repeat", and later from Old French refraindre) is the line or lines that are repeated in music or in poetry; the "chorus" of a song. Poetic fixed forms that feature refrains include the villanelle, the virelay, and the sestina.

In popular music, the refrain or chorus may contrast with the verse melodically, rhythmically, and harmonically; it may assume a higher level of dynamics and activity, often with added instrumentation. Chorus form, or strophic form, is a sectional and/or additive way of structuring a piece of music based on the repetition of one formal section or block played repeatedly.

Texas Fight

"Texas Fight" is the official fight song of the University of Texas at Austin and was written by Colonel Walter S. Hunnicutt in collaboration with James E. King, then director of the Marlin High School Band.It is sung to a fast tempo version Taps, a song played at many military funerals. "Texas Fight" is played following touchdowns and extra points at University of Texas (UT) football games, other Longhorn sports events, as well as on other occasions of celebration. The repeated strain contains portions of "The Eyes of Texas," the school's alma mater.

Walter Webb Hall

Walter Webb Hall (WWH) is a building on the University of Texas at Austin campus, in the U.S. state of Texas. The building was completed in 1973, and has housed the campus club and faculty center.The Texas Historical Association started renting space in the building in 2015.

Verse–chorus form
Other musical elements
Electronic dance music and techno

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