Epic Musical Build YKTTW Discussion

Epic Musical Build
Musical version of an Epic Tracking Shot
(permanent link) added: 2013-05-03 14:31:00 sponsor: TheJCop (last reply: 2013-05-11 10:26:25)

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Seen It a Million Times

You listen to a song. It starts quietly, with maybe just piano/guitar and vocals. Then, drums come in, and the song picks up the pace a little. The vocalist becomes more impassioned as everything becomes louder and louder. More instruments enter your ears, as it builds to an epic climax. At this point, everyone is playing as hard as they can, like the universe depends on them performing the fuck out of this one song.

Then, it coms to a close.

You just witnessed an Epic Musical Build. Most songs have a build, to give more tension and to avoid the song just being boring. These songs take it Up to Eleven.

A supertrope of Bolero Effect (or at the very least, a second cousin). In a sense, the aural version of an Epic Tracking Shot (as it says in the Laconic description). Can result in some Awesome Music.


  • Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven is an obvious one.
  • Many of Laura Marling's songs have this build, such as "The Beast," which grows into a monster of a song from just her at a guitar, and "Sophia," which gradually turns into country rock.
  • The National has their fair share of EM Bs. The most obvious example is "Afraid of Everyone," which starts with just ominous backing vocals and ends with the lead singer yelling at the top of his lungs amidst horns, strings, and drums.
  • Late Night by Foals has a really cool build up, starting with just electric piano, and ending with the whole band playing intensely.
  • Mumford & Sons has got a lot of shit for having every single one of their songs follow the same formula, starting small and building up to an epic climax. Examples include "The Cave," "Lover Of The Light," and "Below My Feet."
    • Their song "Hopeless Wanderer" subverts this, by going straight to the "louder" part after the first verse.
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