Take one voice or instrument at a time, play a bar or two with each, and then just layer them until you've got a whole big awesome music thing going. Can be combined with Calling Your Attacks as each part is added. Compare Variable Mix, where the music in a game gradually evolves based on what's happening in the game. Compare also Lyrical Cold Open, where the vocals start immediately, often before any instruments. Up for Grabs, Rolling Updates.
In MusicA Cappella
- Da Vincis Notebook opens their cover of "Stuck in the Middle with You" with a vocal version.
- Live's "Lightning Crashes".
- Chatmonchy - "Shangurira", starting with drums, adding cymbals, then bass, then guitars, then vocals.
- The majority of the lyrics of "Tighten Up" by Archie Bell and the Drells are composed of this.
- Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band's "The Intro and the Outro" is three minutes of lampshading this, endlessly introducing one ridiculous instrument after another.
- Weird Al's Hardware Store
- Bauhaus' classic song, "Bela Lugosi's Dead".
- Death Cab for Cutie do this in "I Will Possess Your Heart."
- David Ford does this all by himself with "Go to Hell".
- Creedence Clearwater Revival starts "Down on the Corner" like this.
- Sly and the Family Stone has each performer introduce his own instrument in "Dance to the Music."
- This live performance of KT Tunstall's "Black Horse and Cherry Tree". It's quite awesome.
- On the latest Nightwish album, Dark Passion Play, the last song is this, starting with just a single instrument and a voice, and building up into a grand finale with the whole orchestra and choir and band. It's almost into badass territory.
- Emerson, Lake & Palmer's "Abaddon's Bolero" is an instrumental example.
- "Memphis Soul Stew," by King Curtis, which is also performed on The Simpsons Sing the Blues as "Springfield Soul Stew," introduces each part separately.
- The Who's "Baba O'Riley" (Teenage Wasteland) qualifies.
- The Doors "Wild Child" starts with guitar, then drums, then bass, then keyboard, then finally Jim keys in.
- "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin.
- This happens at the beginning of "Nightclubbing" by Iggy Pop.
- At the climax of Manga/Beck, everyone but Koyuki has given up, so he is left on his own on stage, and begins to play without the rest of the band. Inspired, one by one the rest of the band joins in, building on the song this way. The song in the original Japanese audio was The Beatles' "I Got A Feeling," but it was changed for the dub.
- Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells" does this... slowly.
- There are several entire songs like this on the Amélie soundtrack— for example, "Soir de fete."
- The Little Mermaid's "Kiss the Girl", where the various animals jump in one at a time.
- "Trashin the Camp / Doo Bad Shi Doo" from Disney's Tarzan, in which some playful gorillas and an elephant find a human camp and use the random objects they find there to play a (very destructive) impromptu song.
- A rare literary example, the Song of Iluvatar in Tolkein's The Silmarillion is described as this. Each of the Valar adds their voice to the rest, one by one, and Iluvatar adapts the song to fit each new voice, including Melkor when he attempts to turn it into a dirge...
- The one-episode Fake Band in Even Stevens planned to play their debut concert on the school roof, but each member dropped out for various reasons an only Lewis (drummer) showed up. Refusing to let the band die, he proceeds to play the beat and sing his vocals until the other members join in one-by-one.
- The intro to the title song of the musical On Your Toes:
Junior: First, we'll hear the two pianos. Then, we'll sneak in a solo trumpet... and add the traps, softly. Now the fiddles will have a counter melody. Graudally, the woodwinds... And then the whole band. And now, the song.
- Done in a cutscene of LocoRoco 2. See it here.
- A dynamic example in Spirit Tracks: As more sections of the tower become accessible, the music that plays in higher sections contains more instruments.
- Strong Bad does this in a non-contiguous fashion in the sbemail "Techno."
- Potter Puppet Pals had "Mysterious Ticking Noise."
- The Powerpuff Girls do it twice in the very short song "Love Makes the World Go Round," first with drums > bass > guitar, then with vocals.
- Spongebob Squarepants: Spongebob and Gary manage to get rid of a swarm of music-loving jellyfish this way.
- The rendition of "Dreidel Dreidel Dreidel" from the South Park episode "Mr Hankey's Christmas Classics", which layers in more and more vocal parts from various characters as it goes.
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