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Incredibly Long Note
And thirdly, if I can sustain that long note in the middle without my eyeballs popping out or my trousers falling down... (audience laughs) ...I think we should be reasonably secure for the rest of the evening.
Michael Crawford, on why he opened a concert with "Gethsemane" from Jesus Christ Superstar

A Music Trope. A character in a musical or band ends his song singing a long note.

A very long note.

An incredibly long note, in fact.

Jesus, how much breath does this guy have?!

Can become an Overly-Long Gag if held ridiculously long—and it often is—unless, of course, it's not meant to be a gag at all. A parodic version, for instance, would demonstrate just how unbearably long the character is holding that note for, and other characters will probably try to stop it. Doesn't have to be the last note of the song, by the way—long notes tend to appear in the middle of the song as well. Often done after Chewing the Scenery through the song.

Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Parodies 
  • In the Theme Song for Acquisitions Incorporated, Paul and Storm hold the final note until each has audibly dropped out (staggering their breaths), taken a breath, and come back in.
  • One episode of The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo found the gang needed to stall until sunrise to fend off the ghosts. Asking for a last request of a song, Scooby holds the last note until sunrise. It's only about twenty to thirty seconds from our perspective, but it's long enough to annoy everyone else.
  • Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat has the song "Canaan Days." The end features the brothers holding a note for a very long time, running out of breath (possibly making a joke about cigarettes), and then resuming the note.
  • The Three Caballeros has Panchito singing the last note of the title song to the annoyance of the other members, who precede to do everything in their power to stop him. Nothing works.
  • The end of "Weird Al" Yankovic's song Spy Hard, has him singing an incredibly high note for so long, that his head explodes!
    • Which itself is a parody of the theme from the James Bond movie Thunderball sung by Tom Jones, who (according to a debunked legend) held the final note so long he passed out.
    • Which is in turn a shout-out to the them from the earlier James Bond movie From Russia with Love sung by Matt Monroe, who held the last note of that song considerably longer than Jones did.
    • Back to Yankovic: the one at the end of "Smells Like Nirvana" isn't nearly as long as most other examples in this page, but the effect echoes this: the song ends with Al coughing after sustaining the final note (he even faints in the music video).
  • Shrek had a similar gag to Spy Hard—Fiona starts singing with a bird, but they do a note so long and so high the bird explodes.
    • It's worth pointing out that that last note is also horrendously off-key. Cameron Diaz was unable to hit the note, much less sustain it, so they had to bring in a professional opera singer to do the singing part there. Y'know what they say: it takes a very good singer to sound that bad.
  • Martin Short on Late Night With David Letterman (which Nathan Lane mirrors to the T for some reason).
  • In the Bugs Bunny short "Long Haired Hare", Bugs pretends to be a conductor in order to torment an opera singer. Near the end he has the singer hold a note for 45 seconds, until it causes the collapse of the orchestra shell above the singer's head. (In other words, Bugs literally "brought down the house".)
    • This scene was directly referenced in the SCTV "Godfather" parody, with Luciano Pavarotti (John Candy) holding an extended high note.
  • In Klondike Casanova Olive Oyl pulls this off, her neck stretching all the while, as Popeye runs back to the kitchen to whip up sandwiches for the hungry crowd.
  • In ¡Three Amigos! (with Steve Martin) as they sing their theme song there's one part where they hold one note for a comically long time before continuing.
  • Given how much P.D.Q Bach Peter Schickele loves the Overly-Long Gag, it's not surprising that he has a bunch of these.
    • Parodied in The Stoned Guest: Carmen Ghia takes a breath in the middle of a long note and a voice cries, "I heard that!" In one of her duets with Donna Ribalda, an Intermission is taken as they hold their penultimate note ("Have you got a stopwatch?").
    • The Stoned Guest also has Don Octave gearing up for one of these, but he screws it up partway through. (Appropriately enough, it is in his "I Am" Song, during which he laments that he can't do anything right.)
    • Another P.D.Q Bach example: in The Abduction of Figaro, Pecadillo gets two of these in a row, when he's calling Blondie in Act 1.
    • There is no singer, but the first two notes in the Schleptet in E Flat Major are well over ten seconds each; in typical performances the horn player falls out of their seat by the end of the second note.
  • In "Anything You Can Do" from Annie Get Your Gun, Annie sings, "Any note you can hold, I can hold longer," and then proves that, yes, she can.
  • Mentioned multiple times in Forbidden Broadway's spoof of Ragtime. First in the parody of "Wheels of a Dream (A Really Long Note)":
    "And then this soooooong
    This song will eeeeeeeee~nd
    With a really long nooooooooooooooooote!"
    • And then in "We Can Never Go Back to Before (I'll Never Get Back My Award)":
      "They can never recount or revote
      So I'll just sing a reeeeeally loooooong noooooooooooooooooooote!"
    • And finally ending with "Make Them Hear You (Make Them Shoot You)":
      "When they shoot you
      Sing that looooong noooote aaaagaaaaaaaaaiiiiiin!"
  • Family Guy:
    Peter: I'm doin' this for you / but it's really for meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee [Commercial Break] eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
    • Lois: Peter, are you gay?
    Peter: Guiltyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!
  • Joke example: A guy sees a sign for the "World's Longest Underwater Tarzan Yell Contest". He asks what the current record is, and is told "Dunno, last year's contestants still haven't finished yet".
  • Murder Most Horrid had an episode which reached a climax with a woman going to be shot when she finished the last word of her song. The last word lasted a long time.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: in The Leech Woman Tom loses it and acts like Ma Clampet from Beverly Hillbillies screaming "Jeeeeeed" For THE ENTIRETY OF THE ENDING CREDITS. 57 unbroken seconds.
  • Title of the Song by Da Vinci's Notebook:
    Modulation and I hold a high nooooooooote...
    • The note is then held through the next repetition of the chorus.
      I'm still goiiiiiiiiiingg...
  • A radio station in Troy, N.Y., once edited Jay and the Americans' "Cara Mia" so that the long note near the end stretched to over a minute. It's still a long note either way, though, and an incredibly high one at the very top of Jay Black's vocal range.
  • Glee: Kurt's audition features this gem from Chicago: "Never! Even! Knooooooooooooooooooooo *fixes his hair* ooooooooooooooooow I'm there."
    • The score for the song "Mr. Cellophane" actually says "vocalist continues note after orchestra stops"; though there is no indication that this is a gag, it is often played that way to emphasize the injustice of the character's invisibility.
  • "My Pink Half of the Drainpipe" by the Bonzo Dog Band ends with Vivian Stanshall hitting a dramatic high note that goes on and on and on (and is clearly a looped tape), after the band itself has stopped, and cuts off abruptly at songs' end.
  • "Marty" by Five Iron Frenzy ends with Reese Roper holding the last note long after the rest of the band stops playing, until he runs out of breath.
  • While the power of Adam Lambert's vocal cords is common knowledge, the note he holds during the bridge of "Pick U Up" is, in a word, sublime
  • Dumbledore, from A Very Potter Musical.
  • I wish, I wish, I wish, I wish a bitch wouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuld... *deep breath*
  • In the film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera, everyone takes a deep, synchronised breath during the last note of Prima Donna.
  • "Johnny One Note" from the Rodgers and Hart musical Babes in Arms is about a singer who can only sing one particular note, but does so very loud and very long.
    • "Johnny could only sing one note, and the note he sang was this - aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa..."
  • In Chowder Grows Up, Chowder holds the last note of his "I Don't Want To Grow Up" song so long that a Time Skip occurs in the interim. He, in fact, grows up over the course of holding that note.
  • In Chicago, the second last note in "We Both Reached for the Gun" usually is a long note, but this actor holds it for freaking 23 seconds solely for this purpose. Showoff...
  • The Igudesman and Joo version of "Ticket to Ride" has one of these at the end of the bridge, complete with a comically deep breath in the middle.
  • Tim Minchin puts one at the end of F-Sharp. Warning: May cause physical pain to those with musical training.
  • The end of Can You Stand Upon One Leg? by The Divine Comedy has the singer lampshading how holding a singing note 'for a stupidly long time' is his party piece, and decides to challenge himself by making it a high note. He holds it for almost exactly 30 seconds, and generally finishes many of his more recent performances with this song (because, really, if you're going to do that, you pretty much HAVE to finish on it).
  • In "Bad Opera", an early Saturday Night Live sketch, the soprano in the famous German bad opera Die Goldenklang ("The Golden Note") sings a high C of such pitch and duration that she suffers from "Larynx Lock", and can never stop singing the note.
    • Bonus points for the soprano in question being the great Madeline Kahn!
  • Stephen Lynch really likes to dick around with this one in his comedy songs, usually toward the end of a given song.
  • One of the "Fenslerfilm" G.I. Joe PSAs features an incredibly long belch. Well, that is not really the example contained in this entry; rather, they do it again right afterwards by stretching out the usual sung "G.I. Jooooooooe" to about 20 seconds just to cement the Overly-Long Gag.
  • The Nostalgia Chick's review of Les Misérables ends with a rendition of "One Day More" by a number of singers on the That Guy with the Glasses site. The Nostalgia Critic gets to hold the long note and plays it for laughs.
    • There's also the one from her My Little Pony review.
  • Balloon Shop made good use of this trope in both "The Sargentos" and "The Masked Avenger": In The Sargentos, Olan is overjoyed about the spaghetti that his chef has prepared for "Chris" that he lets out a long shriek similar to the most annoying sound in the world. In "The Masked Avenger", Senor Ortiz's bodyguard adds short bursts of "Oh no!" into the dialogue, at random, finally, he lets it all go for a full 13 seconds. Even Senor Ortiz is a little weirded out.
  • At the start of the song I Fuck Dogs, Paul McDermott pulls a very long note... And gets a headspin for his trouble.
  • Somewhat done by Wayne Brady and Brad Sherwood in this playing of "Greatest Hits" from Whose Line Is It Anyway?, but implied by Colin Mochrie that "they held that 'oooh' for 15 minutes".
  • The Israeli band Kaveret's mock-tango "Sugar in the Tea" includes several instances of this. In the album version, another band member interjects the main instance with a sarcastic "In case of a genuine alarm..." - and then the singer goes on for a while more.
  • "L'AMOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOUR-"(face explodes)
  • Spike Jones' rendition of "Glowworm" featured the female singer holding one note near the end for such a long time that the guy making fun of the lyrics yelled "Turn the page, you fathead!"
  • Progressive commercial featuring Michael Buffer.
  • In the Popeye short Klondike Casanova, Popeye and Olive run a saloon, where she sings the song "I Don't Want to Walk Without You". At one point, she does this while Popeye (who was playing the piano) serves sandwiches.
    Olive: "...'cause I don't want to walk without you no, siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrEEEEEEEEEEE!!!"
  • The Bridgemen had an Incredibly Long Note at the end of their 1978 show. The corps held the final note for 20 seconds (while the drum major was taking his bows). When the drum major finally ended the performance, the entire corps dropped back into a dead faint.
  • Jay Black parodied himself in a later, live performance of "Cara Mia," in which he held his note slightly longer than he had in the original recording—while comically glancing at his watch as if to time it.

    Straight examples 
  • The Fatboy Slim song "Praise You" has vocals taken from the song "Take Yo' Praise" by Camille Yarbrough, but the "should" starting at 0:32 is digitally treated to last for a whopping 46 seconds!
  • "The Saint Louis Bluuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuues!"
  • Jim Gillette, Lead singer of Michael Angelo Batio's former band, Nitro, belts out a simultaneously awesome and hilarious 30 second falsetto scream in their song "Machine Gunn Eddie" (starting at about 49 seconds in).
  • Morten Harket, lead singer of a-ha, holds the record in Europe for the longest note ever held in a pop song- namely, their song "Summer Moved On". That note is held for about 20.3 seconds!
  • John Linnell of They Might Be Giants singing the end of Fingertips in this TMBG podcast starting at 6:18 and ending at 6:37, a full 19 seconds of him singing the letter "I"... He becomes noticeably out of breath the last few seconds.
  • "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" from Dreamgirls is one of the best-known examples in modern theater; it includes not one but two Incredibly Long Notes at the end, back to back. This is the reason Jennifer Holiday won a Tony in 1982 and Jennifer Hudson an Oscar in 2007. There is no mediocrity with this song. Performing it is either a singer's Moment Of Awesome or biggest Epic Failure.
  • This guy's audition on American Idol. Funny for us, but the guy was completely serious.
    • Likewise, This guy on his X Factor audition, except he does this twice. Like the American Idol example below, people think it's funny, but he thinks he's serious.
  • Lord Worm, the vocalist of Cryptopsy, holds a scream for over 30 seconds on the track Open Face Surgery.
  • Dylan Carlson holds one note on the guitar for over 30 minutes on the track Like Gold And Faceted.
  • The current real life record for sustaining a vocal note is held by singer Dean Frenkel at 57 seconds. If you include sustained notes on a musical instrument, Kenny G used to hold the record, having sustained a note on a saxophone for 45 minutes, 47 seconds. Costa Rican Geovanny Escalante currently holds the record with over 90 minutes of continuous playing. Of course, saxophonists—unlike singers—can use circular breathing...
    • Vocally, it is actually possible for any experienced singer to hold a note out for a very long time, if that note is very soft. Obviously, a louder sound takes more air, so if you sing softly it is incredible how long a note can be held. Most of these examples, however, are belted, which is much more impressive.
  • The song "Opening Band" by Paul and Storm ends with a succession of "Hello"s, the last of which is held for a long time. 22 seconds to be exact (studio version)
  • Also an example of Careful With That Axe, but The Marshall Arts by Razor has a 27 second long scream that sounds more like a tire squealing than a human being.
  • Chester Bennington of Linkin Park in the song Given up holds a 17 second scream.
  • "The Luckiest Guy On The Lower East Side" by The Magnetic Fields ends in a series of "ride"s of increasingly long duration. They go up in pitch as well.
  • In Dance of the Vampires, Michael Crawford held a note at the end of Act I for a very long time, as he was escorting his bride across the drawbridge into his castle. (Though it was pre-recorded, not actually performed live).
  • Judas Priest: CAN'T! STOP! THE! PAIN!KILL!ER................................................................................................ (Almost 20 seconds. Have fun with that on Rock Band 2.) PAIN!
  • The James Bond series has a long, long, long love affair with this trope. See exhibits A, B, and C for more details.
  • "Dim All the Lights" by Donna Summer once held (and may still?) the record for the longest note held in an American Top 40 pop hit.
  • Wicked has this happen a lot, in the form of "The Wizard And I" (Twice!) and "No Good Deed" (FOUR TIMES!) Stephen Schwartz explicitly said that while a mezzo-soprano, the vocal range for Elphaba's role in every other song, might be able to pull it off, she also needs to be a belter for the second number alone.
  • The last "fly" in Martina McBride's "A Broken Wing" is held out for thirteen seconds. Martina has said that she can usually sustain it even longer in concert.
  • "Run To the Hills" by Iron Maiden. You'll know the part.
    • "Hallowed Be Thy Name", too.
    • The first verse of the Title Track, "The Number of the Beast", is prefaced by a legendary scream Bruce Dickinson has not been able to match since, much less ordinary humans.
  • YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!
  • The last minute and 12 seconds of The Beatles' While My Guitar Gently Weeps consists of George Harrison singing Still my guitar gently weeeeeeeee-eeeeeeee-EEEEEEEE accompanied by his powerful guitar and his haunting Aaah... Aaah... and Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! which can be heard in the background.
    • Similarly, at the end of Harrison's "I Want To Tell You," George, John and Paul hold the word "time" well into the fade out.
  • Anastasia at the end of Journey to the Past has a long note which last at least 20 seconds
  • Pink Floyd's Sheep has many of these. ''MEEK AND OBEDIENT YOU FOLLOW THE LEADER DOWN WELL TRODDEN CORRIDORS INTO THE VALLEY OF STEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!'' The first two sentences of the verses end on a really long note that slowly morphs into an air horn. It's a really subtle and really cool effect, and you don't notice it until Roger's voice is completely unrecognizable.
  • A lot of barbershop songs end with a single held note (called a "post") and the other three parts resolving around it. YouTube multi-tracker Finey Leee demonstrates for your enjoyment. (34 seconds, for those wondering.)
    • And no mention of barbershop would be complete without a shout-out to Tim Waurick, who is no stranger to 30-second posts as seen here. (skip to 3:50)
  • Mabel introducing herself in The Pirates of Penzance, if the actress can pull it off.
  • When performing Styx's 'Suite Madame Blue', Dennis DeYoung seems to like doing this during the verse 'You've conquered the world, and mooooooooooore ... '. It's not drawn out on the studio version; it's only when live.
  • Barbra Streisand's final number in Yentl (Papa Can You Hear Me/A Piece of Sky); her last note clocks in at over 20 seconds. Babs in general is famous for these.
  • The Enchant song Pure features a sustained call of the word 'rain' for close to twenty five seconds, as heard here about 3:52 in.
  • The title song of Company has two ensemble verses, each ending with everybody singing "We looooooooooove you!" The second time around, the word "love" is sustained for at least a dozen bars (the exact number may depend on the production).
  • Melba Moore's 1982 hit "The Other Side Of The Rainbow": She holds the final note, at full volume, for an astonishing thirty-eight seconds.
  • The song "Kiss of the Spider Woman", in the version presented in the revue And the World Goes Round has two instances of a note scored to last over eight measures. The first, coming at the end of the first chorus, is often cut short for choreography or stylistic reasons, but the final note (a high G#) is an excellent opportunity for a strong male vocalist to hold one of these.
  • "Come Alive (War of the Roses)" by Janelle Monáe has this, notable for not only its length (twentyish seconds) but its incredibly high pitch.
  • Disney loves this. Notable examples include "Hellfire", "Bells of Notre Dame", "Out There", (noticed all three are from the same movie) "Go the Distance", "I Just Can't Wait to be King"...
    • The songs in The Hunchback of Notre Dame were written by Stephen Schwartz, who also wrote Wicked (above), so he seems to have a thing for this trope.
    • Aladdin has some incredibly long notes too, especially in "Prince Ali" and its Dark Reprise.
  • "I Want Out" by Helloween. After the solo, Michael Kiske sings "leave me aloooooooooooooooooone" for about 20 seconds, overdubbed over the chorus. Immediately after the note is over, Kiske's overdubbed chorus voice sings "to leave my life and to be freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-ohhhhhhh" for the last 13 seconds or so.
  • Masaaki Endoh's schtick in JAM Project, in Steel Messiah and 110000000 (from Niconico Douga Selection: Waste of Talent).
    • To say nothing of the truly EPIC one in JAM Project's cover of Omoide wa Okkusenman. GURAFITIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!!!!!!!
  • The Phantom of the Opera:
    • In both Phantom and its stage sequel Love Never Dies, the Phantom gets a long note to cap off his solo songs, "Music of the Night" and "Till I Hear You Sing" respectively.
    • In some live productions, the husband does this during the mock opera sequence 'Il Muto' (if the actor can handle it). "I shall not leave, but shall hide over there to obseeeeeeerve heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-(five minutes later)-eeeeeer." Bonus points for also being an incredibly low note. It often gets applause!
    • The last stretch of the title song involve Christine vocalising a series of very high and long notes, demonstrating (a) what the Phantom has taught her and (b) how he puts her in a near-hypnotised state. Being able to hold a clear and steady note at the proper pitch for so long means that Christine's part is only for the best sopranos.
    • "You will curse the day you did not doooooo all that the Phantom asked of yoooooooooooooooooooooooooooou!" (Some singers manage to hold that note for over 30 seconds...)
  • In the stage version of Mamma Mia!, Donna sings "The winner takes it aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall!" three times during said song's final chorus, with the third time usually lasting as long as the singer can hold the last note (the end of the song is quieter and much less powerful in the film version).
  • The last note of So Much Better in the musical adaptation of Legally Blonde ("I am so much better...than befoooooooooooooooooore!").
  • In Aida's The Gods Love Nubia, near the end, the ensemble sings "The spirit always burning though the flesh is torn..." followed by a pause in the music, and Aida finishes the line with "Apaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaart!".
    • If you listen carefully, Aida actually holds out "torn" for a while right before that note.
    • Also in Aida, the last note of Easy As Life.
  • Bill Withers's classic R&B single "Lovely Day" features extremely lengthy held notes whenever Withers is singing, "A lovely daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay," in the chorus. Including one which goes on for 18 seconds.
  • Sweet chi-aha-aha-aha-aha-aha-aha-ahild of miyiiiiiiiiiiiiiine~
    • And don't you cry... toniiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii-yah-yah-yaaaaaaaaahiiiiiiiiiiiiyaaaaaaaaahiiiiiiiiiiiiyaaaaaaaaahiiiiiiiiiiii...
      • Let's add that ridiculously long one in "I.R.S." on Chinese Democracy.
      • Arguably, what takes the cake is the final scream of "You Could Be Mine". Just when you think it's over Axl somehow manages to grow an additional lung and keeps going for a few more seconds.
  • RUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUN
  • DORAMATIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII-IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII-IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIKKU! [1]
  • One of the most well-known examples of this: "And IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII will always love yoooooooooouuuu..."
    • In the Dolly Parton original, it's more like "IIIIIIIII will alllllllll-waaaaaaaaaays love yoouuuu..."
  • Anthony Stewart Head, of all people, gets a tremendous one in Repo! The Genetic Opera, during the song Let The Monster Rise. Sarah Brightman, as seen below, also gets a few.
    • Also Terrance Zdunich's Graverobber, who holds an incredibly long screaming note, no less. Twice. GRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAVES
  • In the Tool song "The Grudge," singer Maynard Keenan holds a primal scream for 24 seconds, though it degrades significantly by the end. At concerts, the audio technicians loop the live scream back on itself so it lasts longer and causes less strain.
  • Warren Zevon enjoyed holding the last syllable of "Berkeley" in live versions of "Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner" — in the album version it's only 2-3 seconds, but on Learning to Flinch it's a good 17 seconds.
  • Hold your hammers HIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGH
  • Kitananx is pretty fond of this.
    • For example:
    Knoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo-hooooooo-hooo-hoooooow iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiits.—
    ...And then we'll do a battle, within the center of the miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii-iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiind!
    • And then he cranks it Up to Eleven with Break The Vase, which contains THREE incredibly long notes in the ending.
  • Counting Crows did this in the song "Sullivan Street."
  • TEN THOUSAND FISTS IN THE AAAI~AIII...AII-III-II AII~IIIR! TEN THOUSAND FISTS IN THE AIR!!
  • Bring me to Liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiffe
  • Boston's "More Than A Feeling". Particularly noticeable when the song keeps showing up in games like Karaoke Revolution and Rock Band.
    Till I see Marianne walk awaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa...
  • It is not uncommon for the actor playing Fyedka in productions of Fiddler on the Roof to see how long he can hold the "Laaaaaaaaaaaaaaazaaaaaaar" in "L'Chaim (To Life)" - with said actor usually holding it until the audience starts applauding. It is also not uncommon for betting to be going on backstage about when said actor will pass out.
  • TWO FOUR SIX OHHH OOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNEEEEEEEEEE!!!
    • "Now life has killed the dream I dreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeamed."
    • "THIS I SWEAR BY THE STAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARS!!"
    • "Bring... him... hooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooome."
  • "BIG! AAA~AND! LOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUD-ah!"
    • This actually got the electronic treatment to make it last a few more seconds, but it's still pretty sick.
  • The Prodigy's "Smack My Bitch Up" has a note sung by Shahin Bada (and almost certainly stretched out digitally) that lasts for 63 beats at approximately 132bpm, making it just under 30 seconds.
  • There is a film shown to high school music classes that has a segment by an oboe player, talking about how he used to ask children in classes he visited to try to hold their breath as long as he does as her plays the beginning of a Tchaikovsky piece. He then said he had to stop doing that particular demonstration after a child actually passed out.
  • Sonata Arctica's "Draw Me" — twice.
  • Roza Rymbaeva draws it out in "Alia". "AAAAAALIIIIIIAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! Aru qyzy sen khaaaaalqyyyyyymnyyyyyn! AAAAAALIIIIIIAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! Batyr qyzy sen khaaaaalqyyyyymnyyyyyn! Yerke kusy sen daaaalaaaamyyyyn! AAAAAALIIIIIAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!"
  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street has a lot of these:
    • At the end of the first "Ballad of Sweeney Todd"
    • Sweeney has an epic one (upwards of 20 seconds) at the end of the quartet of Johanna, and most of the stage Sweeneys pull it off rather well. Johnny Depp? Not so much.
    • Johanna and Anthony have ALOT of these.
    • The Beadle has about 3 in "Ladies and Their Sensitivities"
    • Also Pirelli. Oh Lord, Pirelli.
  • What, no one's heard Clay Aiken's rendition of Solitaire?
    • An even better example: his and Ruben Studdard's duet of Jesus is Love wherein Clay held a note at full belt for 22 seconds.
  • Craig Morgan, "Love Remembers". He practically screams the last "remembers" and holds it for 15 seconds.
  • Hal Ketchum holds out the last "keep your mansions of gooooooooooold" at the end of "I Know Where Love Lives", complete with a very impressive vibrato.
  • Jeff Buckley makes a "Hallelujah" last 23 seconds in, wait for it, Hallelujah.
  • In the Bonzo Dog Band's "My Pink Half of the Drainpipe", Vivian Stanshall, voicing his irritation at his boring, normal neighbor, ends on a held note that goes on and on and gets looped so it stays at the same tone and volume going on and on while the music behind it stops and it keeps going on and on until the track abruptly ends.
  • Kalinka via the Red Army Choir has a number of long held notes, but the longest (starting @ 3:15) goes for 26 seconds.
  • Barenaked Ladies. Steven Page. "Break Your Heart."
    Yoooooooour heaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaart!
  • Muse have their cover of Prague, with an 18-second long vocal note.
  • Seryoga! Seryoogaa! Seryooogaa! Seryoogaaa! Seryoooogaaaaa!
  • Near the middle of the Meshuggah song "Sum," vocalist Jens Kidman holds a scream from the Uncanny Valley that lasts for over 30 seconds.
    • A scream? More like a ten billion ton nuclear assault formed into human voice.
  • NintendoCapriSun of The Runaway Guys yells "LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLE!" during a Super Smash Bros. game. He drags the last syllable of "Rumble" out for at least ten seconds. And he could've kept going, but he dissolved into laughter and interrupted himself. Needless to say, the others are dumbfounded.
    "What else can you do, Tim?!"
    • Here he holds a note for 31 seconds.
  • in למה את לא עונה לי (Why Won't You Answer Me?) the Israeli singer Yoni Bloh does a very long "WHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHY?!''
  • During the final choral movement of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, he makes the sopranos hold a note long enough to make them pass out.
  • Inspector Hans Kemp has one near the end of "He's Loose" in the musical version of Young Frankenstein, and the entire chorus holds one at the end of the same song.
    • But only on the CD.
  • Sara Bareilles's Come Round Soon, at about 2:19. Gives me goosebumps every time.
  • Some performers like to hold a long note over the crescendo of "Gethsemane" in "Jesus Christ Superstar". One outstanding example - Steve Balsamo.
  • "Like a bat out of heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeellllll!" In his prime, Meat Loaf was great at this.
  • Air Supply's "I'm all out of love, what am I without you? I can't be too late TO SAY THAT I WAS SO WROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG!"
  • Freddy Curci of Sheriff holds a falsetto YOOOOOOOOOUUUUU for 26 seconds at the end of "When I'm With You."
  • The last note of "Meditation No. 1" from the musical version of Shenandoah. "For as long as the Lord will allow," indeed.
  • Joe Elliott holds a note in the live version of "Make Love Like A Man" that is utterly incredible.
  • The only thing anyone can ever agree on about Fall Out Boy: "The Take Over, The Break's Over" has a really awesome long note in the middle of it, and it is glorious.
  • Beeiiiiiiiiiiiiing AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE!!!!!!!!! Damn it, Raul Esparza!
  • In Mexican soccer games, people frequently score GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO-AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLs!
    • All of Latin America, actually. A football championship between musicians on MTV Brazil even parodied this, with the announcer interrupting the "GOOOOAAAAALLLL!" to speak a few things in-between.
  • Florence + the Machine in "No Light, No Light", with Florence holding the note from the end of the bridge to the final chorus.
  • In a slightly more subtle example, Dave Grohl in the song Monkey Wrench starts a rant with "One last thing..." coming out of the bridge and finishes with a long-held "freeeeee" — the entire thing is done without a pause for breath and is over twenty seconds of shouting. This was almost certainly done through editing; it's notable that in live performances, Dave never has enough breath to get through the whole thing.
  • In "Birdsong" by Tomahawk, Mike Patton holds a ridiculously long "say" near the end of the song (about the four-minute mark).
  • A lot of artists on The Voice tend to drag out the last note of their performances as long as possible in a last-ditch attempt to try and get the judges to turn around. In this example auditionee Ruth Brown holds the last note of "When Love Takes Over" for an astonishing 16 seconds - and it convinces Tom Jones to pick her.
  • On the oficially released live version of Joan Crawford has Risen from the Grave, Eric Bloom of the Blue Öyster Cult holds the last note of "Joan Crawford has rissssssssssssseeeeennnnnnnnnnnn....." for an unfeasibly long time, finishing on a suffocated gasp before Allen Lanier's piano outro.
  • Farinelli: The title character, an 18th-century castrato, is able to hold a high note so long, he causes women in the audience to swoon. At one point he deliberately holds it long enough to give Haendel a heart attack.
  • During one of the Three Tenors shows Luciano Pavarotti hyper-extends a note during a performance of "O Sole Mio." The other two mock him for this in the next verse.
  • During Kiss's MTV Unplugged concert, the band actually stops playing for a while so Paul Stanley can drag out a high note during "I Still Love You."
  • Non-music example: The Arsenio Hall Show announcer Burton Richardson's claim to fame is announcing him as "ARSENIOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO HALL!"
  • British choral singer Ruth Brown auditioned for The Voice UK with "When Love Takes Over". The apex of her audition includes a single, perfect note held for a full 31 seconds. Don't think that's very long? You try it.
  • Pokemon, believe it or not, have a couple, even if they don't have any lyrics or anything. Examples are: R/S/E's Gym Leader Battle, Champion Battle; D/P/Pt's Route 212, Rival Battle; and B2/W2's remix of the Kanto's Gym Leader Battle (even though previous remixes have a shorter long note), and also Ghetsis' Battle remix. The longest and highest note of all Pokemon history (so far) is Reshiram/Zekrom's Battle theme, which the third to last part of the song ends with one that goes for 17 FUCKING SECONDS.

    Musicians 
  • Amy Lee of Evanescence uses this trope so much.
  • Anthony Warlow
  • Koshi Inaba of B'z is a master of this, especially live. In fact, it's pretty much a tradition for him to hold a note in middle of their song "Juice" when played live. During their 20th anniversary, he manage to hold a note for 22 seconds.
  • Axl Rose, usually at the end of a song.
  • Freddie Mercury. Ludicrously so in the rising "whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?!" in "Under Pressure".
  • Barbra Streisand
  • Céline Dion
  • Christina Aguilera will throw one of these in occasionally.
  • Montserrat Caballé is the operatic patron saint of this trope, available for loud (which everyone can do in opera) and soft (which is extremely hard to do) high notes on demand.
  • Jan Peerce.
  • The late Luciano Pavarotti.
  • Joan Sutherland. A legendary recording of Turandot had her facing up to Pavarotti, with Pavarotti winning by a couple of seconds.
  • Franco Corelli
  • Birgit Nilsson, especially when paired against Franco Corelli.
  • Leontyne 'glory of my own sound' Price
  • Rockwell Blake
  • Leona Lewis
  • Mariah Carey
  • Pretty much every singer who uses the "high pitched wail" form of Metal Scream.
  • Bruce "Air Raid Siren" Dickinson
  • Michael Crawford
  • Patti Labelle
  • Ramin Karimloo
  • Peter Hammill
  • Sarah Brightman
  • Shirley. FREAKING. Bassey.
  • Simon Gallaher
  • Tarja Turunen, former lead singer for Nightwish
  • Tom Jones
  • Whitney Houston
  • Roza Rymbaeva
  • Patti LuPone
  • Kenny G holds the world record for the longest saxophone note—he did it via circular breathing.
  • Jessica Simpson, especially on her third album In this Skin.
  • Corrine Drewery of Swing Out Sister, usually as an act of improvisation in live concerts, as she revealed in this interview
  • Doug Walker. Admit it, singers, when he carried out that long note in the 2011 holiday message special and looked bored, you wanted to hit him.
  • Marvin Junior, of the Dells.
  • Savage Garden's Hex Hector remix of "Animal Song"

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