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Miniscule Rocking
Epic Rocking is the trope for really long songs. This trope is the opposite. Miniscule Rocking is when a song is unusually short, either by normal standards or the band's standards (or, in many cases, both). Yet, much like Epic Rocking, these songs will frequently contain no lyrics - after all, it's hard to fit meaningful lyrics into a piece that only lasts 30 seconds.

Songs like this are frequently found on Concept Albums and Rock Operas, where they usually serve as transitions between different scenes or movements.

Of course, if you have a band that specialises in songs of Epic Rocking length, a song of normal length by everyone else standards would, for them, be an example of this trope.

Needs a Better Description.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

     Rock 
  • Sparklehorse's first 2 albums had plenty of this trope, with "850 Double Pumper Holley", "Little Bastard Choo Choo", "Ballad of a Cold Lost Marble", "Box of Stars" (a 1:20 song split into 2 uneven parts) and "Good Morning Spider".
  • Muse have "Intro" and "Interlude" from Absolution, at 0:19 and 0:38 respectively. Let's not forget the Starlight Hidden Track, either.
  • The Beatles have the 0:32 Sgt. Pepper Inner Groove, the 0:23 "Her Majesty" and the 0:41 "Maggie Mae".
  • The appropriately named "Tiny Little Song" by Barenaked Ladies.
  • Most of the songs that comprise "Fingertips" by They Might Be Giants. From the wiki: "Fingertips" is a series of twenty-one short tracks ranging in duration from four to sixty-one seconds (although most of them are under fifteen), totaling four minutes and thirty-five seconds. Also "Theme From Flood" and "Minimum Wage".
    • They've pretty much clinched the career achievement award for this. Over nearly three decades of recording their longest song (not counting remixes or live tracks) clocks in at a mere 4:39 ("They Got Lost").
    • After several albums with pretty average track-lengths throughout, Nanobots had them including some extremely short songs again - the shortest track being the six second "Hive Mind", and several others being under a minute long. The official music video for "Insect Hospital" is actually a video for tracks 13-18 from the album in full, and is a little under three minutes long.
  • Several songs from The Who's Tommy- "It's a Boy", "Miracle Cure". All of the "adverts" in The Who Sell Out.
  • "Old Mother Reagan" by Violent Femmes (0:38).
  • "Lily of the Valley" by Queen. 1 minute and 43 seconds of pure epicness. "Dear Friends" and "Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon" also fit into this trope. Coincidentally, all 3 were written by Freddie Mercury.
  • Coldplay have "Parachutes" (0:46) and "Postcards from Far Away" (0:48). Their album Mylo Xyloto adds 3 mood-setting pieces: the title track, "M.M.I.X" and "A Hopeful Transmission".
  • Relient K has done many of these songs, which usually have the longest titles of any of their tracks. For example, The Only Thing Worse That Beating A Dead Horse Is Betting On One is a little over a minute. This trope is lampshaded with the song Crayons Can Melt On Us For All I Care, in which lead singer Matt Thiessen sings "I just wasted ten seconds of your life." And yes, this track is little over ten seconds.
  • Pearl Jam's "Pry, To", "Lukin", and "Red Dot" (that track on Yield that has a little red dot in place of a title) are all just a little longer than a minute. "Pry, To" and "Red Dot" have one line repeated over a few times, but "Lukin" actually fits in two whole verses of lyrics, due to Eddie Vedder using some fairly impressive motormouth skills.
  • A couple of songs from U2's Rattle and Hum - Freedom For My People and The Star Spangled Banner.
  • R.E.M. have "Underneath the Bunker", at 1:27 - longer than most of the examples here, but still arguably short enough to count (normal R.E.M song length being around 4 minutes).
  • "The Enemies" and "Untitled" by Everything Else are both under three minutes. Not extremely short, but they are compared to the other songs on the album.
  • "Little Room" from The White Stripes. It has lyrics (a single verse), and isn't especially short for a band that mostly produces 2-3 minute songs, but it still weighs in at only 53 seconds long.
  • Modest Mouse's Sad Sappy Sucker has ten tracks that are under a minute long and two that are under two minutes. Granted, nine of those are bonus demos that Isaac Brock recorded on an answering machine and thus couldn't be all that long. They've done this a few times since: Good News For People Who Love Bad News has "Dig Your Grave" (0:13), "Interlude (Milo)" (0:58)note  and "Horn Intro"note  (0:09)
  • Bush's "X-Girlfriend" closes out Sixteen Stone with exactly 45 seconds of the line "you only call me when you're down" set to a simple, punk-ish riff. They were probably going for deliberate anticlimax, because the second-to-last song, "Alien" is six minutes long and thus the closest thing the album has to Epic Rocking.
  • Julia Nunes' Settle Down has a trio of short songs she's referred to as "vignettes": "He Is Mad" (52 seconds), "I Wasn't Worried" (57 seconds) and "Pizza" (23 seconds).
  • The Soul Coughing B-Side "Theme From Rachel's Sitcom" is just over a minute long, probably in keeping with the whole mock-tv-show-theme thing.
  • Weezer's "Evaline" is forty four seconds long, although it's a cover of a barbershop song with no known author. At the time the band were learning such material to practice harmonizing with each other, so they decided it'd be fun to record one and put it out as a B-Side.
  • Linkin Park's "Foreword" from Meteora (a 13-second intro) and about 5 songs from both A Thousand Suns and Reanimation, as well as "Wake" from Minutes to Midnight and, now that we know the track lengths, "Tinfoil" and "Victimized" from the upcoming album Living Things... yeah, Linkin Park like this trope.
  • This is Guided By Voices' main shtick.
  • The Frogs' "Who's Sucking On Grandpa's Balls Since Grandma Ain't Home Tonight?" is 11 seconds long. As you might expect, the only lyric the song has is the title itself.
  • The Vaccines' first album contains two - "Wreckin' Bar (Ra Ra Ra)" and "Norgaard" at 1:21 and 1:38 respectively.
  • Although not much of a song, Led Zeppelin's "LA Drone", serving as a live intro to "Immigrant Song", has a length of 0:15.
  • Sun, Sun, Sun by The Elected is book-ended by "Clouds Parting (8:14 A. M.)" and "At Home (Time Unknown)", which respectively clock in at 44 seconds and 41 seconds. However, the latter is really just a reprise of the former but with a different arrangement.
  • Pillar's "Intro" is a whopping 10.3 seconds.
  • Tenacious D has a lot of short songs clocking in under two minutes. Brevity is wit, indeed.
  • Swans's Love of Life has several short untitled segue tracks, the shortest one clocking in at 0:17. See also the early songs "Freak" (1:14) and "You Need Me" (1:23).
  • The Eraserheads have "Hoinky-Toinks Granny" in Ultraelectromagneticpop. It's 1 minute and 11 seconds long. That's long, considering the other examples here, but in comparison to their other songs, it isn't really that long.

     Progressive Rock/Metal 
  • Yes have an example that is both kinds of this trope, Five Per Cent For Nothing, at 0:35 - extremely short for any band, and Yes are known for producing such 20-minute epics as Close to the Edge. There's also "We Have Heaven" (1:40) and "White Car" (1:21) which are mainly examples of the second kind.
  • "Vacant" by Dream Theater, which is on an album with five songs clocking over ten minutes, is a variation on the second kind.
    • Also, Dream Theater's "Wait for Sleep" fits in the second category as a song of 2:32 sandwiched between a 7-minute song and an 11-minute song, with only one other song under 5 minutes on the entire album.
    • Scenes From a Memory has "Regression" (2:06) and "Through My Words" (1:02).
  • Occasionally seen on Tool albums ("Mantra", "Lipan Conjuring", etc.)
  • King Crimson has the three Peace songs from In the Wake of Poseidon.
  • Several from Pink Floyd, including "Bring the Boys back Home" (0:51) and the second part of "A New Machine" (0:39).
    • The first is one of three in The Wall (along with "Goodbye Cruel World" (1:17) and "Stop" (0:30)).
  • Rush has one, the song BU2B2 on the album Clockwork Angels.
    • "Malignant Narcissism" and "Hope" from Snakes and Arrows also qualify, being instrumentals that barely top 2 minutes on an album full of songs longer than 6 minutes.

     Grindcore 
  • Grindcore in general is infamous for this.
  • "You Suffer" by Napalm Death, which clocks in at a whole 1.316 seconds. Officially holds the record for "shortest song ever".
  • Altered States of America, by Agoraphobic Nosebleed, is an entire Miniscule Album - not one (non-hidden) song reaches the 1-minute mark, unless you count the extra CD included in the re-release. Indeed, there's barely a song in the band's entire discography that doesn't fit this trope.
  • Much of the discography of Anal Cunt falls into this category. They have had songs which have lasted as short as 8 seconds.

     Other Metal 
  • Dethklok have the 34-second long hidden track Deththeme.
  • PSA by Nuclear Assault.
  • "Invocation of Apocalyptic Evil" by DragonForce - 14 seconds of keyboard filler starting off their first album.
  • The Korn album Issues has several songs that are only 1-2 minutes long, including "Dead" (1:12), "4U" (1:42), "It's Gonna Go Away" (1:29), "Am I Going Crazy" (1:00), and "Wish You Could Be Me" (1:07).
    • "Twist" from Life is Peachy is 49 seconds long.
  • The "SGNL" tracks from the Isis album Celestial
  • Most of the tracks from the Fredrik Thorendal's Special Defects album Sol Niger Within are around a minute or two long.
  • The Hidden Track on KMFDM's Nihil.
  • "Death Prank" by Municipal Waste is a mere 11 seconds.
  • "Diamonds and Rust (Extended Version)" from Stormtroopers Of Death is about 4 seconds long and homages Judas Priest's cover of the Joan Baez song "Diamonds and Rust".
  • Sepultura has a lot of these on their albums with Derrick Green. The album Against has 3 songs under 2 minutes. Nation has 'Revolt' and 'Human Cause', which both clock in at just under 1 minute. 'Activist' on Roorback clocks in at just under 2 minutes as well.
  • Of the ten tracks from the Slayer album Reign in Blood, only three are over 3 minutes in length. The shortest, Necrophobic, clocks in at brief 1:40.
  • GWAR's "Fishfuck" is 30 seconds.
  • Black Sabbath has several short intros to many of their songs, listed as separate songs, the shortest of which are are "Embryo" at 0:28 (intro to "Children of the Grave"), "The Dark" at 0:45 (intro to "Zero the Hero") and "FX" at 1:43 (intro to "Supernaut"). A short non-intro song is "Orchid" at 1:31.
  • The Stormtroopers of Death, a side project two members of Music/Anthrax, a former member, and somebody else, has a lot of these. The "Ballad of [dead musician]," for example, is several songs that are a distinctive part of a hit song by a dead musician (the opening chords to Purple Haze, for example) followed by "You're dead."
  • Gama Bomb have the sub 20 seconds Nuke the skeets.
  • Christian rock band Stryper perform a short but awesome version of Battle Hymn Of The Republic (Mine eyes have seen the glory...") which lasts barely 2 minutes. But it's a magnificent chunk of rock all the same.
  • Given their reputation for Epic Rocking, Nile actually does quite a bit of this too:
    • From ''Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka comes "Kudurru Maqlu" at 1:05 and "Pestilence and Iniquity" at 1:54.
    • From Black Seeds of Vengeance comes "Invocation of the Gate of Aat-Ankh-Es-En-Amenti" at 43 seconds and "Libation Unto the Shades Who Lurk in the Shadows of the Temple of Anhur" at 1:32.
    • From Annihilation of the Wicked comes "Dusk Falls Upon the Temple of the Serpent on the Mount of Sunrise" at 51 seconds and "Spawn of Uamenti" at 1:14.
    • From Ithyphallic comes "The Infinity of Stone" at 2:04.
    • From Those Whom The Gods Detest comes "Yezd Desert Ghul Ritual in the Abandoned Towers of Silence" at 2:33.
    • From At The Gate Of Sethu comes "Slaves of Xul" at 1:24 and "Ethno-Musicological Cannibalisms" at 1:40.

     Comedy and Fake Bands 
  • "This Song" by Barry and the Bookbinders.
  • "Harvey the Wonder Hamster" by "Weird Al" Yankovic is 0:26 seconds long.
    • Also, "Bite Me", the 15-second hidden track from Off the Deep End, which is an homage to "Endless, Nameless" from Nirvana's Nevermind.
    • And from UHF, there's "Let Me Be You Hog", which is 17 seconds long.
  • "The Tony Award Song" from [title of show], due to Musicalis Interruptus.
  • Presumably most songs by Crash and the Boys, most egregiously I'm So Sad, So Very, Very, Sad.
  • "Power Of The Power Of The Power (Of The Great Sword)" by Nanowar Of Steel, which is eight seconds long and contains solely of the band yelling the title.
  • Possibly the king of this trope, Psychostick, with their World's Shortest Song
  • Liam Lynch's "United States of Whatever" was, until 2007, the shortest song to appear inside the top 10 of the UK Singles chart. It is 1:26 minutes long.

     Punk 
  • Punk rock was intended to embody this trope, as opposed to its progressive contemporaries.
  • "Am I punk Yet?" by the Electro Hippies.
  • Green Day sometimes dip into this, with "Take Back" and "Song of the Century," as well as The Eleven O'Clock Number trio on Dookie, "Coming Clean," "Emenius Sleepus," and "In the End."
    • American Idiot came to be after they decided to turn Miniscule Rocking into Epic Rocking by stitching a few fragmental songs into a suite, "Homecoming". They also did this with "Jesus of Suburbia" on the same album.
  • Five Iron Frenzy has a lot of these. The straightest examples were "Shut Up", "I Still Like Larry"note , and their cover version of Vengeance Rising's "Receive Him". There was also the eight-part "These Are Not My Pants", where all but one part were less than an minute long. Then there are songs that are ridiculously short on the studio albums but longer at live shows (like "When I Go Out" or "Pootermobile"), or vice versa (like "Kingdom of the Dinosaurs").
  • Dead Kennedys have done this at least twice, with "A Child and His Lawnmower" (0:54) and the Lampshade Hanging "Short Songs" (0:20, prefaced with "Rick Wakeman, eat your heart out!").
  • Descendents have quite a few songs that are under a minute, but the shortest include "I Like Food" (0:16) and "Weinerschnitzel" (0:10). And then there's "All!" and "No, All!", both of which are five second tracks with one second of music, and have only their title phrases for lyrics.
  • The punk compilation Short Music For Short People is themed around this, and the tracks average out to be around 30 seconds each: It manages to fit 101 songs by 101 different bands on one 48 minute album. Yes, CD's have a maximum of 99 tracks, but they got around this by putting the last three songs all on the same track.
  • Possibly inspired by the Descendents examples above, Darkbuster have "Jerk", "You Jerk", and "You Fucking Jerk": All are under 10 seconds long and have only their respective titles for lyrics. Other incredibly short songs of theirs are "Lenny's A Drunk" (0:07) and "FMGMS" (0:12).
  • "I Say Fuck" by the Supersuckers is a succinct 46 seconds long.
  • Short Attention Span by the Fizzy Bangers.
    Why can’t people understand? I got a short attention span. A short attention span.note 
  • Wire's first album, Pink Flag, contains a number of very short, very fast songs, the briefest being the 0:28 "Field Day for the Sundays". What makes this particularly notable is that Hardcore Punk, as a genre, did not exist when any of these songs were written. Their second album, Chairs Missing also had a few songs under two minutes. Amusingly, the record label thought one of these tracks, "Outdoor Miner", had a decent shot at being a crossover hit on pop radio—and the edited-for-radio version of the track was longer than the album version.
  • Minor Threat launched the Straight Edge subgenre with the song of the same name, and is less than 50 seconds long
  • The Minutemen did this frequently; their band name referenced their tendency of writing songs roughly a minute in length. Their first album is 15 minutes in length and features 18 songs. Their average song length increased to around a minute and a half to two minutes when they added things like guitar solos and choruses to their music, but they rarely surpassed the three minute mark.
  • The Gerogerigege are notorious for their music's intense brevity and abrasiveness and have gone so far as to release a 30-minute long album consisting of 75 tracks and condensing what may or may not be a cover of The Cure's "Boys Don't Cry" into 20 seconds.
  • The majority of songs by Cerebral Ballzy are under two minutes, with some just below or barely above the one minute mark.
  • Sum 41 lampshaded this by titling their first album "Half Hour of Power".

     Avant Garde 
  • The Residents' Commercial Album consists of 40 one-minute songs.

    Folk / Folk-Rock 
  • Sufjan Stevens' Illinois has a number of brief tracks (with overly-long titles like "A Short Reprise For Mary Todd, Who Went Insane, But For Very Good Reasons" or "One Last 'Whoo-hoo!' For The Pullman") ranging from 8 to 48 seconds long, which basically just serve as a coda for the preceding track. For some of these, you'd have to pay attention to your music player to even notice that they're a separate track.
  • Danielson: The first and last tracks of the double-album Tri-Danielson!!! are 22 seconds long, and just consist of a crowd cheering and shouting the album title.
  • Matt Nathanson's song "Angel" is about 1 1/2 minutes long, while most of his songs are more "standard" length. It also has lyrics.
  • The 1969 Bob Dylan album Nashville Skyline has 10 songs, with the longest being 3:41 and the shortest 1:32, with the entire album clocking in at 27:14. In comparison, his next album, the widely panned Self Portrait, is 73:15.
  • A 1964 version of "Little Boxes" by a group called The Womenfolk is exactly 1:00 long and holds the record for the shortest song to ever make the Billboard Hot 100.

    Soundtracks 
  • The Halo 3 soundtrack has "Legend" (0:43, for a small hidden scene after the credits) and the 0:29 "Movement" (which doesn't seem to have any reason for being there).
    • The first game's soundtrack had "Shadows", a 59-second Psycho Strings track that was even shorter in the actual game.
  • A huge number of songs from the Homeworld soundtrack, mostly for the small between-level cutscenes. They actually help hold the soundtrack together as an album rather well.
  • "Vitamin A", "Vitamin B", and "Vitamin C" from the Cowboy Bebop soundtrack were used for eyecatches in the anime and are less than 10 seconds long.
  • The Magicka : Vietnam soundtrack has "Welcome to the 'nam" , a song that is less than two minutes long and inspired by Chuck Berry's Johhny B. Goode.
  • I'm so sad so very very sad [1] from the Scott Pilgrim movie.
  • By most people's definition of "short", the vast majority of playable tracks in the BEMANI series fall under this, lasting typically around 90 seconds to two minutes, up to 2:30 in rare cases. However, "Thank You For Playing" from the console version of GuitarFreaks & Drummania V3 is a shining example of this trope; it is a playable track that lasts only five seconds.
  • Tenacious D's "Destiny" and "The Divide" are both transition pices from the movie and last around half a minute.
  • Strong Bad Sings and Other Type Hits has several songs that are less than a minute, and only three songs pass the three-minute mark.

     Other 
  • "They Got The Mustard Out" from the Buffy Musical Episode
  • Many a reprise in musicals in general.
  • Also, a great many openers and interludes.
  • Skinny Puppy did many minute or less length pieces, such as "Brap" on Remission, "Christianity" on Bites, and "Rain" on Rabies.
  • Short tracks on rap albums are more likely to be skits or interludes, but Ice-T's O.G. Original Gangster includes a few songs with actual rapping on them that are under two minutes: "Ziplock" is a minute and 20 seconds, "The House" is 57 seconds, and "Prepared To Die" is 39 seconds of rapid-fire a capella rapping.
  • George Strait's "Heartland", "The Big One", "We Really Shouldn't Be Doing This" and "Don't Make Me Come Over There and Love You" are just over 2 minutes each. They were released in 1993, 1994, 1998 and 2001, respectively, and are both unusually short for any era.
  • Likewise with Tracy Byrd's "Drinkin' Bone" in 2003…
  • and Clint Black's "One More Payment" in 1991…
  • and Garth Brooks' "Longneck Bottle" in 1997…
  • and Joe Nichols' "What's a Guy Gotta Do" in 2005…
  • and Diamond Rio's "Unbelievable" in 1998.
  • BECK does this every now and then.
    • On his earliest releases (Golden Feelings, A Western Harvest Field by Moonlight, Stereopathetic Soulmanure, and his home demos), most of his songs were two minutes or shorter.
    • Likewise, on One Foot in the Grave, the longest song is three and a half minutes, with a majority of tracks around the two minute mark.
  • Songs To Wear Pants To used to have a rule that all songs produced for the site would be a maximum of one minute and eleven seconds in length. Songs that are incredibly short even for those standards include "Don't Feel Bad" and "A Bug Fell In Love With A Cat".
  • The shortest song to hit #1 on the Billboard charts is "Stay" by Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs from 1960 (1:37). The shortest Top 40 hit was Duane Eddy's 1959 instrumental "Some Kind-A Earthquake" (1:17).
  • One of the shortest classical music pieces, if not the shortest, is the 2nd movement of J.S. Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G Major. Most performances of the movement last 15 seconds or less.


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