Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History Daily: The hook

When discussing specific songs, we often hear people talk about “the hook.”  What is “the hook?” 

This is the emphasized catchy bit of the song.  It can be music or melody or lyrics or a combination of all three.  Everything comes together in a short burst of music that sticks in your head–the thing you remember–and becomes the main identifier of the song–and is the part most people are likely to sing along with.  It could be in the chorus or it could be the opening riff. 

Or it could be a musical figure that repeats throughout a track.  The hook can be pleasant–or it can be really annoying. 

Whatever: songwriters are always looking for hooks.  They know that if they can find something that will roll around in your head long after the song is done, they’ve, well, hooked you.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38321 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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