Bridge (music)

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Entry into the bridge of the bossa nova title The Girl from Ipanema: clear departure from the basic key

As Bridge [ bɹɪdʒ ] ( English for " bridge "), a characteristic about conducting molding in is jazz , pop , rock , metal , electronic dance music and hip-hop called.

To the subject

The English word "Bridge" has, corresponding to the German word "Brücke", several meanings; What they all have in common is the meaning “connection via a separation”, which is also relevant here.

Stylistic overview

A conventional 32-bar “ chorus ” (a run of a jazz standard ) is in the song form AABA; the B part leaving the basic key is called bridge. This blueprint is often changed in its proportions: The bossa nova title The Girl from Ipanema has the usual 8-bar A section, but a 16-bar, diversely modulating bridge (“Oh, but I watch her so sadly ... ").

Many pop numbers also have an AABA form. The song Yesterday by Paul McCartney, for example, has a 7-bar A-section and an 8-bar bridge ("Why she had to go I don't know ...").

Other pop numbers and numerous rock songs use a different construction: at the beginning, verse and chorus alternate (“ Verse ” and, in a different meaning than above, “Chorus”); then follows the bridge, a molded part that stands out melodically , harmonically and in sound from its surroundings; finally the refrain sounds again, often several times. This avoids the fatigue effect that may arise after hearing the verse and chorus two or more times.

In English, certain parts of classical music are called “bridge passage”, especially the so-called transition between main and side ideas in the sonata form .


The word bridge can occasionally also mean the “pre-chorus”: the last bars of the stanza immediately before the chorus, provided that they form an independent formal section with a transitional function. An insert with a subdividing function at the end of a formal section (such as the start of the spaceship in David Bowie's Space Oddity ), on the other hand, should not be described as a bridge but as a break .

See also

Wiktionary: bridge  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: Brücke  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Hans Heinrich Eggebrecht (Ed.): Riemann-Musiklexikon. Material part . Mainz 1967. Article “Chorus”.
  2. Axel Jungbluth : Jazz harmony theory. Functional harmony and modality . Mainz 1981. p. 45.
  3. Masen Abou-Dakn : Writing lyrics - craft and dramaturgy of songwriting . Berlin 2006. p. 156 ff.
  4. ^ Stanley Sadie (ed.): The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians . London 1989. Article "Bridge passage".