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Ideas and Advice for Real Songwriters (formerly songwright.co.uk)

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Gary Ewer on Tension and Release

Gary Ewer has a great post on tension and release in songwriting:

What keeps a listener listening? If you can’t answer that you’ll be relegated to the dust-heap of music history, along with all the other songs that listeners got bored with. The answer to the question? It’s tension, then release, that keep listeners listening.

It’s a great post and well worth reading. If I was going to add to it I would say, as I often do, that the whole V to I tension has been done to death and is best avoided, particularly in the major scale. My preference would be to try something modal fo example the tension between F and E minor in E phyrgian.

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