In recent years, it seems that the bridge in modern songs is disappearing, leaving many to wonder what that means for the future of music. The bridge, which typically comes after the second chorus and serves as a way to break up the repetitive nature of the song, has been a staple of music for decades. So what happened? Why is it seemingly becoming less common? And with charting songs such as “Watermelon Sugar” by Harry Styles and “Levitating” by Dua Lip opting to do away with the bridge, what would this mean for inspiring songwriters?
One reason for the disappearance of the bridge in modern songs could be the increasing focus on hooks and the need for instant gratification in the age of streaming. Many artists are looking for that one catchy hook that will get people’s attention and keep them coming back for more. In this fast-paced environment, the bridge, which often takes more time to develop and can feel like a departure from the main melody, may be seen as an unnecessary obstacle to achieving that goal.
Additionally, the rise of genres that often rely on loops and repetitive beats may be contributing to the disappearance of the bridge. These genres often prioritize a consistent, hypnotic groove over the more traditional song structure that features a distinct bridge section.
While there are certainly examples of successful songs that don’t include a bridge, it’s worth noting that some of the most iconic and memorable songs in music history do feature a bridge. For example, “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen, “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey, and “Yesterday” by The Beatles all include distinct and memorable bridge sections.
For aspiring songwriters, the disappearance of the bridge may mean the need to get creative with song structures and find new ways to break up the repetitive nature of a song. Perhaps incorporating a breakdown section or adding unexpected instrumentation could serve a similar purpose. It’s important to remember that songwriting is an art form, and there are no hard and fast rules for what makes a song great.
It’s also worth considering that the disappearance of the bridge in popular music may not necessarily be a permanent trend. As with any aspect of music, trends come and go, and it’s possible that the bridge will make a comeback in the future.
In the meantime, it’s important for songwriters to stay true to their own artistic vision and not get too caught up in following trends with modern songs. While it may be tempting to try to replicate the success of a hit song that lacks a bridge, it’s important to remember that what makes a song great is often a combination of factors, including melody, lyrics, instrumentation, and overall structure. Music is constantly evolving, and ultimately, a great song isn’t determined by the presence of a bridge or a lack thereof.