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An instrumental is a recording without any vocals, although it might include some inarticulate vocals, such as shouted backup vocals in a Big Band setting. Through semantic widening, a broader sense of the word song may refer to instrumentals.The music is primarily or exclusively produced using musical instruments. An instrumental can exist in music notation, after it is written by a composer; in the mind of the composer (especially in cases where the composer themselves will perform the piece, as in the case of a blues solo guitarist or a folk music fiddle player); as a piece that is performed live by a single instrumentalist or a musical ensemble, which could range in components from a duo or trio to a large Big Band, concert band or orchestra.
In a song that is otherwise sung, a section that is not sung but which is played by instruments can be called an instrumental interlude, or, if it occurs at the beginning of the song, before the singer starts to sing, an instrumental introduction. If the instrumental section highlights the skill, musicality, and often the virtuosity of a particular performer (or group of performers), the section may be called a "solo" (e.g., the guitar solo that is a key section of heavy metal music and hard rock songs). If the instruments are percussion instruments, the interlude can be called a percussion interlude or "percussion break". These interludes are a form of break in the song.
In commercial popular music, instrumental tracks are sometimes renderings, remixes of a corresponding release that features vocals, but they may also be compositions originally conceived without vocals. One example of a genre in which both vocal/instrumental and solely instrumental songs are produced is blues. A blues band often uses mostly songs that have lyrics that are sung, but during the band's show, they may also perform instrumental songs which only include electric guitar, harmonica, upright bass/electric bass and drum kit.
The opposite of instrumental music, that is, music for voices alone, without any accompaniment instruments, is a cappella, an Italian phrase that means "in the chapel". In early music, instruments such as trumpet and drums were considered outdoor instruments, and music for inside a chapel typically used quieter instruments, voices, or just voices alone. A capella music exists in both Classical music choir pieces (for choir without any accompanist piano or pipe organ) and in popular music styles such as doo wop groups and Barbershop quartets. For genres in which a non-vocal song or interlude is conceived using computers and software, rather than with acoustic musical instruments or electronic musical instruments, the term instrumental is still used for it.
|Frenesi||Artie Shaw||US||December 21, 1940|
|Song of the Volga Boatmen||Glenn Miller||US||March 19, 1941|
|Piano Concerto in B Flat||Freddy Martin||US||October 4, 1941|
|A String of Pearls||Glenn Miller||US||February 7, 1942|
|Moonlight Cocktail||Glenn Miller||US||February 28, 1942|
|Heartaches||Ted Weems||US||March 15, 1947|
|Twelfth Street Rag||Pee Wee Hunt||US||August 28, 1948|
|Blue Tango||Leroy Anderson||US||May 17, 1952|
|The Song from Moulin Rouge||Mantovani||UK||August 14, 1953|
|Oh Mein Papa||Eddie Calvert||UK||January 8, 1954|
|Let's Have Another Party||Winifred Atwell||UK||December 3, 1954|
|Cherry Pink (and Apple Blossom White)||Perez Prado||UK||April 29, 1955|
|Cherry Pink (and Apple Blossom White)||Perez Prado||US||April 30, 1955|
|Cherry Pink (and Apple Blossom White)||Eddie Calvert||UK||May 27, 1955|
|Cherry Pink (and Apple Blossom White)||Perez Prado||Germany||October 8, 1955|
|Autumn Leaves||Roger Williams||US||October 29, 1955|
|Lisbon Antigua||Nelson Riddle||US||February 25, 1956|
|The Poor People of Paris||Les Baxter||US||March 17, 1956|
|The Poor People of Paris||Winifred Atwell||UK||April 13, 1956|
|Moonglow and Theme from Picnic||Morris Stoloff||US||June 2, 1956|
|Tequila||The Champs||US||March 17, 1958|
|Patricia||Perez Prado||US||July 28, 1958|
|Patricia||Perez Prado||Germany||October 18, 1958|
|Hoots Mon||Lord Rockingham's XI||UK||November 28, 1958|
|Side Saddle||Russ Conway||UK||March 27, 1959|
|The Happy Organ||Dave "Baby" Cortez||US||May 11, 1959|
|Roulette||Russ Conway||UK||June 19, 1959|
|Sleep Walk||Santo & Johnny||US||September 21, 1959|
|Theme from A Summer Place||Percy Faith||US||February 22, 1960|
|Apache||The Shadows||UK||August 25, 1960|
|Wonderland by Night||Bert Kaempfert||US||January 9, 1961|
|Calcutta||Lawrence Welk||US||February 13, 1961|
|On the Rebound||Floyd Cramer||UK||May 18, 1961|
|Kon-Tiki||The Shadows||UK||October 5, 1961|
|Mexico||Bob Moore||Germany||January 27, 1962|
|Wonderful Land||The Shadows||UK||March 22, 1962|
|Nut Rocker||B. Bumble and the Stingers||UK||May 17, 1962|
|Stranger on the Shore||Acker Bilk||US/UK||May 26, 1962|
|The Stripper||David Rose||US||July 7, 1962|
|Telstar||The Tornados||UK||October 4, 1962|
|Telstar||The Tornados||US||December 22, 1962|
|Dance On!||The Shadows||UK||January 24, 1963|
|Diamonds||Jet Harris and Tony Meehan||UK||January 31, 1963|
|Telstar||The Tornados||France||February 9, 1963|
|Foot Tapper||The Shadows||UK||March 29, 1963|
|Il Silenzio||Nini Rosso||Germany||July 19, 1965|
|A Taste of Honey||Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass||US||November 27, 1965|
|Love is Blue||Paul Mauriat||US||February 10, 1968|
|The Good, the Bad and the Ugly||Hugo Montenegro||US||June 8, 1968|
|Grazing in the Grass||Hugh Masekela||US||July 20, 1968|
|The Good, the Bad and the Ugly||Hugo Montenegro, his Orchestra and Chorus||UK||November 13, 1968|
|Albatross||Fleetwood Mac||UK||January 29, 1969|
|Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet||Henry Mancini||US||June 28, 1969|
|Amazing Grace||Royal Scots Dragoon Guards||UK||April 15, 1972|
|Popcorn||Hot Butter||France||July 13, 1972|
|Mouldy Old Dough||Lieutenant Pigeon||UK||October 14, 1972|
|Frankenstein||The Edgar Winter Group||US||May 26, 1973|
|Eye Level||Simon Park Orchestra||UK||September 29, 1973|
|Love's Theme||Love Unlimited Orchestra||US||February 9, 1974|
|TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)||MFSB featuring The Three Degrees||US||April 20, 1974|
|Pick Up the Pieces||Average White Band||US||February 22, 1975|
|The Hustle||Van McCoy and the Soul City Orchestra||US||July 26, 1975|
|Fly, Robin, Fly||Silver Convention||US||November 29, 1975|
|Theme from S.W.A.T.||Rhythm Heritage||US||February 28, 1976|
|A Fifth of Beethoven||Walter Murphy||US||October 9, 1976|
|Gonna Fly Now||Bill Conti||US||July 2, 1977|
|Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band||Meco||US||October 1, 1977|
|Rise||Herb Alpert||US||October 20, 1979|
|One Step Beyond||Madness||France||March 7, 1980|
|Chariots of Fire||Vangelis||US||May 8, 1982|
|Miami Vice Theme||Jan Hammer||US||November 9, 1985|
|Song of Ocarina||Jean-Philippe Audin and Diego Modena||France||January 18, 1992|
|Doop||Doop||UK||March 19, 1994|
|The X-Files||Mark Snow||France||June 8, 1996|
|Flat Beat||Mr. Oizo||UK||April 3, 1999|
|Harlem Shake||Baauer||US||March 2, 2013|
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Some recordings which include brief or non-musical use of the human voice are typically considered instrumentals. Examples include songs with the following:
Songs including actual musical—rhythmic, melodic, and lyrical—vocals might still be categorized as instrumentals if the vocals appear only as a short part of an extended piece (e.g., "Unchained Melody" (Les Baxter), "Batman Theme", "TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)", "Pick Up the Pieces", "The Hustle", "Fly, Robin, Fly", "Get Up and Boogie", "Do It Any Way You Wanna", and "Gonna Fly Now"), though this definition is loose and subjective.
Falling just outside of that definition is "Theme From Shaft" by Isaac Hayes.
"Better Off Alone", which began as an instrumental by DJ Jurgen, had vocals by Judith Pronk, who would become a seminal part of Alice Deejay, added in later releases of the track.
A cappella music is group or solo performance without instrumental accompaniment, or a piece intended to be performed in this way. The term a cappella was originally intended to differentiate between Renaissance polyphony and Baroque concertato style. In the 19th century, a renewed interest in Renaissance polyphony coupled with an ignorance of the fact that vocal parts were often doubled by instrumentalists led to the term coming to mean unaccompanied vocal music. The term is also used, albeit rarely, as a synonym for alla breve.
A musical ensemble, also known as a music group or musical group, is a group of people who perform instrumental or vocal music, with the ensemble typically known by a distinct name. Some music ensembles consist solely of instruments, such as the jazz quartet or the orchestra. Some music ensembles consist solely of singers, such as choirs and doo wop groups. In both popular music and classical music, there are ensembles in which both instrumentalists and singers perform, such as the rock band or the Baroque chamber group for basso continuo and one or more singers. In classical music, trios or quartets either blend the sounds of musical instrument families or group together instruments from the same instrument family, such as string ensembles or wind ensembles. Some ensembles blend the sounds of a variety of instrument families, such as the orchestra, which uses a string section, brass instruments, woodwinds and percussion instruments, or the concert band, which uses brass, woodwinds and percussion.
Sheet music is a handwritten or printed form of musical notation that uses musical symbols to indicate the pitches, rhythms or chords of a song or instrumental musical piece. Like its analogs – printed books or pamphlets in English, Arabic or other languages – the medium of sheet music typically is paper, although the access to musical notation since the 1980s has included the presentation of musical notation on computer screens and the development of scorewriter computer programs that can notate a song or piece electronically, and, in some cases, "play back" the notated music using a synthesizer or virtual instruments.
"Iridescent" is a song by American rock band Linkin Park. It was announced as the band's third US, fourth international and overall final single from their fourth studio album, A Thousand Suns, which was released on September 14, 2010. A music video for the song was directed by Joe Hahn, the band's turntablist. "Iridescent" serves as the theme song for the film Transformers: Dark of the Moon, continuing the streak of the band's songs serving as the theme songs of the Transformers films. The song received positive reviews and became a moderate success.
A guitar solo is a melodic passage, instrumental section, or entire piece of music written for a classical guitar, electric guitar or an acoustic guitar. In 20th and 21st century traditional music and popular music such as blues, swing, jazz, jazz fusion, rock and metal, guitar solos often contain virtuoso techniques and varying degrees of improvisation. Guitar solos on classical guitar, which are typically written in musical notation, are also used in classical music forms such as chamber music and concertos.
A Day at the Races is the fifth studio album by the British rock band Queen, released on 10 December 1976 by EMI Records in the United Kingdom and by Elektra Records in the United States. It was the band's first completely self-produced album, and the first not to feature producer Roy Thomas Baker. Recorded at The Manor, Sarm West and Wessex Studios in England, A Day at the Races was engineered by Mike Stone. The album serves as a companion album to the band's previous album, A Night at the Opera, both taking their names from Marx Brothers films, as well as sharing similar packaging and eclectic musical themes.
Uncle Meat is the fifth studio album by the Mothers of Invention, released as a double album in 1969. Uncle Meat was originally developed as a part of No Commercial Potential, a project which spawned three other albums sharing a conceptual connection: We're Only in It for the Money, Lumpy Gravy and Cruising with Ruben & the Jets.
Song structure is the arrangement of a song, and is a part of the songwriting process. It is typically sectional, which uses repeating forms in songs. Common forms include bar form, 32-bar form, verse–chorus form, ternary form, strophic form, and the 12-bar blues. Popular music songs traditionally use the same music for each verse or stanza of lyrics. Pop and traditional forms can be used even with songs that have structural differences in melodies. The most common format in modern popular music is introduction (intro), verse, pre-chorus, chorus, verse, pre-chorus, chorus, bridge, verse, chorus and outro. In rock music styles, notably heavy metal music, there is usually one or more guitar solos in the song, often found after the middle chorus part. In pop music, there may be a guitar solo, or a solo may be performed by a synthesizer player or sax player.
"If I Had $1000000" is a song by the Canadian musical group Barenaked Ladies from their album Gordon. Composed by founding members Steven Page and Ed Robertson, the sing-along track has become one of the band's best-known songs, and is a live show staple, despite never having been a true single and without an accompanying music video. The song reached No. 13 in Canada and eventually charted in the United Kingdom and the United States, peaking also at No. 13 on the UK Rock Chart in 1996, as well as No. 37 on the US Billboard Adult Top 40 in 2000.
"Us and Them" is a song by the English progressive rock band Pink Floyd, from their 1973 album The Dark Side of the Moon. The music was written by Richard Wright with lyrics by Roger Waters. It is sung by David Gilmour, with harmonies by Wright. The song is 7 minutes and 51 seconds, the longest on the album.
"The Unforgiven" is a power ballad by American heavy metal band Metallica. It was released as the second single from their eponymous fifth album Metallica. Though one of the slower tracks on the album, its chord progression is distinctly one of the heaviest ballads featured on the album. The song deals with the theme of the struggle of the individual against the efforts of those who would subjugate him.
"Fat Bottomed Girls" is a song by the British rock band Queen. Written by guitarist Brian May, the track featured on their 1978 album Jazz and later on their compilation album Greatest Hits. When released as a single with "Bicycle Race", the song reached number 11 in the UK Singles Chart and number 24 in the Billboard Hot 100 in the US.
"I Get Around" is a song written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love for American rock band the Beach Boys. It was released as a single in May 1964 with "Don't Worry Baby" as its B-side and became the group's first number-one charting song in the United States. Coming in on the charts at number 7, it became their first top ten hit in the United Kingdom. It was included as the opening track on their studio album All Summer Long in July 1964.
"Sky Pilot" is a 1968 song by Eric Burdon & the Animals, released on the album The Twain Shall Meet. When released as a single the song was split across both sides, due to its length (7:27). As "Sky Pilot " it reached number 14 on the U.S. pop charts and number 15 on the Canadian RPM chart.
"Rosanna" is a song written by David Paich and performed by the American rock band Toto, the opening track and the first single from their 1982 album Toto IV. This song won the Record of the Year Grammy Award in the 1983 presentations. "Rosanna" was also nominated for the Song of the Year award. It is regarded for drummer Jeff Porcaro's half-time shuffle, commonly known as the "Rosanna shuffle".
This is a list of jazz and popular music terms that are likely to be encountered in printed popular music songbooks, fake books and vocal scores, big band scores, jazz, and rock concert reviews, and album liner notes. This glossary includes terms for musical instruments, playing or singing techniques, amplifiers, effects units, sound reinforcement equipment, and recording gear and techniques which are widely used in jazz and popular music. Most of the terms are in English, but in some cases, terms from other languages are encountered.
"Car Radio" is a song written and recorded by American musical duo Twenty One Pilots, originally released in 2010 as a single, and was included on their second studio album, Regional at Best. It was re-released on March 18, 2014 as the fifth and final single from their third studio album, Vessel.
A rock band or pop band is a small musical ensemble that performs rock music, pop music, or a related genre. A four-piece band is the most common configuration in rock and pop music. In the early years, the configuration was typically two guitarists, a bassist, and a drummer. Another common formation is a vocalist who does not play an instrument, electric guitarist, bass guitarist, and a drummer. Instrumentally, these bands can be considered as trios. Sometimes, in addition to electric guitars, electric bass, and drums, also a keyboardist plays.
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