Music education always & always looking forward.

Tritone Interval & Changing Meter in Rush's "YYZ"

When it comes to musical fanboys, I can think of no other more beloved band than Rush.  Even immortalized in terms of male bonding by the movie I Love You, Man, Rush fans do not mess around.  I personally appreciate them, even more so that their music is incredibly dense and provides a lot to teach to students.  

Oh, and if you ever felt like you really needed to see a video of I Love You, Man stars Jason Segal & Paul Rudd meeting Rush backstage, here you go.  

YYZ” - Rush

Intro: Formed in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in 1968, Rush has gained a huge cult following among rock fans for their complex compositions and skilled musicianship. Moving Pictures, on which “YYZ” appears, was the band’s most commercially successful album, reaching #1 in their native Canada and #3 on both the Billboard 200 Albums chart and the UK albums chart. Due in great part to their massive influence and devoted fan base, as well as their musical achievements, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013. The band had previously been inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1994 and won several Juno awards.

Analysis: The opening guitar riff from the song begins with a descending tritone, which is repeated throughout the opening riff. Aside from featuring a tritone interval, this song also serves as a good example of changing meter.

Considerations for Teaching: As a rock instrumental, this song contains no lyrics and therefore nothing inappropriate for listening. Many rock instrumentalists would recommend Rush as essential listening.

We Make America Great

Cross-rhythm in The National's "Fake Empire"