Music education always & always looking forward.

Uneven Meter for an Uneven Beachside: Asymmetrical Simple Meter in Broken Social Scene's "Shoreline (7/4)"

My favorite song in 7/4 time (it's even in the title!).


I think I've tried most of my whole life to be cool. When I was in college in the 2000s, I really did think I'd made it & I was cool. My movie critic boyfriend got us into a ton of free rock shows and he made me a lot of mixtapes. The jury is out on whether or not I was actually cool, but I felt cool. Unfortunately, I also latched onto many of said boyfriend's tastes, and missed out on bands like Broken Social Scene. In the subsequent years after the end of that relationship, I realize that whatever I was trying to be, I probably already had been. As a full-fledged adult, I realize that cool doesn't pay the bills. And I also realized that I really would have enjoyed Broken Social Scene during those years. 

Lesson learned: don't let your friends, and especially your significant other, dictate your tastes.  What you love is yours and yours alone.  

Carry on with the discussion! This is one of my favorite songs, even if I got to it almost 10 years after the fact. 

"7/4 (Shoreline)" – Broken Social Scene

Intro: Working as a collective of indie rock musicians, Broken Social Scene began in 1999 stemming from collaborations among the Toronto music scene. The band’s membership has ranged from six members to fifteen. In 2005, the band released an eponymous album, their third full-length effort, which features “Shoreline (7/4).” The album Broken Social Scene was awarded the Canadian Juno award for Alternative Album of the Year. Indie rock singer-songwriter and Juno award winning, Grammy & BRIT nominated Leslie Feist appears as the lead vocalist on this track.

Analysis: The entire song, starting with an extensive instrumental intro is in 7/4 time. The meter stays constant throughout each verse, instrumental break, and chorus (which is essentially simply a lengthened repetition of the word "shoreline").

Considerations for Teaching: This song contains no inappropriate lyrics or subject matter, therefore making it a suitable classroom listening example.

*Edited lightly for brevity on July 2nd, 2018.

End of the Year Blues

Hard-Hitting Triplets: Crossrhythms in Kansas's "Carry on My Wayward Son"