Music education always & always looking forward.

Asymmetrical Simple Meter in Pink Floyd's "Money"

When one thinks of 7/4, I’d bet a lot of money that one probably thinks of this song.


I have a lot less to say about Pink Floyd than many others. I’ve never been an enormous fan of theirs, but obviously, they are a cultural institution. This song is one of the best and most prominent examples of 7/4, and like much of Pink Floyd’s ouvre, laid the foundation for prog rock. Moving along!

Intro: Pink Floyd is a foundational classic rock band. Having sold over 250 million albums, having been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1996 and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005, most music fans can say they’ve had some contact with Pink Floyd. “Money” appears on the band’s eighth album, Dark Side of the Moon. In testament to the album & the band’s longevity, Dark Side of the Moon spent 15 years on the Billboard Top 200 chart (1973-1988). The album reappeared as the chart changed their criteria in 2009, and has remained on the Top 200 ever since. “Money” was the first single from the album, and the first ostensible hit song for Pink Floyd. It peaked at no. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and no. 10 on the UK singles chart.

Analysis: Though there was some discussion about whether or not the song was originally intended to be in 7/8, a clear time signature of 7/4 can be heard (with every beat played in the bass line) starting at :13 in the above video recording. The time signature changes to 4/4 at 3:06 during the extended guitar solo.

Considerations for Teaching: The song contains the word “bulls**t” in the second verse. The concept of 7/4 is easy to follow prior to the occurence of this lyric, so it is recommended that teachers might play the first several minutes of the song to get the point across without the profanity.

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