Song Bank

"I cannot get my kids to hear a major third."
"I am teaching a piece in 6/8 time that my kids don't get. "
"I am teaching a piece in 7/8 time that my kids don't get."
"I would really like a demonstrative piece to explain a Picardy third."
"I need to explain to my theory students the difference between Aeolian (natural minor) and Dorian mode."
"I'd really like a group of songs that shows off the concept of direct modulation, rather than just saying 'truck driver.'"
Etc., etc., etc.

Well, it appears you've come to the right place.  Click through on the following categories to find lists of songs that demonstrate these specific music theory concepts.

 
 
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songs featuring classical & jazz samples

From Evanescence sampling Mozart to Jurassic 5 sampling the Oscar Peterson Quartet (and Janet Jackson sampling both Erik Satie & Herbie Hancock), the songs featured here can help connect ensemble (and solo) performance literature to styles of music students may already be more familiar with.

 
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Songs to reinforce harmonic & melodic concepts

Here we link to a bunch of songs that serve as good examples of some theory concepts, broken down into four major categories and several subcategories: intervals, modulations, modes, and cadences.  Enjoy!

 
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Rhythm & Meter Concepts

Do your students (band, chorus, orchestra, guitar, modern band, private piano, music theory, etc.) need help counting?  There's so much popular music out there that can expose them to rhythmic concepts that are impossible to explain, listed here with three main features: cross-rhythms, changing meter, and compound and/or asymmetrical meter.