Pedal Point


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What is a pedal point?

A pedal point (or pedal tone) refers to a single note repeated or sustained (usually in the bass) while harmony changes above it. In certain styles, the continuous use of pedal points can result in an unwanted drone-like quality. It is worth noting that the term “pedal” originated from organ music and is referred to as an “organ point.”

Take a look at how we incorporated pedal points into our music

Examples of Music with a Pedal Point

– John Williams, ”Yoda’s Theme,” The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

– Jonathan Elias, Columbia Pictures logo theme (1993)

– Alan Menken, “Part of Your World,” The Little Mermaid (1989)

– Miles Davis Sextet “Someday My Prince Will Come,” Someday My Prince Will Come (1961)

– Stevie Wonder “Living For The City,” Innervisions (1973)

– Bernard Hermann, “The Letter” from the movie Vertigo (1958)

– Koji Kondo, “Time of the Falling Rain,” The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (1991)

Additional resources on pedal point:

Wikipedia, Music Theory Academy

* This is an excerpt lesson taken from Behind the Score. Video lessons, PDF scores, and MP3 audio files related to this article can be found here: Creating Mood Instantly with Two-Chord Structures