The assistant professor of music has published an article in a prominent music theory journal, discussing meter and rhythm in pop song introductions known as "buildups."
Robin Attas, Assistant Professor and Coordinator of Music Theory in the Department of Music, has published an article in the flagship journal of the Society for Music Theory, Music Theory Spectrum. In her article, Attas discusses meter and rhythm in pop song introductions known as “buildups.” These introductions add instruments or musical parts one at a time to the texture, playing with listener expectation as they both build predictability and present the unexpected. In examples ranging from Donna Summer’s “Bad Girls” to Radiohead’s “Sit Down. Stand Up. (Snakes and Ladders)” to Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean,” Attas explains how tiny changes in the music can have a great impact on how we feel the beat at different moments in time.