A Musical Phrase Called the "Millennial Whoop" Is Eating Pop Music Alive
Published Aug 29, 2016From suspender-clad folkies to radio-ready starlets to modern pop-punk bands, everyone seems to be indulging in a "whoa-oh-oh"-style singalong these days. The similarities in pop music are no mistake, however. There's a particular musical phrase that's taking the world by storm.
The trend was first picked up on by musician and producer Patrick Metzger, who has dubbed it the "millennial whoop." As he explains on his blog, the musical phrase is built from alternating the fifth and third notes in a major scale. The whoop typically starts on the fifth note and uses a "Wa-oh-wa-oh" pattern.
Metzger adds that it's essentially a comforting lullaby sound to our ears:
So it is that the Millennial Whoop evokes a kind of primordial sense that everything will be alright. You know these notes. You've heard this before. There's nothing out of the ordinary or scary here. You don't need to learn the words or know a particular language or think deeply about meaning. You're safe. In the age of climate change and economic injustice and racial violence, you can take a few moments to forget everything and shout with exuberance at the top of your lungs. Just dance and feel how awesome it is to be alive right now. Wa-oh-wa-oh.
While it's one thing to read about the millennial whoop, it's another thing entirely to hear it in action. Fortunately, Quartz has compiled an exhaustive list of pop stars utilizing the musical phrase.
The compilation features whoops from Katy Perry, Owl City, Carly Rae Jepsen, the Kings of Leon, Frank Ocean, the Head and the Heart, Chris Brown and many others.
Whoop along with the clip below.